Beth Hoven Rotto collection

Summary Information
Title: Beth Hoven Rotto collection
Inclusive Dates: 1882-2022

  • Rotto, Beth Hoven, 1956-
Unique Identifier: mml041

Quantity: Collection includes: papers, newspaper clippings, photographs, journals, newspapers, concert flyers and programs, tunebooks, audiocassettes and CDs.
  • 1 Linear Feet
  • 2 document boxes, 1 CD box


The Beth Hoven Rotto collection contains journal and newspaper articles, concert flyers and programs, correspondence, research papers and sound recordings related to Beth Rotto's career as a fiddler, music teacher and researcher of Norwegian-American folk and old-time music from the Upper Midwest.

Language: English .

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Conditions Governing Access

This collection includes no known access restrictions.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Beth Hoven Rotto, 2022


Organized into five series: 1. Articles, II. Flyers and Programs, III. Correspondence, IV. The New Ole Hendrick Orchestra, V. Sound Recordings.

Biographical / Historical

Beth Hoven Rotto is a fiddler and researcher of Norwegian-American folk and old-time music from Decorah, Iowa. Beth began playing violin in school and then at Luther College in Decorah. Her interest in Scandinavian fiddle music developed in the 1980s, and in 1988 she began an apprenticeship with Bill Sherburne at the Highlandville Dances. She formed the band Foot-Notes in 1991 to continue the dance tradition.

Foot-Notes released the albums "Decorah Waltz" and "My Father Was a Fiddler..." in the 1990s, and performed at the Smithsonian Institution's Festival of American Folklife in 1996. Beth has continued to collect and teach fiddle tunes and dances, and has collaborated on projects highlighting the music of Norwegian-American musicians such as Ole Hendrick and John Arndt Mostad.

In the spring of 2022, Beth Hoven Rotto became the musician-in-residence at UW-Madison, working with the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures and at the Mills Music Library to study the university's collections of Upper Midwest Scandinavian music.

Preferred Citation

[Title of item], [Name of collection]. Mills Music Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Scope and Contents

The Beth Hoven Rotto Collection is stored in 2 document boxes and 1 box of audiovisual recordings. It is divided into five series covering articles, flyers and programs, correspondence, the New Ole Hendrick Orchestra papers and sound recordings.

Series I contains articles from newspapers and journals related to Beth Hoven Rotto's musical career and the history of Scandinavian-American music in the Upper Midwest.

Series II contains flyers and programs for live concerts featuring performances by Beth Hoven Rotto, and by musical groups including Foot-Notes and the New Ole Hendrick Orchestra.

Series III contains correspondence.

Series IV contains papers associated with the New Ole Hendrick Orchestra project, and a tunebook created by Ole Hendrick in the 1880s.

Series V contains a variety of CDs and audiocassettes, including albums released by Foot-Notes, interviews, and live recordings of Beth Hoven Rotto and other folk musicians.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection materials may be subject to laws governing rights. Researchers are solely responsible for determining the rights status of the materials they use. Permission may be required for some uses such as publication or reproduction.

Subject Terms
ViolinistsNorwegian Americans -- Iowa -- MusicFoot-Notes (Musical group); The New Ole Hendrick Orchestra (Musical group); Blagen, Ellen; Clark, Thea Arndt; Ellingson, Gust; Hendrick, Ole; Johnsrud, Orvin; Mostad, Johan Arndt; Munkel, Arnold; Sherburne, Bill
Contents List
Series: Articles, 1992-2022
Box [89109122606]   1
  folder 1
"Shaking the schoolhouse floor" by Erica Gilbertson, p. 10-11. Luther College Clips 1992-04-16
Box [89109122606]   1
  folder 2
"Why are all these people dancing?: ruminations on the 20th season of Highlandville Dances" by Bill Musser, p. 10-11. Trapeze. Vol. 1, No. 1, Winter 1994
Box [89109122606]   1
  folder 3
"Teaching the nation to schottische: Smithsonian welcomes Foot-Notes to Festival of American Folklife" by Carole Engelhart, p. 16-19. Luther Alumni Magazine. Vol. 30, No. 1, Fall 1996
Box [89109122606]   1
  folder 4
"Songs that last forever: Beth Hoven Rotto preserves old time Scandinavian tunes for posterity" by Lori Erickson, p. 26-27. The Iowan. Vol. 47, No. 4, March/April 1999
Box [89109122606]   1
  folder 5
"Norwegian-American fiddlers, part I: Beth Hoven Rotto" by Julane Lund, p. 16-19. Fiddler Magazine. Vol. 15, No. 3, Fall 2008
Box [89109122606]   1
  folder 6
"'Dance with the trolls' at Nordic Fest", by Julie Berg-Raymond, p. 1-6. The Decorah Journal. Vol. 150, Iss. 30 2015-07-23
Box [89109122606]   1
  folder 7
"States of America: Beth Hoven Rotto, Decorah, Iowa" by Sara Friedl-Putnam. Inspire(d). No. 53, Spring 2018
Box [89109122606]   1
  folder 8
"Steps back in time: Foot-Notes Scandinavian music keeps dancers turning at Highlandville Schoolhouse" by Kristine Jepsen. Inspire(d). No. 58, Summer 2019
Box [89109122606]   1
  folder 9
"Musician making a connection: Beth Hoven Rotto immersing herself in folk music history" by Roz Weis. Driftless Journal. Vol. 4, Iss. 17 2022-04-26
Series: Flyers and Programs, 1991-2021
Box [89109122606]   1
  folder 10
Concert flyers, 1991-2021
Box [89109122606]   1
  folder 11
Smithsonian Institution Festival of American Folklife. Program, 1996
Series: Correspondence, 1989-2022
Box [89109122606]   1
  folder 12
Blagen, Ellen J. Letters and newspaper clippings 1989
Box [89109122606]   1
  folder 13
Rue, Anna. Invitation to Spring Dance featuring musician-in-residence Beth Hoven Rotto 2022-04-18
Series: New Ole Hendrick Orchestra, 1882-2019
Box [89109122606]   1
  folder 14
The New Ole Hendrick Orchestra. Photograph, flyer and historical documents 1924-2019
Box [89109122606]   1
  folder 15
The New Ole Hendrick Orchestra. Research notes, 1935-2019
Box [89109122622]   2
Ole Hendrick tunebook, 1882
Series: Sound Recordings, 1965-2005
Subseries: Audio Releases, 1996-1998
Box [89109122648]   3
  Disc 1
Foot-Notes. Decorah waltz. COMP DISC 33688. Foot-Notes, 1996
Physical Description: 1 audio disc : digital, CD audio ; 4 3/4 in. 
Box [89109122648]   3
  Disc 2
Foot-Notes. My father was a fiddler... COMP DISC 33686. Foot-Notes, 1998
Physical Description: 1 audio disc : digital, CD audio ; 4 3/4 in. 
Subseries: Interviews, 1997
Box [89109122648]   3
  othertype 3
Conversations with Beth Hoven Rotto. 1. Orvin Johnsrud at his home in Spring Grove, MN ; 2. Arnold Munkel in Spring Grove, Minnesota 1997-07-07
Physical Description: 1 audiocassette 
Subseries: Live Recordings, 1965-2005
Box [89109122648]   3
  othertype 4
From Orvin Johnsrud's collection: his favorite fiddlers (local) (historic), 1965-1980
Physical Description: 1 audiocassette 
Box [89109122648]   3
  othertype 5
Gust Ellingson and Jimmy Jenson, 1965-1980
Physical Description: 1 audiocassette 
Box [89109122648]   3
  othertype 6
Oliver "Gust" Ellingson and Thea Arndt Clark play Johan Arndt Mostad, 1965-07-29
Physical Description: 1 audiocassette 
Box [89109122648]   3
  othertype 7
Historic recordings from Ellen Blagen (local), 1974
Physical Description: 1 audiocassette 
Box [89109122648]   3
  othertype 8
1. Highlandville Dance ; 2. Lesson with Bill Sherburne, 1988
Physical Description: 1 audiocassette 
Box [89109122648]   3
  othertype 9
1. Foot-Notes on KUNI ; 2. Foot-Notes on Down Home Dairyland, 1997-03
Physical Description: 1 audiocassette 
Box [89109122648]   3
  othertype 10
1. Sprakteigen, April 2005 ; 2. Folkemusikktimen, 8 May 2005
Physical Description: 1 audiocassette