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Whether you seek information on your family tree or the perfect kuchen recipe, NDSU Libraries' Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is a valuable resource. It is located in the North Dakota State University's Main Library, the state’s land-grant university.

Since its inception in 1978, this specialized archives has become one of the most comprehensive collections of German-Russian resources in the world.

Today, GRHC has expanded its activities and projects to include:

  • Audio oral history interviews
  • Clothing and textiles
  • Dakota Memories Oral History Project
  • Electronic discussion groups
  • Heritage tours to Ukraine and Germany
  • Online resources
  • Outreach programs
  • Photo archives
  • Publications
  • Translations

Mission

To collect, document, preserve, exhibit, translate, publish, promote, and make accessible resources on the culture, history, folklore, textiles and clothing, and foodways of the Germans from Russia. Our focus is on Bessarabian, Black Sea, Crimean, Dobrudscha and Volhynian Germans and their descendants in North Dakota and the Northern Plains.

Hours

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday

Due to limited staff, appointments are encouraged. Please contact Michael M. Miller at 701-231-8416 or Jeremy Kopp at 701-231-6596 to schedule an appointment.

Location

The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is located in Room 114 on the first floor of the North Dakota State University Library, 12th Avenue North and Albrecht Boulevard, Fargo, N.D. Parking is available north of the NDSU Library; call GRHC for more information.

Research Archives

The GRHC archives provide many resources for scholarly research, including family histories, information on ethnic culture and foodways, maps and specialized collections from donors/historians.

Search online in the NDSU Library Catalog for most books and audio-visual materials and on Dspace for Finding Aids for Special Collections.

Click here to view the Research Library Rules.

Special Collections

Here are examples of Special Collections available for scholarly research.

  • Walter & Alice Riedlinger Essig: Community and county histories of North and South Dakota families
  • Thomas J. Hoffman: Catholic German families in Europe and North America
  • Herbert Poppke: Comprehensive cultural identification including specialized maps
  • Gwen Bernice Black Pritzkau: Genealogical research
  • Ernest E. Zeiszler: Lutheran/Reformed German families of Crimea, Hutchinson County, S.D., and Mercer County, N.D.

GRHC features several historic photographic collections including the Graf-Buck, Kusler-Grosz, Baumgartner, Fischer-Masterson and Marguerite (Bullinger-Gustin) Lien collections. Other collections focus on theology and music/hymnal themes, such as the Leona (Woeszner) Neu Collection.

Material Collections

The GRHC will consider adding to our collections: materials brought over during emigration; objects displaying cultural heritage made or used by people during early years of Germans from Russia settlement in North America/ northern plains; items illustrating the impact of assimilation while retaining cultural identity; and items, representing on-going traditions, created by descendants of emigrants. The objects should be relevant to and consistent with the mission of the GRHC.

Click here to view the GRHC Material Collections Policy.

Textiles and Clothing Donations

For donations of textiles and clothing, the GRHC staff collaborates with the Emily P. Reynolds Historic Costume Collection, College of Human Development and Education, NDSU.

For more information:
Dr. Ann Braaten, Curator
Emily P Reynolds Historic Costume Collection
701-231-7367
Ann.Braaten@ndsu.edu
www.ndsu.nodak.edu/erhcc

German-Russian Historic Photographs

You can help us build our photo collection of historic German-Russian photographs including images of weddings, homemaking, farming, military and family. We will handle your family photos with great care, keeping them only long enough to create digital copies. We appreciate your cooperation in loaning your photographs and other historical documents for archival preservation, publications and exhibits.

Dakota Memories Oral History Project

The GRHC staff launched the Dakota Memories Oral History Project (DMOHP) in 2005. The
DMOHP organizers designed this project to document the cultural heritage and preserve the childhood memories of second- and third-generation Germans from Russia on the Northern Plains.

Marie Rudel Portner

In 2000, The Marie Rudel Portner Germans from Russia Endowment was established to assist in privately funding this collection.

Journey to the Homeland Tours

The GRHC hosts special tours for individuals and families who wish to travel from the United States and Canada to Germany and Odessa, Ukraine. Travelers visit the villages of their ancestors near Odessa, including the former Black Sea, Bessarabian and Crimean German villages. Since our first tour in May 1996, we have sponsored at least one trip per year.

Click here to learn more about GRHC tours

Items Available for Purchase

Books, cookbooks, maps, CDs, videotapes and DVDs can be found at the GRHC Web site, by calling 701-231-6596 or visiting us in the NDSU Library. Here, you’ll find books in both English and German, resources on this important ethnic group, regional books and a variety of music.

You’ll also find numerous award-winning documentaries. The GRHC works closely with Prairie Public Broadcasting, providing financial assistance and research for acclaimed documentaries such as Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia, and Prairie Crosses, Prairie Voices: Iron Crosses of the Great Plains.

Click here to visit our online Order page

Culture, Customs and Foodways

Locate information on German-Russian food recipes, ethnic customs, folkways and traditions for events such as weddings, Christmas and New Year’s.

Find an extensive collection of regional, German and English cookbooks, all available for purchase at the GRHC.

Use our Recipe Index Search to search for and locate more than 10,000 recipe titles found in
cookbooks available for purchase from GRHC.

Donations to the GRHC

A financial gift from you will allow us to continue to preserve a living legacy for future generations, so they too will know the history and culture of the region’s Germans from Russia. All financial donations are greatly appreciated. Personal checks, debit and credit cards are accepted.

Another way to assist in our efforts is by donating family histories, oral histories, photographs, certificates, letters, books, and memorabilia.

Click here for more information on donating to the GRHC

Staff and Volunteers

Michael M. Miller
Director and Bibliographer
Phone: 701-231-8416
Fax: 701-231-7138
E-mail: Michael.Miller@ndsu.edu

Jeremy Kopp
Special Collections Associate
Phone: 701-231-6596
E-mail: Jeremy.Kopp@ndsu.edu

Jay “Surrey” Gage
Textiles and Exhibits Curator (part-time)
Phone: 701-231-6596

Pamela Burkhardt
Collections Manager (part-time)
Phone: 701-231-6596
E-mail: Pamela.Burkhardt@ndsu.edu

Trevor Martinson
Archival Assistant (part-time)
Phone: 701-231-6596
Email: Trevor.Martinson.1@ndsu.edu

Click here to view a complete staff and volunteer list

Policies

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller
North Dakota State University Libraries
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
Libraries
NDSU Dept #2080
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Tel: 701-231-8416
Fax: 701-231-6128
Last Updated:
Director: Michael M. Miller
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