Scandinavian Discussion Group Minutes – 2004 Annual

ALA Annual Conference, Orlando

June 27, 2004


1. The WESS Scandinavian DG met on Sunday, June 27, 2004, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with ten attendees. Chair Gordon Anderson welcomed the group and solicited introductions and announcements.

2. The minutes of the Midwinter meeting are available on the Scandinavian Studies Web via the WESS Scandinavian DG link (

3. Book fairs and conferences. Gordon is planning on attending the Göteborg Book Fair (September 23-26, 2004), as is Sem Sutter of the University of Chicago Library (recipient of a Nedbook Northwest Europe Award grant). IFLA will meet in Oslo August 14-18, 2005. This will be the 100th anniversary year of Norwegian independence; Gordon asked everyone to share information about the IFLA meeting and other events on the Nord Lib listserv. This is your opportunity to explore the critical issues facing academic and research librarianship.

Of possible related interest is the Frankfurt Main, Germany Book Fair, October 6-10, 2004. WESS will lead the ACRL exhibit once again, and two days before the Fair (October 4-5) , the 4th Frankfurt Scientific Symposium, entitled: “…Ways of Teaching and Learning to use Information Effectively,” will take place at Frankfurt’s Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University. ACRL’s 12th National Conference, entitled “Currents and Convergence: Navigating the Rivers of Change.” will take place in Minneapolis, April 7-10, 2005. Watch WESS-Web and WESS-L for more information on these and other related conferences.

4. Nord Lib list-serve. Gordon encourages everyone to be sure to sign up for Nord Lib, the discussion list for this group and for all scholars in Scandinavian studies. The traffic is of high quality. See for directions on how to subscribe. Dick Hacken asked that those who post messages to the list check to see if they receive the messages they post. note: this has been a problem on the list-serve; the webmaster is looking into it – ga

5. SASS 2004. No one from the group had attended the SASS meeting last April in Redondo Beach, California ( Referring to the 2003 SASS meetings in Minneapolis, Gordon noted that they are very worthwhile: active and innovative research, for example, studies on immigration to Scandinavia, is presented. While as yet still a small presence in SASS, each year historians and librarians hold a lunchtime meeting during the conference. The meeting is going to be in Portland, Oregon, the weekend of May 5-7. Watch SASS Link ( for more information the conference.

6. Possible discussion topics for future meetings. The SASS annual conference program ( provides a good snapshot of current themes and ideas in Scandinavian studies; for example, there appears to be a growing interest in the influence and effect of increasing numbers of immigrants in Scandinavia. Other topics of might be similar to those in other WESS discussion groups: immigration and cultural assimilation; languages in contact/conflict; film studies; media and cultural studies; and new writers, including immigrants who write in the language of their adopted country. Let these minutes serve as a call for suggestions and ideas for the topics of future discussion groups.

7. Genealogical studies are an expanding field of interest. Gordon reported on his recent visit to the Swenson Center for Immigration Research at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois ( In addition to a large library, the Center has excellent web-based genealogical resources, especially for Sweden. At the ALA vendor exhibits here in Orlando, the firm genline ( is exhibiting their Swedish church records service. Note: other Scandinavian-American genealogical and heritage web sites abound. For more information, see the University of Minnesota Libraries’ genealogy help pages at

8. Collection-development and reference. A question was raised about how to identify scholarly journals published in the vernacular Scandinavian languages. In addition to the standard North American indexes and databases, the Scandinavian countries’ national-library catalogs include indexes to periodical contents. See the “Libraries and Information Services” section of the Scandinavian Studies Web ( for links to these catalogs. The vendors Coutts Nijhoff International and Nedbook might also be of assistance. Each Scandinavian consulate has a good cultural and reading service. Another topic is the compilation of author lists, particularly those of new writers. On-line biographical resources are very helpful. The Biography Resource Center, for example, is quite good at enabling the user to search by genre (short story, poetry, et sim.), with surprisingly good coverage of Scandinavian literary figures past and present. In the Gale Literature Resource Center, with its Dictionary of Literary Biography and Contemporary Authors, one can search by five Scandinavian nationalities. K.G. Saur has recently released the second instalment of its Scandinavian Biographical Archive. Part I of the SBA is now also available in Saur’s on-line The World Biographical Information System.

9. Cooperative projects. The Swedish American Bibliography = Svenskamerikansk bibliografi (Swam) is a cooperative project among several North American libraries and the Royal Library in Stockholm. Eva Tedenmyr (Royal Library) and Mariann Tiblin (University of Minnesota) are spearheading the effort. Holdings from the major North American college and university libraries (North Park College, Gustavus Adolphus College, to give just two examples) have been entered into the database. The next, more time-consuming, phase of the project will involve searching other libraries, archives, collections, et sim., for additional Swedish-American imprints. This next phase and beyond will be the subject of a conference coming up in Minneapolis in November 2004. Information on the project is available on the Swedish Royal Library’s web site, at In other discussion, it was reported that Jim Spohrer at UC-Berkeley has received responses to his RFP for a Scandinavian-studies approval-plan vendor, but the library has not yet come to an agreement with a vendor. Dick Hacken suggested that the next meeting include a report on the Göteborg Book Fair, as well as a review of what might be possibilities for the group with regard to the IFLA meeting in Oslo. Gordon will remain as chair of the Scandinavian Discussion Group for the next year. He also affirmed that the University of Minnesota continues to support the Libraries’ national strengths in Scandinavian Studies. He emphasised that everyone’s participation in the work of this Discussion Group and in the acquisition and cataloging of Scandinavian materials are greatly encouraged, heartily welcomed, and immensely helpful.

11. The next meeting of the WESS Scandinavian Discussion Group will take place during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, January 14-19, 2005. Watch WESS Web for details. Gordon thanked Nancy Boerner for taking notes for the meeting. – ga

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Boerner