Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle records, 1900-1989  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle
Title
Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle records
Dates
1900-1989 (inclusive)
Quantity
3 cubic feet (6 boxes)
Collection Number
2244 (Accession No. 2244-004)
Summary
Records of a Seattle, Washington club formed to promote Icelandic language and culture
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

Open to all users.

Languages
Icelandic, English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The predecessor of the Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle, Vestri, was established in Ballard, Washington on October 21st, 1900 by members of the Icelandic-American community in Ballard. Vestri was formed to promote learning and fellowship, retain the purity of the Icelandic language, and encourage greater knowledge of Icelandic literature. Activities during Vestri meetings included singing, reading poetry and stories as well as speeches concerning various local, national, and historical topics. Members also discussed social events and other administrative topics relating to the club and its activities.

By 1965 attendance at the club meetings was low enough to raise concern. Members of Vestri recognized the need to transform the club "to meet present day needs"—specifically to hold the meetings in English while carrying on the work of Vestri in the community. On March 16, 1965 the Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle was formally established, and in May 1966 Vestri was formally dissolved. Since 1965, the Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle has continued to promote Icelandic culture and language. It has sponsored the Scandinavian Music Festival, Iceland Independence Day celebrations, and Icelandic language courses. In 1982 the Club held a reception to honor the president of Iceland. In 1986 it was formally received into the Icelandic National League of North America, which is "a non-political, cultural organization that strives to contribute to North American culture through the preservation and promotion of the positive aspects of our Icelandic heritage... through the strengthening of cultural bonds and kinship ties with the people of Iceland and through the promotion of cooperation among Icelandic cultural groups here in North America."

In 1911 Vestri was complimented by a women's auxiliary called Eining, also based in Ballard, Washington. Eining was partly modeled on the Ladies Aid Society of Minneota. According to the club's constitution, the purpose of Eining was "to aid the ill and needy Icelandic people and families in Seattle and vicinity: not only members but non-members as well" as well as to "promote friendly associations in the Icelandic community in Seattle."

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The records of the Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle document the activities of the club and its predecessors, Vestri and Eining, as well as Icelandic and Scandinavian cultural events in Seattle, Washington. Vestri and Eining established constitutions and by-laws, and they kept minutes of their meetings. Vestri created its own Icelandic language periodical titled Geysir. Much of the material prior to 1966 is in Icelandic, including the issues of Geysir and the minutes, but there are selective translations and historical reports in English. The translations were made by Anna Bjornson, who also wrote about the club's history in historical reports. The translations consist of excerpts from Geysir, club meeting minutes, and the constitutions and by-laws of Vestri and Eining.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle Historical Reports, 1965-1989Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/1-13

Mostly concerns annual and occasional events related to Icelandic and Scandinavian cultures. They also include documentation of the following topics: club organizational structure, celebrations, weddings, anniversaries, obituaries, Iceland Independence Day, Christmas around the world, Scandinavian Music Festival, and Icelandic language teaching and courses. The reports were written by two club appointed historians, Gudrun Magnusson from 1965 to 1978, and Anna Bjornson from 1979 to 1989.

Eining Records, 1911-1971Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/14
Constitution
1911
2/1-15
Minutes
Minute books from the 1970s and 1980s have some color photographs pasted to the pages.
1911-1971
2/16
Minutes Translations
1911-1971

Vestri Records, 1900-1966Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/17
Geysir
There are gaps for the following years: 1903-1905, 1912-1913, and 1915-1919.Geysir was self-described as both a "monthly periodical" and "magazine" of Vestri. Geysir seems to have been a news and entertainment resource that was read aloud at meetings. Its primary focus was the life of Icelandic-Americans in Seattle, but it also includes reflections on national issues and events. No issues were produced for distribution, as only one was made per meeting. The translated issues include stories about the lives of Seattle Icelandic-Americans, as well as sections on news, advertisements of local and Icelandic events, and summaries of the state of the club.
1901-1902
3/1-22
Geysir
1901-1941
4/1-13
Geysir
1942-1964
4/14-15
Geysir Translations
1901-1902, 1906, 1910-1911
Minutes
Box/Folder
4/16-17
Vestri Meetings
1900-1905
5/1-18
Vestri Meetings
1907-1958
6/1-4
Vestri Meetings
1959-1966
6/5
Vestri Hall
1902-1910
6/6
Icelandic Day
1933-1952
6/7-17
Vestri Meetings Translations
Two programs in Icelandic included with 1920 minutes.
1900-1966
6/18
Vestri Hall Translations
1902-1910
Box/Folder
6/19
Icelandic Day Registration Book
1938-1960
6/20
Ledger: Vestri Books
1918-1966

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Icelandic Americans--Societies, etc.--Archives
  • Icelandic Americans--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Scandinavian Americans--Societies, etc
  • Scandinavian Americans--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Corporate Names :
  • Eining (Club)--Archives
  • Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle--Archives
  • Vestri (Club)--Archives
  • Geographical Names :
  • Ballard (Seattle, Wash.)--Social life and customs--20th century
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • By-laws
  • Constitutions
  • Minutes
  • Obituaries
  • Titles within the Collection :
  • Geysir
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Bjornson, Anna (creator)
    • Magnusson, Gudrun (creator)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)