Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Swedish emigrant Institute gets a little money, but closes its research department until the end of the year and still faces a very uncertain future

Hello again all friends of Swedish genealogy. I have to apologize for not writing for a while. but I did not think I had much to write about.

A small Happy not it sthat the Swedish Emigrant Institute has recieved 2 donations of money.
It recieved 1.6 miljon swedish kronor (around 205 000 dollar) from the The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation to be able to complete the Emigrant Database EMIBAS. The database contains 1 million Emigrants from sweden to other countries taken from church records. The present database is to old it is impossible to add new information and it is also impossible to complete the system. Attemps to do that before have been unsuccesful since when the money attatched to it has run out the job has been left halfdone. I really hope it will be better this time.

The Swedish-American of the Year Barbro Osher has decided to donate 100 000 dollar (around 798 000 swedish kronor) to the Institute "It will be used to try to reconstruct the Institutes activities" says Lars Hanson (the present head of the Institute)according to an interview in the local newspaper Smålandsposten.

As I have written on the blog before there have been a lot of turbulence around the Swedish Emigrant Institute this year. There is lack of money, the Local governement and the county governement wants to merge the Institute with the local museum and a local archive but the Swedish Emigrant Institute have refused and so the local governement and county has cut all their funding as well as resigned from the Swedish Emigrant Institutes board of directors.

There have also been discussions of renting or moving parts of the exibitions to other places.
For now the battle ax seems to be buried temporarely. But the new donations hardly helps the Institutes all economical problems .I think they will have to cooperate with someone to be able to function in the long run.
The Swedish Emigrant Istitute has also recently closed its research deparment for new enquieries for the rest of the year.
One reason is to be able to answer the back log of all questions that has been send in by e-mailor letter .another reason is the uncertain futute. hopefully the research department can open again next year but it is far from sure.

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