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Lutheran Family Folklore/Folklife Oral History Project

Identifier: MSS -627- BC

Scope and Content

This collection contains cassette tapes (47) and abstracts for twenty interviews with elder members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Albuquerque. There are no transcripts. Kempe identified the tapes using a number for each interview followed by a small letter to indicate multiple tapes for that interview (i.e. 1(a), 1(b)).

The interviewees for this project are direct descendants of St. Paul founders and the children and grandchildren of Scandinavian and German immigrants. They discussed what steps their respective families took to preserve their ethnic culture and what impact the church had in this process.

Also contains Project Proposal.


  • 1985-1986

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or duplication.

Project History

The purpose of this oral history project, conducted by Roma Kempe, was to determine how the families of Albuquerque's St. Paul Lutheran Church have struggled to preserve their culture. The families are descendants of Norwegian, Swedish, German, Danish, and Finnish cultures who, during the earlier part of the twentieth century, were all members of the Lutheran Church. A problem arose in the church over what language the sermons and prayers should be conducted in. The Church wanted to "assimilate" the different ethnic groups and provide English services because many of the children did not understand the languages of their parents. As a result, language and culture began to be over-taken by the new American culture. Many churches tried to maintain their ethnicity, but during World War I, legislation was passed prohibiting the public use of foreign languages, especially German. This further limited the Church members' ability to maintain their ethnic traditions.

The project was undertaken in partial fulfillment for a degree of Master of Arts in American Studies at the University of New Mexico.


1 box (1 cu. ft.)

Separated Material

Master audiocassettes stored in B3.
Finding Aid of the Lutheran Family Folklore/Folklife Oral History Project, 1985-1986
Processed by PBK
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 627 BC::Lutheran Family Folklore/Folklife Oral History Project)//EN" "nmu1mss627bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131