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
  • 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 -- 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 -- August 17, 1877
    Wilhelm Vocke

    The appointment of Wilhelm Vocke as member of the Board of Education by Mayor Heath, has become nullified through the absence of ten members of the City Council at that session. Mr. Vocke is a self-made man who, through his great ambition and diligence became one of the well-known German-Americans of Chicago. Born at Minden (Prussia) in the year 1839, he emigrated at the age of seventeen to America. He found work in New York and later in Massachusetts, sometimes as a clerk in a grocery store and sometimes as a factory worker. He not only made a living for himself, but supported his family in Germany.

    He came to Chicago in 1857 and the struggle to make a living began anew. He did not scoff even at the hardest handwork, that of road building, a fact of which he is proud. He became a newsboy in the year 1859 and found time enough to complete his general education with the intention of studying law, which was his heart's desire.

    At the outbreak of the war in 1861 he enlisted in the army and served the country three and a half years, during which time he rose to the rank of a 2colonel. Returning to Chicago he joined (under Brentano) the staff of the Staats-Zeitung and in 1865 became police court reporter. In the year 1867 he was admitted to the bar. Finally in 1869 he started to practice law and soon enjoyed an excellent reputation. But he kept on studying and was considered by the Philosophic Society of Chicago to be one of those members whose lectures are followed with special interest and are always greatly acclaimed. He carried his activities even into the literary field when through his translation into the English he introduced to the American people the German poet Rodenberg.

    Mayor Heath was inspired to the appointment of Mr. Vocke as a member of the School Board by his mode of living and his education, and by the fact that he was as much of an American as he was a German. He was in full accord with the liberally minded views of the Germans, but could also fully satisfy the wishes and requirements of the Americans. Several of the members of the City Council who voted against Mr. Vocke's appointment, are his personal enemies and are low enough in character to spread lies about his attitude toward the School Board's activities.

    3

    But lies are short lived....As a member of the School Board he would have the distinction of being one of the most diligent, best fitted and most honest of men.

    The appointment of Wilhelm Vocke as member of the Board of Education by Mayor Heath, has become nullified through the absence of ten members of the City Council at that ...

    German
    IV, II B 2 d 1, II B 2 a, I A 1 a, II A 2, III D
  • Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- January 10, 1880
    Meeting of the German Section.

    The German Section of the Socialistic Workmen's Union held their regular business meeting, yesterday afternoon at 54 W. Lake Street. About 30 persons were present. With reference tothe amounts collected for deported Socialists, the existing committee has been instructed to communicate with authorized persons in New York and elsewhere as to where the money is meeded most urgently and to act accordingly. A reprimanded Socialist, who had must arrived in Chicago and was in great need, has received $8.00 from the Committee.

    The matter of a library was then discussed. A Committee has been elected, which should collect the books, index them and submit a plan at the next meeting for the formation of a library of Socialistic books accessible to everybody. The financial report read by the treasurer was very favorable. The selection of the officers was as follows:- Agent Gustav Bartels, Secretary: R. Dietzins, Financial Secretary; Kalina, Treasurer; Wm. Medow, auditors, H. Selle, Meritschke and Schmidt.

    The German Section of the Socialistic Workmen's Union held their regular business meeting, yesterday afternoon at 54 W. Lake Street. About 30 persons were present. With reference tothe amounts collected ...

    German
    I E, II B 2 a, III G, II D 10
  • Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- February 21, 1881
    "Deutsche Section-Versammlung" (Meeting of the German Section)

    The meeting yesterday afternoon at 54 West Lake Street, was very well attended, at which Comrade Hanneman acted as Chairman, and Mr. Hartmann as Secretary.

    The report read by the agent, was of a gratifying nature, and givesrise for hope, that the movement is steadily growing.

    The Committee for the Assistance of the "expelled" gave report on the income and expenditures. The library committee, gave a very good report, as to its stand. Approximately 157 bound books, some 50 copy books and 60 Brochures are on hand, at the present time.

    Reinhold Dietzins, has been expelled from the party.

    The meeting yesterday afternoon at 54 West Lake Street, was very well attended, at which Comrade Hanneman acted as Chairman, and Mr. Hartmann as Secretary. The report read by the ...

    German
    I E, II B 2 a, I F 4
  • Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- June 14, 1882
    The Socialists of the Northside

    The Socialists of the Northside held yesterday their agitation meeting in the "Thuringer Halle", Comrade Rosenberg presiding. After reading the minutes, Comrade Rau read an article from the liberal "Kieler Zeitung," referring to the birth of the German Emperor's great grand child and accusing the German newspaper men and the so-called Liberals of dog-like cringing. Comrade Schwab gave some attractive views of the most important facts of last week's political and social happenings, etc.

    Also accepted was the proposal to request the German section of the Northside Socialists to inform us, under what condition the library should be returned, etc.

    For the next evening meeting, Comrade Kempke was authorized with the weekly review and Comrade Michael Schwab to lecture on "The Population Theory of Malthus."

    The Socialists of the Northside held yesterday their agitation meeting in the "Thuringer Halle", Comrade Rosenberg presiding. After reading the minutes, Comrade Rau read an article from the liberal "Kieler ...

    German
    I E, II B 2 g, II B 2 a, III H, IV
  • Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- July 10, 1882
    "The Aurora Turn-Society"

    Mr. Legner, the first speaker of the Aurora Turn-Society, gave a very encouraging report, at last Wednesday's meeting, as to the Society's development during the past half year. The Aurora Turn Society made progress in all of its activities; meetings had been well attended; participation in debates had been very lively, and seventeen new members had been enlisted. The finances of the Society are also in good order.

    As for the library, it was necessary to put in, an additional bookshelf. The library disposes of over 650 books, a number of which are of great value. The Turn School, which is in the hands of August Zapp, has a large number of pupils, who gave, only a short time ago, an exhibition of turn exercises.

    Mr. Legner, the first speaker of the Aurora Turn-Society, gave a very encouraging report, at last Wednesday's meeting, as to the Society's development during the past half year. The Aurora ...

    German
    II B 3, II B 2 a