United Singers of Philadelphia records

Collection 3524

(0.4 Linear feet ;1 box; 1 oversized photograph)

Summary Information

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
United Singers of Philadelphia records
Date [inclusive]
0.4 Linear feet ;1 box; 1 oversized photograph
Finding aid prepared by Sarah Newhouse
This collection was processed during the Digital Center for Americana Project Phase II, which was funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.
Graphic materials [Drawer]
Mixed materials [Box]
The United Singers of Philadelphia was an umbrella organization that represented approximately forty area singing groups, the majority of which were comprised of German immigrants. This collection dates from 1887-1932, although the bulk of the material is from 1905-1916. It includes a scrapbook compiled by the United Singers of Philadelphia, a German songbook, and a panoramic group photograph. The scrapbook contains detailed press coverage of German-American singers, musicians, and choirs, and political events in Philadelphia in the years before and during World War I. Contents include concert programs and reviews as well as clippings describing related (and often overlapping) political meetings and rallies.

Preferred Citation note

Cite as: [Indicate cited item or series here], United Singers of Philadelphia records (Collection 3524), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

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Scope and Contents note

The United Singers of Philadelphia records are composed of a scrapbook, a songbook, and a panoramic group portrait photograph.

The scrapbook is mostly clippings from German language newspapers and programs from vocal and musical performances, although there is a small amount of English material. The clippings range in date from 1887 to 1929, although the bulk of the material is from 1905-1916. Topics covered by the clippings include: Philadelphia area performances by German singers and groups, Saengerfest (an annual German song and music festival), celebrations of German Day, meetings of the American Neutrality League, and German Americans rallying both for and against America’s entry into the war on the side of the Allies. Unfortunately, the scrapbook ends in 1916, before the US entered the war and large-scale persecution of German Americans began.

The songbook, Deutsche Liederperlen dates from 1929 and includes the lyrics to thirty-one songs. One song is in English, the rest are in German.

The panoramic photograph of members of the United Singers of Philadelphia was taken on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1932. This photograph was taken with a Cirkut panoramic camera.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 The Historical Society of Pennsylvania July 2011

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

At the Historical Society of Pennsylvania:

Cannstatter Volksfest-Verein of Philadelphia records (Collection MSS 128)

National Carl Schurz Association collection on Carl Schurz (Collection MSS079) National Carl Schurz Association. Records, 1709-1995 (MSS 167)

Philadelphia Gazette Publishing Company records (Collection 3469)

Volksverein of Philadelphia records (Collection 3530)

At other institutions:

"The United Singers of Philadelphia 75th anniversary, Wednesday, October 24th, 1956 : a historical sketch" (1956) and "The United Singers of Philadelphia," (ca. 1912) at the German Society of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, Pa.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Scrapbooks.


  • German Americans--Cultural assimilation--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
  • German Americans--History--20th century
  • German Americans--Music.
  • German Americans--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--Ethnic identity
  • German Americans--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--Newspapers

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