After more than a decade, the manuscript of Thunder Bay historian, Elinor Berglund Barr is nearing publication by University of Toronto Press. The Swedes in Canada project began to take shape in 2002, instigated by fundraiser Don Sjoberg and sponsored by the Lakehead Social History Institute. Various Swedish organizations and individuals in Canada, Sweden and the United States "caught the spirit" and supported the project financially and in kind.
What started out as a five-year project of research and writing ended up as a seven-year project because of the unexpected deluge of research material collected from repositories in Canada, Sweden and the United States and donated by individuals. The resulting research material measures the length of a large room, that is 12 linear metres (40 linear feet), and in January 2015 was donated to the University of Manitoba Archives in Winnipeg for use by future researchers.
The completed manuscript was accepted by University of Toronto Press in February 2010, and passed all the publisher's requirements with flying colours. Federal funding was finally granted to the publisher in July 2012. The author has signed the publisher's contract, and publication is slated for April 2015.
Heartfelt thanks to the generous individuals who "caught the spirit" and sent memoirs, family histories, photos, books, newspaper clippings, and other memorabilia; to those who indexed local histories; to those who translated text from Swedish to English; and to those who commented on the manuscript. Know that you have contributed mightily to the quality of the finished product!