The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

Read more about this historic project.

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- December 07, 1871
    [The New Chicago Public Library and the Germans]

    That Chicago will get a free public library is now assured. Now it is up to us Germans to take care that a German department be contained in it. Almost a third of the book-reading public is German; because the numerous Irish read none but periodical religious literature, and the masses of Bohemians and other national fragments also will make little use of the benefits of a free public library, so that one may estimate, it will by used by two-thirds Anglo Americans and one-third Germans.

    Ex- Governor Korner of Illinois, Secretary of State, Rummel; Consul Claussenius, Ex-Consul Vergho, Mayor Medill, eminent rabbis, ministers, merchants, and manufacturers, should sign an appeal for it. From Rabbi Chronik we receive the following, which may serve as a pattern: (There follows a proclamation in the usual flowery, and superlative style of Rabbi Chronik.) "The cause of the spirit of our Germans cannot but be a national cause at the same time....... Only when nourished on the spiritual mother breast of the mother country, can the settler in a foreign zone remain a faithful offspring of his family stock.

    "Our patriotic entreaty goes to all patriotic Germans, especially the German publishing companies and book-stores in America and Europe. We need German books for the erudite and the common readers, especially: 1. Cultural history and religious history, and travel books; 2. Popular philosophy, natural science 2and economics; 3. The classics, both of the Germans and in translation, those of the Greeks and Romans, as well as dramas and novels of the better type."

    We must remember (says the Staats Zeitung in conclusion) that under present conditions it is impossible to secure funds from private sources to create even a small German library with a reading room for free use by the public, and that we therefore must fear an intellectual proletariat that will later present us with problems beyond our strength (Welches uns spater uber den Kopf wachsenmuss).

    That Chicago will get a free public library is now assured. Now it is up to us Germans to take care that a German department be contained in it. Almost ...

    German
    II B 2 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- February 01, 1872
    The German Library Association.

    At the start of the meeting, the secretary, Mr. Carl Proebstring, being absent, Mr. Richard Michaelis was elected temporary secretary. Then the election of a board was undertaken. Mr. Georg Schneider was elected president with fourteen votes, against nine for Claussemius, three for Rosenthal. For vice president Claussemius received nineteen votes, Rosenthal three, Hesing and Grunhut, one each. Mr. Hermann Eschenburg became treasurer, and Justice of the Peace Max Eberhardt, librarian. Mr. Proebstring and Mr. Julius Rosenthal were elected corresponding secretaries.

    2

    The President, Mr. Georg Schneider, gave a short address about the death of Mr. T. G. Gindele. He said, "The Germans of Cook County and the movement for the creation of a German public library have suffered a grievous loss. He has left our association a part of his valuable collection of books.

    "I knew Mr. Gindele since 1851. He was one of the few, who had the courage to start the anti-Slavery Movement. On January 29, 1854, the first meeting against Slavery took place, here in Chicago. It was a German meeting against the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Mr. Gindele belonged to the resolutions committee. The Germans in Chicago were the originators of the political agitation against Slavery."

    At the start of the meeting, the secretary, Mr. Carl Proebstring, being absent, Mr. Richard Michaelis was elected temporary secretary. Then the election of a board was undertaken. Mr. Georg ...

    German
    II B 2 a, II B 2 d 3, III F, IV
  • Skandinaven -- March 20, 1872
    [Protest Naming of Pastors]

    With all due respect for Norwegian pastors and in behalf of my countrymen, I object emphatically against having any pastor appointed as director for any library. Poor Mayor Medill, if you do appoint ministers for such jobs, I am afraid the church will excommunicate you. Don't send the minister in the fight for the free library.

    With all due respect for Norwegian pastors and in behalf of my countrymen, I object emphatically against having any pastor appointed as director for any library. Poor Mayor Medill, if ...

    Norwegian
    II B 2 a, III C
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 01, 1872
    The Public Library. Editorial.

    It is much to be regretted that the hope of getting German books for the Public Library has been greatly darkened due to the sterile quarrel between the German Library Association and Messrs. Dyrenfurth and Kihlholz. These two gentlemen insist on the plan to found a special German library, while the Library Association would like to put into the Public Library so strong a German department, that a special library which the Germans would have to maintain alone, would become superfluous. The point at issue is similar to the one between special German schools and the introduction of German instruction in the public schools. Here in Chicago, where the different nationalities are less antagonistic to each other than perhaps in any other American city, public opinion among the Germans has long since decided for the latter. Those do us no favor who try to single out the Germans as an isolated clique from the totality of communal life.

    2

    The founding of a special German library would paralyze the endeavors of the German directors of the Public Library to see German literature worthily represented in it, while on the other hand, it is a bet of 100 to 1 that the German library never would have more than a wretched existence.

    Every German taxpayer in the city must contribute anyway, in the form of taxes, to the maintenance of the Public Library. How many would want to tax themselves besides, voluntarily, for a German library? We point to the poor experience that was shown with the German house......

    It is much to be regretted that the hope of getting German books for the Public Library has been greatly darkened due to the sterile quarrel between the German Library ...

    German
    II B 2 a, II B 2 d 3, I C
  • Chicago Times -- July 07, 1872
    The Germans Anxious to Unite with the Free Library

    A. Dykrenfurth and B. Kihlholz, members of the German library of this city, sent in a communication tendering to the free library their German books, on condition that the library should be kept open on Sunday, and that each year there should be an outlay for German books proportionate to the amount of taxes paid by German citizens.

    The decided disposition of the directors was that it was impracticable to accept and gifts under such serious conditions.

    The communication was, however, referred to the committee on library.

    A. Dykrenfurth and B. Kihlholz, members of the German library of this city, sent in a communication tendering to the free library their German books, on condition that the library ...

    German
    II B 2 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- October 08, 1873
    The Dania Club

    The Dania Club of this city is the largest Scandinavian club in America. It was founded in 1862 and incorporated in 1865. Its purpose is the promotion of the mental and material well-being of its members. The Club now has four hundred members, all Danes, although Swedes and Norwegians are admitted as passive member without the right to vote. The Dania has a sick benefit fund to which each member contributes six dollars annually. If he is sick he receives twelve dollars a week. This sick benefit fund, due to wise administration, is in the best financial condition. In case of the death of a member, the Club pays the funeral expenses and the widow receives two hundred dollars. The assets of the Club consist of $3,000 in cash, the Club building, and a priceless library. In the social world the Club is famous for its masquerades. It has its own choir with thirty singers, and a debating club where political and other questions are debated twice a week. Here the temperance question was discussed, and decided according to a liberal point of view. Here preparations were made for the Danish mass meeting in the Aurora Turner Hall, where the Danish citizens joined unanimously in our movement.

    The Dania Club of this city is the largest Scandinavian club in America. It was founded in 1862 and incorporated in 1865. Its purpose is the promotion of the mental ...

    Danish
    III B 2, II B 2 a, II B 2 g, II B 1 a, II D 1, I B 1, I C
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- November 18, 1873
    The Demand for Foreign Language Books in the Public Library

    The board of directors of the public library, in order to know which books and magazines are mostly read, has checked the number of times each one of them has been taken out. The results brought to light are most interesting.

    It appears that the Germans are faithful visitors of the library and German reading material was as much in demand as English reading material, if one takes into consideration the much greater number of English speaking people. During one month, the Kolniscke Zeitung was requested fifty-two times the Wiener N. Fr. Presse, fifty-one times, the London Times 152 times, Harpers' Weekly 219 times, and the Gartenlanbe 85 times.

    In view of their small number, the French go to the library frequently. The Revue Ves Veux Mondes was requested thirty times and the Illustration twenty-eight times.

    The Scandinavians also were very frequent visitors of the library. If French magazines are read also by people of other nationalities, the same cannot be said very often of Scandinavian literature. Many Scandinavian magazines are 2read from nineteen to thirty-four times a month. The number of Scandinavian magazines at the library is very limited and we believe that the Board of Directors would gladly get more, if good ones were recommended by competent persons.

    The board of directors of the public library, in order to know which books and magazines are mostly read, has checked the number of times each one of them has ...

    German
    II B 2 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- July 31, 1874
    Czech Books.

    At the beginning of this year one of the German members of the library board of directors wrote to Mr. Vojta Naprstek, eminent leader of the Czech national party in Prague, and asked him for a list of books in the Czech language most suited for the public library here. The attention of Mr. Naprstek was called to the fact that we intended to make our library a cosmopolitan one, containing especially the best literary works of the nationalities represented in Chicago. This was the first time that a public library in American was attempting to acquire Czech literature and it was to be hoped that the leader of the Czech national party would take part in it.

    The letter remained unanswered - as well as a second one mailed three months later to the same address and the deduction was justified that even such eminent Czech leaders as Mr. Naprstek were indifferent to the mental needs of their compatriots in this country.

    2

    This deduction has lately been refuted through the arrival of a box of Czech books, which are stamped with the words, "Vojta Naprstek Napamatku" or "Americk Klub." As this consignment was not accompanied by any written message, we are unable to say if it is the result of a collection or the gift of an individual. Many of the books are well bound and over nine tenths of them have been published since 1860, thus no old junk.

    At the beginning of this year one of the German members of the library board of directors wrote to Mr. Vojta Naprstek, eminent leader of the Czech national party in ...

    Bohemian
    II B 2 a, III H
  • Hejmdal -- March 13, 1875
    [Scandinavian Books]

    The Public Library of Chicago received seven hundred thirty books by Scandinavian authors.

    Mr. Fritz Fransen purchased the books for the small sum of seven hundred sixty dollars. All books are in an excellent condition.

    The Public Library of Chicago received seven hundred thirty books by Scandinavian authors. Mr. Fritz Fransen purchased the books for the small sum of seven hundred sixty dollars. All books ...

    Danish
    II B 2 a
  • Hejmdal -- March 13, 1875
    [Scandinavian Books]

    The Public Library of Chicago received seven hundred thirty books by Scandinavian authors.

    Mr. Fritz Fransen purchased the books for the small sum of seven hundred sixty dollars. All books are in an excellent condition.

    The Public Library of Chicago received seven hundred thirty books by Scandinavian authors. Mr. Fritz Fransen purchased the books for the small sum of seven hundred sixty dollars. All books ...

    Danish
    II B 2 a