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The Swedish Emigrant Institute

Svenska emigrantinstitutet

The Swedish Emigrant Institute was founded in 1965 to collect, preserve and make available archival and library materials from the Swedish emigration era and beyond. Our main focus is the period from the 1840s to the 1930s. The Swedish Emigrant Institute’s archive is located in The House of Emigrants in Växjö, which was inaugurated in 1968.

The first gift to the archive came from Vilhelm Moberg, who gave the source and work material that he collected during his work on the Emigrant novel series. Thousands of archives consisting of, among other things, letters, diaries, photographs and biographies have been collected from private individuals in both Sweden and North America.

There is also a significant amount of material from Swedish-American companies, newspapers, associations and churches. Archival material relating to other parts of the world, including South America, Africa, Australia and China, is also available. 

The library at the House of Emigrants holds approximately 20,000 volumes, all related to migration. The Swedish Emigrant Institute houses a collection of approximately 3,000 oral interviews with Swedish-Americans recorded between the 1960s and the 1990s that is currently being made available online at Digitalt Museum.

With prior agreement, we accept donations of both large and small collections for the archive and library. Objects related to Swedish emigration to different parts of the world are also of interest.

Research in the Swedish Emigrant Institute’s collections

The well-visited research room at the House of Emigrants is the point of access for students, academic researchers and people interested in history. In the research room, visitors can view unique source material about Swedish emigration, mainly to North America, but also to other parts of the world. The institute’s staff is available to discuss archival and library materials in person or via email.

Book an appointment in the research room 

The research room is open for booked visits. Book your visit on the Research and Genealogy Booking Request page.


We have extensive experience in genealogical research and can help trace the emigrants in your family. We use online databases including Emiweb, Arkiv Digital and The main source for tracing a person is the now fully digitized collection of Swedish church records. These records served as an annual census. In addition to names and birth data, there is information on, among other things, occupation, relocations, literacy, vaccinations and participation in communion.

Sometimes, depending on the zeal of the priest, special notes were taken about health, social status or special events in a person’s life. The church registers were kept with accuracy, and through them it is often possible to find and trace a person. From 1869 forward, the Swedish emigrants were also recorded in passenger lists when they traveled from one of the Swedish ports. From 1820 onward it is possible to find lists for passengers entering North America.


The Swedish Emigrant Institute is a member of the network Emiweb which publishes a database of the same name. Members can search for information about individual emigrants from a variety of sources in Emiweb.


Questions about the archives and the library

Archivist Gunnar Wennerström, 0470-70 42 19,

Archivist Judit Söderblom, 0470-70 42 57,

The Swedish Emigrant Institute Friendship Societys

Emigrant Institute Friendship Society

The Emigrant Institute Friendship Society was formed in 1984. To date, its members have raised more than two million SEK that have been invested in the House of Emigrants.


Gunilla Grügiel, 0470-70 42 33,

The Vilhelm Moberg Society

The Vilhelm Moberg Society works to promote interest in and understanding of Vilhelm Moberg and his writings. The society is located in the House of Emigrants in Växjö, Sweden.


Gunilla Grügiel, 0470-70 42 33,

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