Pennsylvania German Fraktur and Imprints

The manuscript folk art produced by the Pennsylvania Germans is called Fraktur, a name inspired by the broken character of the lettering. Documents of many kinds were gaily decorated with tulips, hearts, stars, crowns, angels, unicorns, eagles, and other figures. You can see this fascinating art form for yourself at the Free Library, where we have more than 1,000 pieces. We also have many books and broadsides produced by early German printers in America.

Digital Collection
Pennsylvania German Fraktur and Imprints iconic image


Rare Book Department:
Third Floor, Central Library

Hours of Operation

Weekdays 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tours of the department are available Monday through Friday at 11 a.m., or at other times by prior arrangement



Support our Rare Book Department

Donate Now