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John Olof Viking papers, 1892-1955

Size: 8 linear feet, 10 boxes

Acquisition: The papers were donated to Augustana in the 1940s and 1950s.

Access: The collection is open for research.

Processed by: Ernest Espelie and Augustana College library staff. The Finding Aid was updated in August of 2007.

Control Num.: SSIRC MSS P:4


Provenance

The collection was donated to Augustana College Library in 1955 through O. L. Nordstrom, Professor of Economics in Hancock, Michigan. The collection was transferred from the Augustana College library to the Swenson Center in 1981.


Biographical Sketch

John Olof Viking was born on March 8, 1874 in Kalls parish, Jämtlans län, Sweden. His parents were Peter and Agnes Viking. The family left Sweden in 1882 to settle in Ishpeming, Michigan where they joined the Bethany Lutheran Church. Viking held a variety of jobs as a young man. He worked in a candy store owned by his uncle August Swanson, a tobacco factory, jewelry store and a photography shop. He also worked as a rock picker and iron ore loader and freight trucker for the Chicago and Northwest Railway Company. Finally he held a position with the Consolidated Fuel and Lumber Company in Ishpeming from which he retired in 1946.

On his spare time Viking was a writer, an amateur photographer and a collector of clippings and autographs. He was also a staff writer for the American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal and other articles by him appeared in: Svenska Tribunen, Svenska Amerikanaren, Cloverland Magazine, Daily Mining Journal, Superior Posten and the Upper Peninsula Development Bureau News. His best friend was the Swedish-American writer and poet, Johan Gustav Runeskiold Baner of Ironwood, Michigan. Besides their common ancestry they shared knowledge of the Chippewa Indians culture and language. The two friends wrote each other several times a week. As a result of Viking's friendship with he Chippewa's they gave him the title Hofobi Anukfili. Viking was deeply interested in preserving the history of the Swedish pioneer and the American Indian and contributed to the Great Lakes Historical Society, New Sweden Historical Museum, Philadelphia and the Swedish Historical Society of America.


Description

The bulk of the collection consists of letters and poems John Viking received from J.G.R. Baner and Viking's scrapbooks. The poems by Baner are generally concerned with Indian legends and Norse mythology. Baner used various pseudonyms which appears in both the letters and poems such as: Johan Järnskog, Gustav Järnskog, Johna M. Pilquist, the Gray Raven, Johan Mohlin, Korp Sagobard, Inaqtek Atanoqken, Asabard, Homerus Johanson, Grakorp, Johanadab von Klinkelin, Hatek Alepa, Johan Gustav, J. G. Betryckt and Johan G. R. Totem (for further detail on Baner see article in The Swedish Pioneer Historical Quarterly, v. 24, no. 2, 1973).The collection also contains criticism of Baner's poems, several of his published books, and two original manuscripts.

Viking's scrapbooks contain clippings from mostly local Upper Peninsula newspapers and they reflect his broad interests and curiosity in local history. The scrapbooks cover the period 1899-1953 and are arranged by the following subjects: Appreciation, Accident, Adventure, Agriculture, Art, Aviation, Archeology, Birth Days, Baby Prize Winners, Beauty, Business, China, Civic, Conservation, Criminal, Culinary, Education/Educational, Fraternal, Finances/Financial, Forests, Game Preserves/Refuge, History, Local History, Hunting and Fishing, Swedish-American History, Viking History, Industry, Inventions, Indians, Lakes and Rivers, Law and Order, Literature, U.P. Legends and Native Americans, Medical/Medicine, Metallurgy, Military, Minerals, Mortalities, Music, Musicals, National and State Parks, Nature and Scenery of the U.P., Personal, Politics/Political, Playground, Religion, Scenic, Social, Sports, Suicides, Trades and Professionals, Tourism, Union (Labor), Vanished or Missing, Veterans, Wonders (amazing facts), Weather, and Welfare Statistics.


Related Collection/s

See J.G.R. Baner' s papers on microfilm P:micro 1. The microfilm includes letters that Viking wrote to Baner 1914-1938. The originals are held at Michigan Historical Library, now the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. The letters Viking received from Baner in this collection are also microfilmed.


Arrangement

Organized into the following series:

I. Poems and Articles by John O. Viking. Notebooks presented to Augustana College 1892 - 1955, and misc. published monographs.
II. Letters from Baner to Viking, 1922-1955
III. Original manuscripts by J.G.R. Baner
IV. Misc. journals, pamphlets, newspaper clippings and maps, 1892-1955
V. Scrapbooks, with correspondence, newspaper clippings and poetry, 1893-1953


Container list

(A partial index to the correspondence, biographical sketches and some of the clippings is available at SSIRC.)

Series I - Poems and Articles by John O. Viking

Box 1

1. General correspondence 1922-1955
2. Articles, poems and editorials by Viking 1900-1950s
3. Articles, poems and editorials by Viking 1920s-1950s

Items:

1. Barr av Johan Baner, Ironwood, Michigan
2. Extracts of Lewis Henry Morgan's European Travel Journal edited by Leslie A. White, 1937 (signed by editor)
3. Plato's Apology, Crito and Phaedo of Socrates.
4. Frenologien i sammandrag efter D:r G. Scheves "Phrenologishche Bilder" af Wilhelm Kjellgren.
5. Faust

Series II - Letters from Baner to Viking, 1922-1955

Box 2

1. Poems and Correspondence--Baner to Viking 1922
2. Poems and Correspondence--Baner to Viking 1923
3. Poems and Correspondence--Baner to Viking 1924
4. Poems and Correspondence--Baner to Viking, Jan. 12 - July 31, 1925
5. Poems and Correspondence--Baner to Viking, Aug. 1 - Dec. 24, 1925
6. Poems and Correspondence--Baner to Viking 1926
7. Poems and Correspondence--Baner to Viking 1927
8. Poems and Correspondence--Baner to Viking 1928
9. Poems and Correspondence--Baner to Viking 1929
10. Poems and Correspondence--Baner to Viking 1930
11. Poems and Correspondence--Baner to Viking 1931
12. Poems and Correspondence--Baner to Viking, undated
13. Criticism of Baner's poems, 1923-1929 (clippings); photograph of Baner

Series III - Original manuscripts by J.G.R. Baner

Box 3

1. Mianisee 1925. original manuscript. by J.G.R. Baner
2. Viking Mettles, by J.G.R. Baner (see also oversized box)
3. Misc. Publications containing J.G.R. Baner's poems
4. Article: Röda blad by J.G.R. Baner, published in Landkänning 1926; Poem: Var December står i blom by J.G.R. Baner

Series IV - Misc. journals, pamphlets, newspaper clippings and maps, 1892-1955

5. Newspaper clippings 1912-1953, and 1954-1955
6. Newspaper clippings 1954-1955, undated
7. Clippings from misc. journals
8. Published poems by Baner 1911-1930
9. Misc. Swedish journals and off-prints.
10. Misc. journals, articles, travel booklets, mostly from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Includes "The Lure of Michigan's Upper Peninsula."

Series V - Scrapbooks, with correspondence, newspaper clippings and poetry, 1893-1953

Scrapbooks arranged by in alphabetical order by subjects related to Swedish Americans. Subjects include: Appreciation, Accident, Adventure, Agriculture, Art, Aviation, Archeology, Birth Days, Baby Prize Winners, Beauty, Business, China, Civic, Conservation, Criminal, Culinary, Education/Educational, Fraternal, Finances/Financial, Forests, Game Preserves/Refuge, History, Local History, Hunting and Fishing, Swedish-American History, Viking History, Industry, Inventions, Indians, Lakes and Rivers, Law and Order, Literature, U.P. Legends and Native Americans, Medical/Medicine, Metallurgy, Military, Minerals, Mortalities, Music, Musicals, National and State Parks, Nature and Scenery of the U.P., Personal, Politics/Political, Playground, Religion, Scenic, Social, Sports, Suicides, Trades and Professionals, Tourism, Union (Labor), Vanished or Missing, Veterans, Wonders (amazing facts), Weather, and Welfare Statistics.

Included in the scrapbooks is also some of Viking's correspondence to various institutions. 

Box 4

Vol. 1, 1899-1943

Box 5

Vol. 2, 1903-1946

Box 6

Vol. 3, 1928-1948

Box 7

Vol. 4, 1918-1949

Box 8

Vol. 5, 1907-1952

Box 9

Vol. 6, 1952-1953
Vol. 7, 1893-1939
Vol. 8, Animals and their doings, 1937-1949

Box 10

Oversized items include Viking Mettles