Nebraska Authors

Dorothy Burton Skardal

Born 1922-07-24 Omaha, NE (USA)

Died 2010-06-10

Born in Omaha, after a brief academic career at American colleges, Skårdal married a Norwegian and moved to Oslo, Norway where she taught American literature and civilization at the University of Oslo from 1965 until her retirement in 1991. She is best known for her 1974 study of the Scandinavian immigrant experience as portrayed in literary sources, originally published by the University of Nebraska Press. She served on the boards of a number of learned societies and museums. See her list of honors below.

Places Lived

Omaha, NE (1922-1941)
Middlebury, VT
Cambridge, MA
Oslo, NORWAY (1953-2010)

Author Of

  • Nonfiction


Literature of the Immigrant Experience; Scandinavian Immigrants


High School Diploma, Central High School, Omaha, NE
Undergraduate Studies, University of Omaha, Omaha, NE
Bachelor of Arts Degree, 1944, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT
Master of Arts Degree, 1945, Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA
Ph.D., 1963, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA



Places Worked

University of Olso, American Institute, Oslo, Norway 1965-?;


Fulbright fellow University Oslo, 1950-1951
American Council Learned Societies Fellow, 1952-1953
Research Fellow Norwegian Research Council for Humanities, Oslo, 1964
Decorated Knight's Cross First Class, Order St. Olav, Oslo, 1983


Oscar Handlin directed her Harvard dissertation
Board of Directors, United States Educational Foundation in Norway, Oslo, 1972—1991
Board of Directors, The League of Norsemen, Oslo, 1977—1987
Board of Directors, Norwegian Emigrant Museum, Hamar, 1988—1994
Member of International Forum Oslo, Norwegian-American History Association, Nordic Association American Studies, Swedish-American History Association, Danish-American Heritage Society


Health Services in Norway. 1950.
Social Insurance in Norway. 1955.
The Divided Heart: Scandinavian Immigrant Experience Through Literary Sources. 1974.
Nebraska Frontier in Swedish and Danish Ethnic Literature. Lecture in Heritage Room, 1985. (Video)

Contributing Author:
Vision and Refuge: Essays on the Literature of the Great Plains. 1982.
G.N. Malm: A Swedish Immigrant's Varied Career. 1990.

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Dorothy Burton Skardal

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)