Treasures from the Vasa National Archive: Galvaland Magazine


Among the numerous books and reference materials held at the Vasa National Archives is a series of Galvaland magazine printed in Galva, IL by George Swank. Galva is a small town just 5 miles from Bishop Hill and established by Bishop Hill residents after the colony collapsed. Our collection of Galvaland papers span from 1958-1996, and is believed to be a complete run of this magazine.

Unlike many small local newspapers, 4 women from Xi Kappa Gamma of Beta Sigma Phi undertook the daunting task of creating a 1,100 page index of the magazine. The index allows researchers to immediately go to information on events, fires, schools, people, paintings, transportation and even animals.

The Vasa National Archives houses copies of the Galvaland magazines and the index, which are freely available to researchers. If you have any questions about the Vasa National Archives, our collections, or reference materials, just let us know at 309-927-3898, VasaArchivist@gmail.com or look us up on Facebook.

Future Vasa National Archive Events in Bishop Hill:

  • Seed Saving (Sept. 24-25, 10 – 5, during Jordbruksdagarna) Bishop Hill colonists had to bring many of their seeds with them. Just as they and their fathers had done in Sweden, the colonist saved their seeds every year instead of buying new ones from distant stores. Bring your kids to the Vasa Archives booth in the children’s area to learn about seed saving and save a few seeds for your home gardens.

  • Preservation Advice (Oct. 22, 10 – 4, during Collector’s weekend) – A trained archivist with 10 years’ experience working in museums and conducting artifact preservation will be available from 10 – 4 to provide advice on caring for your family treasures.

  • Community Dala Horse (Nov. 25-26, 10 - 4, during Julmarknad) Help the Vasa National Archives make a paper mache Dala Horse while visiting beautiful Bishop Hill. On Friday starting at 6, we will be adding layers of paper mache to the Dala Horse. Painting will begin at 6 on Saturday. This is a community project that is open to children of all ages. We want the whole community to add their own personal touches and make this a fantastic Dala Horse we can display for years

  • Closing Reception (Dec. 9-10, 6-9 pm, during Lucia Nights) Coffee and cookies will be available to visitors at the Vasa National Archives for the closing reception of our exhibits.

  • Game nights (every Tuesday night from 6-9, January to March) Looking for something to pass the time during the long winter nights? Do you have games that don’t get played as often as you want? Come to the Vasa National Archives with your game and play with others in our large basement. This is a free event open to the public.

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