German letters recently donated to the Library’s Special Collections as an accrual to the Rieder and Anthes family archives have now been transcribed and translated and are available for researchers.
The Waterloo Regional Heritage Foundation and the Waterloo Centre for German Studies jointly funded the cost of transcribing and translating all 28 letters in the collection.
The letters were written from Carrick and Port Elgin, Ontario to family members in Baden and New Hamburg in Waterloo County during the years of 1867 to 1882. They were found in the donation still tied with decorative ribbons, leading Special Collections staff to assume that they had probably not been looked at for over a century.
These letters, along with those of the Breithaupt collection, are among the earliest documents of local German families. They offer valuable insight into the area’s local and urban history and German-Canadian heritage.
To help researchers, the letters' transcriptions have been given titles to describe their contents. Titles include:
“Take the money straight to Breithaupt…”
“Without a home”
“A long-awaited letter”
“Leaving a child behind”
“A new assignment”
The letters were transcribed by Dr. Susan Thorne from Kingston, Ontario who has a special skill in reading German handwriting from the 17th century to the present.
The Library thanks the Waterloo Regional Heritage Foundation and the Waterloo Centre for German Studies for their support in this project.
For more information, contact:
Department Head, Special Collections