Welcome To CVGS

Welcome to the Concordia University Library's Center for Volga German Studies. The Center supports preservation of and education about the heritage, history and accomplishments of the German population who once lived in colonies established near the Volga River in Russia. We are proud to hold a special collection of relevant materials in our Portland campus library and welcome collaboration with students, historians and family researchers from around the world.

As you know, Concordia University will be closing in late April and the Center for Volga German Studies (CVGS) will be moving to a new home.  Concordia has received several inquiries from organizations interested in becoming that new home.  The university is actively evaluating options which will provide excellent access to researchers and the general public.  As preparation for the transition is underway, public access to the CVGS is now discontinued.  The website will remain active.  We expect to have more news to share with you in the coming weeks.  Thank you all for the support you have provided for Concordia University and the CVGS for the past 15 years!

Who Are the Volga Germans?

The Volga Germans are a unique ethnic group that settled in the lower Volga River region from 1764 to 1767 under a Russian colonization program promoted by Catherine the Great’s government. These colonists retained their native language, religious beliefs, customs and traditions while at the same time being influenced by the land and their neighbors. By 1875, many Volga Germans began migrating to both North and South America. While many Volga German descendants remain in Russia and Central Asia, large numbers have also migrated to Germany since the 1980’s.

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