The Alma Erickson Swanson papers date from 1897 to 2000 and measure 9 linear inches. The collection is divided into four series: History and biography, Correspondence, Diaries, and Photographs.
The History and biography series dates from 1897 to 2000 and includes family history, a plat drawing of the Erickson farm, a history and maps of Swede Valley, tributes to the educational accomplishments of the family, and encomiums to Alma Erickson on her wedding, her 50th and 90th birthdays, and her death in 1985. Autobiographical sketches of Signe, Thor, and Greta Swanson complete the series.
The Correspondence series dates from 1939 to 1979 and includes letters from Alma, Carl, and Greta Swanson to Thor Swanson while he was at college, in the military, and teaching at various universities. They contain rich details about rural life in Ogden, Iowa, during World War II and the post-war years.
The Diaries series consists of diaries written by Alma Erickson Swanson in scattered years from 1903 until 1925 and annually from 1943 until 1972 (lacking 1970). Thor Swanson created a typescript of all these diaries, which follows the originals. A photocopy of a typescript of a 1919 diary of Carl W. Swanson completes the series. These diaries cover daily events in the life of a Swedish-American farm woman in central Iowa. The 1919 diaries of husband and wife offer contrasting perspectives. The 1949 diary concerns a trip through Ohio.
The Photographs series includes photographs of the Swanson family and other members of the community.