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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Organization History

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Source

Description of Series

University of Houston Libraries, Special Collections

Houston Saengerbund Records, 1874-1985



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Houston Saengerbund
Title: Houston Saengerbund Records
Dates: 1874 - 1985
Abstract: As one of a number of all-male singing organizations which formed in the German communities of Texas during the last half of the 19th century, The Houston Saengerbund was founded in 1883, as an organization through which German immigrants in Houston could join with their countrymen to sing songs in the German language. The Houston Saengerbund is still in existence more than one hundred years after its founding, and the Saengerbund and Damenchor continues to perform at Houston-area public events.This collection contains the records of the Houston Saengerbund from the years 1874 to 1985.
Identification: 1989-001
Quantity: 9 boxes, 43 items
Repository: Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries

Organization History

The Houston Saengerbund (Singing Society) was founded on Oct. 6, 1883, as an organization through which German immigrants in Houston could join with their countrymen to sing songs in the German language. The Houston Saengerbund was one of a number of all-male singing organizations which formed in the German communities of Texas during the last half of the 19th century. These local groups were united under Der Deutsch-Texanische Saengerbund (the German-Texan Singers' League, or DTSB), a regional organization which held biennial meetings and Saengerfeste (Singing Festivals) in various Texas cities.

The Houston Saengerbund swelled to over one thousand members before World War One, and in 1913 Houston played host to a particularly elaborate DTSB Saengerfest which featured a full orchestra and world-class opera singers. But during the war years membership fell as Germans became reluctant to draw attention to their nationality.

After the war, membership increased and the group flourished. The Saengerbund bought their first in a series of clubhouses, and introduced new activities such as dancing, children's plays, and beach excursions. The club officially began admitting women as members in 1937 with the formation of the Ladies Auxiliary and the Damenchor (Women's Chorus).

With the onset of World War II, the Saengerbund members changed the name of the group to “The Houston Singing Society,” quit their primary activity of singing German songs, and began keeping minutes in English due to their concern about arousing anti-German sentiment. After the war, the club members restored both their singing and their name, but membership declined, partly owing to a drop in German immigration.

The Houston Saengerbund is still in existence more than one hundred years after its founding, and the Saengerbund and Damenchor continue to perform at the Saengerfeste of the DTSB, the International Festival, Lights in the Heights, and other public events.

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Scope and Contents

This collection contains the records of the Houston Saengerbund from the years 1874 to 1985. The minutes, financial notes, correspondence, and other documents for each year or several years are collected together in a bound notebook or loose-leaf binder, and the notebooks and binders are arranged chronologically. Some of the notebooks contain programs, newspaper clippings, and similar items. The earliest records are written in German, the later ones in English.

Box 9 contains some miscellaneous records and six songbooks.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use Restrictions

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian.

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Index Terms

Terms are either Library of Congress Subject Headings or taken from local sources.
Subjects
Houston Saengerbund History.
German Americans Texas Harris County History.
German Americans Texas History.
Houston (Tex.) History.
Formats
Records
Minutes
Correspondence
Scores

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Administrative Information

Acquisition

Received from Rodney Koenig, Summer 1989.

Processed by

Julie Grob, 1996

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Source

The History of the Houston Saengerbund, Theodore G. Gish

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Detailed Description

 

box
1 Records--In German. 1874 - 1936
Records--In German. 1905 - 1914
Records--In German. 1906 - 1910
Records--Some in German. 1919 - 1926
box
2 Records--In German. 1935 - 1937
Records--Some in German. 1939 - 1945
Records. 1946 - 1950
box
3 Records. 1950 - 1955
box
4 Records. 1951 - 1954
Records. 1955 - 1961
Records. 1962 - 1965
Records. 1966 - 1968
box
5 Records. 1969 - 1971
Records. 1972 - 1973
Records. 1974
Records. 1975
Records. 1976
box
6 Records. 1977
Records. 1978
Records. 1980 - 1981
box
7 Records. 1981
Records. 1981 - 1982
Records. 1982
box
8 Records. 1982 - 1983
Records. 1983
Records. 1984 - 1985
box
9 Misc. Records. 1969 - 1982
Songbook. 1902
Songbook. 1904
Songbook. 1906
Songbook. 1913
Songbook. 1916
Songbook. 1916

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