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Music in Sweden and Swedish America

This guide is for anyone looking to conduct research on Swedish and Swedish American music using Swenson Center resources.

Archival Collections

The Swenson Center has several collections related to music and musicians in Sweden and Swedish America. 

SAC P:84  Clara Youngberg music

Collection contains one handwritten songbook of hymns with both music and text. Music follows solfeggio, or solfège, notation. Instead of notes, letters are used to represent the solfège scale (do re mi fa sol la ti). The markings above the notes show the duration, rhythm, and articulation of the notes.


SAC P:85  C.A. Johnson songbook

One bound music copybook (songbook). First portion of the book contains handwritten music and lyrics for various Swedish and English songs. The second portion of the book contains printed music, "Chor-Sånger för Kyrkan, Skolan och Hemmet," Chicago: Engberg, Holmberg & Lindells Förlag, 1876.


SAC P:254  Charles Thulin family papers

The collection (1882-1966) consists of biographical information on the Thulin family and legal papers relating to Charles Thulin, Peter Peterson and Gustaf Swenson's business: The Moline Organ and Piano Company.


I/O:61  American Union of Swedish Singers records

The AUSS records include minutes and reports from 1896-2000s; constitution and by-laws; Musiktidning journal and newsletter; presidential records and correspondence; records from individual choruses; records from the Divisions; scores of music performed; photographs; and some sound recordings.


I/O:69 Collection of Swedish American Sheet Music

This collection contains sheet music and scores of predominantly Swedish-language songs and music published in the United States. Many of these scores are attributed to Swedish immigrants and members of Swedish immigrant communities in the Midwest, who composed the music or arranged preexisting Swedish hymns and folk songs for Swedish American worship, performance, and secular entertainment. The collection includes song books and liturgical collections as well as sheet music of single scores. 


I/O:71 Collection of Swedish American Sound Recordings

This collection includes a variety of sound recordings that were recorded, distributed, or marketed in Sweden or the United States and demonstrate some connection between Swedish and American people and music. The majority format of the collection is 33 1/3 RPM long playing vinyl records, but the collection also includes some audio cassette tapes, 78 RPM and 45 RPM vinyl recordings as well. Genres include folk music, classical music, and popular music.


MSS P:347  Elsie Ahlwén Sundeen evangelist music and other materials

This collection contains Elsie Ahlwén Sundeen's correspondence, sheet music (both written by and collected by Elsie), sound recordings of Elsie, diaries, sermons, and advertising brochures of the her evangelist activities. Many of the sound records were self-recorded.