Principal editor: Hermann Wellenreuther, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Collaborator: Penn State University Libraries and Penn State U Press
The “German-Language Broadsides in North America, 1730-1830” project is composed of two components. One is an online bibliography that represents a significant piece of joint scholarly publishing between the University Libraries and the Penn State University Press. The other is a monograph by Hermann Wellenreuther, titled Citizens in a Strange Land: A Study of German-American Broadsides and Their Meaning for Germans in North America, 1730-1830. The bibliography was compiled by Wellenreuther and his colleagues Reimer Eck and Anne von Kamp. It is intended to be an evolving, searchable resource. By making bibliographic descriptions of German-American broadsides from this era more widely available via Web-based access, the project’s coordinators hope researchers can contribute additional information about them, perhaps enhancing the accuracy of the existing records or adding to the number of images referenced by them.
The online bibliography shows a brief record for every broadside printed (or partially printed) in German, from 1730 to 1830, in what is recognized today as the United States. Unlike a print bibliography, the online version can display images for each record. Researchers should find the broadsides recorded here rich in subject areas such as folklore, religion, hymnology, German language, anthropology, and art. The broadsides expand on what is known about German settlers in the Middle Atlantic region. As Wellenreuther notes, “They suggest settlers were consciously developing their own German-language world — in religious as well as political and economic terms — within a larger English-language culture. They strongly indicate continuous, vivid ties between North America and the key regions from which the Germans came, particularly Württemberg and Baden. They supply material for the rewriting of radical pietistic thought, on the one hand, and for a description of the settlers’ remarkable aloofness from established churches like Lutheranism or the Reformed church on the other.”