Germans From Russia Heritage Collection’s Poppke Collection Completed, Available For Research

The NDSU Libraries’ Germans from Russia Heritage Collection has announced the completion of the Herb Poppke Collection. The collection is now organized, processed and available for research.

Herb Poppke, the son of German Russian immigrants, was a fervent supporter of researching and preserving the culture and history of the Germans from Russia. Poppke, a Seattle resident who died in 2012 at age 91, was an avid writer, genealogy researcher and collector, especially of maps and books.

In 2002 and 2005, Poppke donated archival material and his research library to the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection. Included in his donations were more than 200 books.

Poppke’s niece, Mavis Aumundson, said, “Herb’s genealogical research and his efforts to know more about the German-Russians were a labor of love for him. He enjoyed every minute. He poured his heart into the research and into sharing what he learned with his family and others.”

The collection includes correspondence, maps, photographs, research papers and files, materials from organizations, newspapers and magazines, publications, photographs, audio cassettes and other items related to the Germans from Russia.

The collection is about 23 linear feet and has 16 boxes of materials, including correspondence to individuals and organizations, ranging from personal matters to research topics.

A major part of the Herb Poppke Collection is more than 400 maps of Russia, Poland, Ukraine and the United States. Some maps are broad, spanning across countries, while many others are specific regions. The maps are in English, German and Russian.

The collection finding aid that includes a descriptive summary of the collection and the Poppke book listing are available at

The finding aid also includes a biography of Poppke, a listing of the materials and links to Poppke’s online photo albums from his journey through Ukraine in 1993.

In a statement, the Poppke family said, “His findings were a treasure to his family, and we believe the information may be useful source material for future researchers seeking to understand the demographics, geography and history of Germans from Russia who immigrated to the United States.”

For more information about the NDSU Libraries’ Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, call 701-231-6596 or visit

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.