The Swedish Emigrant Institute was founded in 1965 on the initiative of incoming governor of Kronoberg County, Gunnar Helén. The purpose was, as it is now, to collect and preserve archives, literature and memories from the Swedish Emigration Period, and to further contacts between Sweden and North America.
The archives now hold tens of thousands of letters, as well as numerous diaries, newspapers, interviews and other material relating to Swedish-America. The library holds more than 20,000 volumes.
Assisted genealogical research have always been a large part of the Swedish Emigrant Institute’s activities. Nowadays, all searches are made through online databases, some of which the Institute has played an important part in constructing.
Since 2015 the Swedish Emigrant Institute has been a part of Kulturparken Småland, an umbrella organization for Cultural Heritage Institutions based in Kronoberg County.