This online archive was developed to support German Iowa and the Global Midwest, a public humanities project at the University of Iowa. It brings together source material on German immigration to Iowa from the State Historical Society of Iowa, the Iowa Women’s Archives, Special Collections at the University of Iowa, the Davenport German American Heritage Center, and additional collections throughout the state.

We hope that the materials presented here will be of interest to researchers and the general public alike. Users can access all images and texts in the collections by using the Browse feature in the menu bar above. It is possible to conduct a keyword search of all items or to browse materials by Iowa county, by subject tag, or by collection.

A large portion of source material concerning German immigration to the state is written, not surprisingly, in German. Until the mid-20th century, print sources, such as the state’s German newspapers, were published in blackletter typeface (Fraktur), while handwritten documents were written in Kurrent or Sütterlin script, which is no longer in use and now often illegible even for native speakers of German. “Sources in German” focuses on these materials, not only making the original sources available in digital form, but also occasionally providing transliterations and translations of select items to make them more accessible to readers of English and modern German. We will continue to add transliterations and translations of German source material as we are able.

University of Iowa students researched many of the items here in courses on campus. We would also like to acknowledge the following individuals for their help in designing this website and processing materials.

  • Nicole White, Digital Scholarship and Publishing Studio, University of Iowa Libraries
  • Scott Sulzener, Department of History, University of Iowa
  • Laurel Sanders, Department of History, University of Iowa
  • Prof. Heike Bungert, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, and her students
  • Maren Tölking, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
  • Sonja Thiele

This site is powered by the Omeka open-source web publishing platform and is currently maintained by Prof. Glenn Ehrstine, Department of German, University of Iowa (glenn-ehrstine@uiowa.edu).