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SFU Library Digital Collections

About this collection

The history of Canada’s relationship with German-speaking immigrants is a complex one, marked by a series of policy reversals under the influence of world events. Although this group makes up one of the largest immigrant groups in Canadian history, it was internally diverse and included ethnic Germans from the Russian Empire (later the Soviet Union), from the many 19th century states that later were unified to become modern Germany, as well as neighbouring areas with large German populations such as Hungary. Their arrival in Canada began in the 18th century and reached its peak in the forty years preceding World War I. These immigrants settled in virtually every province and participated in all economic activities and areas.

 

The collection of German materials selected here is largely focused on Alberta, where Germans were among the earliest farmers and settlers, and where today over half a million people claim German ancestry. Other materials honour the heritage of German families who moved from Pennsylvania to Upper Canada in 1786. German-language publishing in Canada dates as far back as 1788 with almanacs, sermons, and ephemeral items. The first newspaper was published in 1835. The selection of print resources found here is about 50% in German and 50% in English.

 

Contributed by University of Calgary Library.

 
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