Rolf H. Erickson, 51, of Evanston, head of the circulation services department at the Northwestern University Library and a well-known scholar and historian of the Norweigan- American experience, died in Humana Hospital, Chicago, Nov. 2  following a long illness with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Nov. 18, 1940, the son of Herbert and Ethel Ramseth Erickson, he earned a bachelor's degree in English at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, in 1962, and a master of arts in library science degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1966.
From 1962-64, he was a teacher and librarian in Lae, Papua- New Guinea and in 1964-65 he was a librarian and English teacher at Random Lake High School in Wisconsin. In 1966 he became a reference librarian at the Northwestern University Library and in 1967 was appointed administrative assistant to the University Librarian. In 1970 he became head of the circulation services department.
In addition to his professional career as a librarian Mr. Erickson was active in the Norweigan-American community and as a scholar and historian of the Norweigan-American experience. He co-edited three books, Our Norwegian Immigrants (1978), From Fjord to Prairie (1976) and Bridges to Norway (1984) and wrote numerous articles illuminating the lives and culture of Norwegian immigrants in the United States.
He was a Trustee, Secretary and Member of the Executive Committee of Vesterheim, the NorwegianPAmerican Museum in Decorah, Iowa; First Vice President of the NorwegianPAmerican Historical Association; and member of the Executive Board and Secretary of the SwedishPAmerican Historical Society.
In recognition of Mr. Erickson's long and distinguished record of service to the NorwegianPAmerican community, King Olav V of Norway awarded him the St. Olav Medal in 1985.
Mr. Erickson was also active in the Caxton Club, the Center for Scandinavian Studies, the Danish American Heritage Society, the Religion and Ethics Institute and the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies.
Mr. Erickson is survived by his sister Janet (Mrs. Allan) Keup, Springfield, Illinois; two nieces, Jennifer L. Keup of Oak Creek, Wisconsin and Erika A. Keup of Evanston, Illinois; a nephew, Paul A. Keup, Springfield, Illinois; and a cousin, Kjersti Usler, Drammen, Norway.
There will be a private interment in Our Savior's Cemetery, Lesser Township, Shawano County, Wisconsin and a memorial service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. in the Alice Millar Chapel on the Northwestern University campus. In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorials be made to Vesterheim NorwegianPAmerican Museum, the Caxton Club, the NorwegianPAmerican Historical Association or the Northwestern University Library Council.