As we implement our mission of preserving American materials written in the German language, we have collected a number of unique and important documents that are in need of repair and conservation. For many years, the MKI has participated in a grant program sponsored by the Friends of Memorial Library, at UW–Madison’s Memorial Library’s Conservation Lab, to have a few select items a year brought back in a sturdy, lasting, and usable state. In cases where paper is too brittle for repair, the Lab has provided us with acid-free enclosures to help preserve the items and prevent further deterioration.
Thanks to the fundraising efforts and generous support of the Friends of the Max Kade Institutes, the MKI has been able to open another avenue for restoration. We have been working with Grimm Book Bindery in Monona, Wisconsin to restore a number of additional collection items.
You will find a detailed description of our restoration efforts in Kevin Kurdylo’s article in the Friends of the Max Kade Institute Newsletter, Spring 2021.
A Few Examples of Collection Items Considered for Conservation
Asmus, Georg. Amerikanisches Skizzebüchelche. Eine Epistel in Versen. Von einem in Amerika, der, was er ass und trank und sah, und was ihm sonst noch da genirt’.Seim Ohm nach Hesse rapportirt. 2 volumes in one. New York: Willmer & Rogers, 1874, 1875. Asmus was born in Giessen in 1830 and came to America in 1862. He was head of a copper mining operation on Lake Superior, and wrote these poems in the Hessian dialect, ostensibly as “letters” to his uncle. These poetic descriptions of American life and conditions are “permeated with humor and sarcasm.”
[Blake, William O.] Amerikanisch deutsche Encyclopädie. Ein Buch zur allgemeinen Belehrung, umfassend eine kurze Zusammenstellung der Geschichte, sowie Reisebeschreibungen und Biographien hervorragender Männer. St. Louis, Mo.: Miller, 1858. This 1032-page translation from the English, is an encyclopedia of history, biography, and travel, including biographies of eminent persons. It is just one example of the strong market for German-language books in America in the mid-nineteenth century.
Bülow, Joseph von. Die Freiheitskämpfe des Jahres 1848: Die Wiener, ungarische, italienische, französische, Berliner, badische und Holsteiner Revolutionen, nach authentischen Quellen bearbeitet. New York: The Author [Druck von Randel & Blömeke], 1868. A history of the democratic uprisings that occurred across Europe in 1848. Not much has yet been learned of the author.
Gillette, F. L. and Hugo Ziemann. Das Weisse Haus Kochbuch. Eine reichhaltige Encyclopädie nützlicher Belehrung für das Hauswesen, Recepte zum Gebrauch beim Kochen, bei der Toilette und im Haushalt. Die richtige Form für Speisekarten, Weisungen für Gastmähler, Etikette bei der Tafel, Gesundheitsregeln, Krankenpflege und sonstige wissenswerthe Thatsachen. Chicago : R.S. Peale, 1891. A translation from the English. Hugo Ziemann, White House steward and a renowned chef, was born in Braunschweig, Germany.
Gugler, R. G. The Literary History of the Milwaukee German Theatre, 1850-1875. B.A. Thesis—Univ. of Wisconsin, 1907.An important contribution to the study of the German theater in Milwaukee, and hard to find!
Münch, Friedrich. Amerikanische Weinbauschule.: Kurze, doch hinreichend, ausführliche Anleitung zur Anlegung des Weinberges, zur Behandlung der Reben und zur Gewinnung des Weines in Nordamerika. St. Louis, Mo.: Conrad Witter’s Verlag, 1864. Born 1799 in Niedergemünden, Kreis Alsfed, Friedrich Münch came to America in 1834 with the intention of establishing a “new and free German State in the great North American Republic.” An abolitionist and political reformer, he wrote poetry, prose, and political essays, gave scientific lectures at the Deutsches Institut in St. Louis, and political speeches with Friedrich Hecker. This book on American viticulture is particularly interesting, as Münch is reported to have died while pruning grapes on his farm in Dutzow, Missouri, in 1881.