Christen A. T. Naeseth, 1887-1920; LC 1874

Head Librarian - Naeseth

Christen Andreas T. Naeseth was born March 1, 1849, and died on February 17, 1921.

Naeseth attended Luther College from 1869-1874, where he received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. After leaving Luther, he went on to study at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, receiving a Candidate of Theology degree in 1877. The following year was spent abroad in Norway, where he studied as a student at the University of Christiania (Oslo). Upon his return to the United States in 1878, he was ordained as a minister at Concordia Seminary, and served as a Lutheran Pastor at a church in Laverne, MN.

Four years later, Naeseth returned to Luther College where he would work for almost forty years. He began as an instructor of English in 1882, but his teaching responsibilities quickly expanded into other fields, including Greek (1882-1883), Religion (1882-1893; 1894-1911), Mathematics (1883-1887), Norwegian (1886-1890), History (1887-1888; 1891-1903), and German (1893-1894). However, despite his wide array of expertise, he specialized in English, which he continued to teach until 1909.

While a professor at Luther College, Naeseth still found time to pursue his own education. He received his A.M. from Luther College in 1883, and spent a year enrolled at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and Cornell University in Ithaca, New York (1884-1885).

Naeseth became a librarian at Luther College in 1887, and was appointed College Librarian in 1909. While he was not fully trained as a professional librarian, Naeseth is credited for compiling a strong and comprehensive collection with the limited budget he had at his disposal. He continued to work as College Librarian until his retirement in 1920, a year before his death.

In addition to his library duties, Naeseth also served as a secretary on the Board of Trustees from 1893-1899 and again from 1902-1914. He was treasurer for the Norwegian Synod, Iowa District, from 1886-1895, and for the College from 1895-1915.

Ref: Obituary, Decorah Public Opinion, February 23, 1921; Nelson, David T. Luther College, 1861-1961. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961; Norlie, O.M. et al. Luther College Through Sixty Years, 1861-1921. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1922; Malmin, Rasmus et al. Who’s Who Among Pastors in all the Norwegian Lutheran Synods of America, 1843-1927. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1928.