Augustana College printing logo

About Us

The Swenson Center, on the campus of Augustana College, opened in 1981 as a national archives and research institute providing Swenson Center resources for the study of Swedish immigration to North America, the communities the immigrants established, and the role the immigrants and their descendants have played in American life. This is achieved by promoting and initiating academic research in the field and by collecting and cataloging Swedish-American archival and library materials. Another major role for the Center is to assist people researching their Swedish-American family history.


The Swenson Center was founded by Birger and Lyal Swenson on December 31, 1980. Birger Swenson was born in 1895 in Östra Fågelvik parish in Värmland, emigrated from Sweden at the age of 17, graduated from Augustana College, and spent the majority of this career working for the Augustana Book Concern at Augustana. The endowment established by the Swensons provided the initial financial support for the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center. 


Dag Blanck, Director
Lisa Huntsha, Archivist/Librarian
Jill Seaholm, Head of Genealogical Services
Susanne Titus, Head of Library Services 


Mailing address:

Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center
Augustana College
639 38th Street
Rock Island, IL 61201-2296

Street address:

Denkmann Memorial Hall
3520 7th Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201

Tel: (309) 794-7204
Fax: (309) 794-7443



Monday-Friday 9:00am-12:00pm, 1:00pm-4:30pm by appointment

Go to this page to see how to make an appointment for genealogical research and what you need to bring with you.


Nearby street parking is available along 7th Avenue and 35th Street (see Campus Map, below). Some visitor parking spaces are available in Lot E. 


Augustana College Campus Map 

Welcome! Välkomna!

Swenson Center Photo Gallery