Scandinavian materials, Hans Christian Andersen


Hans Christian Andersen was already well known in the United States during his lifetime. Though he wanted to meet his American admirers, fear of accidents at sea kept Andersen from crossing the Atlantic. Three quarters of a century after the author's death, another Dane ensured that a part of Andersen's legacy would remain permanently in America. The Danish American actor, author, and humanitarian, Jean Hersholt, together with his Danishborn wife, Via, donated a treasure trove of Anderseniana to the Library of Congress in 1951. The Library's preeminent collection of Scandinavian materials is often overlooked amidst the institution's 130 million items in more than 400 languages. Andersen scholars in the United States, however, may want to explore the American Hersholt riches before venturing overseas for their research.