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Janis Robins papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: IHRC2270


The papers (1950-2003) of Janis Robins consist of materials related to various Latvian American organizations, sporting events and their reviews, brochures and pamphlets, newspaper clippings, reports on political and cultural developments in Latvia, and correspondence.

The collection (1950-2003) includes materials related to different organizations: ALA board meetings (1980-1989;1998-2003) and congresses (1977-2003), LSC (Latvian Study Center) ( 1987-1997), Garezers (1969-1991), AABS (Association of Advancement for Baltic Studies) (1978-1986), Christ Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church activity reports (1970-2002), LOM (Latvian Association in Minneapolis) (1975-1992), Latvian House (1964-1993), Latvian Community Council Latvian Association in Minneapolis (1969-1999), Latvian Welfare Association of Minneapolis (1981-1994), ABTA (American Baltic Trade Association) of Minneapolis ( 1991-1993), Baltic Freedom efforts (1975;1991), Riga Dome Boys Choir tours in the U.S (1992; 2000) and some more materials related to smaller organizations.Collection also contains sport reviews (1950-1961) mostly written by Janis Robins, and materials related to sports collected from the following newspapers:"Laiks", "Australijas Latvietis", "Latvija Amerika", "Briva Latvija" (1994-1999).Included are brochures and pamphlets (1967-2000) related to Latvian activities in the U.S. Books and periodicals from the collection, were separated and added to the Latvian print collection.


  • 1950-2003


Language of Materials

Latvian, English


Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRCA.


Janis Robins was born on August 3, 1925 in Riga, Latvia where he spent his childhood and adolescence before fleeing Latvia with his family at age 19.He started his studies in chemistry at the University of Erlangen, Germany in 1946 and continued at the University of Washington in Seattle where he received B.S. in 1952 and in 1957 Ph. D. in chemistry. The Robins family moved from Seattle to Minneapolis/St.Paul.From 1960 to 1965 he was a professor at the Macallaster College in St. Paul, Minnesota.But from 1972 until his retirement in 1990 he worked for the 3M company in St. Paul.His professional interests were organic analysis, physical organic chemistry, spectroscopy and isocyanate chemistry.Janis Robins became world famous for developing the first practical "cold box" and the rapid hardening "no-bake" process in the late 1960s. These inventions rationalised metal casting, improved quality, reduced energy costs and made the process very fast.Nowdays about 90% of the world's modern iron foundries use this technology.Janis Robins has also been an active member of the Latvian community in the United States.The main areas of his involvment with Latvian exile community were sports (volleytball), churches and organizations.Robins was one of the most famous Latvian voleyball players in the 1950s. He was the first Latvian in the U.S. volleyball All Star Team. He was an active player and coach of Latvian volleyball teams in Seattle and in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and has been a leader of a number of sports organizations.Robins has been in charge of the American Latvian Association's (ALA) sports section: secretary of the ALA Sport Office (1972-1990) and chairman of the ALA Sport Office (1970-1972; 1997-2005).Robins was president of the Minneapolis and St.Paul Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Churh (1968-1971) and president of the Christ Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Minneapolis (1975-1978; 1993-1995;1997-2003). He has also been in charge of LELBA (Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad). Robins also served as president of the Latvian Association in Minneapolis (1982-1990) and the Latvian Organizations Association of Minnesota.Robins was married to Brigita Robina, they had four daughters: Baiba, Daina, Laila and Zaiga. Janis Robins died in St. Paul on December 14, 2013.


4 Linear Feet


Collection was donated to the IHRC by Janis Robins in 1999-2005.

Inventory of the Janis Robins papers.
IHRC Archives
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding Aid in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Immigration History Research Center Archives Collecting Area