GG Archives: The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives
Coming in 2013: The new home of the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives at www.GGArchives.com
Using the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives
Organized by topics, the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives specializes in providing social and cultural history an historical context to aid in your research and enhance your Family History. With the exception of our military collection, the Archives is focused on the period of American History beginning with the 1880s to 1954 (the year Ellis Island closed).
The Voyage Across The Sea
The strength of our Archives is having a representative sample of ephemera, journals and articles about transatlantic voyages, and many documents pertaining to the voyage including passage tickets and contracts to landing cards and immigrant certificates of vaccination.
Once you know when your ancestors crossed the ocean, you can find many brochures, photographs, postcards for most of the transatlantic steamship lines to supplement the information you have. Get an idea of what the voyage was like by reviewing the information for passengers section of many of the passenger lists from the early 1900s through the 1930s. Although we may not have the specific passenger list that contains the name of your ancestor, we have thousands throughout the period we cover.
If your ancestor crossed the ocean in steerage, it is very unlikely that any list was created listing passengers in steerage (with exception of the German steamship lines). Steamship lines created most of their printed materials for the benefit of cabin class passengers. Most of the interior photographs onboard ships were of the cabin class areas. The passage contracts pertaining to steerage passengers are very revealing of the conditions and treatment of primarily immigrant passengers.
Recessions and Economic Depressions had significant effect on steamship lines. There was the Panic of 1893 and 1907, and the Great Depression of the 1930s preceded by the Stock market crash of 29 October 1929. Other events affecting the steamship lines were the Steamship Trust created by J. P. Morgan and other financiers in 1902; Changes in US Immigration Policy, especially 1921 that significantly impacted many steamship lines that had carried a great number of immigrants to the US and Canada. From that point forward, Cabin Third Class and Tourist Classes of travel replaced what was left of the immigrant steerage class.
Prohibition also influenced steamship travel from 1920 to 1933 where those who preferred access to alcohol favored the European lines and those who believed in Prohibition often favored the US Based steamship lines, which were more restricted in their carrying of alcoholic beverages.
Our vintage fashion section will assist you in understanding what clothing styles were worn in different time periods and our arts and entertainment section will provide a background in motion pictures, music and concert programs – especially those taking place onboard the steamships. The Archives also contains an excellent collection of vintage menus from numerous voyages and a variety of classes and special occasions on many steamship lines from the late 1800s through the 1950s. Exceptional graphics can be found throughout all of our collections. Low-resolution images are free to use for non-commercial purposes and high-resolution images are available for a reasonable cost, based on your usage of the image.
Cunard Line R.M.S. Aquitania Passenger Lists
The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives is renowned for its collection of US Naval Training Center graduation books in addition to an extensive collection of brochures, booklets, pamphlets and magazines produced by the US Military, particularly the U.S. Navy, from the late 1800s through the early 2000s. We also have a number of Carrier Deployment Cruise Books and specific materials on World War I including the Draft and letters from King George V.
Primary Areas of Collections
Immigrant Passenger Lists
The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives has approximately 2,000 Passenger Lists in our Maritime Collection. Our largest holdings of Passenger Lists are for the Cunard Line / Cunard White Star Line.
The passenger lists vary considerably between steamship lines in terms of information provided on each passenger. Often, separate lists were prepared for the various classes of travel while some voyages combined the classes into one or two passenger lists for the same voyage. Westbound transatlantic passenger lists from 1870s through 1954 are the most sought after for our permanent collection. Preferences for class of passengers for inclusion into our collection are (in order of preference): Steerage, Third-Class, Tourist Class, Tourist Third Class, Second Class/Second Cabin, Cabin Class, First Class/First Cabin/Saloon Class, One Class, Unspecified Class
Our collection includes ephemera from all major lines operating in the transatlantic between 1870 and 1954. Major steamship lines represented in the collections include: Canadian Pacific (CPOS), CGT French Line, Cunard Line, Hamburg American Line (HAPAG), Holland America Line, North German Lloyd (Norddeutscher Lloyd, Bremen), Red Star Line, United States Lines, and the White Star Line
Vintage Travel Brochures
Priority for ephemera that provides images and information on ship accommodations, passage rates, and interior/exterior ship photographs
Primary source documents primarily for transatlantic westbound immigrant passage – The highest value is placed on documents within this collection due to the unique nature of the document and its value to students, genealogist and researchers
Vintage steamship menus covering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and special menus that provide an insight into the variety of foods served on the transatlantic steamships and ocean liners from 1800s through the 1950s. Party, Kosher and Holiday menus are particularly sought after for the collection.
Steerage – Immigrants
Steerage (or Tween Decks) and Third Class was the default choice of many immigrants from the 1850s through the 1930s. The conditions varied by steamship line and were likely to be fairly harsh compared to modern standards. Early steerage often housed hundreds of immigrants in one large room. The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives collects documents, period articles, and images that document this class of travel.
The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives has considerable documents and information on the mass migration of immigrants from primarily European countries to North America. Note that Immigration and the social - economic and other factors may be covered under separate topics.
The immigrants gained access to the United States principally through the north Atlantic ports of entry of the steamship lines. These ports, in order of importance were: New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Through New York at Ellis Island came nearly three-fourths of all our immigrants. Documents, articles and images are collected that document immigration history from the 1870s through 1954 (the year Ellis Island closed).
The Archives collects period articles that allow researchers to discover what life was like on board the steamship through historical articles richly illustrated with photographs and illustrations from the 1870s through the 1950s.
The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives has collected a large number of photographs, articles and period advertisements for fashion and related topics for the period 1870s through the 1920s. The student of fashion may also gain a greater understanding of the styles provided for both the affluent and the common under-classes through the series of articles and illustrations on the Archives' website.
Vintage Magazines – Publications
The Archives collects and preserves a number of vintage magazines in the areas of Fashion, Maritime, Scientific / Technical, General Reading, Genealogy, History, Military, Trade Publications, Women’s Magazines, and Scandinavian Publications. Publications collected include a number of more recent issues dealing with collection topics.
Steamship - Ocean Liner Postcards
The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives has hundreds of vintage postcards, primarily dealing with maritime topics or port of calls that date from the late 1800s to the 1950s. Of special interest are image-based postcards, particularly of interior and exterior views of steamships and port side activities.
World War 1 Archives
Books, Brochures, Correspondence, Documents, French Currency, Newspapers, Soldiers Bonus, Soldiers Diary, The Draft
World War 2 Archives
Books, Brochures, Documents, Magazines, War Ration Books and Rationing, Battle of the Bulge Interview with survivor George Knaphus.
U. S. Navy Archives
Articles, Books, Brochures (Booklets, Brochures, Pamphlets, Leaflets, Flyers); Cruse Books; Navy Documents; Magazines (All Hands, Approach, Naval Aviation News, Naval History, Naval Institute Proceedings; Navy: Sea Power; Our Navy; The Hook: Journal of Carrier Aviation; TraNavy) Special Collections; and U.S. Naval Training Center Graduation Yearbooks (Bainbridge, Great Lakes, Orlando, San Diego).
U. S. Army Archives
Books, Brochures, Magazines (Army Digest, Yank), The Draft / Selective Service System, Training Centers (Camp Devens, Camp Dix, Camp Grant, Camp Pike, Camp Zachary Taylor, Fort Benning, Fort Campbell, Fort Dix), Unit Histories (88th Division, 346th Infantry, 351st Infantry).
WPA - Works Progress Administration
The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives has a number of original documents, books and other items that are connected to the Works Project Administration. Educators and researchers have found our collection to be an excellent resource for the classroom. Students can experience the New Deal through original documents of the era, and gain a better understanding of the Great Depression.
Historical Documents - Special Documents Collection Since its inception in 1991, the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives has acquired a number of original immigration and other historical documents from the 19th and early 20th century. These documents form our Special Collections section of the Archives and provide a rich source of information for the researcher and family historian working on their Genealogy.
Teachers of Middle School and higher grades find many of the documents useful to supplement their coursework covering history, immigration and social studies in the classroom. Students will also find these documents particularly useful for illustrating their essays and reports.
The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives has a large collection of books in a number of topical sections that provide an excellent reference for the researcher and genealogist. Books collected cover subjects and topics including: Cookbooks, Directories, Genealogy, History, Immigration, Maritime, Minnesota, Norway, Scandinavian, Sweden, Viking, World War I, World War II and books pertaining to ports of call.