Max Kade Institute

for German-American Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison

General German-American Resources

Resources | Old German Script | Links | Statistics | Archives


German-American Historic Sites and Museums
Links to sites in the U.S., Germany, and Canada. Created by the Max Kade German-American Center at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
A german town locator
The German-Americans an Ethnic Experience by Willi Paul Adams
Full-text online publication
Historical Maps of Central Europe (G. D. Reymann's Special-Karte, 1832-1870)
Provided by Martin Johnson (PDF files). See also: Reymann's topographische Special Karte von Deutschland (1806-1908)
Historical Maps of Germany
Provided by Thomas Hoeckmann
International bibliography of German-Americana
Searchable bibliography created by the Max Kade German-American Center at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Mapster: Mapy archiwalne Polski = Archival Maps for Poland
Links to numerous high-quality scans for archival maps of Central and Eastern Europe, including Austro-Hungarian and German maps up to 1945. The project consists of three partner sites: Archiwalne Mapy Pomorza Gdańskiego (Archive Maps of Gdańsk Pomerania), Archiwum Map Wojskowego Instytutu Geograficznego 1919 - 1939 (Map Archive of the Military Institute of Geography, in English), and Archiwum Map Zachodniej Polski (Map Archive of Western Poland).

Max Kade Institute Searchable Database on German-Americana
Library resources of the Max Kade Institute, UW-Madison: Including 18th- early 20th-century imprints in the German language printed in the US; monographs, articles, papers, pamphlets and book chapters relating to the experiences or contributions of German-speaking immigrants and their descendants in America and dealing significantly with political, cultural, and religious aspects of the German-American experience. The database currently contains more than 8000 records, many of them with abstracts

Max Kade (Wikipedia entry)
Brief biographical information on Max Kade and some information on the foundation began by he and his wife in 1944. Also links to research facilities, libraries, dormitories, meeting places, and German and German-American studies programs funded by the foundation.
Ravenstein Atlas of the German Reich (1883)
Helps locate places in any part of the German empire from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. Due to the large scale of its maps (1:850,000) and its thorough gazetteer of place-names, one can locate even small towns and villages on the maps in the Ravenstein atlas. A special feature is the marking of the locations of churches on all of the maps as well as one special map with an accompanying table giving statistics on the religious denominations found throughout the German empire down to the Regierungsbezirk and Kreis governmental units. An explanatory key of the symbols appearing on the map can be found in the lower right corner of map section IX.
Reymann's topographische Special Karte von Deutschland (1806-1908)
Hosted by Gottfried Reymann's 19th-century maps range from Paris to Minsk and are very accurate and detailed. They provided a military advantage to the Prussian military during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, and today serve as important sources of information for historians and genealogists.

Spurensuche Midwest
Spurensuche presents 20 topics that are important to the German-speaking communities in Chicago and the Midwest. The website is meant to be an interactive guide to further explorations of these topics, establish a dialogue between these communities, to illustrate the significant contributions of a 'sleeping giant.' Topics include: media, radio, tv, etc.; organizations and clubs; language schools; research topics; and teaching resources.

Old German Script

Old German Script/Alte deutsche Handschriften
Includes samples of scripts, downloadable fonts, and bibliography of recommended reading.

Learn Suetterlin
Good explanations in English and lots of samples; includes tips and tricks for deciphering old scripts. The German version (Sütterlinschrift lesen / Frakturschrift lesen = Reading Sütterlin and Fraktur) is more elaborate

Handwriting Guide: German Gothic Resource Guide
A guide developed by the LDS Family History Library, showing common Gothic letters, type, and handwriting used in German records. Also list of recommended reading

German Script Alphabet Chart
Includes samples of scripts, downloadable fonts, and bibliography of recommended reading
Kurrent (Wikipedia)
Suetterlin (Wikipedia)

Offers free transcription of texts written in old German handwriting into modern Latin writing. Contributions based on value of service provided greatly appreciated.
The German Script Tutorial (Brigham Young University)
An online resource for learning how to decipher documents written in old German script. It provides descriptions and actual examples of each German letter, with animations demonstrating how each letter is written. Tests assess users’ ability to read and write letters, words, and passages. User accounts allow users to save their test scores and keep track of which letters they need to practice. The tutorial also provides basic guidelines on how to find vital (i.e., genealogical) information in old German documents.

German Script Course
A fee-based, limited registration, in-person class at the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Everywhere You Look: Virtual Tour of German-American Sites in Chicago
Sponsored by the Goethe Institut

Everywhere You Look: Virtual Tour of German-American Sites in San Francisco
Sponsored by the Goethe Institut

Everywhere You Look: Virtual Tour of German-American Sites in Washington, DC
Sponsored by the Goethe Institut

Franklin & Marshall Pennsylvania German Broadside Collection
This digital collection contains examples of printed broadsides designed and distributed among
Germans across the Keystone State. Visitors can search the collection by keyword, title, author, or subject.
Currently, there are over 215 broadsides in the collection, with more to be added. The items traditional house blessings, announcements about upcoming events, medical remedies, mystical texts, political tracts, business advertisements, and more.

Franklin & Marshall Pennsylvania German Fraktur Collection
A component of the Unger-Bassler German-American Imprint Collection, this collection contains fine examples of printed and handcolored Taufscheins (birth and baptismal certificates), Vorshrifts (writing examples), Haus Segens (house blessings), Bucherzeichen (book plates), and drawings created by Pennsylvania Germans.

A very comprehensive list of links from Robert J. Shea (St. Louis, Missouri)

German-Americana History & Heritage
Links to resources in German-American history and heritage

German Heritage Tour of Missouri
Heritage tour initiative highlighting Missouri’s German culture and history along the Missouri River. The program is collecting an inventory of sites, past people and institutions, settlements, culinary aspects, conflict (nativism, Civil War, Word Wars I and II), scenic byways, transportation (river landings, bridges, trails), religions influence, agriculture, maps, prints, and images, music, art and architecture, along with a list of current individuals and organization with whom to collaborate.

German Iowa and the Global Midwest
Explores aspects of the largest group of European origin to settle in the state. Topics include: German Immigration to Iowa; Brewing, Prohibition, Politics; Community Life;
German Iowa in Crisis: World War I; Economic and Political Crisis during the Great Depression, and the rise of National Socialism in Germany; World War II and its Aftermath; the Story of the Scattergood Refugee Hostel in West Branch, Iowa; and German Iowa by County.
German Pittsburgh
Tracing cultural history through GIS technology

German Traces NYC
A joint project between the Goethe-Institut New York and Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science

Lost Washington: German Orphan Asylum
Information on the German Orphan Asylum

Private Archive of Pennsylvania German Literature

Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present 
A project of the German Historical Institute, this site will comprise, when complete, more than 200 biographical essays on first- and second-generation German-American immigrant entrepreneurs, combined with essays on various topics illustrated with primary sources such as photographs, media clips, and business documents. Other components of the project will include bibliographies for further research and suggestions for using the “Immigrant Entrepreneurship” website in the classroom. The site offers valuable information and source material for anyone interested in German-American history.
Sauk City Freie Gemeinde Library and Music Archives
PDF bibliographies of the library and music archives for the Freie Gemeinde in Sauk City, Wisconsin


German ancestry. Statistics compared to total US population
1994 Statistics in reference to German ancestry groups and speakers in the US, based on the 1994 Statistical Abstract of the United States Census Statistics: Analyzed by the German Corner
German ancestry by order number (States) | in relation to state population
People speaking German at home | related to foreign speaking | to state population


German Heritage Collections (Missouri)
Personal papers, organizational records, and other materials related to German immigration, and social life and customs, religious practices, family experiences, and other aspects of life in German-American communities in Missouri

IUPUI University Library German-Americana Manuscript Collections
Various records and papers of American Turners, Indianapolis Maennerchor, etc.

Indiana Historical Society Library: Guide to Ethnic History Collections: Germans
Manuscript collections of German settlers

Archives of the Mennonite Church
Home page of Mennonite Church and list of manuscripts

Wisconsin Historical Society: Archive Division
The Library Division contains approx. 3.4 million items relating to the history of North America; resources and archives on various ethnic groups in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Local History and Bibliography Articles
Includes thousands of articles containing local history information from Wisconsin newspapers

German-American Collections in the Milwaukee Urban Archives
To research history of Milwaukee area, ethnic groups, families, German American archives

The German-Americana Collection at the University of Cincinnati
One of the nation's largest collections of books, pamphlets, documents, journals, newspapers, and manuscripts pertaining to German-American history, literature and culture, located in the Blegen Library in the Archives and Rare Books Department of the University of Cincinnati
See also their German-Americana Links of Interest

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
This site allows searching and viewing of newspaper pages from 1880-1922, and includes information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. At the time of this posting, the site includes German-language newspapers from Bartgis's Marylandische Zeitung. (Friedrich-stadt [Frederick, Md.]) 1785-1789 to Der Volksfreund = The people's friend. (Buffalo, N.Y.) 1994-current
Der Deutsche Pionier
Der Deutsche Pionier was, from 1869 to 1887, the publication of the Der Deutsche Pionier-Verein von Cincinnati. It is generally considered an indispensable source for the history of Germans in the United States, owing its quality and high reputation particularly to Heinrich Armin Rattermann, who edited the journal from 1874 to 1885. This site, hosted by the Forschungsstelle Deutsche Auswanderer in den USA (Oldenburg University), provides scanned images and thorough indexes of all issues of this paper.

Milwaukee County Historical Society
The Milwaukee County Historical Society was founded in 1935 to collect, preserve and make available materials relating to the history of the Milwaukee, once known as the "German Athens," and Milwaukee County.

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