WHAT IS AN ARCHIVE?
Visitors to the Danish American Archive and Library (DAAL) often ask whether it is a museum. Some ask whether the DAAL is the same as a museum. The answer is “no.” The Danish American Archive and Library is different from a museum and is doing invaluable work that a museum is either unable to do or uninterested in doing because its concerns lie elsewhere. . . [more]
Our main goal is to collect, preserve and make available to the public letters, financial records, books, periodicals, diaries, memoirs deeds, recordings photographs and films, among other things, of Danish Americans from the time of the earliest immigrants from Denmark to the present day. Our collections include not only those of institutions and widely recognized individuals, but also those of the vast majority of the population who are the real determiners of belief, culture and history–housewives, laborers, farmers and business people as well as pastors, professors, engineers and artists to mention a few.
We are the official repository for the Danish Brotherhood of America, the Danish Sisterhood of America, and the American Society of Danish Engineers. We have the most complete collection of Den Danske Pioneer, the oldest Danish language newspaper published in the USA.
The Danish American Archive and Library has antecedents in the earlier archives of the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church and of Dana College–each of which essentially was institutional. Since 1986 a new archive has emerged with its emphasis being ethnic, rather than institutional. First named The Danish Immigrant Archive, the focus of The Archive today has grown to include not only the experiences and significant contributions to American society and culture of those brave pioneers, but also their descendents and others of Danish descent who have chosen to come to the United States to make their home.