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The Finns in the United States: The Project on Finnish Immigration of the Michigan Historical Collections

Keijo Virtanen

I. The Finns in the United States
II. Selected America Letters
III. Resources on Finnish Immigration at the Michigan Historical Collections


It is appropriate that the publication of this bulletin is made possible by memorial funds contributed by the family and friends of Lewis G. Vander Velde, founder and director of the Michigan Historical Collections from 1935 until 1960. Dr. Vander Velde initiated this bulletin series in 1947 with an excellent account of a significant ethnic group in Michigan's history, entitled Glimpses of the Early Dutch Settlements m Michigan.

This memorial bulletin now continues this theme with Keijo Virtanen's interesting discussion of the Finns in Michigan. Mr.Virtanen is now a member of the Institute for History (general history) of the University of Turku, Finland, where he is working to complete his doctorate. During 1974-75 the Michigan Historical Collections was pleased to have him as a member of our staff where he provided able service in cataloging our extensive acquisitions of materials relevant to the Finnish people in the United States. Most of these materials, consisting of microfilms of Finnish immigrant letters and newspapers, he arranged for us to acquire from his Institute.

This bulletin contains Mr. Virtanen's translation of immigrant letters sent by Michigan Finns to their homeland. They do not record great deeds and exciting adventures but reflect the everyday experience of ordinary people who came to America in the hope, not always realized, of improving their lives.

With this bulletin the Bentley Historical Library is pleased to honor the memory of a splendid colleague, Lewis G. Vander Velde and to contribute to the ethnic history of Michigan.

Robert M. Warner

Plat of the Village of Kaleva

Published in Michigan Historical Collections. Bulletin No. 26, June 1976, 25 p.

© Keijo Virtanen

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