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Germania Maennerchor photograph album

Identifier: PP 0164


This collection contains portraits of members of the Germania Maennerchor of Baltimore, circa 1865.


  • 1865


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

The Germania Maennerchor (men's choir) was established in 1870, with quarters first at 192-194 West Lombard Street, then 212 (1882-1886) and 410 (1888-1912) West Lombard Street, and finally at 848-850 North Howard Street (circa 1913-1917). In August of 1871, the choir performed at the Schuetzenfest held by the Baltimore Schuetzen Society at the society's park on Belair Road (south of North Avenue and east of Gay Street), an annual event from the 1860s to 1890s featuring prize shooting, bowling, music, dancing, illuminations, and fireworks. In 1906, the organization maintained offices at 410-412 West Lombard Street, a performance hall at 408 West Lombard Street, and a Country Club at Garrison Avenue and West Arlington.

The Germania Maennerchor was one of 40 German singing societies in Baltimore in 1890, part of a lively and prominent German culture in Baltimore during the last part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1880-1890, an estimated one third of Baltimore's population spoke German, and the public school system maintained bilingual schools in some areas until 1904, one of which was No. 98 near Wilkens Avenue. Although schools ceased being bilingual, German remained the most popular foreign language studied in the schools until the situation was altered by World War I. At that point, anti-German sentiment halted German language studies in the schools, and the city's German language daily newspaper ceased publication; in fact, the Germania Maennerchor disappears from the Baltimore Directory after 1917.

However, in the late 1930s, there were still cultural and social activities of the Baltimore German community taking place in the same location as the Germania Maennerchor's last venue: Lehmann Hall (around 850-856 North Howard Street) was the site of theatrical and musical events including performances of a Maennerchor, a Junger Maennerchor, and a Kinderchor (children's choir). Lehmann Hall also housed a German movie theater, rathskeller, bowling alleys, and a dance floor, and was the meeting place of a club known as the Deutsches Ring. At this time, there were 10 German singing societies in Baltimore, including the Harmonie which met on West Fayette Street, and the Arion and Damenchor, both of which met in Arion Hall on Frederick Avenue. In 1938, Baltimore German societies, including the Deutsches Ring, were consolidated in the Deutsches Haus, in the former Bryn Mawr School building at Cathedral and Preston Streets. At about this same time, Baltimore hosted a national saengerfest (choral festival). By 1969, remaining German singing societies were the Arion Singing Society, the Eichenkranz Society, the Deutscher Damenchor Society, and the Eichenkranz Damenchor Society.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 full Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



The photographs remain in the album, which is in pristine condition.

Related Materials

PP129, Mahrenholz collection of Baltimore-German theater photographs, 1938-1939

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of one photograph album containing 50 photographs of men, members of the Germania Maennerchor of Baltimore. The album is stamped on the front "Germania Maennerchor Baltimore"; the photographs are studio portraits made by H. Merz of New York, and the album is stamped on the back cover "Saengerrunde New York 1865". The photographs are identified on verso with man's name and (frequently) vocal range. Some of the photographs are captioned on verso "Germania Maennerchor Baltimore".


Guide to the Germania Maennerchor photograph album
Under Revision
Katherine Cowan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2020-02-08: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States