Among the dozens of boxes from the G.N. Swan collection (MSS P:6) are nearly 200 brochures from his travels across the United States and Scandinavia in the early 20th Century. The Scandinavian travel brochures in particular have a varied target audience, with many written to appeal to Swedish Americans returning for a visit to their ancestral homeland. This exhibit, titled “Hemkomst: Swedish Travel Brochures for Swedish Americans” (hemkomst is Swedish for “homecoming”) features many of Swan’s collected brochures, plus other items from his travels.
Because many of these immigrants were native Swedish speakers, several of the brochures are in Swedish and frequently contain remnants of yngre nysvenska (late modern Swedish). While yngre nysvenska was technically replaced by nusvenska (contemporary Swedish) following the 1906 Swedish spelling reform, the change was not adopted immediately and many Swedish Americans continued to use grammar and spellings that were outdated in Sweden itself.
The brochures feature a wide variety of subjects including: specific travel locations and routes; information about steamship and rail travel; airlines that made transatlantic flights; menus for restaurants in popular destinations; and price tables for hotels.
G.N. Swan also kept detailed travel journals and collected a variety of items during his travels, including hundreds of photographs and postcards, souvenirs, and memorabilia. His journal from a five-month trip to Scandinavia in 1906 and a selection of his keepsakes are also included in this display.