Skip to content
Penn State University Libraries

Pennsylvania German Broadsides and Fraktur


Questions about
our digital collections?



Sandra Stelts
Curator, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Special Collections Library
The Pennsylvania State University
104 Paterno Library
University Park, PA 16802-1808
Phone: (814) 865-1793
Fax: (814) 863-5318

Preservation, digitization, and collections care:

Digitization and Preservation Department
University Libraries
The Pennsylvania State University
402 Pattee Library
University Park, PA 16802-1808
Phone: (814) 863-8331
Fax: (814) 865-8769


Pennsylvania German Broadsides and Fraktur

Search For:

Choose a relationship between search terms:   



Entire Collection

Please enter your alt text.


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.