ELWYN B. ROBINSON DEPARTMENT OF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
CHESTER FRITZ LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA
GRAND FORKS , NORTH DAKOTA 58202
COLLECTION: UA# 111
SIZE: .5 linear feet
ACQUISITION: The Honve House Records were deposited in the University Archives in August 2006 following the closure of the Scandinavian Cultural Center . The contents of the Honve House library were also transferred to the Chester Fritz Library at the same time.
ACCESS: Available for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Department of Special Collections.
The Honve House, also known as the Scandinavian Cultural Center , opened its doors at 2629 6th Avenue North , Grand Forks , North Dakota , on May 17, 1971 . Made possible by a donation to the University of North Dakota by the Norwegian-born Mr. Andrew Honve (1898-1973), the center served as a focal point for cultural interest in the Nordic countries ( Norway , Sweden , Denmark , Iceland , and Finland ) at UND for three and a half decades. From the time of its founding, the history of the Scandinavian Cultural Center is closely intertwined with that of the UND Scandinavian Club (now the Nordic Club), as well as the career of Dr. Arne Brekke, long-time professor of Norwegian Language and Literature who served as the director of the House for almost its whole existence. The Honve House sought to promote understanding of and interest in Scandinavian culture through events such as the Norwegian Folk Festivals (held in the university's Chester Fritz Auditorium during the mid-1970s) and showings of Scandinavian films that were open to the community. The center also maintained an extensive collection of Scandinavian books, periodicals, audio and visual recordings, and various forms of art. Overseen by Scandinavian students acting as live-in caretakers, the Honve House was open to UND students and members of the general public desiring to utilize its many resources. In short, the Honve House was part library, part museum, and part meeting place. Benefiting from the widespread interest in genealogy and ethnic identity that prevailed during the seventies, the Scandinavian Cultural Center appears to have been most successful during the decade immediately after its founding, but to have entered upon a slow decline thereafter. In 2005, the university administration closed the center and sold the property, having concluded that the program did not merit continued funding.
The records of the Honve House consist of correspondence, financial records, and various other documents relating to the history of the Scandinavian Cultural Center at the University of North Dakota . Folder 1, Register of Visitors contains the pages from the Honve House guestbook, with the names and addresses of individuals who visited the House from 1970 to 2001. Folders 2 through 14 contain correspondence relating to the center arranged chronologically. Virtually all of these letters were either sent or received by Dr. Arne Brekke, the long-time director of the Honve House. Folders 15 through 21 consist of financial documents relating either to the accounts of the center itself, or related accounts, such as the account that the Scandinavian/Nordic Club maintained with the university, or the different accounts from which money for scholarships for students studying Norwegian were drawn. The remaining folders contain various papers, including among other things, newspaper clippings, the Honve House newsletter, and the Scandinavian Club cookbook.
Return to: University Archives Collections
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