Library

The Lillie Moerbe Caldwell Memorial Library is home to a large collection of published family histories, obituaries, German- and Sorbian-language publications describing Sorbian customs, language and traditions. Genealogy researchers will also find copies of church records from St. Paul Lutheran Church, Serbin, as well as other churches in Texas that were established by or have a connection to Wendish settlers. Also included are about 50 published family histories on Wends who migrated to Australia.

The archives’ primary collection focus is Wendish heritage in Texas from 1854 to 1990. Collection includes manuscripts, institutional records, 800 books, pamphlets, photographs, maps, and old newspapers.

Ninety-nine percent of the printed matter, manuscripts, and certificates of the historical collection are in Wendish and German. Most of these are in the old fraktur printing and the old German script.

Five hundred and fifty of the books are rare, and focus on religious, historical, and educational subjects. Those most revered are the Kilian translations into Wendish and the original writings of Rev. Johann Kilian, the religious leader of the 1854 immigration. Many early editions of the writings of Martin Luther are included. There are also about 1,000 images, collections of personal papers, the Anne Blasig research collection as well as baptismal, confirmation, and marriage certificates. The portraits of wedding couples show the progression from the traditional black bridal dress of the 19th century to the grey and eventually the white of the 20th century.

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