The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC) at the NDSU Libraries was established in July 1978, which was first housed with the North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies. As a land-grant university, there was interest in establishing a collection of materials about Germans from Russia ancestry, which includes a large population of North Dakota.
Persons with German-Russian ancestry interested in establishing the GRHC included Dr. Armand Bauer, Department of Soil Science, NDSU, who was editor of Heritage Review, published by the Germans from Russia Heritage Society; Dr. Timothy Kloberdanz, Department of Anthropology-Sociology, NDSU; and Michael Miller, a reference librarian with the NDSU Library. Dr. Karl Stumpp of Germany, a well known scholar who was born in the Black Sea German village of Alexanderhilf near Odessa, Ukraine, attended the 1978 Germans from Russia Heritage Society International Convention in Fargo, and donated books from his library to the GRHC.
Currently the GRHC houses numerous books, manuscript collections, and photographs, as well as oral histories, and other historical material. GRHC in cooperation with Prairie Public has produced award-winning documentaries of the Germans from Russia Series beginning in 1999. GRHC’s Journey to the Homeland Tours began in May 1996, with the 24th Homeland Tour in May 2020.
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection's mission is to share and preserve the history and culture of the Germans from Russia in North Dakota and the Northern Plains. Our focus is on Bessarabian, Black Sea, Crimean, Dobrudscha and Volhynian Germans and their descendants in North Dakota and the Northern Plains.
Whether you seek information on your family tree or the perfect kuchen recipe, the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is a valuable resource. It is located in the North Dakota State University's Main Library, the state’s land-grant university.
Since its inception in 1978, this specialized archive has become one of the most comprehensive collections of German-Russian resources in the world.
Today, GRHC has expanded its activities and projects to include:
- Oral history interviews
- Clothing and textiles
- Dakota Memories Oral History Project
- Journey to the Homeland Tours (ancestral heritage tour)
- Online resources
- Outreach programs
- Photo archives