Mobile Lifeworlds in German-American Letters
Letters are an irreplaceable and rare primary source for understanding the experiences of immigrants. Recognizing this fact, researchers in Germany have spent decades gathering letters sent from the United States that were in private hands to shed light on the experiences of immigrants in the years after their arrival. New and innovative approaches to the history of migration, however, recognize that it can be just as valuable to understand how migration shaped the experiences of those who remained behind as it is to study the experiences of those who crossed the Atlantic.
Traveling Texts in German-American Newspapers
German-American newspapers flourished during the era of 19th-century transatlantic mass migration to the United States. Even though publication locations were far off and ranging from urban to rural areas, information was shared by the common American journalistic practice of reprinting. Editors selected, modified, and reprinted material – from hard news about the Franco-Prussian War to advertisements of medical products for curing “female weakness” to nationalist poems about the Rhine – borrowed from other venues. “Traveling Texts in German-American Newspapers” is a collection of diverse reprinted texts brought together to elucidate the extent of nineteenth-century “copy and paste” information sharing.
Writing Across Borders
"Writing Across Borders" focuses on diaries and other forms of ego-documents. These sources show how migrants reflected on their transit and chronicle shifting perspectives during their journey from one continent to the other. The ego-documents unveil the networks, practices and knowledge needed to cope with often vastly changing environments.
COESO Blog Post on "Expanding Migrant Knowledge"
Project staff Daniel Burckhardt and Jana Keck describe our new project "Writing Across Borders," a component of the COESO project to develop and sustain citizen science research in the social sciences and humanities.
News: Citizen Scholars Going Above and Beyond
Sometimes, the citizen scholars who work on our collections conduct their own research to shed further light on the people and places mentioned in the letters they are studying. Two members of our transcription group from Saarland, Eva Tietjen and Regina Kunz, embarked on this path to learn more about the family networks of immigrants Charlotte Fischer von Höfeln and Eugen Klee. We asked them to discuss their motivations as well as the results of their research.