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Nytta och Nöje club was founded at Augustana College on February 22, 1900. Its main mission was to preserve Swedish culture among people from or around Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois. The archival collection at the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois consists of meeting minutes 1900-1984, group histories, program information, a portrait of members from 1905, and 17 audiocassette recordings of programs from the 1970s.
Nytta och Nöje, which translates as "Purpose and Pleasure," was called many names, including No Name Society, Svenska Klubb, and Swedish Club. It was formed as a literary society, but served as a group for the preservation of Swedish culture ("Svenskhetens bevarande"). The group met monthly from October to May in members' homes and gave programs in Swedish and English on cultural topics with special speakers. The group held annual Christmas dinners, social events, and celebrated group anniversaries with special events.
The audio recordings in this collection represent programs given by various members from 1975-1979 and undated. Unfortunately, the quality of these recordings varies widely. Speakers include Dr. Conrad Bergendoff (fifth president of Augustana College) talking about Swedish immigrant Erland Carlsson and reading club meeting minutes, Thomas Tredway (seventh president of Augustana College) speaking with Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden during a royal visit to Augustana College in 1976, and Esther Andreen Albrecht (daughter of Gustav Andreen, fourth president of Augustana College) talking about the early days on campus.
For more information, consult the archival collection Nytta och Nöje club (Rock Island, Ill.) records,1900-1984 at the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL.
Questions about this collection? Contact: SwensonCenter@augustana.edu or 1-309-794-7204