Restoration and Conservation

An important aspect of MKI’s preservation and access mission is the conservation, restoration, and repair of historically unique materials. This has been made possible thanks to an annual generous matching grants by members of the Friends of the Max Kade Institute, which on average has allowed us to invest over $1,000 a year on restoration efforts.

In 2003, members of our Friends organization are offering a $350 matching opportunity for the restoration of select books in the Max Kade Institute Library & Archives. With your donation we can raise a combined $700 to support the MKI’s unique collections! [scroll down to see a list of items considered for this year’s restoration effort]

To donate online click HERE and put “book restoration” in the Comments field.

Or write a check with “donation for book restoration” in the subject line and mail it to
Friends of the Max Kade Institute
432 East Campus Mall
Madison, WI 53706


Our books are expertly restored by Grimm Book Bindery in Monona, Wisconsin. To find out more about the restoration process, read the article by Kevin Kurdylo in the MKI Spring 2023 Newsletter “Grimm Bindery Repairs More Books from MKI’s Collection.” 

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 in 2023

Soprano, Hand-bound book of letters written in the old German script between Catharine Juessen (neé Ruetz), an aunt of Carl Schurz living in Clay Centre, Kansas, and Emil C. Gaebler, living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The letters date from Jan. 25, 1889 to Oct. 14, 1890 and end with their marriage announcement.. 

  • Drittes Deutsches Lesebuch : Nebst Sprachubungen und Uebersetzungs-Aufgaben. = New Standard German Series III. German Third Reader. (New edition) Chicago, Ill.: George Brumder, 1894. A rare copy of a third-grade reader for German-American schools. 

Ev-luth. Synode von Iowa.Fibel. Waverly, Iowa and Chicago, Ill.: Wartburg Publishing House, n.d.; Primer for German-American Lutheran school children. 

Ira, Alfred. Der Missionsplatz : Eine Erzählung aus der kirchlichen Missionstätigkeit im Staate Wisconsin. 2te Auflage. Antigo, Wisconsin: Verlag der Antigo Publishing Company, [1902];  a (semi)-fictional story about a Lutheran mission in Wisconsin by German American author and publisher Albert Friedrich Wilhelm Grimm, who was born 1-18-1864 in Petershagen, Pomerania, and died 1922 in Antigo, Wisconsin. 

Karte und Wegweiser Zur Erinnerung an das 24. Sängerfest vom 21. bis 25. Juli 1886, Milwaukee, Wis; commemorative publication and program on the occasion of the 24thsinging festival held in Milwaukee in 1886. Includes folded map ” with lodgings and venues marked in blue and red.

Fest-Ausgabe und Programm der Elften Staats-Konvention des Deutsch-Amerikanischen Central-Bundes von Pennsylvanien, vom 17. bis 19. Juni und des Fuenften Saengerfestes der Pennsylvanischen Saenger-Vereinigung vom 19. bis 21 Juni. Reading, Pa.: the Bund, 1910; a very rare copy of a commemorative publication on the occasion of the 5thFestival of the Singing Societies of Pennsylvania, 1910. 

Zimmermann G. A. Handbuch der Deutschen Literatur Europa’s und Amerika’s : Ein klassisches Lesebuch für Schule und Haus. Zweiter Theil. Chicago: H. Enderis ; Baker Pratt, 1876; German-language literature in Europe and America, a reader for schools and the home.