In Touch with Prairie Living
By Michael M. Miller
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
North Dakota State University Library, Fargo
September on the Dakota prairies begins with a new school year in
communities, colleges and universities. Life on the North Dakota State
University campus is much busier with over 12,000 students.
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection continues to grow with
additional space in the Marie Rudel Portner Germans from Russia
Room, NDSU Library. We have a growing number of books, family histories,
cookbooks and special collections. This fall we will be announcing
The Ernest E. Zeisler Collection that was donated by the family
to GRHC in 2006.
I invite you to review the web pages of The Lawrence Welk Collection
at the History/Culture Section of the GRHC website. This includes
the Ludwig & Christina (Schwahn) Welk Homestead, Strasburg,
ND, articles, photographs and web links.
The Institute for Regional Studies, NDSU Library, houses the musical
arrangements and memorabilia at the Lawrence Welk Collection donated
by the family in 1993 to NDSU. For further information, go to www.ndsu.edu/welk.
Matthias Hofmann, majoring in English and American Studies at the
university in Chemnitz, Germany, has an internship at GRHC for September
and October. His projects include German to English translation
work. Matthias was a translator at the Amerika Haus information
tables at the Russlanddeutschen Bundestreffen, Wiesbaden, Germany,
in May 2007. His internship is sponsored by GRHC.
We are excited to announce the newest feature to our website. Visit
our new blog at www.ndsu.edu/grhc/blog. The blog is our way of staying
in touch with our faithful website visitors. Make sure you check
back often and leave comments, as we will frequently update.
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection will attend Women’s
Showcase (Saturday, October 13) this year for the first time. We
will bring our cookbooks for display and have them available for
The Dakota Memories Oral History has completed its third season
of interviews. Cassie Ptacek and Tyler Simonson finished their interviews
in Richardton and Dickinson.
Simonson described his experiences in North Dakota. "This
was a very exciting summer for me because I got to do many things
that I've never done before, including ‘witch water’
and eat pickled watermelon. Being from Minnesota, the furthest west
in North Dakota I had ever traveled before this summer was Fargo,
so being able to be apart of
this project and travel all around North Dakota and meet tons of
wonderful people was an incredible experience!"
Ptacek expressed the importance of this project. “The time
I spent working with the Dakota Memories Oral History Project has
been a great opportunity. This project is so important for preserving
the memories of many amazing people, because, as one of my narrators
asked me, "who will tell these stories when I am gone?"
“Voices of the Heartland: German-Russian Memories”
airs until October 8 every Monday and Friday at 8:35 am, 3:55 pm,
6:30 pm, and 7:55 pm on Prairie Public Radio.
Bill Thomas, director of radio at Prairie Public Broadcasting,
says that the listeners love the radio series. “They bring
us the voices of people that you don't usually hear on the radio,
talking about things that don't usually get talked about, in a way
that makes you understand why they are important. They help us understand
a big part of what made this place what it is – the experience
of the Germans from Russia.”
For further information about the Germans from Russia Heritage
Collection, Dakota Memories Oral History Project, Journey to the
Homeland Tour, and donations to GRHC such as family histories, contact
Michael M. Miller, NDSU Library, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599
(Tel: 701-231-8416; Email: Michael.Miller@ndsu.edu; GRHC website:
September 2007 column for North Dakota and South Dakota newspapers.