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Michigan State University

European American Studies Research Guide: Web Sites

Immigrants on Life in America

Immigration is back on the nation's agenda, with President Obama calling for a new attempt at reform next year. But we can't craft an immigration policy that works unless we understand the views of the immigrants themselves.
With our new survey, A Place to Call Home: What Immigrants Say Now About Life In America, Public Agenda set out to see the country through immigrants' eyes. We wanted to find out what brings immigrants here, how well they fare, what challenges they face, and what they think about reform ideas. And since this is a follow-up to a groundbreaking study we did in 2002, we have unique trend data on changes in immigrants' views during a tumultuous period in history.

Selected Web Sites

The Finns in America. This presentation provides information about immigration from Finland to the United States, and about the activities of Finnish-American immigrants in the United States from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Information is contained in a chronology and selected bibliography. Taru Spiegel, European Reading Room, Library of Congress.

Gypsies in the United States (Smithsonian Institution)

Immigration to the United States, 1789-1939 (Harvard University) : A web-based collection of selected historical materials from Harvard's libraries, archives, and museums that documents voluntary immigration to the US from the signing of the Constitution to the onset of the Great Depression.  Includes 1800 books and pamphlets, 9,000 photographs, 200 maps, and 13,000 pages of archival material.

Irish Amerian Heritage Month  (March)

Italian American History and Culture courtesy of the U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Jewish Historical Society of Michigan. Founded in 1959, the Society sponsors programs, exhibits, and tours that make Jewish history in Michigan a personal adventure for all. The Society's journal, Michigan Jewish History, is the longest continuously published journal of local Jewish history in North America.

Leaving Europe: A new life in America.  This exhibition tells the story of European emigration to the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. The exhibition, jointly curated by the Digital Public Library of America and Europeana, uses photographs, manuscripts, broadsheets, paintings, letters, and other unique materials to chart peoples’ journeys across the European continent and their settlement in the United States. The digital items displayed are from US and European libraries, museums and archives and the accompanying narrative was commissioned specially for the exhibition from US and European experts.

Milestones of the Italian American Experience. This timeline strives to capture the richness of the Italian American experience and to highlight the many valuable contributions this special group has made to the United States. First arriving on its shores five centuries ago in search of opportunity and a better life, Italian Americans have made an indelible mark upon this nation. While not all, most Italians arriving in the United States were from the humblest of origins yet through hard work and resolve, they have become emblematic of the American Dream. Arriving as peasants, they became business and industry leaders, governors and senators, artists and architects, scientists and doctors, educators and attorneys. From artist Constantino Brumidi’s masterpieces in the United States Capitol and the legendary performances of Frank Sinatra to Coach Joe Paterno’s unmatched record in major college football history and the brilliant leadership of New York City’s Rudy Giuliani, Italian American contributions and achievements are bountifully evident throughout the nation’s fabric as Milestones illustrates....  Milestones also explores the adversities encountered by Italian Americans. Their path was difficult and filled with trial and tribulation. Beyond the palpable difficulties of emigrating to a foreign land and facing anticipated challenges such as language barriers and a new culture, Italian Americans frequently encountered unexpected stereotyping, discrimination, and even violence. One can learn of the nativism and overt bigotry that was manifested in the Sacco and Vanzetti case and their ensuing execution in 1927, as well as, the largest single lynching in American history that witnessed 11 Italian Americans unjustly killed in New Orleans in 1891. Despite obstacles, Italian Americans have admirably persevered and justly taken their place at the American family table, demonstrating that the promise of America remains viable.

Scandinavian America.  The Scandinavian immigrants not only built new lives in the United States; they also built a new culture. As immigrants from Scandinavia flooded into sparsely populated areas of the U.S., they helped create a particularly Scandinavian way of life, melding the varied religious, culinary, literary, and linguistic traditions that they brought with them with those that they found in their new country. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in the Great Lakes states, the northern Great Plains, and in enclaves scattered among northern U.S. cities, a visitor might imagine that he or she was traveling through a unique new nation—Scandinavian America.   Sponsored by the Library of Congress.

Subject Guide

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