Database for Norwegian Emigration to Latin America

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History[edit | edit source]

While an estimated 800,000 Norwegians immigrated to the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries, another smaller group of Norwegian numbering between 10,000 and 20,000 immigrated to Latin America. These emigrants from Norway typically chose Latin American to strike their fortune or claim the title of adventurer. Norwegian immigrants to Latin American were usually male, with only 15-20% being female. Unlike immigration to the US, most of the immigration to Latin America happened between World War I and II for Norwegians.Though few ever intended to stay for long, a majority traveled back home frustrated with not much more money than they had taken with them.

Database[edit | edit source]

Out of the 10,000 to 20,000 emigrants, roughtly 8800 have been catalogued in the HULA database. A wide range of published and unpublished sources were used from archives both in Norway and across Latin America as well as from individual submissions to the project in the form of diaries, daybooks, journals, etc.

There are four components to the database, only one of which is available in English:

  1. The HULA emigrant search (available in English)
    • The full name or parts of the name may be searched in the free text box. There is also a drop down menu that can be used to see different endings of a word with only its first few letters. For a more specific search, the results can be filtered by type of event, place, source, and country. The ID number to the left of the name can be clicked to open up a page with the full details for that entry. The details may include other dates and places other than what is displayed on the main search page.
  2. The HULA II document list
    • This component has a list of books and memoirs. Some of the documents are digitized and available to view. Several brief indexes were created to each source for mentions of ethnicity and places. Additionally, a list of emigrants mentioned in the source is also a part of this component.
  3. The HULA II document search
    • This component allows for searching all of the documents by keyword
  4. The HULA map - Googlemaps may say there is an error, but the map just needs time to load.
    • This component has geo-referenced all of the available documents on a map of the world meaning that the documents from a particular region or country can be viewed together.

Keywords for Database[edit | edit source]

Norwegian English _____ Norwegian English
adresse address navn name
ambassaden the ambassador nevnes is mentioned
avmønstret signed off nordmenn norwegians
begravelser burials omkommet perished
bogtittel book title oppholdstillatelse residence permit
bok book oversikt overview
bosatte residents pasienter patients
brev letter pass passports
bøker books passasjerlister passenger lists
dagbok day book pensjonat boarding house
dokument document personer persons
døde deceased politiet the police
dødsfall deaths on
ekteskap marriage påmønstret signed on
elektronisk electronic registrert registered
emigrantsprotokoll emigrant rolls rømt escaped
etterlatt left se see or view
fil file side-referanser page references
flytting migration siderne the pages
folketelling census sjømann sailor
forfatter author sjømannskirken the seamen's church
forlist shipwrecked skip ship
fra from språk language
frivillige volunteers statsborgerskap citizenship
fødsel births sted place
gruveindustri mining industry steder places
handelsflåter merchant fleets søknader applications
hotel hotel til to
identitet identity tittel title
immigrantskontroll immigrant control utlending foreigner
ingeniører engineers utnevnelser appointments
innvandrere immigrants utskrevet printed
kapteiner captains utvandrede emigrated
kommentar comments valuta currency
linje line (shipping line) verneplikt conscription (military)
memoarer memoirs år year

Project Background[edit | edit source]

The HULA or (Historisk Utvandring til Latin-Amerika|Historical Emigration to Latin America) database began in 2011 when the Humanities faculty at the University of Oslo received funds to study Norwegian migration to Latin America. The primary goal as stated on the University of Oslo website was:

  • "The project aims to produce new knowledge about emigration to Latin America that will be pertinent for greater comparative perspective and that can serve as a model for studies of other migrant groups. The central research question revolves around demographic and cultural relationship: the emigrants' social background, their geographic mobility to, in, and from Latin America, their identity, their representation of home and receiving country, their political perspectives and economic activities."

The project culminated with the publishing of the book Expectations Unfulfilled: Norwegian Migrants in Latin America, 1820 -1940 in 2015 which is available online as a free e-book at

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]