The Immigration History Research Center is widely regarded as the nation's premier resource for the study of Latvian American history. The cornerstone of the Latvian American collection was provided by the transfer of the 200-linear-foot Latvian archives from the Latvian Studies Center (Kalamazoo, Michigan) to the IHRC archives in 1996.
Included are records of the American Latvian Association, as well as those of the Committee for a Free Latvia, the American Latvian Youth Association, and several other organizations and prominent individuals. In addition, the American Latvian Association made a generous gift in 1998 which established the Latvian History Research Fund to be used for Latvian American studies.
Because of the unique value of this resource, used by researchers from around the world, its care and development require the commitment of ongoing, dedicated staff. Only someone with Latvian language expertise, cultural knowledge, and archival/library experience can fully serve the needs of the Latvian collection and those using it.
(Photo: Latvian Chorus Shield of Songs, Kalamazoo - Grand Rapids MI)
The Latvian American Studies Fund will provide staff support, research awards, and outreach services to the Latvian American community. The first goal and priority (to fully endow the American Latvian Association Graduate Fellowship Fund) has been met with a generous gift from the Republic of Latvia. Efforts now continue toward the remaining goals which focus on bringing knowledge of the Latvian American experience to the widest possible audience. Activities may include publications, exhibitions, scholarly lectures and symposia, research assistance grants, public discussions, media programs, teacher workshops, and more.
As a major national initiative, this fund will raise public consciousness of Latvian American history, foster wider understanding of the contribution of Latvian immigrants to American life, and make a significant investment in future scholars of the Latvian experience in the United States.
Follow the University of Minnesota Foundation link to make an online gift through the University of Minnesota Foundation's secure site. Type in the designation "IHRC: Latvian American Collection (Fund 4539)" in order to have your gift directed to this particular fund. You may also submit a pledge through the same Web page.