Max Kade Institute

for German-American Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Four MKI Monographs Available ONLINE

The Max Kade Institute is collaborating with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Digital Collections to bring some of our monographs to as many readers as possible. Check out the following four titles:
"The German-American Press"
"The German Language in America"
"The Wisconsin Office of Emigration 1852-1855" and
"Pickled Herring and Pumpkin Pie: a nineteenth century cookbook for German immigrants to America"

Go to

NEW MKI TRAVELING EXHIBIT: “Neighbors Past and Present: The Wisconsin German Experience”

The Max Kade Institute is delighted to introduce a new community project, a traveling exhibit called “Neighbors Past and Present: the Wisconsin German Experience.” On fourteen panels that draw largely on images and resources from our Library and Archives, the exhibit covers German migration and settlement in Wisconsin, questions of ethnicity and identity in newly forged communities, and the cohesiveness of these communities over the decades, especially in times of economic crisis or war. Specific topics include language; print culture; religion; Amish and Mennonites; traditions and social clubs, education; rural and urban life; business; political and civic engagement; times of war; and immigrants and their descendants in the global world, past and present.

Our long-term goal is to show the exhibit in almost all Wisconsin counties. In each location, local collaborators will augment the exhibit with displays or programming of their own. The grand kick-off will be on July 14 at the Berlin Center in Athens, Wisconsin, for the “Picknick im Busch,” the annual summer event of the Pommerscher Verein Central Wisconsin. Afterward, the exhibit will be shown from July 16 until August 22 at the Marathon County History Society in Wausau. Future venues that have already been scheduled include Spring Valley Public Library, Kiel Public Library, Milwaukee Public Library–Central Branch, Oshkosh Public Library, and the Chippewa Valley Museum in Eau Claire. For a detailed schedule and more information, including additional programming go to the MKI events page.

 We are grateful to the Wisconsin Humanities Council for a Major Grant that has made this project possible.

"German in America: Words, Sounds, and Images" - The Society for German-American Studies 43rd Annual Symposium, April 11-13, 2019

The Max Kade Institute is delighted to co-host the 43rd Annual Symposiun of the Society for German-American Studies in Madison, April 11-13!

We look forward to.. 

  • two days of over 50 presentations and panel discussions on a variety of topics that span the spectrum of the German-American experience, including art, music, language, literature, media and publications, history, folklore, heritage, religion, immigration, and much more;
  • tour of the German-American holdings of the Wisconsin Historical Society;
  • tour of the Max Kade Institute and exhibit on "The Wisconsin German Experience;"
  • the SGAS Banquet.
More information about the Symposium, including program, venues, hotel information, and directions, can be found at  

NEW: MKI Newsletter - Fall 2018

The latest Friends of Max Kade Institute Newsletter is here!
Personal German-American stories and documents are the focus of this issue. Read more about...
- "The Greatest Christmas Ever": A German-American Pastor's Service on December 25, 1918
- The Autobiography of Christian Pauli of Winterkraut
- The Otto Schroeder Recordings
- From Rural Germany to the 19th-century Midwest
- The Thiel Family Immigration Story.

If you have not already received your newsletter, join the Friends of the Max Kade Institute and get a copy in the mail or as a PDF!

German-American Dialects Online!

The Max Kade Institute's German-American and American English Dialects page is new and improved and back online! Go to, click on the tabs and explore "The German Language in America," listen to "German-American Dialect Recordings," and read "Essays" to learn more about facts and myths regarding German in America.

Max Kade Institute Newsletter

Just in time for spring, here comes the MKI Newsletter Winter 2017-2018 issue. Read about "German Immigrants, Silver Fox, and Ginseng: The Colorful History of Hamburg and Berlin, Wisconsin" (this is were the Friends of MKI annual meeting will be held on May 5!); "Restoring The Speaker’s House, Home of the first Speaker of the U.S.House of Representatives, Frederick Muhlenberg; "A Thank You to all Donors of the MKI Library Project Campaign; Book review: "A Crowded Hour: Milwaukee During the Great War, 1917-1918"

Join the Friends and receive your own copy:

REGISTRATION CLOSED: Friends of MKI Annual Meeting, Marathon County, May 5

This year the Friends of the Max Kade Institute will step back to the early days of the twentieth century by visiting the historic Fromm Brothers Fur and Ginseng Farm in the Town of Hamburg, Marathon County. We will learn how four brothers, whose family immigrated to Wisconsin from Germany in the 1800s, built a multi-million dollar business empire by raising silver fox for the fashion industry and ginseng for the Asian market.


Our hosts will be the Fromm Brothers Historical Preservation Society and the Pommerscher Verein Central Wisconsin. The day will conclude with a dinner at the Town of Berlin Center (catered by 2510 Restaurant of Wausau) and a lecture by William Thiel (Eau Claire) on “Why They Left: Transitions from Rural Germany to the Midwest in the 19th Century.” For more details and to register online, click HERE!

Enjoy the latest issue of the MKI NEWSLETTER!

In this issue read about:
-- "The Germans from Russia Settlement Locations Project"
-- MKI Upcoming Events
-- "Where in Europe Is My Ancestor's Hometown? Finding Aids for Genealogists"
-- "Two Total Solar Eclipses"
-- "Mapping the Germans" (book review)

Become a member of the Friends of the Max Kade Institute and receive your own copy three times a year:

Friends of MKI OKTOBER FEST, October 13

Join us for a fun evening with great food, beer, and entertainment!  Once again, Bull Falls Brewery (Wausau),  Clasen’s European Bakery (Middleton), the Freiburg Gastropub (Madison), and the University Club Restaurant sponsor our Fest by providing their delicious beer and food. Enjoy accordion music with Bill Niederberger, German songs with members of the Madison Maennerchor, a lecture on “Humor in the Stacks: Curiosities from the MKI Archives,” and a silent auction and raffle. Proceeds benefit the Max Kade Institute.

For more details, including registration information, go to

“Deciphering Old German Script” Workshop in Milwaukee, Saturday, September 30, 2017

Are you a historian trying to decipher old German handwritten documents? A genealogist researching your German-speaking ancestors?  In this workshop, Mark Louden will introduce you to the basics of reading German handwritten materials, with a special focus on those from the 19th century. Antje Petty will give suggestions on how to work with German-language genealogical records. The workshop combines presentations with practical exercises. You are welcome to bring your own documents to work on. Though a reading knowledge of German is helpful, it is not required.

Join the Friends for this fun workshop on September 30, 2017, in Milwaukee.  For more details, including registration information, click go to


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