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New Director for Genealogy Center: Dana Kelly

Aug. 20, 2019
Category: Career

The Board of Directors of the Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library (NAGC & NL), Madison, Wisconsin, announces the selection of Dana M. Kelly as its Executive Director. Recommended by the Board’s search committee, Ms. Kelly will occupy a new, full-time position for administration and development beginning this month.

Growing up near Deerfield, Wisconsin, Ms. Kelly is the descendant of several Norwegian immigrants who settled in the Koshkonong Prairie area of Wisconsin in the 1840s and 1850s. She traces her family roots back to the Buskerud, Telemark, Hordaland, Oppland, Hedmark, and Sogn og Fjordane districts in Norway. In 2001, Ms. Kelly graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in Scandinavian Studies and Sociology, and also earned a certificate in European Studies. She speaks and writes Norwegian and has traveled to Norway to trace the origins of her ancestors.

In addition to her administrative and managerial experience, Dana has been an active member on the Board of the Koshkonong Prairie Historical Society and serves as editor of its newsletter and author of the daily posts on its popular Facebook page. She and her spouse, Gary Swain, were instrumental in the creation of an important documentary film on Koshkonong, helping with all aspects of the project, including successful fund-raising efforts.

One of Ms. Kelly’s first priorities will be the hiring of a senior genealogical researcher for the Center. With the planned retirement of Gerald (“Jerry”) Paulson, NAGC & NL is undertaking a search for a new senior researcher. Qualifications include understanding of genealogical resources and research techniques, including relevant computer skills. Interested parties should submit cover letter, résumé, and three references to: Dana M. Kelly via or via regular mail to Dana M. Kelly, Executive Director, NAGC & NL, 415 West Main Street, Madison WI 53703-3116.

The Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library is a comprehensive source of Norwegian genealogy reference material and is one of the country’s leading specialty genealogical research centers. NAGC & NL discovers, collects, preserves, shares, and interprets resources for the study of Norwegian genealogy, assisting Norwegian Americans and Norwegians in their family history research by offering research guidance, classes, and translation services. NAGC & NL is an independent, educational, non-profit organization with national and international scope, and is open to the public.

For more information about NAGC & NL, including the collections, outreach opportunities, class offerings, and to use the online databases, visit

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