The South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center

The South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center This page is dedicated to sharing the unique culture and heritage of South Dakota Germans from Russia. The South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center is a history and research center housed on the second floor of the Northern State University Library.
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Over 3,000 square feet has been set aside, including a permanent exhibit telling the story of the Germans from Russia in South Dakota through images, documents, artifacts, and oral history interviews. Rotating exhibitions highlight specific aspects of the Germans from Russia culture. An extensive monograph and family history collection is also available to genealogists and researchers. For more i

Over 3,000 square feet has been set aside, including a permanent exhibit telling the story of the Germans from Russia in South Dakota through images, documents, artifacts, and oral history interviews. Rotating exhibitions highlight specific aspects of the Germans from Russia culture. An extensive monograph and family history collection is also available to genealogists and researchers. For more i

Operating as usual

Congratulations to Duane Stabler on his award from the AHSGR!  Duane, a native of Eureka SD, NSU Alumni, and an integral...
07/15/2021

Congratulations to Duane Stabler on his award from the AHSGR! Duane, a native of Eureka SD, NSU Alumni, and an integral contact in our oral history project, was given a Distinguished Service Award by the AHSGR. Definitely a well deserved award.

Congratulations to Duane Stabler on his award from the AHSGR! Duane, a native of Eureka SD, NSU Alumni, and an integral contact in our oral history project, was given a Distinguished Service Award by the AHSGR. Definitely a well deserved award.

Collection Spotlight:  The Beata Bauer Joachim Collection is made up of over 350 postcards and correspondence to Beata B...
05/17/2021

Collection Spotlight:
The Beata Bauer Joachim Collection is made up of over 350 postcards and correspondence to Beata Bauer of Brushy SD and later Fredonia ND. These postcards date from the early 1900s through the 1920s, and are mostly seasonal but include some image cards as well.

Beata Bauer was born in Lesterville, SD to parents that hailed from Freudental, South Russia. She homesteaded near Brushy, SD and later married Christian Joachim (originally from Friedenstal, Bessarabia) and lived in Delmont, SD.

Browse this unique collection here:
http://digitalcollections.northern.edu/digital/collection/p16707coll18/search

04/16/2021

I'm pleased to announce that NSU is authorized to offer an undergraduate certificate in German from Russia Studies.

This certificate consists of four courses:
GLAN 420 "German for Reading Knowledge" will train and develop your ability to read any text in standard German
GLAN 440 "Germans-from Russia History" provides an introduction to the historical experiences of the Germans who migrated to Russia in the 18th century until the current day
GLAN 450 "Germans-from-Russia Documents" provides hands-on training in deciphering and translating documents written in Fraktur print, handwritten Kurrentschrift and Sütterlinschrift, and also in dealing with documents that have dialect coloring and non-standard spelling conventions
GLAN 460 "Germans-from-Russia Research" provides the opportunity put together a genealogical or historical research project using Germans-from-Russia documents as a foundation

All four courses are 3-credit college courses taught online every summer, except for GLAN 420 which is taught alternate springs.

No knowledge of German is required for students who want to begin with the GLAN 420 reading knowledge course. Those who can already read in German can start off right away with the 440-460 courses - GLAN 440 and 450 are being offered this summer in June and July - each is a five-week, 3-credit course.

For more information on these course offerings, contact Dr. Virginia Lewis at 605.626.7696 or [email protected] .

We often field questions about preservation of photos, documents, or other items that are part of family collections.  T...
01/19/2021
Resources for Preserving Your Archives at Home

We often field questions about preservation of photos, documents, or other items that are part of family collections. The blog linked to below provides some basic resources to start the process.
https://history.denverlibrary.org/news/resources-preserving-your-archives-home

One regional resource not mentioned in the link is the Midwest Art Conservation Center in Minneapolis (https://www.preserveart.org/). This site includes resources on how to preserve items at home, along with the restoration and preservation services offered by MACC.

SD Germans from Russia staff members are also happy to assist with any questions you may have. We recognize the importance of preserving historical resources, and also strive to provide access to these items for future generations.

We often get questions about how to preserve old, historic or archival items that people have in their homes. Some common questions are: How do I find someone to fix the binding on a rare book? How should I store a box of photos that used to be kept in my grandparents’ attic? I have some rolled-up...

Happy Thanksgiving from the SD Germans from Russia Cultural Center.  Even in difficult times, we have much to be thankfu...
11/24/2020

Happy Thanksgiving from the SD Germans from Russia Cultural Center. Even in difficult times, we have much to be thankful for. We greatly appreciate the interest and support of our Facebook and in-person communities, even as things have changed somewhat on campus due to the virus situation.

The image attached is a 1912 postcard from the Joachim Family Collection, which is a new project that we will be sharing in its entirety in the near future.

The poems included are from the November 1977 edition of Prairies Magazine. These were scanned as part of a joint project with the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at NDSU. More editions and information can be found at http://digitalcollections.northern.edu/

Time is running out for you to view the Thrift Style exhibit at Williams Library.  The exhibit is on display until Novem...
11/24/2020

Time is running out for you to view the Thrift Style exhibit at Williams Library. The exhibit is on display until November 30th. We have been impressed by the number of people who have taken the time to tour the exhibit and the SD Germans from Russia Center during this odd time. Thank you to the NSU and Aberdeen communities for the support.

If you have questions about the exhibit or the SD Germans from Russia Center, please call 605.626.7770 or email [email protected].

Greetings from snowy Aberdeen.  Starting this week, the SD Germans from Russia Center is hosting a touring exhibition.  ...
10/22/2020

Greetings from snowy Aberdeen. Starting this week, the SD Germans from Russia Center is hosting a touring exhibition. The exhibit, titled "Thrift Style" tells the story of Great Plains ingenuity in using feed sacks as clothing and other household uses during the 1920s-1940s. This story is illustrated with images, clothing, feed sacks, examples of quilting and other handiworks.

It is a fascinating, beautiful exhibit and really ties into the German from Russia experience. If you have a chance, it is open to the public from 9-5 M-F and by appointment. The exhibit is open until November 30th. For more information, instant message the Center or email [email protected].

https://northern.edu/news/northern-state-university-opens-thrift-style-october-2020

10/09/2020
NSU German professor translates memoir, ‘Flight from the Red Hell’

Dr. Virginia Lewis, professor of German here at NSU, continues to do exemplary work on behalf of the Germans from Russia Center and our donors. The manuscript translated here originated from an interview gathering trip in the Sacramento area in 2015. Soon after, Dr. Lewis began the process of translating the volume and providing context to the story, and the result of her work is now available for purchase. It tells the story of a Volga German living in Russia and what befell him before, during, and after World War II. Special thanks to Larry Gunst and Helga Neuwirt of Sacramento, CA for providing access to this previously untranslated manuscript.

Congratulations and thanks to Dr. Lewis for her work in translating this volume, and for all she does for the SD Germans from Russia Cultural Center.

https://northern.edu/news/nsu-german-professor-translates-memoir-flight-red-hell

ABERDEEN, S.D. – A new memoir offers a first-hand account of a German man’s life under the Bolshevik Revolution – and it might never have been published without the work of Northern State University’s Dr. Ginny Lewis. Lewis, NSU professor of German and literary scholar, translated “Flight ...

Sunday's Aberdeen American News featured an article by Jay Kirschenmann about the postcard exhibit currently on display ...
09/14/2020
It's About Time: Postcard display at Northern includes Mina brick plant, much more

Sunday's Aberdeen American News featured an article by Jay Kirschenmann about the postcard exhibit currently on display in the SD Germans from Russia Center. It talks about the exhibit, and the collector who provided the postcards, Duane Stabler. Thanks to Jay for the great article, and to Duane for sharing his wonderful collection. The exhibit is available M-F from 9-5, and by appointment.

https://www.aberdeennews.com/news/opinion/columnists/its-about-time-postcard-display-at-northern-includes-mina-brick-plant-much-more/article_1338ea2a-f2a7-11ea-96fc-e731efa630af.html

Duane Stabler once acquired a new batch of old postcards to add to his collection. When he noted where they were from he called a friend who had grown up

Happy Independence Day from the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center.  Hope you and yours have a safe holida...
07/02/2020

Happy Independence Day from the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center. Hope you and yours have a safe holiday weekend! The Center will be closed 7/3-7/5, and open by appointment beginning 7/6.

Images from Eureka McPherson County Pioneer Museum Collection: http://digitalcollections.northern.edu/digital/collection/Eureka

06/30/2020
NSU Library awarded NEH grant to preserve oral history interviews

This week it was announced that the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities CARES grant. This grant will allow increased access to the Germans from Russia Oral History project - on site and online. Look for more transcripts and interview clips on our website sdgfr.org. We are greatly appreciative for these funds, which are intended to continue projects that have been adversely impacted by the virus situation.

More information on this grant can be found here:
https://northern.edu/news/nsu-library-awarded-neh-grant-preserve-oral-history-interviews

ABERDEEN, S.D. – A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities will allow the Northern State University Library to resume its work preserving and increasing access to oral history interviews. The $49,397 NEH CARES Grant will fund Williams Library’s work generating transcripts and making...

As Maundy Thursday comes to a close, thoughts turn to Good Friday and Easter Sunday on the horizon.  My family will part...
04/10/2020

As Maundy Thursday comes to a close, thoughts turn to Good Friday and Easter Sunday on the horizon. My family will partake in noodles and raisins (with Hosmer sausage) for Good Friday dinner.

What are your family's Easter traditions? How do you observe Good Friday? Share if you would like to, and Happy Easter.

Image of a German-Russian family dressed for Easter Dinner. Julius Stangl Collection. Undated.

Like many, we are currently working from home.  During these unique times, we have an opportunity to spend time at home....
04/07/2020

Like many, we are currently working from home. During these unique times, we have an opportunity to spend time at home. I'd like to suggest we use some of this time to look at our family collections.
-Do you have photographs? This would be a great time to identify and label them.
-Do you need to contact a relative who knows the story of that family artifact? It would be a great time to give them a call.
-Do you have items, but no plan in place for their long-term preservation? Now would be a great time to reach out to institutions that may be of assistance.

Even though the SD Germans from Russia Cultural Center is not open, do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance. Instant message here or email at [email protected].

Images: Unidentified images showing the opposite of social distancing. Julius Stangl Collection.

Exhibits for 2020 at the SD Germans from Russia CenterComing Soon:Dakota Scenes:  Postcard images from the Duane Stabler...
01/10/2020

Exhibits for 2020 at the SD Germans from Russia Center

Coming Soon:
Dakota Scenes: Postcard images from the Duane Stabler Collection

Approximately 70 images documenting life in areas of South Dakota home to many Germans from Russia. Images of farm work, small town life, landmark buildings, and Main Street scenes are all included. Most postcards date from the early 1900s-through 1930, and include locations in McPherson, Edmunds, Hutchinson, Brown, Tripp, and Corson Counties.

October 21- November 30, 2020:
Thrift Style - A nationally touring exhibit focused on the reuse and re-purposing of feed sacks and other cloth during the Depression and WWII.

https://eusa.org/exhibition/thrift-style/

More info from the website:
In the 1920s and ‘30s, manufacturers began producing patterned and colored feed sacks to give home seamstresses more options. During World War II, the federal government limited fabric use for individual garments and homemakers were obligated to use thrifty approaches to repurpose what was available to them. As fabrics from feed sacks were not considered a limited resource, women turned to them as an accessible and patriotic option during the war effort. In response, trade organizations and manufacturers promoted the thrifty use of feed sack fabric by publishing how-to brochures and booklets with clothing designs, mending instructions, and other suggestions for restyling clothes.

Merry Christmas from the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center. We have been very fortunate to have more peop...
12/20/2019

Merry Christmas from the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center. We have been very fortunate to have more people finding out about the Center, and supporting the things going on here. We have much to look forward next year in the way of exhibits and events. Thank you for liking and following our page. We look forward to sharing more information and interacting with you in the coming year.

Illustrations - Luke Chapter 2, from a recently donated 1888 German language Bible and two Christmas hymns from Sounds from Zion, a 1911 German/English hymn book.

Snow and cold have now settled in here on the Plains.  Winter was a time when early settlers relied on canned foods - mo...
12/06/2019

Snow and cold have now settled in here on the Plains. Winter was a time when early settlers relied on canned foods - mostly those they preserved, but occasionally something commercially produced.

Today, we highlight a seemingly humble part of our collection. This can that formerly held pineapple tells us something about area history, and a little about those who owned it.

The can bears the seal of Jewett Brothers, an Aberdeen, Dakota Territory grocery store and wholesale seller. The Jewett Brothers, Charles and Harvey, ran a wholesale grocery operation in Aberdeen from 1882 until 1888, when they expanded to Sioux Falls. More information on their business can be found here:
https://tinyurl.com/woqqx46/

The can was opened by someone lacking the clean cutting, safe can openers of today. Visitors have commented that the person who opened it was pretty desperate, but it most likely reflects the implement used more than the intention of the opener. Canned goods like pineapple would have been a rare treat to be savored by Dakota Territory residents of the 1880s.

This can is part of the kitchen display in the Center, and was donated by Marvin Hoffer of Montana. Mr. Hoffer is a native of Java, and has been a supporter of the SD GfR Center from its inception. If you would like to donate items, or support the Center, contact Robert Russell at 605.626.7770.

Lawrence: South Dakota’s Hutterite martyrs
11/18/2019
Lawrence: South Dakota’s Hutterite martyrs

Lawrence: South Dakota’s Hutterite martyrs

An NFL quarteback kneels in protest and ends up sidelined, possibly forever. Students walk out of class to express their disgust with school shootings. President Donald Trump is booed at

Happy Veterans Day from the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center.  Our collection includes interviews with s...
11/11/2019
digitalcollections.northern.edu

Happy Veterans Day from the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center.

Our collection includes interviews with several veterans, uniforms, scrapbooks, and other records that document the wartime activities of several German from Russia soldiers.
Thank you to all of veterans for your sacrifice on behalf of our country.

If you have ties to the Eureka area, this scrapbook, complied by Anne Froh, may be of interest to you. In it, Anne gathered any news clippings she could find that documented the activities of Eureka area soldiers during WWII.
http://digitalcollections.northern.edu/digital/collection/Eureka/id/615

Although the weather is hindering the progress of many, it is harvest time.  God bless those working hard to bring in th...
10/25/2019

Although the weather is hindering the progress of many, it is harvest time. God bless those working hard to bring in their crops this Fall.

In the linked audio clips, Don Quashnick of Deadwood, SD describes his experiences with farm equipment, and his father's work ethic.
https://sdgfr.org/collections/quaschnick/

Images from the Spiedel Family Collection

Did you know we offer access to over 4,000 fully searchable obituaries from South Dakota?  Simply follow the link below ...
10/09/2019

Did you know we offer access to over 4,000 fully searchable obituaries from South Dakota? Simply follow the link below and use the search box or browse tab at the top of the page.

Additional obituaries are being added daily. Obituaries document a difficult time in a family's life, but are very important to genealogists and other researchers. If you have any obituaries that you would like to share, please email [email protected].

http://digitalcollections.northern.edu/cdm/search/collection/p16707coll8

Are you your family's historian?  Do you have copies of your family history?  The South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultu...
09/27/2019

Are you your family's historian? Do you have copies of your family history? The South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center continues to gather family histories for our general collection.

A great deal of hard work goes into genealogy. Documents created by family historians are great resources for current and future researchers, but are often only available to small groups.

Please consider sharing your family history. It can be published, comb bound, photocopied, or loose pages. If you are unable to donate the item to the collection, consider borrowing it to us for digitization. Items donated are cataloged, and can be located by interested researchers online or on site.

If you are interested in sharing your family history research, or if you have any questions, please instant message this page or contact Robert Russell at [email protected].

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1200 S Jay St
Aberdeen, SD
57401

Telephone

+16056267770

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Our Story

Williams Library, on the campus of Northern State University, is now home to the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center. This includes a permanent exhibit, housed on the second floor of the library, along with a research center focused on the history of the Germans from Russia and their impact on South Dakota. Publications are available for use within the center, and manuscript and artifact collections are can be requested by researchers. The Center is open anytime the library is, and we look forward to you visiting. For more information on the South Dakota Germans from Russia Cultural Center, please contact Robert Russell at 605.626.7770 or stop in to LIB105.

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July 1st is the deadline for “early registration” for Germans From Russia Convention, in Bismarck, ND. Virtual workshops on Friday-Saturday, July 23-24. Registration is $35/day for members; $40/day for non-members. Face to face workshops Thursday – Saturday, July 22-24. Early Registration ends JULY 1, 2021. Price goes up slightly after that date. Don’t delay, register today!! Register today at
The 2021 Germans From Russia Heritage Society INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION IS A GO! Dates are 21-24 July 2021, at Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center, Bismarck, North Dakota. We look forward to seeing you there! Join us at our two Old Time Dances! Friday, July 23, dace to Clarence Saylor and the Starburst Band; Saturday, July 24, dace to Julie Lee and the White Rose Band. Dances open to the public with a $5 cover charge. Anyone may register for the VIRTUAL PRESENTATIONS occurring during the 50th GRHS Convention on July 23 & 24th by using the following link: https://www.grhs.org/pages/home Just scroll down and click the green box to purchase tickets.
Johann Koop and Susanna Kroeker, daughter of Peter Jacob Kroeker and Barbara were married sometime in the 1850's Johann died in in 1873 in Sparrau, and in 1875, Susanna and her children Heinrich, Barbara, Johann, Peter, Abraham and Margaret left Sparrau for Antwerp where they boarded the SS Nederland, arriving in Philadelphia d on July 25, 1875. They traveled from there to Yankton, Dakota Territory, settling in Turner County. Other families who came to America on the SS Nederland with the Koops and settled in the Dakotas were Peter and Anna Frey Adrian who settled in Hutchinson County, and whose descendants are still in the area. Their two oldest sons, Heinrich (Andrew) who married Helena Wiebe, and Jacob who married Maria Loewen also had their own families by 1880. All three families were living in Hutchison County, except Anna Frey Adrian who died in January of 1880 in Silver Lake, now Dolton, SD. Helena Wiebe had come to America with her parents in August of 1874, and she and Heinrich were married in February of 1878. Marie Loewen and her parents and siblings had come to America on the same ship as the Wiebe’s in 1874, and she and Jacob were married July 4, 1880 in Marion, Dakota Territory. Abraham Dirkson (Duerkson) and his wife, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bueller and their children, Anna, Elizabeth, Abraham, John, Catherine, Henry and Mary were also passengers on the July 25 1875 arrival of the SS Nederland, and settled in Turner County. A family listed with them on a passenger list, Benjamin Dirkson (who may have been related to Abraham) his wife, Susan Wedel and children Eva, Cornelius, Anna and Susan also settled in Turner County and were identified in the 1880 Census as the Dirks family. The Jacob Goossen family also settled in Turner County, including Jacob’s wife, Maria Buhler and children who were listed by their “Americanized” names in the 1880 Census: George, Henry, Susan, Agmda, Eustena, Elizabeth and Jacob. Their eldest son, Franz, who came with them on the SS Nederland in 1875, married another Dakota Territory girl, Helena Maria Peters, daughter of Aaron Peters and Helena Warkentine, also an SS Cimbria 1874 family, who settled in Turner County.
Good Afternoon, My daughter is looking to document oral history, jokes, tales, and stories for her college thesis. If you are willing to share it would be appreciated!
GRHS youth and adult essay contest information here! Cash prizes of $1,000 in the high school senior level, the university level, and there is an adult contest as well. Hope to have you enter! https://www.grhs.org/pages/Current_Contest Current Contest - Germans from Russia GRHS.ORG Current Contest - Germans from Russia
I am a freelance journalist working on a story about Christmas traditions in northeastern South Dakota. I know that kuchen, cheese buttons, kraut strudels and knoephla soup are popular foods among those who celebrate the Germans from Russia heritage. If you grew up on a farm or live on a farm, are there special treats that you and your family make to celebrate the holidays? Do you have special decorations that you share for Christmas? Call or text me at 605-329-7177 if you are willing to share a few details.
Learn German online via Skype / ZOOM / Facebook Messenger with a qualified and professional teacher. Flexible scheduling * 15 years experience * Regular German courses and conversation classes.
I am a direct descendent of Valentine & Elizabeth Stappler who emigrated to South Dakota as part of the 'Germans from Russia' exodus. In 1907 they settled in the Brown & Edmunds county areas primarily. In 1990, one of my relatives, Ron L Chomyc wrote a book called 'Legacy; a history of the Stappler, Weigel and Kessler families. It is no longer in print & the only copy I know of is at the North Dakota State Library in Fargo. Is anyone familiar with this book?
What do you think?
Can anyone help me decipher this last name? I can see the first is Maria......It is my great grandmother's mother's name and it would be ever so helpful if I could figure out her last name......thanks in advance!
Looking for any info on surnames, Opp (Georg), Esslinger, and Asenbauer (Joseph) in Herried, Campbell Co. Year range 1890-1929.
Can anyone identify this handsome mystery man? We believe he is a descendant of Christoph Kruger & Anna Marie Buerkle who came from Ukraine in 1900 with several children. They settled & homesteaded in Logan County, ND. My cousins & I would love to know who he is. The pic was found in a family photo collection with no name or date.