We’re creating a database of letters sent to immigrants in the United States from their relatives in the German-speaking lands of Europe and we need your help with contributing, transcribing, and digitizing letters! We hope you can join our community of citizen scholars and help us in one or more of these ways:
Letters were one of the most important ways for families who remained behind in Europe to share news from home and stories of everyday life. Between 1880 and 1910, for example, more than 100 million letters were sent from Germany to the United States. The letters that survive are unique resources for academic scholars, genealogical researchers, and history buffs interested in learning more about everyday life, family relationships, and how “ordinary” people reacted to extraordinary events like war and political upheaval.
To make these resources available to the largest possible audience, we are digitizing letters that are now in private hands and making them available on this website. We’re also transcribing and translating these letters, as well as letters from Germany that are currently held by libraries and other archival institutions.
You can upload digital images of your letters through our contribution form. Just follow this link to learn more.
Carl-Henry Geschwind, whose great-great-grandfather immigrated to Virginia in the mid-nineteenth century, shares his family’s story and their letters in our video “Sharing Family Letters: The Geschwind Family Story.”
We’re partnering with archives and libraries to digitize and transcribe their materials.
We use Scripto, a tool that's been widely adapted by museums and libraries, to enable website visitors to help us by transcribing letters.
To create an account to transcribe letters (or log in), click here.
Wenn Sie ein Konto erstellen möchten Briefe transkribieren, bitte hier klicken.
We welcome opportunities to collaborate with genealogical societies, heritage associations, cultural groups and other organizations interested in German-American history and culture. If you would like to organize an event that includes an opportunity for individuals to digitize their relevant historical letters, or to discuss other potential partnerships, please contact us at email@example.com.