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Staff

Carol Culbertson

Senior Researcher

Carol has a long history with Norwegian-American genealogy and NAGC. She has worked as a volunteer (1983-1991), as a staff member (1996), as Assistant Director (2001), and as Executive Director (2002 until her retirement in 2003). We are now fortunate that Carol has resumed her association here as both a volunteer and Senior Researcher.  She published a book about her husband’s Culbertson family in 2001; and, more recently, volunteered her time to collaborate with Jerry Paulson to revise and update A Research Guide for Norwegian Genealogy. In her free time, Carol conducts classes in genealogy at her local library; workshops for Sons of Norway Lodges and other groups; and enjoys assisting family & friends with their research projects.

Stephen Drake

Library Services Specialist

Steve was born and raised in the Madison and Dane County area, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin/Madison, and is retired from a career in bookselling, book publishing, and art gallery managing. A life-long bookseller, Steve has several thousand reference books in his personal library, including genealogy reference. His interest in his Norwegian family genealogy began in his 20’s after an interview with his aging grandparents.  Being an active volunteer at the Naeseth Library led to this position as Library Services Specialist at NAGC, where he is content, surrounded by books once again.  

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 help with special projects. With a history 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.

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. Among the many classes he has taught, Jerry offered genealogical instruction for over 25 years at Madison Area Technical College for adult continuing education. He now leads classes in Beginning Genealogy and Writing Your Family History at our Center, as well as a multitude of seminars for community groups, lag and stevne meetings, and museums associated with Norwegian-American heritage and culture. For nearly a decade, Jerry has been accompanying groups of researchers to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Solveig Schavland Quinney

Translator and Library Services Specialist

Solveig is the first person to greet you when you visit the Naeseth Library, and the person who answers the phone when you call for information or an appointment. Born in Norway and still fluent in her mother tongue, Solveig is our translator of both Nynorsk and Bokmål. With over ten years of experience here, Solveig is an expert guide to the collection for both beginning and expert researchers. She can offer insight into methods of genealogical research, especially those important first steps. Her translation work often includes handwritten family letters, manuscripts, printed books, and documents (which are often in hard-to-decipher Gothic script). Solveig is our resident expert on the topographical maps that show farm names and act as excellent tools for anyone traveling to Norway and wanting to visit the area of their ancestors.

Jenna Schultz

Research Assistant

Jenna Schultz has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to teaching college courses, she has enjoyed being a part of the NAGC staff as a research assistant since 2009. She has contributed to several database projects, including Norwegians in the 1880 Census, Norwegian-American Birth Records, and the Civil War Wisconsin 15th Regiment. In her free time, Jenna enjoys conducting research on her own family tree. She hopes to visit Norway someday and locate her ancestors’ farm in Buskerud.

David Wright, Jr.

Director of Development, Marketing and Membership

Resident of Decorah, Iowa, David Wright, Jr., has been serving NAGC in this position since 2008.  With over 25 years of experience in library and museum work, David has helped establish the Center as an independent, non-profit entity.  He is impressed with the loyalty and the generosity of the Norwegian-American community that supports NAGC & NL.

Jeanne Wright

Executive Director

Serving as Executive Director since 2010, Jeanne Wright is in charge of the administrative work of the Center. Acting as a liaison between the Board of Directors and Staff, Jeanne also is in charge of financial tracking and reporting, employee relations, and other administrative details. With many years of administrative experience in museum and library membership and special events, Jeanne also enjoys consulting with the staff in these areas.

Become a Member

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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Support NAGC & NL

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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Testimonials

“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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