In Touch with Prairie Living
By Michael M. Miller
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC) at the NDSU
Libraries in Fargo reaches out to prairie families and former Dakotans.
In various ways, it affirms the heritage of the Germans from Russia
as an important part of the northern plains culture.
May I extend special Thanksgiving regards to readers of this column.
We can be most thankful that our ancestors immigrated from the former
German villages of Russia and Bessarabia to settle here on the Dakota
This November, 2004 column of "In Touch with Prairie Living"
marks the eighth year when this writing begun in November, 1996.
All past columns can be read at: library.ndsu.edu/grhc/articles/newspapers/index.html.
It has been a pleasure to prepare these columns each month with
many positive comments from readers. My appreciation to the weekly
newspapers in the Dakotas who have faithfully published this monthly
column since 1996.
GRHC presents a booth at the Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase at
the Centennial Hall, downtown Fargo, on Saturday (10 am-5 pm) and
Sunday (12 noon-5 pm), November 20-21, 2004. This is our third year
of attending this festive event.
The new 60-minute documentary available in videotape or dvd format,
Our Homeland: The Glueckstalers of New Russia and North America",
has been well received with premieres in July at Modesto, CA and
Bismarck, ND. The documentary was privately funded by the Glueckstal
Colonies Research Association (GCRA) (www.glueckstal.net).
GCRA has published the 790-page hardcover book, "The
Glueckstalers in New Russia and North America: A Bicentennial Collection
of history, Genealogy & Folklore". I highly recommend
securing both the Glueckstal documentary and book from GRHC.
GRHC has published a new book, "The Last Link: Dakota Territory,
Logan County 1887 - Old North Dakota Memories & The Weispfennings
& Muellers: Our Early American Experiences in Dakota Territory",
by Thomas G. Mueller, Jamestown, native of Napoleon, ND. Mueller
shares: "While I was writing my family history story, `The
Last Link', I realized that I had hundreds of stories I could tell,
especially about my time spent on my Aunt Hulda and Uncle Martin
Ehmann's farm, southeast of Gackle, ND." "The Last Link"
is available by contacting GRHC or go to library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/nd_sd/mueller.html.
GRHC has published an important new cookbook, "Cookbook for
the Germans from Russia", by Nelly Daes, translated from German
to English by Alex Herzog, and edited by Janice Huber Stangl who
writes: "This book contains not only recipes, but also humorous
and heart- wrenching anecdotes from the German Russian diaspora.
It is an essential addition to every household." The new cookbook
is available at: library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/cookbooks/das.html,
or contact GRHC.
We are now in our seventh printing since 2002 of "German Food
& Folkways: Heirloom Memories from South Russia, Germany &
the Great Plains" (library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/cookbooks/gueldner.html).
Three award-winning documentary videotapes are still available:
"The Germans from Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children
of the Prairie" (1999); "Schmeckfest: Food Traditions
of the Germans from Russia" (2000); and "Prairie Crosses,
Prairie Voices: Iron Crosses of the Great Plains" (2002). Each
videotape includes bonus video footage not shown in the one-hour
The music documentary of the Germans from Russia premieres on Prairie
Public Television (www.prairiepublic.org)
in March of 2005. I want to express my appreciation for persons
who participated with the filming on September 9 and 10, 2004, at
Hague, Strasburg and Hull, ND. Additional filming of German-Russian
wedding traditions and folksongs is included for the Germans from
Russia music documentary. Previous filming was done in the spring
of 2004 with the choirs of Jamestown College and the University
of Mary as well as the Alive Gospel Choir.
The 11th Journey to the Homeland Tour, sponsored by the NDSU Libraries
is scheduled for May 26 - June 6, 2005. The tour includes Budapest,
Hungary; Odessa, Ukraine and the former German villages; Stuttgart,
Germany; and Alsace, France.
Plans are progressing with the Germans from Russia Oral History
Project in cooperation with the Department of History, NDSU. We
plan to have a history doctoral candidate in 2005 to work with the
interview project with funding from the Theresa Mack Germans from
Russia History Assistantship. We are also developing cooperative
Germans from Russia projects with the Department of History, Northern
State University, Aberdeen, SD.
For further information about Germans from Russia heritage, donations
to GRHC including books, documentaries, cookbooks and tours, contact
Michael M. Miller, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599
(Tel: 701-231-8416; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
GRHC website: library.ndsu.edu/grhc).
November, 2004 column for North Dakota and South Dakota