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Germania Männerchor records


Held at: German Society of Pennsylvania: Joseph P. Horner Memorial Library [Contact Us]611 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19123

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the German Society of Pennsylvania: Joseph P. Horner Memorial Library. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Germania Männerchor, founded on 21st Feburary 1853, is one of the oldest German-American singing societies in Philadelphia. Their first hall was located at 457 North 3rd Street. During the Civil War, the society lost this location and their activity dwindled. Following the war, they participated in a Sängerfest from July 13th to 18th, 1867, and during that same year, the Germania Männerchor absorbed the Freundschaft Männerchor. Ninteenth century directors for the society include, in chronological order (and documented by last name only): Reiter, Dickel, Brenner, Gastel, Hartmann, Phil, Yost, and Roemermann, the latter director having developed a mixed chorus by combining singers from the men’s society and ladies’ society (which existed since the founding of the society as a group but not a chorus) towards the end of the nineteenth century. In 1893, the society was headquartered at 321 Fairmount Avenue, and then from 1904 through at least 1952, was located in the Lawndale neighborhood of Philadelphia. An official Ladies’ Auxiliary was organized on February 15th, 1939, and until at least as late as 1952, the society held yearly concerts.

The Germania Männerchor of Philadelphia is one of the oldest German-American singing societies (founded on February 21,1853). This collection comprises meeting minutes, a cashbook, and ephemera including programs, a photograph, and audio recordings of the Germania Männerchor on a vinyl record, with materials spanning from the year 1877 to circa 1975.

The collection is organized as follows: Series I is comprised of records and includes a volume of minutes and accounts, dated April 1877 to June 1887, as well as two cashbooks, dated May 1888 to July 1914. Series II is comprised of ephemera and includes concert programs, a photograph of the members of the Germania Männerchor circa 1938, and audio recordings of the 75th anniversary concert on a vinyl record.

This collection was assembled by staff from various donations.

German Society of Pennsylvania: Joseph P. Horner Memorial Library
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Jehnna Lewis
Finding Aid Date
The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, as part of the German Society of Pennsylvania's 2020 Historical and Archival Records Care Grant.
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the German Society of Pennsylvania with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.

Collection Inventory

Minute book and accounts. Handwritten minutes of meetings of the Germania Männerchor (Maennerchor) in Philadelphia, Pa., from 10 April 1877 to 7 June 1887, including financial accounts, and quarterly or half-yearly financial reports (Rechnungsbericht), in a ledger book. The minutes in the book proper begin with the meeting of 12 June 1877; the minutes for 10 April to 5 June 1877 are laid in. The financial reports are generally tipped in, as is one letter (22 October 1883), from Otto Winnig, thanking the society for its participation at the funeral of his father, August Winnig, who had been a member for only a short time. Some lists of members contributing dues during specified periods are included (11 September 1877; 29 October 1878). New members are usually listed with their addresses. Names of secretaries recording minutes include: Max Maertens, Hans Witt, Otto Snyder, Carl Helmrich, and Charles Winkler, 1877-1887.
Box 1 Volume 1
Items laid in minute book and accounts, fragile. Handwritten items Include meeting minutes from 10 April 1877 (recorded by M. Schaefer) and 8 May 1877 (recorded by Fred. Seitenzahl), and a financial account dated 10 October 1886, 1877-1886.
Box 1 Folder 1
Cashbooks. 2 vols. Handwritten entries dating from 15 May 1888 to 7 July 1914, including membership due payments and payment for events such as luncheons. Secretaries writing the records include H. Ohlig, Carl Krautter, Andrew Schroth, and Emil Zeise, 1888-1914.
Box 1 Volume 2 + 3

Business card. Found laid in cashbook (1888-1914). Some calculations on back side, c1910.
Box 1 Folder 1
Concert program for the 85th Stiftungsfest, 17 April 1937. Includes program, advertisements, and song lyrics. Some advertisements have been cut out. 12 leaves, 1937.
Box 1 Folder 2
Photograph of the Germania Männerchor circa 1938. In original folder, includes a handwritten (blue ink) map of the names of those pictured, c1938.
Box 1 Folder 3
Concert program for the 90th Anniversary (men's chorus) and 3rd Anniversary of the Ladies Auxiliary, 2 May 1942. Includes list of directors and committee members, program, advertisements, and song lyrics. Some advertisements have been cut out. 13 leaves, 1942.
Box 1 Folder 4
Concert program for the 100th anniversary (men's chorus) and 13th anniversary (Ladies' auxiliary), 19 April 1952. Includes lists of officers and directors, program, advertisements, photo of the Ladies' Auxiliary, photo of the Männerchor, song lyrics, and a history of the society in both German and English. Some advertisements have been cut out. 28 leaves, 1952.
Box 1 Folder 5
Vinyl record. Red vinyl record with paper sleeve and cardboard box with pasted on title image. Recording of the 75th Anniversary concert, with conductor Paul A. Guesser and accompanist Roland Bonasch. Side 1 includes a recording of the Frauenchor and guest soprano Virginia D'Ambrosio. Side 2 includes a recording of the Männerchor and D'Ambrosio. Date unknown, but the concert likely took place in 1927 and was later re-recorded onto the vinyl format, c1975, 1927 (re-recorded c1975).
Box 1 Folder 6

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