The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection houses, preserves, and makes available items related to German-Russian heritage. Included are documents and heirlooms brought to North America by German Russian immigrants and objects displaying cultural heritage that were made or used by people during the early years of Germans from Russia settlement in North America. We also collect artifacts illustrating the impact of assimilation, while retaining cultural identity, and some items representing continuing traditions created by descendants of German Russian immigrants.
Examples of materials in the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection are family documents, letters, photographs, books, certificates, publications, funeral cards, and textiles. If you have questions about donations, please visit the GRHC Donations page.
Blankets, head coverings, shawls, and other textiles and clothing donated to the GRHC are housed at the Emily P. Reynolds Historic Costume Collection located on the NDSU campus.
Most donated books are catalogued and kept in our Research Library. To search our books, visit the NDSU Library Catalog, enter a search topic and select Germans from Russia in the search drop box to the right of the page.
Archival Collections in the GRHC
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection processes archival donations and makes them available through Finding Aids. A finding aid is a document that features detailed information about a collection contained within an archive. Each searchable collection within the GRHC will have a finding aid. This is an ongoing process and new finding aids are published as new collections are processed.
We also collect books that are not cataloged because of their value or condition. These include hymnals, theology books, songbooks, and sermon books. They are listed in the Finding Aid for their respective collections.
To view our processed collections, visit our finding aids catalog and enter a search topic into the search box.
Textiles and Clothing Collection
Our textiles and clothing donations are housed at the Emily P. Reynolds Historic Costume Collection (EPRHCC), Department of Apparel, College of Human Development and Education, Design, Facility and Hospitality Management, E. Morrow Lebedeff Hall, North Dakota State University, Fargo.
- The Herbert Poppke Collection is a comprehensive collection of cultural identification materials and many specialized maps.
- The Dr. Adam Giesinger Collection is an extensive collection by a renowned historian and author. It contains correspondence, speeches, research, publications, photographs and electronic media relating to various topics on the Germans from Russia. Also contains materials related to books authored by Giesinger, such as From Catherine to Khrushchev: The Story of Russia's Germans.
- The Glückstal Colonies Research Association Collection features a large grouping of research materials pertaining to histories of German families who settled in Glückstal, as well as other genealogical resources, such as publications.
- The Ron Vossler Collection contains correspondence and periodical clippings relating to Germans from Russia and from 1917 to 1937 and materials related to books written by him. A primary focus of this collection is the “famine letters” detailing the hardships of that era.
- The Johannes and Christiana (Ehni) Schock Letter & Photograph Collection contains letters and photographs sent to Johannes and Christiana (Ehni) Schock from relatives in Germany, Bessarabia, and Poland, between 1936 and 1996 with the bulk from 1947 to 1951. They detail the living conditions in post-World War II Europe and how families were able to survive.
- The Leona (Woeszner) Neu Collection focuses on music/hymnals and theology.
- The GRHC also features several photographic collections including family and individual portraits and snapshots of people and buildings, both in Europe and North America:
- Collection of Audio Recordings