German Traces NYC

Hundreds of thousands of German immigrants called New York City home in the mid- to late-nineteenth century.  Most congregated in “Kleindeutschlands” – Little Germanys – on Manhattan Island as well as in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Though New York City has grown and changed in many ways over the past century, the history and culture of New York was still shaped greatly by Germans.

An innovative new project is taking place through the Goethe Institute and the Pratt Institute SILS to illuminate this immigrant history. This project, called German Traces, is an application uses archival documents, photographs, and multimedia combined with Google Maps. You can look at historic German-American landmarks in New York City using either your mobile phone or computer.

The German Traces website is available here.

The German Traces website also recommended a short list of print resources on German-Americans here. Here are some print resources at UIUC’s Library (and web resources, too):

The WPA guide to New York City : the Federal Writers’ Project guide to 1930s New York (book from the catalog)

King’s handbook of New York city; an outline history and description of the American metropolis (book from the catalog)

Little Germany : ethnicity, religion, and class in New York City, 1845-80 (book from the catalog)

-The Neighborhood preservation center has a search function for looking up landmarks in NYC; it is available here.

-Germany in NYC, a website maintained by the German-American Community Project, maintains a calendar of German cultural events and services in the metro area here.

-General information about German-American history is available through the U.S. embassy’s website here.


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