Germans from Russia Collection
Germans from Russia, or Volga Germans, originally came from Germany. During the eighteenth century, Catherine the Great and her grandson Alexander I invited Germans to settle rich farm lands along Russia's Volga River. They enjoyed about one hundred years of prosperity and considerable autonomy in matters of language, law, religion and social customs. Political turmoil in Russia at the end of the nineteenth century motivated thousands of Volga Germans to immigrate to the United States, where they settled on the plains of Kansas, Colorado, and the Dakotas. In the late 1970s, Volga Germans were Colorado's second largest ethnic group. After settling in the United States, Germans from Russia were noted for their large role in agriculture, specifically the farming of sugar beets. Along with their impact on the overall culture of the areas they settled, Germans from Russia developed their own smaller communities which included German language newspapers and church services.
The Germans from Russia collection contains genealogical information on German Russian families, publications, maps, and sermons. Most materials are in English, but some are in German and Russian. Documents date from 1804 to 2013, with the bulk falling from 1960 to 1980. This digital collection contains a copy of Work Renders Life Sweet: Germans from Russia in Fort Collins, 1900-2000, prepared by Adam Thomas. For more information of the archival collection, please see the