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Resources

Dr. Don Yoder, Professor Emeritus of Folklife Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, was the leading figure in the field of Pennsylvania Dutch studies. His 1950 article “‘Pennsylvania Dutch’ … Or ‘Pennsylvania German’?” is an excellent summary of how the uses of the terms Pennsylvania Dutch and Pennsylvania German differ. This website, as well as my book, which is dedicated to Dr. Yoder, follow his preference for Pennsylvania Dutch. Dr. Yoder passed away on August 11, 2015, at the age of 93. His book, Discovering American Folklife, includes a comprehensive bibliography of all his scholarly publications, including those on Pennsylvania Dutch.

An interesting personal account of the value of Pennsylvania Dutch and its situation in the early twentieth century can be found in the 1968 article “What the Pennsylvania Dutch Dialect Has Meant in My Life” by Dr. Henry S. Gehman.

A classic reference work on Pennsylvania Dutch literature is Harry Hess Reichard’s Pennsylvania-German Dialect Writings and Their Writers (1918). His 1940 anthology, Pennsylvania German Verse, is the most comprehensive resource for Pennsylvania Dutch poetry.

The first book devoted exclusively to Pennsylvania Dutch was Gemälde aus dem Pennsylvanischen Volksleben (Sketches of Domestic Life in Pennsylvania, 1869) by Ludwig A. Wollenweber (1807–1888), a Palatine German who immigrated to Pennsylvania as a young man. As a non-native speaker of Pennsylvania Dutch, Wollenweber’s own writings in the book differ linguistically from those of native Dutchmen.

Edward Henry Rauchs 1879 Pennsylvania Dutch Hand-Book contains much information of linguistic interest, including an extensive word list, many sample sentences, and a number of dialogs.

Abraham Reeser Horne, a leading figure in nineteenth-century Pennsylvania education, produced his Pennsylvania German Manual, which contains much important cultural and linguistic material.

Since most active speakers of Pennsylvania Dutch today are members of Amish and Old Order Mennonite churches, general information about these groups is useful. The best online source of information on the Amish is the Amish Studies website maintained by the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown (PA) College. The Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO) contains a wealth of information on Anabaptist history and related topics. Third Way Cafe is a good resource on the faith and life of contemporary Anabaptist groups.