The German-American Music Project Collection

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The German-American Music Project Collection documents significant aspects of German-American music and related cultural traditions in Wisconsin, mainly in Calumet, Dodge, Marathon, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, and Milwaukee counties. The research and fieldwork, conducted from 1984 to 1986, uncovered a wealth of traditional music and related information on German-American customs, including weddings and holidays. Recordings of musical performances and interviews conducted by James Leary, Philip Bohlman, Philip Martin and photographer Lewis Koch documented 25 bands or organizations and 60 individuals.

Materials include field reports, sound recordings, tape indices, slides, and other documentation generated and collected during the project.

A CD and booklet by Philip Martin and James Leary was produced based on materials from the collection: Ach Ya! Traditional German-American Music from Wisconsin [].

Special thanks to The National Endowment for the Humanities for providing essential support for this online collection.


Original collection materials reside in the Mills Music Library. Materials in the collection are non-circulating but may be consulted in the library. Patrons wishing to consult materials may contact the reference librarian on duty.
Materials in the collection are subject to the guidelines for use and reproduction of materials in the special collections of the General Library System of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.