The Danish American Heritage Society (DAHS) was founded in 1977 by a group leded by Arnold N. Bodtker. Arnold Bodtker was born and died in Junction City, near Eugene, Oregon, in a community that has a strong Danish-American presence.
For the first twenty-one years, DAHS leadership came from the northwestern United States. From 1979 to 1994 the DAHS assisted in the founding and development of the Danish Immigrant Museum, now the Museum of Danish America, in Elk Horn, Iowa. With the development of the Danish Immigrant Museum, the DAHS became more oriented towards the large populations of Danish-Americans who live in the midwest. In fact, the DAHS’s three sister organizations, The Museum of Danish America, The Danish American Archive and Library, and Grand View University, are located within a two-hour drive of each other, in Elk Horn, in Blair, Nebraska, and in Des Moines, Iowa respectively.
In a planned transition in October 1998, the DAHS abruptly changed its geographic focus, when an entirely new board consisting primarily of midwesterners assumed governance.
Anna Ancher (1859-1935) - Skagen Artist
courtesy of the Royal Danish Library
Harvesters by Anna Ancher
courtesy of Skagens Museum and nmwa.org
DAHS archival material is located in several locations:
In 2002 James D. "Jim" Iversen compiled and edited a 14-page typescript covering the DAHS history from 1977 to 2002, entitled History of the Danish American Heritage Society - The First 25 Years.
Subsequently Jim produced a second document, Danish American Heritage Society - The Last Ten Years (October 1998 to October 2008).
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