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Studies and Records
Volume XXIII

Published by the Norwegian-American Historical Association, Northfield, Minnesota
Copyright © 1967 by the Norwegian-American Historical Association

Preface

THE NORWEGIAN-AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATIONíS publications since its founding in 1925 now total over forty, including both special and serial publications. Volume twenty-three of Norwegian-American Studies adds eight essays, plus bibliographical material, to the associationís principal series.

The volume opens with an appraisal of the role of the Lutheran churches in Norwegian emigrant life. This essay was read at an American Historical Association session in 1965 as part of a consideration of the religious experience of diverse immigrant groups: the Italian Catholics, the Jews, and the Norwegian Lutherans. It was clear that immigrant cultural traits were inextricably intertwined with the church experiences, that the experiences of each group differed from the others radically, and that it would be necessary to continue to study each group in terms of itself rather than a part of a merged consideration of immigrant church life in America. Eugene L. Fevoldís revised essay is particularly useful in summarizing the key features of Norwegian Lutheranism in America.

The next four contributions comprise letters and memoirs. Millard Gieske has selected a few of Senator Knute Nelsonís Civil War letters from a larger collection that will ultimately appear in book form. Nora Solum has carefully translated a delightful memoir of a remarkable pioneer editor, now well in his nineties, concerning his experiences as an emigrant boy. C. A. Clausen has brought together important letters of the 1840ís by the discerning and influential Gasmann brothers, Hans and Johan, in Wisconsin. The Knud Knudsen "Report" of 1840 which proved so significant when published in Norway is here presented by Beulah Folkedal in translation.

The three remaining essays are in the fields of social and literary history. Nina Draxten presents another installment of her study of that explosive reformer, Kristofer Janson. Arlow W. Andersen explores the period of Knut Hamsunís American residence. Marc L. Ratner contributes a critical study of Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesenís relationship to certain pervasive ideas in the United States of his times, especially those of Herbert Spencer. His essay supplements the biographical study by Clarence Glasrud published by the Norwegian-American Historical Association in 1963.

The efficient and persevering work of Beulah Folkedal and Lloyd Hustvedt in assembling and organizing the archives of the association, now located in the new wing of the Rølvaag Library of St. Olaf College, is regularly made evident in these volumes of Norwegian-American Studies by "From the Archives" and "Some Recent Publications."

Without the expert assistance of Mrs. Helen Thane Katz in editorial work, volume twenty-three of this series could not have been completed at this time. The association is deeply in debt to her for this and past services.

Carlton C. Qualey
Carleton College

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