Olson Campus Center at dusk

Archives Collections

A rich history

Minnesota Reflections has a collection of images and documents from over 120 cultural institutions, including Luther Seminary, that depict Minnesota history.

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Luther Seminary traces its beginnings to 1869 with the founding of Augsburg Seminary. During its more than 125 years of history the school has been witness to, and has participated in, most of the significant developments in American Lutheranism. Just as the 19th century saw the arrival of so many European groups to this country and the formation of a multitude of ethnic Lutheran churches, the 20th century has seen the consolidation of these formerly separate groups into fewer and larger Lutheran synods. In its own "family history" Luther Seminary bears this out. Through consolidation and merger, no fewer than 6 theological institutions came to be a part of the current Luther Seminary.

Not surprisingly, the school's archival collections mirror this complex institutional history.The collection is most complete in all record groups for material following 1917, when one of the larger mergers occurred (3 church bodies and 3 seminaries came together). Pre-1917 seminary materials (for the 3 schools of the merging bodies and for Augsburg Seminary, then separate) are less plentiful but available for research. It should be said that most record material will be in the Norwegian language well into the 1920's and in some cases as late as 1930 (e.g., Augsburg Seminary records).Some of this has been translated, but much remains in its original language.

The Collections

The Archives of Luther Seminary include material from all of the predecessor schools which, over a period of many years and several mergers, formed the current institution. The founding date of Augsburg Seminary, 1869, is now used as the founding date for Luther Seminary. In addition to Augsburg Seminary, the Hauge Synod school, Red Wing Seminary,and Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary (of the former United Lutheran Church in America and later the Lutheran Church in America) comprise the larger predecessor bodies to Luther Seminary.

Student newspaper

While we hold a significant amount of material on the predecessor seminaries other institutions like Augsburg College and St. Olaf College hold complementary materials needed by students of Luther Seminary history.We are pleased to help researchers locate the materials they may need for study either in our collections or in the materials of these other schools.

We hope to make as much of the Luther Seminary Archives collections open for use by researchers with the understanding that some records, especially those related to individual students, are not available for use, given confidentiality concerns. 

Record Group I: General Historical Files 5 cu. ft.

A. Catalogs, 1917-1982

B. The "Luther Seminary Review," 1935-1970

C. Institutional histories, Luther Seminary and predecessors, 1943, 1969, 1976

Record Group II: Governance 22 cu. ft.

A.  Board of Regents, Agenda and Minutes, 1959-1982

B.  Board of Theological Education and Ministry, Minutes and correspondence, 1960-1982

C.  Association of Theological Schools

  1. Reviews and correspondence, 1970-1982
  2. Institutional "Self-study," 1976-1979
Record Group III: Administration

A. Office of the President, 45 cu. ft.

T. F. Gullixson, Correspondence, 1935-1964

Alvin Rogness, Correspondence, 1954-1975

Lloyd Svendsbye, Correspondence, 1974-1982

1. Installation, 1974

2. Merger negotiation, reports and proposals, 1974-1982

B. Office of the Academic Dean, 22 cu. ft.

1. Faculty meeting agenda and minutes, 1936-1982

2. Faculty handbooks and policy statements,1965-1982

3. Matriculation records and programs,1948-1982

4. Commencement records and programs, 1930-1982

C. Office of the Dean of Students, 15 cu. ft.

1. Dean, Correspondence, 1965-1982

2. Director of Admissions, Correspondence, 1972-1982

D. Finance/Business Office, 15 cu. ft.

1. Audits, 1960-1982

2. Budget planning and correspondence, 1973-1982

E. Office of Development, 33 cu. ft.

1. Director, Correspondence and reports, 1974-1982

2. Public Relations office, news releases, 1955-1982

3.Donors, Correspondence, 1970-1982

4. Promotional materials, 1960-1982

F. Curriculum and Educational Adjuncts, 12 cu. ft.

1. Midwinter convocation, Programs, 1940-1982

2. Lay School of Theology, Correspondence and promotion, 1976-1982

3. KAIROS, Programs, Correspondence and promotion, 1975-1982

4. Continuing Education, Director, Correspondence,1970-1982

5. Contextual Education, Director, Correspondence, 1968-1982

6. Mission conferences, Program and promotion, 1961-1976

7. Midwest China Center, Promotional material, 1975-1982

Record Group IV: Faculty

A. Personal papers

1. Georg Aus, 1903-1977, 8 cu. ft.

2. Sven O. Braaten, 1852-1926, 2 in.

3. M. O. Bockman, (Marcus Olaus), 1849-1942, 1 cu. ft.

4. Gustav Marius Bruce, 1879-1963, 12 cu ft.

5. John Dahle, 1853-1930, 2 cu. ft.

7. Lawrence Field, 1896-, 2 cu. ft.

8. Wendell Frerichs, 1925-, 3 cu. ft.

9. Gracia Grindal, 14 cu. ft.

10. T. F. Gullixson, 1882-1969, 15 cu. ft.

11. Olaf Hansen, 1917-, 6 cu. ft.

12. Martin Hegland, 1880-1967, 2 in.

10. John Milton, 1897-1972, 14 cu. ft.

11. Herman Preus, 1896-1995, 5 cu ft.

12. Alvin Rogness, 1906-1992, 4 cu ft.

13. Schmidt, F. A. (Friedrich August), 1837-1928

14. Paul Sonnack, Jr., 1920-1992, 10 cu ft.

15. Lloyd Svendsbye, 1930-, 5 cu. ft.

16. Carl Weswig, 1873-, 8 cu ft.

Record Group V: Students

A. Boarding Club, records, 1935-1960

B. The Concord, 1965-1982

1. Issues in triplicate

2. Related production, Correspondence

C. Seminary Wives, Meetings, Minutes, 1950-1978

Record Group VI: Special Events 10 cu. ft.

A. Guest Speakers, Programs and Promotion, 1960-1982

B. LTS Centennial, 1976

1. Committee, Agenda and minutes, 1974-1977

2. Correspondence, 1976