Completed 25 January 2000
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection Policy Statement
"The Germans from Russia Heritage
Collection" (GRHC) was established at the North Dakota Institute
for Regional Studies in the NDSU Library in July 1978 when
the Germans from Russia Heritage Society (GRHS) in Bismarck,
N.D., named the Institute as the official repository for
its records. The late Dr. Karl Stumpp of Germany, Honorary
President of GRHS, visited the NDSU Libraries and donated
materials forming the foundation of the Germans from Russia
The Collection was established to gather and preserve
publications, photographs, maps, audio-visual materials,
oral histories, and other materials documenting the history
and culture of the Germans from Russia in North Dakota and
the Northern Plains. The Collection was also established
to help ensure the preservation of the Germans from Russia
Heritage Society's records.
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection supports the
mission statement of the Institute for Regional Studies,
North Dakota State University: "The mission of the Intitute
for Regional Studies is to foster understanding of regional
life through research on, teaching about, and service to
those regions with particular importance to North Dakota
State University. These regions include the Red River Valley,
the state of North Dakota, the plains of North America (comprising
both the Great Plains of the United States and the prairie
of Canada), and comparable regions of other continents.
In keeping with the land-grant university tradition, the
Institute seeks not only knowledge but also appreciation".*
*Institute for Regional Studies, North Dakota State University,
Fargo, North Dakota.
Since 1978, the Collection has increased in scope and
1) To encourage scholarly knowledge through new research
2) To develop further information and documentation with
greater public accessibility via technology, and
3) To enhance interpretation of both common and distinctive
Formats include books, journals, manuscripts, newspapers,
photographs, microfilm, theses, dissertations, oral history
tapes and transcriptions, electronic archives, maps, cassette
tapes, videotapes, and phonograph records.
The Collection constitutes a scholarly resource of materials
on the Germans from Russia, particularly concentrating on
Bessarabian Germans, Black Sea Germans, Crimean Germans,
Dobrudscha Germans, and Volhynian Germans. The Germans from
Russia Heritage Collection is recognized regionally, nationally
and internationally as one of the primary research collections
in the world.
In addition to primary materials on North American experiences
impacted by immigration, settlement, emigration, and assimilation,
research resources are being gathered to further document
the South Russian experience of 1760 to 1945. This includes
historical archives records, existence of historic village
sites, and ethnic German re-settlement policies of the 1990s.
In recent years, the Collection has expanded its activities
and projects to include outreach programs, videotape documentaries,
traveling exhibits, heritage tours to Germany and Ukraine,
photo archives, publications, translations, preserving textiles
and clothing, oral histories, electronic discussion groups,
and website development.
Available to anyone interested in researching the heritage,
culture, and folklore about the Germans from Russia, the
Collection is located at the Main Library. We invite inquiries
about the Collection. The Collection does not circulate
on interlibrary loan.
To collect, document, preserve, exhibit,
translate, publish, promote, and make accessible resources
on the culture, history, folklore, textiles and clothing,
and foodways of the Germans from Russia. Our focus
is on Bessarabian, Black Sea, Crimean, Dobrudscha
and Volhynian Germans and their descendents in North
Dakota and the Northern Plains.
1. To collect publications and archival
materials documenting the heritage and culture of the Germans
from Russia, especially those in North Dakota and the Northern
2. To organize these materials for preservation and make
them accessible in various information formats.
3. To develop bibliographic resources in print and electronic
formats as finding aids for easy access to the Collection.
4. To provide research assistance in the use of the Collection
in person and via the Internet.
5. To encourage on-site and electronic use of the resources
by the campus community, alumni, scholars, and researchers
at the North Dakota State University Libraries.
6.To develop state, regional, national, and international
access to bibliographic resources, books reviews, folkways,
and foodways via the website of the Collection.
7. To cooperate with the Germans from Russia Heritage
Society (Bismarck, North Dakota), American Historical Society
of Germans from Russia (Lincoln, Nebraska), Mennonite Heritage
Centre (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Landsmannschaft der Deutschen
aus Russland (Stuttgart, Germany), Heimatmuseum der Deutschen
aus Bessarabien and Bessarabiendeutscher Verein e.V
(Stuttgart, Germany), and other organizations in mutually
determined and beneficial endeavors.
||Management Responsibility and Reference Services
Responsibility for the Germans from Russia Collection
rests with the Director and Bibliographer who reports
to the Dean of Libraries.
The acquisition of material
for the Collection will be at the Research Level. "The North
Dakota State University Libraries Collection Management Policy"
defines this level as:
"A collection which includes the major source materials
required for dissertations and independent research, including
materials containing research reports, new findings, scientific
experimental results, and other information useful to researchers.
It also includes all important reference works and a wide
selection of specialized monographs, as well as a very extensive
collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting
services in the field." *
*Taken from the "Collection Development Policy, North
Dakota State University Libraries", Fargo, ND, May, 1999.
||Types of Materials Included in the Collection
1. Published works which focus on the Germans from Russia.
These works include bibliographic, monograph, and serial
publications in the English, German, and Russian languages
provided by the Germans from Russia Heritage Society, American
Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Mennonite Heritage
Centre, Bessarabiendeutscher Verein e.V, Heimatmuseum
der Deutschen aus Bessarabien, and other sources.
2. Family histories which have a direct connection to
North Dakota families. Published histories are collected
of Germans from Russia families with ethnic ties to North
Dakota, including Bessarabian, Black Sea, Crimean, Dobrudscha,
and Volhynian German families. Other family histories are
selected that relate to emigration patterns in North America
of the Germans from Russia.
3. The early archival records of the Germans from Russia
4. German-language newspapers published in the Dakotas
and Northern Plains which deal with the Germans from Russia
and are available on microfilm.
5. Photographs (negatives, slides, color and black and
white photographs, and color laser prints) and video documenting
the history and culture of the Germans from Russia in North
6. Photographs (negatives, slides, color and black and
white photographs, and color laser prints) and video documenting
historic villages in Russia (primarily Bessarabia, Black
Sea, Crimea, Dobrudscha, and Volhynia) will be acquired,
7. Video documentaries through production partnership
with Prairie Public Broadcasting, Inc., Fargo.
8. Sound recordings (audio-visual, phonograph, cassettes,
and video) performed by individuals or groups primarily
in North Dakota or South Dakota.
9. Personal papers of archival value documenting the Germans
10. Oral history tapes with written transcriptions of
archival value documenting the Germans from Russia.
11. Plat maps of historic German villages, maps of South
Russia and Bessarabia, and related gazetteer and atlas materials.
12. Published pictorial formats of baptismal (Taufschein)
and confirmation (Taufshein) certificates, wedding (Hochzeit)
certificates, and records of related rites of passage.
13. Cookbooks which reflect Germans from Russia food traditions.
14. Textiles and clothing which are culturally significant
to the Germans from Russia. These items are housed and preserved
in the Emily P. Reynolds Historic Costume Collection, NDSU.
An agreement between the Collections is on file.
15. Selected artifacts deemed of special cultural significance
in domestic, ritual, and distinctive arts contexts. They
will be housed in the room for the Germans from Russia Heritage
16. General historical works on the Hutterites and Mennonites.
Note: The Institute's general publication collection includes
general historical works on North Dakota, North Dakota county
and community histories, and North Dakota church histories.
||Type of Materials Excluded from the Collection
1. Church vital records, synodical proceedings, religious
tracts and similar records.
2. Publications on the Amish Germans.
3. Artifacts not deemed of special cultural signifiance.
Offers of such artifacts will be referred to the State Historical
Society of North Dakota, Germans from Russia Heritage Society,
or other groups as appropriate.
||Selection, Acquisition, and Processing of Materials
The Germans from Russia Bibliographer has the primary
responsibility for pursuing a systematic and continuous
acquisition program for the collection. However, the Bibliographer
will work closely with the University Archivist in the acquisition
of archival collections that will be administered by the
The primary selection tools will be the publications of
the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia,
Germans from Russia Heritage Society, Bessarabiendeutscher Verein e.V, and the Heimatmuseum der Bessarabiendeutschen.
Also, suggestions will be encouraged from other interested
persons, both on and off campus.
The approval of the acquisition of material will be made
by the Germans from Russia Bibliographer.
All orders will be processed by the Technical Services
Department. Print publications will be cataloged, processed,
and housed as part of the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection.
Payment for materials will normally be made from the special
German-Russian library fund #1921.
||Donating to the Collection
The Germans from Russia
Heritage Collection is used by persons preparing scholarly
articles and books, visual presentations, community and
family histories, documentary work, and student research
projects. Many use the materials simply for personal pleasure.
To assist such patrons, the Germans from Russia Heritage
Collection especially wishes to collect and preserve primary
documents such as family histories, diaries, scrapbooks,
oral interview tapes, videotapes, and letters, as well as
historical sound recordings, photographs, maps, textiles
and clothing, and selected artifacts.
At the Institute for Regional Studies website, the following
statement emphasizes the challenge that any patron or collection
faces: "For all the valuable, and in some cases, irreplaceable
records which have been collected, many more remain to be
preserved, studied, and eventually made available to other
interested scholars. Unfortunately, these priceless materials
have many times been allowed to disintegrate in dusty attics
or damp basements because their historical value was not
known by the individual, family, or community. Only when
such resources are accessible to other citizens of the region
can the contributions of an individual or organization be
properly assessed in the context of history."
For the Collection to grow and preserve the heritage of
the Germans from Russia, support and participation will
be needed from all those interested. Thus, we welcome donations
of such primary materials. But we also welcome monetary
donations to continue purchasing materials for the Collection
and to pursue significant activities such as the oral history
project, translations, publishing, photo preservation, textile
preservation, and exhibits.
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
subscribes to the NDSU Libraries policy on gifts as quoted
"The NDSU Libraries looks upon gifts and donations as an
important part of the acquisitions program. The Library
encourages gifts of money and of books and other publications.
All gifts are subject to the following stipulations:
1. Gifts must meet the same evaluative criteria as materials
which are purchased.
2. The Library will not accept gifts subject to conditions
regarding their disposition, location or use.
3. Gifts of money may be designated for purchase of materials
by format, literary form, subject, or period.
4. The Library is free to dispose of any unneeded materials.
5. Once accepted, gifts become the property of the Library
and may not be reclaimed by the donor.
6. The Library will not appraise gifts for tax or inheritance
purposes. The Library may, however, assist the donor in
locating appraisal sources, if readily available."
Refer also to "Donating Gifts to NDSU Libraries" at: http://library.ndsu.edu/collections/gifts.html.
All monetary gifts are deposited in the Germans from Russia
library fund #1921. Expenditures are authorized by the Germans
from Russia Bibliographer.
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
will enter into exchange agreements with other institutions,
when the publications to be received on exchange meet the
criteria of this policy.
Such groups with which exchanges have been made for Germans
from Russia materials include:
American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (Lincoln,
Family History Center (Salt Lake City, UT)
Germans from Russia Heritage Society (Bismarck, ND)
Glückstal Colonies Research Association (Redondo Beach,
Heimatmuseum der Deutschen aus Bessarabien (Stuttgart, Germany)
Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Stuttgart, Germany)
Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland (Stuttgart, Germany)
Mennonite Heritage Centre (Winnipeg, MB)
State Archives (Odessa, Ukraine)
State Historical Society of North Dakota (Bismarck, ND).
Duplicate copies of published materials
will be acquired only occasionally, based on heavy, continuous
use or on anticipated demand. All recommendations for such
duplicate copies will be referred to the Bibliographer of
1. Offer state, regional, and international
educational heritage tours to interested public.
2. Publish bibliographic resources, memoirs, research
materials, and teacher's guides.
3. Partner with Prairie Public Broadcasting, Fargo,
in the production of educational videotape documentaries
and teacher's guides.
4. Continue development of the Collection's website as
an educational resource for classroom use and personal research.
1. Review and publish bibliographies,
theses, manuscripts, memoirs, and other works relating to
the Germans from Russia.
2. Cooperate with the Glückstal Colonies Research Association
(GCRA) to publish manuscripts, and other works with desk-top
publishing prepared by members of GCRA.
3. Cooperate with individuals or families who are generating
manuscripts that relate to the Germans from Russia for publication
by the Collection. The funding for such a publication would
be a private donation to the Collection.
1. Electronic discussion groups sharing
information on activitives and promotions.
2. Traveling exhibits to visually inform and educate the
viewing public about both common and distinctive identities
within the Germans from Russia experience.
3. Cooperate with the Museum Division of the State Historical
Society of North Dakota, Bismarck, in the development of
traveling exhibits relating to the Germans from Russia.
4. Public events, including participation at community
centennials and family reunions in North Dakota and South
Dakota with Germans from Russia heritage, and Arizona winter
5. Sponsorship and grants in cooperation with the Germans
from Russia Cultural Preservation Foundation, Fargo.
1. The Germans from Russia Bibliographer
works closely with the Dean of Libraries and the Development
Foundation concerning the "Marie Rudel Portner Germans from
Russia Endowment". The annual income from the Endowment
has been established to provide additional funds for staff
and on-going activities. Other future endowments for the
Collection will be handled in a similar manner.
2. Work closely with the NDSU Libraries, the NDSU Alumni
Association, and NDSU Development Foundation to coordinate
endowments and fundraising activities for the Collection.
3. Develop friends for the NDSU Libraries and the Germans
from Russia Heritage Collection who will become financial
donors to support the programs.
4. Promote and sell significant heritage publications
from other publishers to make these titles available and
to generate additional income to support the programs of
5. To publish, promote, and sell books and maps published
by the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection as additional
income to support the programs.
This policy will be reviewed for
needed changes as required by the Dean of Libraries.
Approved by Dr. Richard Bovard, Interim Director of Libraries,
and Michael M. Miller, Germans from Russia Bibliographer,
North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, North Dakota.
Completed: 25 January 2000
to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested
by contacting Michael