Founded in 1965, the University of Minnesota’s Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) aims to transform the way in which we understand immigration in the past and present.It is the oldest and best-known research center devoted to understanding immigrant and refugee life in North America in both the past and present.
The IHRC’s major community-engagement work is the Immigrant Stories digital storytelling and archiving project. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Immigrant Stories helps recent immigrants and refugees create digital stories: brief videos with images, text, and audio about a personal experience. The IHRC shares and preserves these digital stories for future generations through the IHRC Archives, the Minnesota Digital Library, and the Digital Public Library of America. There are more than 250 digital stories in the Immigrant Stories Collection. Students and teachers can use the just-launched story-making website: immigrantstories.umn.edu and related curricula to make and share their own stories. Teachers can also access new “Learning about Immigration” classroom curriculum that uses the IHRC’s Immigrant Stories to engage students (grades 8-Adult) in defining immigration, understanding the U.S. immigration system, exploring the experiences of refugees, and examining how immigrants and their children navigate culture and identity.