Skip to main content

Ruth Nelson Redstrom Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Redstrom

Scope and Content of the Collection

Collection contains reproduced photographs of the Redstroms, Ruth Nelson Redstrom’s “One Woman’s View” column clippings, travel diary and menus from Greece, and family histories of the Redstroms and the Nelsons, from 1930 to 2011. Also contains letters from Johann Dahlgren, written in 1899, later translated from Swedish.


  • Creation: 1930-2011



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Ruth Nelson Redstrom Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Ruth Nelson Redstrom Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Ruth Nelson Redstrom

Wisconsin woman journalist and teacher.

Ruth Nelson Redstrom was born in Minnesota on November 23, 1898, the daughter of a Lutheran minister from Sundsvall, Sweden and his wife, the church organist, Carolina “Lina” Dahlgren Nelson. One of three surviving Nelson children, Redstrom had a strong affinity for music from a young age, beginning piano lessons while visiting a family member in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Redstrom attended Augustana College as a music major, where she met John Redstrom, then a chemistry major. After the two married, they moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where both were hired as teachers. While in Kenosha, Ruth Redstrom published the column “One Woman’s View" from 1939 through 1941, opinion pieces discussing everything from family life to politics. John went on to become a principal, to receive his masters degree in education from Northwestern University, and to nearly finish a PhD from University of Chicago. The Redstroms had three children, Lois Carolina, Ruth Arlene “Sis”, and John, Jr. “Junior” also known as Sam.

Just after World War II, the Redstroms moved to Washington DC, where John was engaged in war relief efforts. Shortly after, the couple moved to Athens, Greece, where they helped distribute food and clothing for the United States government. While in Greece, at the age of 51, Ruth was widowed when John Redstrom died of a heart attack unexpectedly. She returned to Washington, D.C., and began a confidential job for the National Security Administration, telling her family only that she must learn Russian. She continued her work for the NSA until her retirement at 65. She died in September, 1988.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 box)


Family histories of the Dahlgren and Redstrom families, correspondence, photographs, Greek menus and travelogues, and newspaper clippings of Ruth Nelson Redstrom's "One Woman's View" column. All materials relating to Ruth Nelson Redstrom, teacher and writer, from 1930 to transcriptions and reproductions from 2011.


Materials arranged alphabetically.

Collection Stack Location

1 28 7


Gift of Karen Harvey, 2011.

Processed by

Emma Martin, 2011.

Inventory of the Ruth Nelson Redstrom Papers, 1930-2011
Emma Martin
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States