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The Allan Kastrup Collection American-Swedish News Exchange, New York

The American-Swedish News Exchange was established upon an initiative by the Sweden-America Foundation in Stockholm in 1921 and the agency opened its office in New York City in 1922. The main purposes of ASNE were to increase and broaden the general knowledge about Sweden in the United States and to provide the American press with news on cultural, economic and political developments in Sweden. The agency was also given the primary responsibility for publicity campaigns during Swedish official visits to the United States.

From 1926 to 1946, ASNE was under the leadership of Naboth Hedin. Hedin increased the visibility of Sweden in the American press immensely, wrote countless articles on Sweden, and co-edited Swedes in America: 1638-1938 with Adolph H. Benson. Hedin was also instrumental in assisting many American writers with advice and information about Sweden; including Marquis W. Childs in his widely read and circulated work Sweden the Middle Way, first published in 1936.

Allan Kastrup assumed the leadership of ASNE in 1946. He held this position until his retirement in 1964, at which time ASNE ceased to exist and its responsibilities were assumed by the Swedish Information Service. Kastrup continued the mission of supplying the American press with information and developments in Sweden during times marked by a range of diplomatic tensions between the nations, such as Sweden's decision not to join NATO and later Swedish criticism against the American involvement in Vietnam.

Kastrup's effort to publicize and foster a general knowledge and interest in Sweden is evident in the pamphlets published by the American-Swedish News Exchange: the Making of Sweden, 1953 and Digest of Sweden, 1959.

After his retirement, Kastrup contributed significantly to the field of Swedish-American history with his works The Swedish Heritage in America: The Swedish Element in America and American-Swedish Relations in their Historical Perspective, 1975; Partners in Progress: A Chapter in American-Swedish Exchange of Knowledge, edited by Allan Kastrup and Nils William Olsson, published by the Swedish Council of America, 1977; and Med Sverige i Amerika, 1985, which documents and recounts his own experience at the American-Swedish News Exchange in New York.

Below are some highlights from the Allan Kastrup and American-Swedish News Exchange collection. The material displayed reflects ASNE's efforts in publicizing Sweden in America and Allan Kastrup's own interest in Swedish immigration to the United States. If you are interested in further information about the collection, please check our archives page.

American Press Comments on the Swedish Journalists' Tour of the United States 1942. The National Press Club in Washington D.C. and Publicistklubben in Stockholm arranged an exchange study trip for American and Swedish journalists in 1942. Five Swedish journalists and the director for ASNE, Naboth Hedin visited many cities and newspapers across the United States. Along with writing articles for the Swedish media about developments in the United States, the Swedish journalists also received an unexpected amount of attention in the American press. Large daily American newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Daily News published numerous articles about the visitors and Sweden's position as a neutral country.

Newspaper and Magazine Articles about Sweden in 1943. As a part of the journalist exchange setup in 1942 between the National Press Club and Publicistklubben, five American journalists: Nat A. Barrows, Blair Bolles, Marquis W. Childs, Raymond Clapper, Charles E. Gratke, and the radio journalist reporter for NBC, Elmer W. Peterson went to Sweden in the spring of 1943. Their articles about Sweden appeared in widely circulated newspapers such as The Christian Science Monitor and the New York Herald Tribune. The foremost issue reported on was Sweden's position as a neutral country in WWII, but general articles on social and economic policies, engineering and cultural life also frequented the American media.

Prince Bertil headed the Swedish official representation in the Swedish Pioneer Centennial celebration of 1948. Prince Bertil enjoyed wide popularity in the United States and visited the country in official capacities several times.

Gustav V, in Memoriam; Hail, Gustaf VI Adolf. A collection of tributes in the American press to the Swedish King who passed away in October 1950, published by the ASNE in 1950.

Articles about the mine Stora Kopparberg in Falun, Sweden, the oldest known public company in the world.

Stock certificate from Stora Kopparberg in Falun, dated June 16, 1288. This document written in Latin dated June 16, 1288 represents one share in the copper mine Stora Kopparberg in Falun, Sweden. The certificate was displayed at the Swedish Pavilion of New York's World Fair in 1939.

In 1953, the magazine Town and Country sent two of its journalists to Sweden with the assistance of ASNE to report on Swedish cultural life. A richly illustrated article of Sweden's cultural scene appeared in the November issue of Town and Country in 1953.

The Making of Sweden. Written by Allan Kastrup and published by the American-Swedish News Exchange in 1953. This volume intends to introduce American readers to Sweden and gives an overview of Swedish history and its inhabitants, the democracy, industrial economy and international relations, specifically with the United States.

Digest of Sweden. Written by Allan Kastrup and published by the American-Swedish News Exchange in 1959 (rev. and ed. in 1965). This 64-page pamphlet gives a short and concise geographical, cultural and economic overview of Sweden.

USA Sweden by Swedish photographer, K.G. Gullers, was produced and published in conjunction with celebration of the 200th anniversary of a trade and friendship treaty signed by Sweden and the U.S. in 1783.

Carl Sandburg honored at his 75th birthday on January 6, 1953 in Chicago. Left to right: Carl Sandburg; Ralph Newman; Mrs. Lillian Sandburg; Erik Boheman, Swedish Ambassador to the U.S.

"Luciadagen" float in the 25th Southwestern Sun Carnival Parade in El Paso, Texas, January 1, 1960.

Speech by Swedish social scientist, Gunnar Myrdahl given at the Madison Square Garden Rally on December 8, 1966. Myrdahl speaks against the American involvement in Vietnam and points out that all Americans should ponder the moral isolation and negative world opinion America will encounter if the troops are not withdrawn from Vietnam immediately.

This flyer was distributed prior to Olof Palme's scheduled anti-war Vietnam talk at Hotel Waldorf Astoria in New York, 1970.

The Swedish Heritage in America. The Swedish Element in America and American-Swedish Relations in their Historical Perspective by Allan Kastrup, published by the Swedish Council of America in 1975. This almost encyclopedic work contains 863 pages on the history and accomplishments of Swedish immigrants in the United States.

Partners in Progress. A chapter in American-Swedish Exchange of Knowledge. Edited by Allan Kastrup and Nils William Olsson, published by the Swedish Council of America, 1977. This volume is a collection of 24 essays written by Swedish scientists, scholars and educators who spent part of their careers in the United States. Each individual discusses their experience and personal story of how the time United Stated changed his or her course of research and sometimes personal life.

Med Sverige i Amerika. Opinioner, stämningar och upplysningsarbetet - en rapport av Allan Kastrup. Allan Kastrup's account of his work for the American-Swedish News Exchange in New York City.