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Vikings and Viking presence in North America

A guide to researching Vikings and Viking presence in North America at the Swenson Center.


This guide is for anyone looking to conduct research on Vikings and Viking presence in North America using Swenson Center resources.

The Swenson Center is located at Augustana College and is a national and international research center for the study of Swedish-American history and relations. 

Vikings and Viking Presence in North America

Keywords/Search Terms

Here are some search terms to try in the library catalog or other search areas. Using the asterisk (*) is a wildcard option, that will return variations on a search term. For example, ancest* will return ancestry, ancestor, and ancestors.

  • Viking
  • Northmen
  • Longships
  • Voyages
  • Sagas
  • Viking ancest*
  • Vinland
  • Runestone
Possible Research Questions

Here are some potential research questions you can explore.

  • What physical evidence is there left from Vikings in North America?
  • What other evidence (ex. linguistic) can be found?
  • Can you trace your own ancestry back to the Viking Age? How would you try to do this?
  • How did the real Vikings compare to the myths that are popular today?
  • What do the sagas tell us about the lives of Vikings?
  • What can be said about the geography or archaeological evidence of Vinland?
  • Fact or Fiction: A Viking-age runestone in Minnesota? (The Kensington Runestone)