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H.H. Fick German-Americana Unpublished Pamphlets Collection

 Collection
Identifier: GA-14-01

Scope and Content

Material written and collected by H.H. (Heinrich H.) Fick related to the German-American experience, teaching of the German language, and German-American literature. The items are mostly clipped from newspapers and magazines, but some material is handwritten.

Dates

  • 1883-1920

Creator

Language of Materials

The records are in English

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Biography of Biography or History

H.H. Fick was a noted German-American educator, writer, poet, and book collector. His collection of books and pamphlets forms the basis of the German-Americana collection at the University of Cincinnati's Archives and Rare Books Library.

H.H. Fick was born Heinrich Hermannn Adolf Fick in Luebeck, Germany on August 16, 1849. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 15 and eventually settled in Cincinnati. He soon became a respected educator in the Cincinnati Public Schools teaching both the German language and art. In 1878, he was appointed Superintendent of Drawing. In 1884, Fick resigned from his position as Superintendent of Drawing, and moved to Chicago, where he wrote for the German press and gave private lessons in German and art. It is here that that he met and married Clementine Barna, who was also a German teacher. With Barna and a colleague named Louis Schutt, Fick established a German-English school in Chicago, and served as the school’s director. He returned to Ohio in 1890, to Ohio University in Athens, and began studying for his Ph.D., which he was awarded in 1892. Fick then took a position as principal of the Sixth District School in Cincinnati. In 1901, he became Assistant Superintendent of the Public Schools of Cincinnati and served in this position until 1903, when he became the Supervisor of German for the Public Schools. Under Fick, Cincinnati Public Schools became known nationally for its bilingual education program. Fick was also known for his contributions to professional teachers’ associations. Fick was elected seven times to the presidency of the National German-American Teachers Association, and served as co-editor and then editor-in-chief of the Erziehungsblätter, the journal of the German-American Teachers Association, for thirty-five years. He also helped to lead a movement to establish the German-American Teachers Seminary in Milwaukee, and served on the board of that college for forty years. Fick was an avid writer and was highly involved in the German-American community. He wrote five German textbooks for children and published a German-language children’s magazine called Jung-Amerika. Fick also wrote a collection of poetry, and was invited to read his poems at various German-American celebrations. Fick was active in the German-American community in other ways as well. He belonged to the German Pioneer Association of Cincinnati and gave many lectures at their meetings. He was also an honorary member of the Literary Club and the Cincinnati Turngemeinde. With the advent of World War I, life changed rapidly for Fick and other German-Americans, as Cincinnati rejected much of its German heritage. When the German language was shunned, and even declared illegal in twenty-six states, Fick began censoring German books for the public school system. In 1918, the German language program in the Cincinnati Public Schools was eliminated and Fick was forced to retire. Fick spent his final years collecting a library. Before Fick’s death in March of 1935, the University of Cincinnati Library obtained his collection with the assistance of Professor Edwin H. Zeydel of the university’s German Department.

Biographical / Historical

H.H. Fick was born Heinrich Hermannn Adolf Fick in Luebeck, Germany on August 16, 1849. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 15 and eventually settled in Cincinnati. He soon became a respected educator in the Cincinnati Public Schools teaching both the German language and art. In 1878, he was appointed Superintendent of Drawing. In 1884, Fick resigned from his position as Superintendent of Drawing, and moved to Chicago, where he wrote for the German press and gave private lessons in German and art. It is here that that he met and married Clementine Barna, who was also a German teacher. With Barna and a colleague named Louis Schutt, Fick established a German-English school in Chicago, and served as the school’s director. He returned to Ohio in 1890, to Ohio University in Athens, and began studying for his Ph.D., which he was awarded in 1892. Fick then took a position as principal of the Sixth District School in Cincinnati. In 1901, he became Assistant Superintendent of the Public Schools of Cincinnati and served in this position until 1903, when he became the Supervisor of German for the Public Schools. Under Fick, Cincinnati Public Schools became known nationally for its bilingual education program. Fick was also known for his contributions to professional teachers’ associations. Fick was elected seven times to the presidency of the National German-American Teachers Association, and served as co-editor and then editor-in-chief of the Erziehungsblätter, the journal of the German-American Teachers Association, for thirty-five years. He also helped to lead a movement to establish the German-American Teachers Seminary in Milwaukee, and served on the board of that college for forty years. Fick was an avid writer and was highly involved in the German-American community. He wrote five German textbooks for children and published a German-language children’s magazine called Jung-Amerika. Fick also wrote a collection of poetry, and was invited to read his poems at various German-American celebrations. Fick was active in the German-American community in other ways as well. He belonged to the German Pioneer Association of Cincinnati and gave many lectures at their meetings. He was also an honorary member of the Literary Club and the Cincinnati Turngemeinde. With the advent of World War I, life changed rapidly for Fick and other German-Americans, as Cincinnati rejected much of its German heritage. When the German language was shunned, and even declared illegal in twenty-six states, Fick began censoring German books for the public school system. In 1918, the German language program in the Cincinnati Public Schools was eliminated and Fick was forced to retire. Fick spent his final years collecting a library. Before Fick’s death in March of 1935, the University of Cincinnati Library obtained his collection with the assistance of Professor Edwin H. Zeydel of the university’s German Department.

Extent

1.25 Linear Feet

Overview

Material written and collected by H.H. (Heinrich H.) Fick related to the German-American experience, teaching of the German language, and German-American literature.

Statement of Arrangement

The items in this collection are arranged in alphabetical order by author.

Physical Location

Archives and Rare Books Library
Title
Finding aid for the H.H. Fick German-Americana Unpublished Pamphlets Collection
Status
Edited Full Draft
Author
Finding aid prepared by Suzanne Reller
Date
2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding Aid Written In English

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Rare Books Library Repository

Contact:
8th Floor Blegen Library
2602 McMicken Circle
P.O. Box 210113
Cincinnati Ohio 45221-0113
513-556-1959