Researching the GCRA Archives

To assist you GCRA maintains an alphabetical index of members and other researchers, citing the surnames and topics that they are researching, and an alphabetical cross index by surname and topic citing all individuals researching each surname or topic.

The files in the GCRA Archive were developed over a period of many years, and consist of:

  • Files for individual members of GCRA and other researchers.
  • General family surname files, identified as “Jones, general;” “Jones, ancestry;” or “Jones, History.”
  • A small number of files for individuals who lived in the Glückstal Colonies.

Two additional documents MAY assist the researcher in identifying files that contain information that interests him/her.

  1. The “Family Surname and Topic List” that cites all known individuals who are researching that surname or topic.
  2. The “Researcher List” that cites all known family surnames and topics that the individual is researching.

It is important to keep in mind that the surnames and topics may have changed over time - some being deleted and others being added. Researchers on these lists are identified by surname only or by surname and one or more initials. Consequently it can be difficult to identify the exact individual researcher in cases where there are two or more individuals with the same surname.

In those instances, it is recommended that if you wish to use the Archive files, visit the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection in order to view the files in person. Due to staff limitations, it is not possible for staff members to check the contents of files. Currently, there are NO known researchers in the Fargo-Moorhead area that can be hired to do research.

You can use these indexes to identify files that MAY contain information that will be helpful in your research. Those files can be accessed via the following link(s):

The catalog of the GCRA Archive can be accessed via the following link:

The Archive is part of the collection of the GRHC. In order for researches to use the archive they must either visit the GRHC in the main library of North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND:

– or correspond directly with the GRHC, via email ( with "GCRA Archives" as the subject.

– or at the following USPS address:

Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
The Libraries
NDSU Dept. 2080. PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

When researching at the GRHC, the files will be brought to you in the reading room of the GRHC, and must be used there (see below for fees charged for that service).

All duplication done by the GRHC staff (see the fee structure below). Photographing of materials is not allowed. Duplication of published material may be limited by U.S. copyright law.

Due to limitations of staff time, it is not possible to respond to requests for a detailed description of the contents of a file. Either the file must be viewed at the GRHC, or a request must be submitted (in person, or via correspondence)  for a photocopy of the entire file.

NOTE: The GRHC does not own copyright on any of the materials contributed by members and researchers that are in the files. Information in the files may be used for individual research, however copyright law must be adhered to in the publication of all information contained in the files, and with published materials in the Archive.

Copies of correspondence from GCRA that are in the GCRA files were generally printed on the back of previously printed scrap paper.

An initial “Search Fee” of $10.00 is required in order for the NDSU Libraries’ GRHC staff to locate the files you indicate and to contact you with the price quote for photocopying the files. Please send a check or money-order for $10.00 with this request to the address below.

Once a staff member has located your files, you will receive an email (or telephone call) with the cost to photocopy these files. Additional payment will be requested at that time if you wish to have the files photocopied.

Price Structure:
Photocopies - $0.40/page
Shipping & Handling - $6.00

Process for identifying (and ordering photocopies of) is the following:

  1. Check the “Family Surname/Topic Research List” to identify individuals who are researching a surname or topic you are interested in.
  2. Check the “Researcher List” to confirm that the surname or topic is listed by the researcher. Also note that each individual usually cites more than one surname that is being researched.
  3. a) Check the file inventory list to see if an Archive file exists for the member(s) researching the surname(s) or topic(s) that you are interested in.
    b) Also check for general files for the surname(s) you are interested in. They will be listed as “Jones, general” “Jones, ancestry” or “Jones, history.”
    c) Finally, check to see if a family book exists in the GCRA Archive, or in the GRHC general collection for the surname you are interested in.
  4. If you would like a photocopy of one or more file, complete the Duplication Request Form and submit it with the $10.00 search fee to NDSU Libraries’ GRHC, and complete the process described on that form.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller