Donald G. Tritt Library and Archives

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No Records. No history.

We know that historically valuable records are destroyed every day including hand-written meeting notes, correspondence, and day-to-day records of individuals, groups and organizations.  Please, don't throw those manuscripts or club records and photos away. They just might be the only remaining records that serve as the memory of an organization. Great or small, these items represent events in the life of a Swiss organization perhaps no longer in existence or the lives of its individual members. 

What You Can Do

Consult with us so that together we can determine the future research value of manuscript and archival materials in your possession. You can also help us identify other collections that should be preserved.  Before you toss contact the Swiss Center at  info@theswisscenter.org  or call 608-527-6565 to discuss options 

Archival records worth saving

Announcements, annual reports, articles of incorporation, artifacts and souvenirs, broadsides brochures, bylaws, calendars and timelines, charters, constitutions, correspondence (especially issue-related/decision-making), directives, fliers, goals and objectives, handbooks, histories, leaflets, announcements, ledgers, legal documents, manuals, minutes of meetings, organizational charts, photographs, planning documents, policy and procedure manuals, position papers, posters, press releases and publicity, property documents, publications, scrapbooks, slides, special event invitations, speeches, summary personnel documents, summary membership documents, summary financial statements, testimony, videotapes.

The following types of records do not typically merit permanent retention in an archives:
Routine bills (i.e., utility bills), employee time sheets, payroll records, duplicate material, blank forms and unused printed materials.

 

Archival Holdings

Finding Aids

A finding aid to an individual collection includes a detailed description of the collection, explains how it is organized, and outlines its contents, listing locations within a collection where relevant materials may be found.  


The collections are non-circulating, and can only be used at the Swiss Center of North America. Not all of our holdings are collections with finding aids.


Archival holdings can be accessed by calling or writing in advance with a minimum one-week notice. We will contact you to schedule an appointment to use the archival material.  


Not all materials may be available at all times. Archival materials can only be used within the Swiss Center.  


Patrons can also request research to be done by staff; research fee is $25 per hour.

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HELVETIA SINGERS / SWISS SINGERS, TOLEDO, OHIO

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Handwritten in German (1923-1932) and English (1923-1937), the Protokoll-Buch is from January 16, 1923 to September 30, 1937.  References to performances by the Helvetia Männerchor or Maennerchor, Helvetia Damenchor, and Helvetia Gemischterchor appear in the Protokoll-Buch.  

Protokoll of the Nord Amerikanischen Gruetli Bundes

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Handwritten in German and Fraktur, the Protokoll records the constitution, by-laws, and minutes, 1865-1870, of the Nord Amerikanischen Gruetli Bundes, a national league of Swiss immigrant societies, founded in 1865 for benevolent or mutual aid purposes. Because of the age and fragility of the original Protokoll of the Nord  Amerikanischen Gruetli Bundes, a preservation photocopy is available for research use. 

NORTH AMERICAN SWISS SINGING ALLIANCE Minutes

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Minute book and other reports and materials, from an organization formed to organize and help support choruses and choirs dedicated to preserving and performing Swiss folk songs in competitions. The organization was founded in 1896 as the Amerikanischer Schweizer Saenger Bund (Swiss American Singing Alliance) by delegates from Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, and Sandusky, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Swiss singing organizations.    

SWISS GYMNASTIC CLUB SAN FRANCISCO

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Partial records of a gymnastics and Swiss-style wrestling club formed on March 21, 1914 as the Schweizer Turn Verein or Turnverein. Records were written in German or Swiss German until January 3, 1938, when English was adopted, and primarily date from 1914-1968.

1956 Swiss National Gymnastic Team

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Swiss Olympic Gymnastics Team Tour Programs, Mayoral Proclamation, from 1956 in San Francisco, California. The exhibition was sponsored by the Swiss-American Gymnastic Association and by the Gymnastic Club of San Francisco.

SCHWEIZER TURN VEREIN CLEVELAND

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Papers, programs, photographs, periodicals, and awards of the Schweizer Turn Verein Cleveland. This includes a nearly complete series of the “The Swiss American” newsletter from 1974-1990. 

Madison Schweizerverein

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Records and photographs of the Schweizerverein of Madison Wisconsin, a chapter of the New Helvetic Society. The club was organized on December 11, 1937 at the home of University of Wisconsin philologist and lexicographer Professor Alfred Senn (1899-1978).  

Die Grutlianer

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A unique and rare example from the Tritt Library and Archives is “Die Grutlianer”. This early Swiss American newspaper was published by the Nord Amerikanischen Gruetli-Bundes. The only other known U.S. copies of this newspaper are held by the New York Public Library. The Swiss Center holds more editions.

The Meier Collection

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Old Dominion University Professors Heinz and Regula Meier donated their extensive holdings written in the four official languages of Switzerland, including nearly 1,000 items documenting the Swiss abroad (Swiss diaspora), culture, arts, history, and government. Dr. Heinz Meier, now deceased, was considered the expert on Swiss American relations. 

Helvetiorum Respublica

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Our oldest rare book is an original 1627 printing of "Helvetiorum Respublica". This important 17th century treatise, written by renowned Swiss historian Josias Simmler and Daniel L'Ermite. Simmler (1530-1576) is considered among the finest early chroniclers of the country of Switzerland. This work describes the geography, government, history and travel points in Switzerland. Written in Latin, the book was printed in Leiden, The Netherlands, by the legendary Elzevir (also Elsevier) press which was well known for its pocket-sized editions of the classics and historical works.

Josef Rast School Book

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This small collection is comprised entirely of a single handwritten volume, 1944-1945, of school essays, written work, assignments, math problems and designs of Swiss secondary school student Josef Rast (1931-1995), with a copy of Rast’s obituary. The volume presents a unique look at the education of a young student in Switzerland during the time that much of Europe was engaged in World War II.  

Briefe von Schweizer Auswanderern

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This collection consists of a lovely, handmade artistic portfolio created by the donor and entitled “Briefe von Schweizer Auswanderern” or “Letters of Swiss Emigrants,” subtitled “Geschrieben in Amerika von der Fam. Tester und den Gebrüdern Jehli,” or “Written in America by the Tester Fam. [Family] and Jehli brothers.”   

Swiss Ethnic Music

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This book has 15 songs (with both lyrics and music) and poems, all with German and English lyrics and all dated as “traditional” or from the 19th century. It includes information on Swiss émigré poetry and music, traditional Swiss music, Mennonite poetry, sacred music from Swiss melodies, and patriotic songs, all with a focus on Ohio and Swiss-Ohioans.  

Tschudy Family Tree Chart

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This collection consists of one large volume entitled “Von Tchůdi aůs Glarůs” with information about the Tschudi family presented on thick vellum or parchment. Later, the large chart was cut into fifteen smaller but still sizable pieces which were then folded and bound into a large book.

DR. ROBERT-LOUIS GASSER

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Dr. Karen Gasser donated papers of her father, Dr. Robert-Louis Gasser, former honorary Swiss consul for Colorado and Wyoming, documenting the Swiss American Friendship Society and other Swiss clubs and organizations; the Bethlehem Fathers, associated with the Switzerland-based Roman Catholic Bethlehem Mission Immensee; and Bruder Klaus, the popular name of St. Nicholas von Flue, the patron saint of Switzerland, as well as photographs and reproductions of original artwork of artist Albert Christen.   

MARIA CATHERINA (“TINA”) GUETG

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A collection of a Swiss native who worked as a nurse in hospitals in Switzerland and with the Red Cross in a refugee camp in Leipzig, Germany following World War II, prior to moving to the United States. In the U.S., Mrs. Guetg worked in hospitals and clinics in New York City and Rochester, Minnesota prior to marrying and settling in San Juan, Puerto. The video interview with Mrs.Guetg  was conducted on February 15, 2017 by Beth Zurbuchen, President of the Swiss Center of North America  in San Juan, Puerto Rico.   

Erika Fasnacht Weber

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A small collection consisting of the transcript of a video interview of a native of Canton Zug, Switzerland who settled in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The video interview with Mrs.Fasnacht Weber (born March 6, 1932) was conducted on February 16, 2017 by Beth Zurbuchen, President of the Swiss Center of North America in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

PIERRE ULYSSES GREBER

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A handwritten and typewritten notebook summarizing Pierre Ulysses Greber’s hotel and restaurant studies in the La-Chaux-de-Fonds or the Schweizerische Hotelfachschule Luzern or Lucerne, Switzerland during the early 1940s, culminating in his graduation in 1945. Greber subsequently moved to Puerto Rico. This notebook was donated by Greber's family through the former Honorary Swiss consul Barbara Hostettler.