University of Minnesota

International Institute of Minnesota, Records

Finding Aid


Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota

Descriptive summary

Creator: International Institute of Minnesota.
Dates: 1920-2004
Abstract: Records (ca. 1920-2004) of the International Institute of Minnesota include music, travel literature, case files, correspondence, photographs, minutes of the membership Council and Board of Directors (on microfilm), administrative records, educational program information, department records, group services and activities, special programs, projects, and publicatons, community and national contacts, publicity, and miscellany.
Quantity: 110 linear ft.
Language: In English
Collection ID: IHRC3257


The International Institute of Minnesota had its beginnings in 1919, under the auspices of the YWCA. During the 1920s, it offered English and citizenship classes, casework, services, and activities for St. Paul ethnic communities. The first executive director, Alice J. Sickels, came in 1931. Under her direction, the Institute expanded, and also began the St. Paul Festival of Nations. In 1938, the Institute broke from the YWCA, the result of expanding programs in casework and folk art, inclusion of men in programs, and increased service to non-Protestants. During the years prior to World War II, casework emphasized naturalization and resolution of immigrant legal problems. Both during and after World War II, casework services centered on resettlement of displaced persons. The Institute has continued, in various ways, to help the foreign born adjust to American life while retaining their cultural heritage.



The International Institute of Minnesota collection is available for public research with the exception of case files which are restricted. Please contact the IHRC Archives for more information..


The International Institute of Minnesota collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRC Archives.


The International Institute of Minnesota Records, General/Multiethnic Collection, Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota


Related collections at the IHRC are Records of the American Council for Nationalities Services as well as records of individual International Institutes in Biddleford-Saco (Maine); Boston (Mass.); Buffalo (N.Y.); Lewiston (Maine); Mckeesport (Penn.); New Castle (Penn.); New Haven (Conn.); Niagara Falls (New York); St. Louis (Missouri); Baltimore, Md.; Jersey City (N.J.)

Index Terms

Folk festivals--Minnesota--Saint Paul.
Social settlements--Minnesota--Saint Paul.
Social work with immigrants--Minnesota--Saint Paul.
Refugees--Services for--Minnesota--Saint Paul.
Children of immigrants--Education.

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