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Sigrid Kolstø Hansen

Library Archivist

Sigrid was born and raised in Bergen, Norway, and Norwegian is her mother tongue. She has been a resident of Madison since 2000, when she moved from Norway to the United States. She earned her Master’s degree in public health from a University in Norway. At NAGC, Sigrid devotes her time to cataloguing and organizing the books and collections in the Naeseth Library. She is planning to continue the Center’s efforts to make the library increasingly accessible to our members and customers.  Sigrid travels yearly back to her home country to be with friends and family. When back in Norway, Sigrid enjoys hiking in the mountains and swimming in the fjords of her beloved homeland.

Dana M. Kelly

Executive Director

Dana Kelly serves NAGC as the Executive Director. She oversees the daily operation of the center and is active in outreach activities and educational programming. An avid genealogist, her first experience with the center was as a member researching her family 20 years ago. Dana’s passion for family history led her to a Scandinavian Studies degree from UW-Madison where she learned to speak, read and write Norwegian. She has served on the board of directors for the Koshkonong Prairie Historical Society since 2009 and is a member of several Norwegian cultural and genealogical organizations including Sons of Norway, Vesterheim, Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study, Dane County Area Genealogical Society, and International Society of Online Genetic Genealogists.

Chris Klauer

Senior Genealogical Researcher

Chris Klauer has been researching her family since middle school when she was assigned a project.  This little assignment has led her to visit many states, court houses, libraries, Historical Societies, archives and cemeteries.  She has a BS in Education from the University of Whitewater and a BA from Ashford University.  She worked as the Administrative Assistant for the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society (WSGS) assisting members and chairing the conferences that they hold every year.  Chris compiled the Legacy QuickGuide™ for Wisconsin and also co-compiled Wisconsin Its Counties, Townships & Villages for WSGS.  When she is not working on her family research, she enjoys camping, watching history shows and spending time with her husband and her four children.

Diane Maurer

Member Services Coordinator

Diane works with our staff to coordinate research and translation requests, process membership renewals, and donations, ship orders from the EStore, and helps with special projects. With a history & German major from Luther College, Diane enjoys observing the staff’s search for family information and the “ah-ha” moment of discovering a long-lost branch of a family tree. In her free time, she volunteers at the Sons of Norway Mandt Lodge in Stoughton, her church and enjoys traveling with family and friends.

Arthur Ness


Arthur is a UW-Madison graduate with a degree in Medical Microbiology and Immunology. He recently retired from the State of Wisconsin’s Food Safety Division as a Technical Specialist. He has over fifty years of genealogy experience. He remains in close contact with his family in Norway and has traveled there many times since his first visit in 1973. He has one daughter, a son-in-law, and three grandchildren.

Jerry Paulson

Naeseth Chair for Genealogical Research and Publication

Jerry has been a part of the NAGC staff since he retired from his career with the University Hospitals in 2000. Doing genealogical research for over forty years, Jerry had an opportunity to work as a volunteer with Gerhard Naeseth in the early 1990’s, helping create one of the first computer databases for Norwegian-American genealogy. Jerry offered genealogical instruction for over 25 years at Madison Area Technical College for adult continuing education and lead classes at our Center, as well as a multitude of seminars for community groups, lag and stevne meetings. For over a decade, Jerry has been accompanying groups of researchers to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Solveig Schavland Quinney

Senior Translator

Born in Norway and still fluent in her mother tongue, Solveig is our senior translator of both Nynorsk and Bokmål. Her translation work often includes handwritten family letters, manuscripts, printed books, and documents (which are often in hard-to-decipher Gothic script). Solveig celebrated her 20th anniversary as a member of the NAGC staff in 2022!

Martha A. Taylor

Philanthropy Advisor

Martha A. Taylor is a great-granddaughter of Norwegian immigrants, granddaughter of UW-Madison Professor Olaf A. Hougen who received the St. Olaf medal, and immediate past co-chair of the Hougen Family Heritage Organization. She has been active in Norwegian-American academics and communities since studying Norwegian at UW-Madison and the University of Oslo. Martha is emeritus Vice President of Development at the University of Wisconsin Foundation where she worked primarily in principal gifts and co-founded its Women’s Philanthropy Council. She co-founded the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, a nonprofit that has been part of the School of Philanthropy at Indiana University for about 15 years. She has co-authored three books on women’s philanthropy. She has served on many nonprofit boards including the Madison Community Foundation and many for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. After 42 years at the UW Foundation, Martha is currently Director of Women’s Philanthropy Leadership at the UW-Madison and Philanthropy Advisor for the Norwegian American Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library. Donors created a scholarship fund in her honor for Norwegian Studies at the UW-Madison Scandinavian Studies Department.

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By becoming a member, you not only gain benefits for your family history research, you also support a worthy cause.

Your annual membership helps you, your family, and a wide community discover their roots and preserve a treasured heritage.

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NAGC & NL relies upon donations of all types from its members and friends throughout the world.

All gifts, whether large or small, are essential to the work of the Center, an important non-profit organization of international scope that is dedicated to preserving Norwegian-American history and heritage.

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“Dear Solveig, Thank you! The story these letters tell is just getting interesting! We need more! Please do 5 more hours of Sigri's letters and 1 more hour of Evan's. Thank you again!”

- Gordon & Eunice (Wyoming)

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