Further Reading

From: The Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples/Danes/Christopher S. Hale

One of the standard English-language histories of Denmark and the Danes is Stewart Oakley, The Story of Denmark (London, 1972), which can be usefully supplemented with the multi-volume work in progress by Bent Rying, Danish in the South and the North. The first two volumes (Copenhagen, 1981, 1988) cover Danish history to the end of World War II and subsequent volumes will deal with contemporary Denmark, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland.

The immigration of Danes to North America, primarily to the United States of America to 1914, is discussed in Kristian Hvidt, Flight to America (New York, 1975). There is no comprehensive study of Danish immigration to Canada save for the rather uneven collection of articles in Henning Bender and Birgit Flemming Larsen, eds., Danish Emigration to Canada (Ålborg, Denmark, 1991). This volume includes studies of New Denmark and Dickson, Danish farmers, churches, folk high schools, the Federation of Canadian Associations in Canada, and immigration to Canada in the 1920s. The folklorist Frank Paulsen, Danish Settlements on the Canadian Prairies: Folk Traditions, Immigrant Experiences, and Local History (Ottawa, 1974), includes interviews with local residents in this study of the extent to which folk traditions have been maintained by rural Canadian Danes.

There are also histories of several Danish-Canadian colonies, the most substantial of which is in Danish, Palle Bo Bojesen, New Denmark, New Brunswick, Canada: Udviklingen i en dansk udvandrerkoloni, 1872–1914 (Århus, Denmark, 1992). Other histories of this type include Jens Rasmussen, The History of the Standard Colony from Its Birth (Standard, Alta., 1943); A History of New Denmark (New Denmark, N.B., 1967); 50 Years with Pass Lake Homesteaders (Pass Lake, Ont., 1974); and Dickson Koloniens Historie (Blair, Neb., 1948). Danish groupings Danube often are discussed also in local community histories like Grub-Axe to Grain (Spruceview, Alta., 1973), which includes Danish Canadians in Dickson, Alberta. These local studies usually contain histories of the various families in the region.

A good source on Danish settlements in Canada, as well as organizations, churches, projects, and personal histories of Danish Canadians, are the annual conference books published by the Federation of Danish Associations in Canada since 1982, including, for example, Rolf B. Christensen, ed., Danish Organizations – Our Future? (Ottawa, 1989), which reproduces the proceedings of the eighth annual conference.

Finally, mention should be made of Lester R. Petersen, The Cape Scott Story (Vancouver, 1974), which is a popular account of that Danish colony; Thorkild Hansen, The Way to Hudson Bay, trans. James McFarlane and John Lynch (New York, 1965), for the story of the Danish explorer Jens Munk; and Denise Chantal, Amour humain (Ottawa, 1984), for the biography of a Danish Canadian from a Francophone region of Canada.

Archival collections pertaining to Danes in Canada can be found in a number of repositories although their contents are not extensive. The National Archives of Canada has documents relating to Danish immigration to Canada and these can be supplemented with Danish-Canadian newspapers in the collections of the National Library. Provincial archives, in particular in jurisdictions where there are concentrations of Danish Canadians, also contain relevant materials. A number of municipal and similar repositories can be recommended as well, including the collections of the Multicultural History Society of Ontario in Toronto (in particular for Ontario and the Pass Lake settlement), the Red Deer and District Archives in Red Deer, Alberta (for Dickson), and the Glenbow Archives in Calgary, Alberta (for Alberta in general).