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Norwegians in Latin America 1820-1940 (completed)

Desired immigrants - Frustrated Adventurers? Norwegians in Latin America, 1820-1940.

A man with lots of sand bags on his back. And other men standing besides him.

Coffee workers outside Berent Friele's storehouse in Santos, probably just before 1920.

Photo: Friele.

About the project

A multidisciplinary research project called “Desired immigrants - Frustrated Adventurers? Norwegians in Latin America, 1820-1940” (NiLA) was initiated in 2008 involving researchers in Norway and Latin America.


Central to the project was the development of a database (HULA) that will provide information about almost every Norwegian who traveled to Latin America during that period.

The project can be of interest for anyone studying migration in a Latin American context, as it provided new knowledge on the topic and gave a basis for comparative studies. It can also be interesting for families of the migrants, both in Latin America and Norway, as they may be able to acquire knowledge about their ancestors,

In parallel with the development of the database, we implemented a number of sub-studies about Norwegians in Latin America. Some of these are based on the contents of the base and will only be initiated when the base is almost complete. Other made ​​independently of the database.


The Faculty of Humanities at the University of Oslo has funded the development of the HULA database. The Research Council of Norway, Latin America Program, has provided funding for three years from August 2011.


The project was supervised by Steinar A. Sæther, associate professor at the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages at the University of Oslo. Participants include researchers and doctoral fellows a the universities of Bergen, Oslo and Stavanger, the Norwegian Emigrant Museum at Hamar, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes (Argentina) and Museo do Imigrante in São Paulo (Brazil).

The HULA database

HULA is a database of Norwegian migrants in Latin America between 1820 and 1940. The aim of the database was to get as complete a list as possible of all Norwegians who lived in Latin America. 

The HULA database is no longer available online. Please contact Professor Steinar A. Sæther if you have any questions.

Published Oct. 30, 2020 3:40 PM - Last modified May 17, 2022 2:42 PM