This collection includes over 250 images from the holdings of Rare Books and Manuscripts in the Special Collections Library. The term "Fraktur" (the word is both singular and plural) originally described a type of German printing similar to old English Gothic. The term today refers to drawings on paper made with pen, ink, and watercolor, using fancy penmanship and illustrations such as birds, hearts, flowers, and angels. They were commonly used in the 18th and 19th centuries to document births and baptisms, marriages, and house blessings, among other occasions. The collection also includes broadsides (sheets of paper printed on one side only, such as commentaries on religious texts and political events) and German-language newspapers. These documents provide us with insight into the everyday life of German immigrants and show the process of acculturation of German settlers to their new environment.
Note: The broadsides shown above are from Penn State's German Broadsides and Fraktur collection.