German-American Collections

The German-American Collections include the records of national and local social, cultural, economic, and athletic organizations started by German immigrants. Particularly significant are the national and local records of the American Turners, a social organization of German origin whose is physical fitness, sports, and the propagation of German culture

The collections listed are only a portion of the materials held by the Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, and additional collections are added on a continuing basis. Catalog-level information about each of the collections can also be found in IUCAT, Indiana University Libraries' online catalog. For a complete listing of collections, contact Special Collections and Archives through Ask an Archivist.

Updated Jan 25, 2016 by drayman

Finding Aids

Records including constitutions and bylaws, anniversary publications, brief histories, newspaper clippings, and photographs from approximately 162 Turner societies in the United States.

The records relating to the Turners' national office and its activities and programs.

Womens organization, founded by the Socialer Turnverein (Social Athletic Club) in 1876 as the Indianapolis Turn-Schwestern Verein, to support the activities of the Turnverein, and especially to promote and oversee the girls athletic classes, and to help enlarge and preserve the Turner library.

The records relating to the American Turners, the Socialer Turnverein of Indianapolis, the Athenaeum Turners, the Women's Auxiliary of the Athenaeum Turners, the Socialer Turnverein Stock Association of Indianapolis, Das Deutsche Haus, the Athenaeum, related organizations.

The records of an organization formed in the late nineteenth century by the various cultural, social, and fraternal organizations of Indianapolis German-American community dedicated to preserving the German culture in Indianapolis.

Minutes of a mutual benefit society whose mission is to provide assistance to its members in times of need.

Records of a mutual benefit society who drew their membership from a specific segment of the German community 3 Indianapolis area greenhouses and outside gardeners.

Records of an Indianapolis all male chorus formed in 1855 by a group of German immigrants that played a significant role in the cultural development of the city.

Records of an Indianapolis society which endorsed the political, cultural, and athletic Turner societies which had existed in Germany.

Personal and business papers of an Indianapolis citizen deeply involved in the city's banking, business, and cultural activities including various Masonic groups, the Indianapolis Academy of Music, the Indianapolis Socialer Turnverein, the Indianapolis Maennerchor, and the Indianapolis Target Shooting Association.

Papers of an Indianapolis-born artist who gained national prominence as a member of the "Hoosier Group," a loose association of Indiana artists that included T. C. Steele, J. Ottis Adams, and William Forsyth. His work most clearly showed the influence of Impressionism.

Records of a mutual benefits society which served German immigrants from Prussia by providing assistance in time of illness.