American Turners Records, 1853-2004


Mss 30
28.1 c.f. (24 cartons and 8 flat boxes)
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ABSTRACT

Immigrants to the United States in the nineteenth century founded organizations that served as social centers, maintained cultural identity, and promoted the ideals and the interests of the immigrants and their American-born descendants.  The American Turners is an example of such an organization.  Established by German immigrants in 1850, the American Turners advocated a liberal political philosophy and fought to protect both the political rights and the German heritage of the immigrants.  The Turners encouraged the practice of exercise and physical fitness, and they convinced school boards in many cities to make physical education a part of the educational curriculum.

The American Turner records include annual reports, minutes and correspondence relating to the national officers, correspondence with local societies, national convention minutes and materials, financial and membership records, national committee records, records and materials from national sporting events sponsored by the American Turners, records of the Turner Pioneers and the Women's Auxiliary,  Turner publications, and materials from the German Turner movement and other organizations related to the American Turners.      

ACCESS

This collection is open to the public without restriction.  The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

PREFERRED CITATION

Cite as: American Turners Records, 1853-2002, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

ACQUISITION

Presented by the American Turners, the Athenaeum Turners, and individual members of the American Turners, October 1978-August 1999. 

A78-11, A87-17, A89-12, A90-32, A91-11, A93-15, A93-20, A93-30, A94-15, A94-27, A94-32, A94-73, A94-75, A94-77, A94-78, A94-80, A95-37, A1998/99-018, A1999/00-001 

Processed by Gregory H. Mobley, April 2002.

HISTORICAL NOTE

European immigrants who came to the United States during the nineteenth century established organizations similar to those they had belonged to in their native lands.  These associations served as social centers, helped maintain a sense of cultural identity, and promoted the political interests of the immigrants and their American-born descendants.  Some groups even influenced developments in American society at large.

The American Turners is an example of such an organization.  Founded in 1850 by German immigrants who had fled their homeland following the failure of an 1848 revolution designed to introduce democratic reforms into the governments of the German states, the American Turners represented a continuation of a political and athletic organization many of the immigrants had known in their native land.  The group's local societies (known as "Turnvereins") acted as social, athletic, and political centers for German-Americans in many communities.  Turners actively opposed the Know-Nothing Party and slavery in the 1850s, pushed for the teaching of the German language in public schools, and worked to maintain a sense of German culture among German-Americans.

The most important contribution of the American Turners to American life has been the organization's advocacy of fitness and physical education.  Turners (the name comes from the German word for "gymnast") succeeded in making physical education part of the curriculum of many school systems across the country, and the Normal College of the American Gymnastic Union, a school for the training of physical education instructors started by the American Turners in 1866, provided many of the early teachers.  Turners were among the leaders of the playground movement that swept the United States during the early years of the twentieth century.

The Turner movement began in Germany during the second decade of the nineteenth century, at a time when the German states were dominated by Napoleonic France.  Friedrich Ludwig Jahn (1778-1852), a teacher in Berlin, began conducting outdoor physical education classes in 1811.  Jahn used these classes both to improve the physical conditioning of the students and to instill in them a sense of German nationalism; his goal was to prepare the students for a war of national liberation against France.  In 1813 Jahn and his students were members of the German military forces that took part in that war against France.

In the years following the war gymnastic societies based on Jahn's principles of physical education (which emphasized the use of gymnastic apparatus like the parallel bars, the rings, the balance beam, the horse, and the horizontal bar, all invented by Jahn) arose in several German cities.  Many members of these societies advocated democratic reforms in government, a stance that angered the leaders of the German states.  The Turner societies faced government-imposed restrictions from 1819 to 1842 that sharply limited their activities. Jahn himself was in virtual house arrest from 1819 to 1824 and remained under government surveillance until the 1840s.

The end of restrictions in 1842 revived the Turner movement, leading to both increased growth in membership and a renewal of political activism.  When revolutions broke out in the German states in 1848, many Turners took up arms to fight for their democratic ideals.  Other Turners, including Jahn, opposed this action, believing that democratic reforms could be introduced through nonviolent means.  These differences split the Turner movement.  When the 1848 revolutions failed, Turners who had participated in the fighting fled to the United States.  The Turners who stayed in Germany adopted a more conservative stance; Turner societies became apolitical centers for gymnastics and exercise.

The Turners who came to the United States quickly established gymnastic societies (known as Turnverein or Turngemeinde) in their new communities.  The Cincinnati Turngemeinde, organized on November 21, 1848, is generally credited with being the first Turner society started in the United States.  By 1850 Turner societies were operating in Baltimore, Boston, Louisville, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, and St. Louis.

1850 also marked the beginning of a national Turner organization.  At a convention held in Philadelphia on October 4 and 5, representatives from several Turnvereins agreed to the formation of the Vereinigte Turnvereins Nordamerika (United Turner Societies of North America).  At a second convention held in Philadelphia in September, 1851, the national organization was renamed Socialistische Turnerbund von Nord Amerika (Socialist Turner Federation of North America).  The new name symbolized the liberal political outlook of the group at the time.

The Turners and their new national organization quickly became involved in the political turmoil of the 1850s.  The influx of German and Irish immigrants into the United States during the 1840s and 1850s sparked the rise of a nativist movement that spawned the American or "Know-Nothing" party (so-called because members of the party would respond, "I know nothing" when asked about their activities).  The Know-Nothing Party demanded, among other things, a restriction on the number of immigrants allowed into the United States and a denial of voting rights to foreign-born residents.  Violent clashes between members of the Know-Nothing Party and German immigrants (including members of Turner societies) occurred in many cities, especially during elections.  By the late 1850s the Know-Nothing Party had waned in influence and the violence ended.

Serious internal conflicts threatened the Turners' national organization during the 1850s.  The 1855 national convention passed a resolution making opposition to slavery one of the Turners' principles.  Many Turner societies from the South, unwilling to support this measure, withdrew from the national organization.  The debate over the slavery issue and friction between the Vorort (the national executive committee) and some of the local societies split the Turners into western and eastern factions.  Each side conducted its own conventions in 1857 and 1858. Reconciliation took place in 1859, but the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 disrupted the operations of the Turners on a national level. 

The war also diminished Turner activities on the local level.  Many northern societies became inactive or even disbanded because so many of their members were serving in the army.  Several regiments were composed wholly or in part of Turners, including the:

Illinois 9th, 24th, 43rd, and 82nd regiments
Indiana 32nd regiment
Kentucky 1st and 2nd regiments
Minnesota 2nd cavalry regiment
Missouri 1st, 3rd, 12th, 17th, and 41st regiments
New York 20th (Turner Rifles) regiment
Ohio 9th, 28th, 37th, 106th, and 108th regiments
Pennsylvania 47th regiment
Wisconsin 5th, 9th, and 26th regiments

Efforts to revive the Turners began during the latter part of the war.  At the urging of the New York and Baltimore societies, a national convention was held in Washington, D.C. in April, 1865.  The convention adopted the new name of Nordamerikanische Turnerbund for the organization.  (The Turners also used the English translation of the title, North American Gymnastic Union, at times.)  Some of the southern Turner societies, such as the New Orleans Turnverein, rejoined the national group, and new Turnvereins were organized in many cities to replace those that had become moribund during the war.

The latter half of the nineteenth century was a period of growth for the Turners.  In 1871 the Nordamerikanische Turnerbund had a total of 10,200 members in 148 societies.  By 1880 the numbers had risen to 13,000 members in 186 societies.  1893 was the highwater mark for the organization; membership stood at nearly 42,000 in 316 societies.  The Turners drew new members both from recently arrived immigrants who had belonged to Turner societies in Germany and from the descendants of Turners who had arrived in the United States in the 1840s and 1850s.

The increasing number of Turnvereins in the country created a growing need for instructors to manage the societies' athletic programs and classes. The Turner national conventions of 1856 and 1860 had approved proposals for the creation of a national training school for gymnastic teachers, but neither proposal was acted upon.   In 1866 the national convention again passed a resolution calling for the establishment of the school, and this time the school became a reality.  The Turnlehrerseminar (Gymnastic Teachers Seminary), opened in November, 1866 in New York City.  It remained in New York until 1870, then operated in Chicago from 1870 until the catastrophic fire of October, 1871 destroyed the school's building and equipment.  The Turnlehrerseminar was again based in New York City from 1872 to 1874, then made Milwaukee its home from 1875 to 1889 and from 1891 to 1907.  Between 1889 and 1891 the school relocated temporarily to Indianapolis while new facilities for the school were being prepared in Milwaukee. The school made a permanent return to Indianapolis in 1907, and its name was changed to the Normal College of the American Gymnastic Union (N.C.A.G.U.).  In 1941, faced with increasing costs, declining enrollment, and the need to offer a broader curriculum, the Normal College board of trustees voted to merge the school with Indiana University.  The school is now known as the Indiana University School of Physical Education.

The Turners' interest in fitness and physical education extended beyond their Turnvereins.  The 1880 national convention passed a resolution calling on its members to work for the introduction of physical education into the curriculum of the nation's public school systems.  The Turners took up the issue with enthusiasm and over the next twenty years enjoyed many successes. Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, and St. Louis were among the cities where Turners' lobbying helped convince school boards to add physical education classes.  Turner instructors and graduates of the Normal College served as directors of physical education programs in many school systems.

An important tool the Turners have used to promote fitness is the Turnfest.  These athletic competitions (now called National Festivals) bring together athletes from Turnvereins all across the United States.  The Turnfests took place annually in the years before the Civil War.  After the war the games became a biennial event.  As the growing number of participants made Turnfests more expensive to stage, the Turners reduced their frequency to once every four years, beginning in the 1880s.  Promotional publications for the 1917 Turnfest were issued in 1916, but this Turnfest was canceled due to World War I.  No Turnfest was held between 1941 and 1948 due to World War II.  Turnfests held between 1889 and 1913 attracted 1,200-3,300 competitors and thousands of spectators, giving non-Turners a look at German-style gymnastics and other events.  Cultural competitions held in conjunction with the Turnfests helped Turners maintain a sense of their German heritage.

Events and trends in the twentieth century brought changes to the Turner organization.  The start of World War I in 1914 increased tensions between the Turners and other segments of American society.  The Turners advocated American neutrality and attacked what they perceived as a pro-British bias in the media.  The entry of the United States into the war exacerbated the situation.  Faced with growing pressure from the public to prove their loyalty by downplaying their German heritage, the Turners responded by calling their organization the American Gymnastic Union and by issuing annual reports and other publications in English instead of German.  Many local Turner societies took similar measures to appease public opinion.

The role of Turner women at the national level became more prominent with the founding of the Women's Auxiliary of the American Turners at the American Turners' convention in Louisville, Kentucky in 1919.   The Women's Auxiliary served as a national organization for women's auxiliaries affiliated with local Turner societies.  The Women's Auxiliary has engaged in several fund raising and philanthropic activities designed to support work done by the American Turners.  Auxiliary efforts have included a Student Loan Fund for students attending the Normal College of the American Gymnastic Union, financial support of the National Health and Physical Education Committee's leaders' course, monetary donations to other Turner causes, and work with groups like the American Red Cross.  

The 1920s and 1930s provided more challenges to the Turners.  The use of beer and spirits have always played an important part in German and German-American social life, and the inability of  Turnvereins to serve these beverages during the Prohibition years caused a loss of income and a decline in membership. The onset of the Depression in the 1930s added to the Turners' difficulties; many societies closed due to financial problems, and other societies lost their buildings when mortgage payments and maintenance costs became more than their membership could handle.    

Rising tensions between the United States and Nazi Germany during the late 1930s and early 1940s affected the Turners.  Members of a few Turner societies, primarily in the New York City area, were investigated by government agents for involvement with suspected pro-Nazi organizations, and in 1938 the Turners officially changed their name from the American Turnerbund (the name adopted by the organization when the national headquarters moved to Pittsburgh in 1923) to the American Turners to avoid being confused with a pro-Nazi group, the German-American Bund.  Following the entry of the United States into World War II, the Internal Revenue Service revoked the tax-exempt status of the American Turners.  As a result of the war and the anti-German sentiment it aroused, the Turners experienced a continuing decline in membership.  After the war, the Turners emphasized their social and athletic activities while eliminating calls for specific political reforms from their principles.

The Turners enjoyed a revival in the early post-war years as membership rose to 25,000 by 1950.

In that same year the national convention approved changes in the statutes that altered the nature of the chief executive body of the Turners.  First called the Vorort and later the National Executive Committee, the principal leadership group of the Turners had drawn its members from the Turner societies in the city chosen by the national convention to serve as the home of the national headquarters.  A new group of leaders took over each time the national headquarters moved.  The changes enacted by the 1950 convention abolished this system.  The membership of the new chief executive body, the National Council, would consist of the president, first vice president, second vice president, a representative from each of eight regions, the chairs of the National Health and Physical Education Committee and the National Cultural Education Committee, and the immediate past president. The president and two vice presidents would be elected by the national convention, and the president was limited to two successive two-year terms.  Subsequent revisions to the Turner statutes added the chair of the National Bowling Committee and the president of the American Turners National Women's Auxiliary to the National Council and replaced the regional councilors with the district presidents.

The 1960s marked the beginning of another downturn in membership.  Restrictions on the ability of high school and college athletes to take part in sports programs not affiliated with their schools hurt many Turner athletic programs.  The movement of people from the center of cities (where most Turner societies were located) to the suburbs resulted in many members participating less in Turner activities because of the distance between their homes and the Turnhall.  Some societies responded to the situation by relocating to the suburbs, but others chose to disband.  National membership dropped to 13,000 in 60 societies by the early 1990s.  In spite of these problems, however, the American Turners have maintained their national activities.

REFERENCES

Metzner, Henry.  History of the American Turners.  4th rev. ed.  Louisville, KY: National Council of the American Turners, 1989.

Pumroy, Eric L., and Katja Rampelmann, comps.  Research Guide to the Turner Movement in the United States.  Bibliographies and Indexes in American History, no. 33.  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996.

RELATED MATERIALS

American Turners Local Societies Collection, Mss 038, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

Athenaeum Turners Records, 1851-1994, Mss 032, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

Deutscher Turner-Bund (DTB), the German national Turner organization, web site.
URL: http://www.dtb-online.de 

Deutsches Turnfest Stuttgart 1973 video recording.  Call number GV465 .D488 1994.

15th Deutsches Turnfest 1933 video recording.  Call number GV465 .A1232 1994.

Founder's Day 80th anniversary video recording (Illinois District Turner Camp).  Call number GV224.A1 I322 1994.

"Freyburg: City of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, Father of Gymnastics"
URL: http://www.gymmedia.com/freyburg/index_e.htm

Illinois Turner Camp video recording.  Call number GV224.A1 I32 1994.

Indianapolis South Side Turners Records, 1893-1956, Mss 045, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.  

Mind and Body.  Milwaukee, Wis.: Freidenker Publishing Company, 1894-1936.

National Turnfest video recording.  Call number GV723.N385 N385 1994.

Pumroy, Eric L., and Katja Rampelmann, comps.  Research Guide to the Turner Movement in the United States.  Bibliographies and Indexes in American History, no. 33.  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996.

Turner video recording.  Call number GV723.N385 T876 1994.

Valentine, Michael Frank.  "The Contribution of the American Turners to Physical Education in the United States."  M.A. thesis, De Paul University, 1962.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

The collection documents the activities of the American Turners on a national level, the interactions between the national leadership and the districts and local societies, and the American Turners' relationship with American society in general.  The materials offer insights into the topics of ethnicity, assimilation, and physical education and fitness.  Many of the pre-World War I records are in German; the handwritten records from this period are often in old German script, and the printed records are in a Gothic typeface.  The collection is of limited use for genealogical research.

The collection has been divided into the following series: National Council Records, Conventions, Financial, Membership, Turner Groups, Women's Auxiliary, History, Sporting Events, Publications, Districts, German Turners, Related Organizations, Photographs, and Audio-Visual Materials.  Audiovisual materials are listed both in the appropriate series and in audiovisual inventories at the end of the series list. Photographs are listed both in the appropriate series and searchable online. 

National Council Records, 1853-1998, contain the records of the National Council, the chief executive body of the American Turners, and of the national office, which under the direction of the national secretary oversees the day-to-day operations of the national organization. 

Annual reports, 1871-1917, 1919-1966, summarize the activities and status of the American Turners.  The reports typically include a report by the national president, a financial statement from the national treasurer, reports from the national committees, membership statistics for all societies belonging to the American Turners, and information from the Normal College.  The reports are in German through 1919. The years 1872-1879 and 1881-1883 have only the treasurer's statement from the annual report.  The last annual report was published in 1966.

The National Council minutes, 1858-1993, document the discussions and decisions of the leadership group in its meetings.  The minutes are handwritten in German through 1937, although contemporary script was often used instead of the old German script.  The minutes are typed or printed in English after 1937.  The minutes are complete for the years 1858-1993 except for 1938, 1940, and 1957-1962.

Council correspondence provides an understanding of the activities of the administrative body and the national office and of the issues, both internal and external, that concerned the American Turners.  Among the external issues are German-American support for the Boers in their war against the British in South Africa at the beginning of the twentieth century (including an offer by the American Turners to Clara Barton of the American Red Cross to sponsor an ambulance unit to assist Boer civilians), efforts to send food to Germany after World War I, and whether local Turner societies were subject to the provisions of the Social Security Act, especially in regards to the societies' instructors.  Internal issues include the continuing efforts by the national office to collect the per capita membership payments from local societies and decisions by local societies to disband or to withdraw from the American Turners.  The correspondence is divided into three sections: chronological, subject, and societies.  The chronological correspondence is filed by date.  Much of the correspondence from the years before World War I is handwritten in German.  The subject correspondence is filed alphabetically by topic.  Much of this correspondence is with members of the National Council or of the national committees.  Most of the letters are in English.  The correspondence with individual societies is filed alphabetically by state and then city.  Most of these letters are in English.

National secretary Emil L. Pletz and his successor, Dr. E. A. Eklund, published a newsletter, 1939-1956, that was sent to officers of local Turner societies.  The items in the newsletter kept local societies informed about the activities of the national office and other Turner societies and reminded local officers of duties they needed to fulfill, such as submitting annual statistical reports to the national office.

The photographs of individuals are mostly head and shoulder portraits of people who have served on the National Council or on national committees.  These photographs are arranged alphabetically by last name.  Most of the photographs of groups show several members of the National Council or of national committees together.  A few of the group photographs are of events or activities.  The two photographs of the Vorort (the original name of the National Council) are oversized and show the members of the Vorort when the national office was in Indianapolis. 

Records from various national committees are included in the series.  These files include correspondence, minutes, and other materials relating to the activities of the National Bowling Committee, the National Committee for Complaints and Appeals, the National Cultural Education Committee, the National Health and Physical Education Committee, the National Legal Committee, the National Publicity and Membership Committee, the Round Table Conference, and the Youth Committee.  Some of the committee records are for only a few years while others cover several decades.  The committees help shape the Turners' national policy, direct national activities, and serve as a link between the national leadership and the districts and local societies.  The Health and Physical Education Committee and the Cultural Education Committee have played especially prominent roles in this area.  The Health and Physical Education Committee establishes regulations and guidelines for Turnfests and other national sporting events and has conducted meetings and classes for instructors from Turner societies. The Cultural Education Committee supervises cultural competitions held in conjunction with Turnfests and encourages local societies to conduct cultural education activities, such as lectures, to make Turner societies places for intellectual as well as physical development.

Other records in this series include files relating to projects sponsored by the National Council and copies of the American Turners' bylaws and statutes. 

Convention Records, 1854-2000, contain minutes, reports, publications, correspondence, and photographs from the meetings of the American Turners' principal legislative body.  The conventions elect the national president and two vice presidents, select the location of the next National Festival, approve changes in the principles and statutes, and establish the general policies that are implemented by the National Council.  The conventions met annually from 1850 to 1860, then biennially beginning in 1866.  No convention was held during World War I.  There are minutes for all of the conventions.  The minutes are in German through 1921, but English translations prepared by Henry W. Kumpf in the 1940s are included for the conventions from 1854 to 1872. Reports from convention committees, correspondence (much of it dealing with resolutions to be voted on by the conventions), and programs and other souvenir publications are available for several of the conventions.  These records, like the minutes, are generally in German prior to 1921.   

Financial Records, 1866-1998, contain financial records, correspondence and reports relating to the general finances of the American Turners and to special funds administered by the organization.    The materials in this series are especially strong for the years after World War II.  The data from this series and from the treasurer's reports included in the annual reports provide a good financial history of the organization from the 1860s to the 1990s. 

Membership Records, 1883-1999, contain society charters, statistical reports from individual societies, directories of Turner societies and their leaders, membership lists from some societies submitted to the national headquarters, information about withdrawn or dissolved societies, lists of expelled members and individuals honored for 40- or 50-year membership in the Turners, and information on membership drives and inductions.  The records in this series are useful in tracking the growth and decline of the American Turners through changes in the number of active societies and dues-paying members.  

Turner Groups Records, 1930-1943, contain a copy of the principles and statutes of the American Boy Turners and correspondence, membership applications, and dues records from the Turner Pioneers .  The American Boy Turners, established by the national convention in 1933, was an organization for boys ages 10-18.  The group offered athletic, educational, and social activities to its members.  The Turner Pioneers, organized in 1930, was for Turners age 40 and over.  The group's objectives were to work within their Turner societies to strengthen the educational and athletic programs, recruit new members for Turner societies, and defend Turner principles and ideals to the general public.

Women's Auxiliary Records, 1931-1990, contain convention minutes, reports, resolutions, copies of the constitution and bylaws, newsletters, rosters of Auxiliary leaders on the national and society level, newsletters, and correspondence.  The Women's Auxiliary of the American Turners, organized at the American Turners' convention in Louisville, Kentucky in 1919, ties together auxiliaries affiliated with local Turner societies.  The Women's Auxiliary has engaged in several fund raising and philanthropic activities.  Auxiliary efforts have included a Student Loan Fund for students attending the Normal College of the American Gymnastic Union, financial support of the National Health and Physical Education Committee's leaders' course, monetary donations to other Turner causes, and work with groups like the American Red Cross.  The president of the Women's Auxiliary of the American Turners has served on the National Council since 1961.   

History Records, 1893-2002, contain articles, theses, correspondence, and other materials relating to the history of the American Turners.  The decision to change the organization's name to the American Turners in 1938 sparked sharp debate among members.  The series contains correspondence about the name change and referendum vote tallies from several societies.  The articles and theses cover primarily the influence of the Turners in specific geographic regions (such as Missouri) and in the field of physical education.  The materials about the president of the American Turners are writings of and articles about the two men who had the longest terms in the office, George Seibel (1923-1937) and Carl Weideman (1937-1952). Correspondence about Turner Day at the New York World's Fair in 1939 illustrates the Turners' efforts at promoting both the organization and physical fitness.  Correspondence and newspaper clippings document the impact of World War II on the Turners.  Many of these files concern the involvement of a few Turner societies, primarily in the New York City area, with pro-Nazi German-American groups.  Turner anniversaries are the subject of files relating to a Turner postage stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 1948 to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the founding of the first Turnverein in the United States, a commemorative seal issued by the American Turners in 1958, and a resolution passed by the Illinois State Senate in 1993.

Sporting Events Records, 1885-1995, contain records from Turnfests and other national sporting events.  Turnfest records include results of the competition, correspondence, descriptions of mass exercises, programs and other promotional publications, and photographs.  The records from the other national sporting events contain similar materials.  The sports involved in these events include badminton, basketball, bowling, golf, gymnastics, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.  The records in this series show the variety of athletic activities Turners are involved in on the national level.

Publications, 1870-2004, contain copies of American Turner Topics, the national newsletter  published by the American Turners since 1936.  American Turner Topics includes items about the activities of Turner districts and societies, reports on conventions, Turnfests, and other national events, and a column by the national president.  The series does not have a complete run, having no issues from  1960-1962 and missing issues from other years. 

Turner promotional materials printed for the general public and songbooks, yearbooks, guidelines, and educational publications for members are in the series.  Some of the publications are in German.  The promotional materials offer examples of the Turners' public relations activities through much of the twentieth century and illustrate their efforts to create a positive image in the minds of non-Turners, especially during the 1930s and 1940s.  

Districts Records, 1869-1994, contain district convention minutes, publications, photographs, histories, and correspondence between the national office and the districts.  Some of the convention minutes are in German.  Districts are geographical groupings of Turner societies established by the national leadership to promote cooperation among societies and to enhance the efficiency of the Turner organizational structure.  A district may encompass portions of several states or only part of one state.  Societies within a district meet to discuss mutual problems and issues and to conduct district athletic and social events.  District conventions often issue resolutions for consideration at the national convention, and district presidents have served as members of the National Council since 1992.  A total of 48 districts have existed at various times, and the collection has records from 25 of those districts.  The most extensive set is from the Central States District, which currently includes the Turner societies in Indiana, Kentucky, and western Ohio.  Records for this district include an incomplete run of convention minutes from 1880-1987, minutes and correspondence relating to the meetings of the district officers in the 1970s and 1980s, and records relating to the district's social and athletic activities from the 1930s-1980s.  

German Turners Records, 1844-1991, contain publications published by or relating to Turners in Germany, correspondence from German Turner societies to the American Turners, photographs, and information about and films of Turnfests held in Germany.  Many of the publications are in German. While the American Turners and the Deutsche Turnerschaft are separate organizations, the two groups have maintained a relationship.  Teams from Germany have come to the United States to compete in the national Turnfests of the American Turners, and many Americans have participated in or observed German Turnfests. Some German Turner societies wrote to the American Turners after World War II, seeking assistance in rebuilding their organizations.

Related Organizations Records, 1886-1978, contain correspondence, meeting minutes, and newsletters from organizations (primarily athletic) with which the American Turners have had connections.

The American Athletic Union (AAU) records include the articles of alliance that set out the relationship between the American Turners and AAU and event records that highlight the involvement of Turners both as athletes and as judges, supervisors, and sponsors in AAU athletic events.

The Freidenker Vereine (Freethinker Societies) records contain publications.  Many members of the American Turners were actively involved in Freethinker societies; e.g., Max Hempel, who served as national secretary of the American Turners during the 1890s, wrote many of the articles that appear in the publications.  The participation of Turners in Freethinker societies reflects the liberal attitudes of the Turners during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The German-American Gymnastic Committee was incorporated on April 23, 1957, and many of the officers were members of the American Turners.  The file contains promotional materials and reports relating to a 1958 tour of the West German gymnastics teams sponsored by the committee.  Turner societies hosted many of the tour's performances.

The United States Olympic Gymnastic Committee file includes correspondence, meeting minutes, and photographs.  The American Turners had a representative on the committee, and Roy E. Moore, chairman of the committee from 1920 to 1957, was a member of the American Turners.  Most of the members of the U.S. Olympic men's and women's gymnastic teams for 1948, 1952, and 1956 were either members of the American Turners or trained at Turner societies.

The United States Volleyball Association (USVBA) file contains correspondence and meeting minutes.  The American Turners had representatives on the USVBA board during the period covered by the records.

Photographs, 1890-1991, cover primarily individuals who served in national leadership roles, national committees, national sporting events, district activities, activities of the German Turners, and the U.S. Olympic gymnastic teams of the 1940s and 1950s that were composed mainly of Turner members.  Many of the photographs originally appeared in the American Turner Topics.

Audio-Visual Materials, 1933-1995, include 16mm films from the German Turnfests of 1933, 1968, and 1973 and a video made to promote the 1995 Turnfest held in South Bend, Indiana.  This video includes historic film footage of various German Turnfests and of American Turnfests held in 1948 and 1991 and scenes of the South Bend Turners facilities and the sites at the University of Notre Dame where the 1995 competition was held. 

SERIES LIST
CONTENTS
BOX

 

FOLDER

 

National Council    
  Annual Reports    
    1871-1917, 1919-1952 1 1-43
    1952-1966 2 1-2
    Semi-annual reports and resolutions, 1855-1858 2 3
  Minutes    
    1858-1865, 1872-1894 2 4-9
    1894-1900, 1904-1907 3 1-2
    1907-1915 4 1-2
    1915-1923 5 1
    1923-1937, 1939, 1941-1956, 1963-1970 2 10-18
    1971-1998 6 1-25
  Constitution and bylaws/principles and statutes, 1853-1994 6 26-28
  Correspondence, Chronological    
    1864-1865 6 29-30
    1865-1868, 1875-1902, 1905-1908, 1910-1921, 1932-1991, undated 7 1-26
  Correspondence, Subject    
    Anderson, Clifford, 1962-1978 8 1
    Astaldi, Frank, 1972-1978 8 2
    Beckner, John, 1964-1967 8 3
    Beyer, E. F. "Bud", 1966-1969 8 4
    Biebel, Harold D., 1974-1976 8 5
    Boeker, Fred, 1969-1978 8 6
    Boer War, 1901-1902 8 7
    Bunge, Martin, 1914 8 8
    Calhoun, Charles, 1962-1969 8 9
    Crook, Elmer, 1970-1978 8 10
    Dalbke, Warren, 1968-1974 8 11
    Dau, Betty, 1973-1976 8 12
    Dau, Robert, 1968-1978 8 13
    Diamant, Alex, 1964-1971 8 14
    Eisele, Herman, 1940-1974 8 15
    Geber, Charles A., 1941-1952 8 16
    Groth, Ed, 1948-1958 8 17
    Honor Key applications, 1950-1969 8 18
    Intercollegiate athletics, 1949 8 19
    International Volley Ball Review, 1948-1953 8 20
    Jacquin, George J., 1958-1978 8 21-23
    Memoranda to council members, 1937-1980 8 24
    Meyer, William R., 1975-1978 8 25
    Mitchell, Eugene E., 1964-1972 8 26
    Moore, Roy E., 1954-1956 8 27
    Mueller, JoAnn, 1968-1978 8 28
    Nolde, Martin, 1940 8 29
    Olt, Fred, 1924-1927 8 30
    President's Council on Physical Fitness, 1955-1963 8 31
    Racker, Wilfred H., 1965-1978 8 32
    Regional Councilors, 1972-1978 8 33
    Requests for information, 1962-1978 9 1-2
    Schiget, Henry, 1951-1969 9 3
    Schrader, Walter H., 1974-1978 9 4
    Schroeder, Henry, 1957-1965 9 5
    Schuler, Robert J., 1975-1978 9 6
    Serb, Elmer N., 1976-1978 9 7
    Society presidents meeting, 1961 9 8
    Steinlage, Forrest, 1963-1978 9 9
    Trummer, Arnold, 1968-1975 9 10
    Turners serving in World War II, 1942-1947 9 11-12
    Turnfest in Breslau, 1937-1938 9 13
    Turnfest in Stuttgart, 1971-1973 9 14-17
    Volker, Robert J., 1973-1978 9 18
    Warnken, Harry W., 1958-1960 9 19
    Willer, Gretchen, 1971-1978 9 20
    Woehrle, , William, 1972-1978 9 21
  Correspondence, Societies (alphabetical by state)    
    Long Beach, CA Turners, 1975-1978 9 22
    Los Angeles, CA Turners, 1949-1980 9 23
    Pasadena, CA Turners, 1976 9 24
    Sacramento, CA Turn Verein, 1949-1979 9 25
    San Diego, CA Turners, 1963-1976 9 26
    San Francisco, CA Turnverein, 1912 9 27
    San Francisco, CA Turners, 1954 9 28
    Upland, CA Turners, 1976-1977 9 29
    Denver, CO Turnverein, 1910 9 30
    Bridgeport, CT Turner Association, 1955-1988 10 1
    Hartford, CT Turners, 1952-1970 10 2
    Wilmington, DE Turners, 1961-1976 10 3
    Turn Verein Frisch Auf (Aurora, IL), 1952-1980 10 4
    Bloomington, IL Turners, 1954-1955 10 5
    American Turners Northwest Chicago (IL), 1956-1980 10 6
    Chicago, IL Turners, 1956-1969 10 7
    Forward Turner Society (Chicago, IL), 1953-1956 10 8
    Lincoln Turners (Chicago, IL), 1960-1980 10 9
    Social Turners (Chicago, IL), 1947-1956 10 10
    Swiss Turners (Chicago, IL), 1947-1956 10 11
    Turn Verein Eiche (Chicago, IL), 1948-1980 10 12
    Elgin, IL Turners, 1955-1980 10 13
    Moline, IL Turners, ca. 1945-1979 10 14
    Turn Verein Germania (Waukegan, IL), 1951 10 15
    Central Turners (Evansville, IN), 1948-1975 10 16
    Fort Wayne, IN Turners, 1968-1980 10 17
    Athenaeum Turners (Indianapolis, IN), 1948-1987 10 18
    Downtown Turners (Indianapolis, IN), 1973-1976 10 19
    South Side Turners (Indianapolis, IN), 1942-1979 10 20
    American Turners-South Bend (IN), 1958-1980 10 21
    Clinton, IA Turners, 1947-1968 10 22
    Central Turners (Davenport, IA), 1945-1979 10 23
    East Davenport, IA Turners, 1954-1976 10 24
    Northwest Davenport, IA Turner Society, 1953-1980 10 25
    Keystone, IA Turners, 1953-1978 10 26
    American Turners-Covington (KY), 1947-1980 10 27
    American Turners-Louisville (KY), 1950-1980 10 28
    Baltimore, MD Turners, 1947-1980 10 29
    Adams, MA Turners, 1965-1979 11 1
    Boston, MA Turn Verein, 1947-1956 11 2
    German Workingmen's Association (Boston,MA), 1953 11 3
    Clinton, MA Turn Verein, 1951-1980 11 4
    Fitchburg, MA Turners, 1940-1991 11 5
    Holyoke, MA Turners, 1953-1979 11 6
    Springdale Turners (Holyoke, MA), 1953-1980 11 7
    Lawrence, MA Turners, 1953-1979 11 8
    Springfield, MA Turnverein, 1960-1980 11 9
    American Turners-Detroit (MI), 1949-1980 11 10-11
    St. Anthony Turnverein (Minneapolis, MN), 1949-1979 11 12
    New Ulm, MN Turnverein, 1947-1980 11 13
    St. Paul MN Turners, 1949-1979 11 14
    Kansas City, MO Turners, 1953-1979 11 15
    Concordia Turners (St. Louis, MO), 1947-1978 11 16
    North St. Louis, MO Gymnastic Society, 1961-1980 11 17
    Schiller Turners (St. Louis, MO), 1953-1980 11 18
    South Side Turners (Omaha, NE), 1950-1970 11 19
    Manchester, NH Turn Verein, 1951-1967 11 20
    Carlstadt, NJ Turnverein, 1950-1980 11 21
    New Brunswick, NJ Turn Verein, 1957-1959 11 22
    Newark, NJ Turn Verein, 1954-1968 11 23
    Union Hill Turn Verein (North Bergen, NJ), 1954-1990 11 24
    Passaic, NJ Turners, 1960-1980 11 25
    Riverside, NJ Turners, 1960-1980 11 26
    American Turners-Bronx (NY), 1957 11 27
    American Turners-Brooklyn (NY), 1948-1991 11 28-29
    Buffalo, NY Turners, 1953-1979 11 30
    Long Island Turners (Long Island City, NY), 1961-1980 12 1
    Mount Vernon, NY Turners, 1960-1984 12 2
    New York, NY Turn Verein, 1921-1980 12 3
    Rochester, NY Turners, 1950-1978 12 4
    Schenectady, NY Turn Verein, 1958-1980 12 5
    Syracuse, NY Turners, 1956-1980 12 6
    Akron, OH Turner Club, 1965-1980 12 7
    Central Turners (Cincinnati, OH), 1948-1980 12 8
    American Turners S.T.V. (Cleveland, OH), 1949-1981 12 9
    Cleveland, OH East Side Turners, 1962-1979 12 10
    Dayton, OH Liederkranz Turners, 1951-1975 12 11
    American Turners-Toledo (OH), 1967-1980 12 12
    Harmonie Maennerchor, Gesang, und Verein (Ambridge, PA), 1974-1981 12 13
    Beaver Falls, PA Turners, 1953-1979 12 14
    Charleroi, PA Turn Verein, 1953-1978 12 15
    East Erie Turners (Erie, PA), 1971 12 16
    Eintracht Music and Turn Hall Association (Homestead, PA), 1947-1978 12 17
    Johnstown, PA Turn Verein, 1951-1980 12 18
    McKeesport, PA Turners, 1952-1975 12 19
    Monaca, PA Turn Verein, 1961-1980 12 20
    Monessen, PA Turn Verein, 1953-1976 12 21
    Monongahela, PA Turners, 1953-1979 12 22
    Philadelphia, PA Turners, 1953-1982 12 23
    Roxborough Turners (Philadelphia, PA), 1960-1980 12 24
    Rochester, PA Turners, 1964-1980 12 25
    Providence, RI Turners, 1961-1979 12 26
    Chattanooga, TN Turners, 1949-1979 12 27
    Salt Lake City, UT Turnverein, 1914 12 28
    Sahalie Ski Club (Seattle, WA), 1948-1960 12 29
    Madison, WI Turners, 1950-1980 12 30
    Milwaukee, WI Turners, 1914-1980 12 31
    Sheboygan, WI Turners, 1954-1980 12 32
  Secretary's Newsletter, 1939-1956 13 1-2
  National Speaker's Bureau, 1946 13 3
  Poster project, ca. 1920 13 4
  Photographs of individuals, 1930s-1980s 29 1-4
  Photographs of groups, 1950s-1990s 29 5
  Photographs of Vorort, ca. 1898 30 1-2
  Committees    
    National Bowling Committee, 1943-1978 13 5
    National Committee for Complaints and Appeals, 1890-1894 13 6
    National Cultural Education Committee, 1910-1983 13 7-8
      photographs, 1988, 1991 29 6
    National Health and Physical Education Committee    
      minutes and correspondence, 1918-1981 13 9-10
      exercises for instructors, 1949-1952 13 11
      instructors' meeting, 1887-1952 13 12-13
      photographs, 1991 29 7
      instructors' meeting photographs, 1966 29 8
      leaders' course, 1937-1950, 1962-1976 13 14-15
      leaders' course photographs, 1966-1968 29 9
      National Gym Camp, 1983-1986 13 16
    National Legal Committee, 1957-1964 13 17
    National Publicity and Membership Committee, 1968-1969 13 18
    Round Table Conference, 1944-1947 13 19
    Youth Committee, 1938-1956 13 20
Conventions    
  National conventions, 1854-1860, 1865-1902, 1906-1915 14 1-33
  National convention photographs, 1890-1892 29 10
  National convention photograph, 1892 30 3
  Invitation for national convention from Panama-Pacific Universal Exposition, 1915 27 1
  National conventions, 1919-1927 14 34-38
  National convention photograph, 1927    
  National conventions, 1929-1937 14 39-43
  National convention delegate's badge, 1937 31  
  National convention, 1938 15 1-2
  National convention photograph, 1938    
  National conventions, 1940-1944 15 3-5
  National convention photograph, 1944 30 4
  National conventions, 1946-1950 15 6-8
  National convention photograph, 1950 30 5
  National conventions, 1952-1962 15 9-14
  National convention photograph, 1962 29 10
  National conventions, 1964-1984 15 15-25
  National convention photographs, 1984 29 10
  National conventions, 1986-1992 15 26-29
  National convention photographs, 1992 20 10
  National conventions, 1994-2000 15 30-33
Financial Records    
  Journal, 1866-1874 15 34
  Kriegssamlung (War Fund), 1915-1917 15 35
  Annual financial reports    
    1947-1965 15 36-38
    1966-1998 16 1-7
  American Turners tax exemption information, ca. 1950s 16 8
  American Turners Endowment Fund, 1947-1994 16 9-11
  A-T-R Corporation, 1953-1976 16 12-15
  Instructors' Fund, 1931-1982 16 16
  Instructors' Insurance, 1977-1978 16 17
  Jahn Educational Fund, 1925-1978 16 18-19
  Turner Christmas seals sales, 1952-1956 16 20
Membership    
  Citizenship requirement, 1974-1978 16 21
  Civic participation reports, 1952 16 22
  Directories    
    ca. 1930s, 1954, 1972, 1974-1976, 1979-1989 16 23-32
    1991-1999 17 1-5
  Expelled members, 1886-1891 17 6
  50-year member applications, 1917-1920 17 7
  40- and 50-year honorary members, 1952-1955 17 8
  Instructions for new member induction, 1932-1971 17 9
  Membership drive plan, n.d. 17 10
  Membership lists, 1937-1938 17 11-12
  Namensliste der Pioniere des Nordamerikanischen Turnerbundes, 1885 17 13
  Society charters list, 1889-1898 17 14
  Society charters, 1889-1898 17 15-21
  Societies with fewer than 50 members, 1951 17 22
  Statistical reports, 1883-1884, 1937-1938, 1968, 1971-1972, 1975, 1977-1979 17 23-31
  Withdrawn or dissolved societies, 1970s 17 32
Turner Groups    
  American Boy Turners principles and statutes, 1933 18 1
  Turner Pioneers, 1930-1943 18 2-4
Women's Auxiliary    
  Constitution and bylaws, 1931-1970 18 5
  Conventions, 1931, 1935, 1937-1938, 1946-1950, 1956-1958, 1966, 1976, 19841990 18 6-20
  Convention delegate badge, 1952 31  
  Membership, 1953-1986 18 21
  President's newsletter, 1928-1976 18 22
  Correspondence, 1930s-1978 18 23-24
History    
  Name change, 1938-1939 18 25
  Articles    
    Barney, Robert Knight, ca. 1980s 18 26
    Binz, Roland, AGerman Gymnastic Societies in St. Louis, 1850-1913: Emergent Socio-Cultural Institutions,@ 1983 18 27
    Brosius, George, AFifty Years Devoted to the Cause of Physical Culture,@ 1914 18 28
    Grimm, J. Hugo, AGerman Contributions to Missouri,@ 1931 18 29
    Prahl, Augustus J., AHistory of the German Gymnastic Movement of Baltimore,@ 1945 18 30
    Sturtevant, John (?), AThe History of German-American Gymnastics,@ 1955 18 31
    Wilkinson, James G., AThe Influence of the German Turnverein in American Physical Education,@ ca. 1977 18 32
    Various authors, ca. 1893-2002 18 33
  Presidents    
    Seibel, George, 1915-1955 18 34
    Weideman, Carl, 1947-ca. 1954 18 35
  Resolution by the Illinois State Senate, 1993 18 36
  70th anniversary history, 1920 18 37
  Turner Day, New York World's Fair, 1939 18 38
  World War II issues    
    California Chapters, 1939-1942 18 39
    Deutsche Amerikanisch Athletic Verbundes, 1940-1941 18 40
    German conscription, 1939 18 41
    German-American Bund, 1938-1940 18 42
    German-American organizations, 1939-1941 18 43
    Long Island City Turnverein, 1938-1940 18 44
    Middle Atlantic District societies, 1938-1942 18 45
    1936 Olympics film, 1938 18 46
    Turn Verein Milwaukee, 1938-1940 18 47
    Union Hill Turn Verein, 1941-1942 18 48
  Turner commemorative stamp, 1948-1950 18 49-52
  Turner commemorative stamp, 1948 32 1-4
  Turner commemorative seal, 1958 32 5
  Medals and patches, 1889-ca. 1970 31  
Sporting Events    
  National Turnfests    
    National Turnfest rules, 1898-1994 18 53-54
    List of judges, 1936-1941 18 55
    Recommendations on Turnfests, 1933-1943 18 56
    Special awards, 1948-1967 18 57
    National Turnfest committee photograph, ca. 1900 29 11
    National Turnfest committee photograph, ca. 1900    
    24th National Turnfest, 1885 19 1
    25th National Turnfest ribbon, 1889 31  
    26th National Turnfest, 1893 19 2
    26th National Turnfest pin, 1893 31  
    27th National Turnfest, 1897 19 3
    27th National Turnfest, 1896-1897 28 1
    27th National Turnfest medals, 1897 31  
    28th National Turnfest, 1900 19 4
    28th National Turnfest, 1899-1900 28 2
    29th National Turnfest, 1905 19 5-6
      Photographs, 1905 29 12
      Photographs, 1905 30 6-9
    30th National Turnfest, 1909 19 7
    30th National Turnfest, 1909 28 3
    30th National Turnfest medals, 1909 31  
      Photographs, 1909 29 13
    31st National Turnfest, 1913 19 8-9
    31st National Turnfest, 1913 28 4
    National Turnfest, 1917 28 5
    National Turnfest, 1917 31  
    32nd National Turnfest, 1921 19 10
    32nd National Turnfest medals and ribbon, 1921 31  
      Photographs, 1921 29 14
    33rd National Turnfest, 1926 19 11
    33rd National Turnfest medal, 1926 31  
      Photographs, 1926 29 15
    34th National Turnfest, 1930 19 12-13
    35th National Turnfest, 1936 19 14-17
    35th National Turnfest, 1936 28 6
    35th National Turnfest medal, 1936 31  
    36th National Turnfest, 1941 19 18-19
    37th National Turnfest, 1948 19 20-30
    37th National Turnfest, 1948 20 1-4
    37th National Turnfest, 1948 28 7-9
      Photographs, 1948 29 16
    38th National Turnfest, 1951 20 5-12
    39th National Turnfest, 1955 20 13-20
    39th National Turnfest ribbon, 1955 31  
      Photographs, 1955 29 17
    40th National Turnfest, 1959 20 21-29
    41st National Turnfest, 1963 20 30-36
      Photographs, 1963 29 18
    42nd National Turnfest, 1967 21 1-8
    42nd National Turnfest, 1967 28 10
      Photographs, 1967 29 19
    43rd National Turnfest, 1971 21 9-12
    44th National Turnfest, 1975 21 13-15
    45th National Turnfest, 1979 21 16
    46th National Turnfest, 1983 21 17
    46th National Turnfest, 1983 25 17-18
    46th National Turnfest, 1983 28 12
      Photographs, 1983 29 20
    47th National Turnfest, 1987 21 18
    48th National Turnfest, 1991 21 19
    48th National Turnfest, 1991 25 19-23
    48th National Turnfest, 1991 26 1-3
    48th National Turnfest, 1991 28 11
      Photographs, 1991 29 21
    49th National Turnfest, 1995 26 4
      Videorecording, 1995    
  Bids for national tournaments, 1965-1977 21 20
  Jahn Festival, 1911 21 21
  National badminton championship, 1949-1950 21 22
  National basketball championship, 1942-1977 21 23
  National basketball championship, 1953 27 2
  National basketball championship photograph, 1953 29 22
  National bowling tournament, 1950-1990 21 24
  National bowling tournament photograph, 1949 29 23
  National golf tournament, 1965-1994 21 25
  National golf tournament, 1965 27 3
  National golf tournament photographs, 1978 29 24
  National gymnastic championship, 1938-1950, 1953-1954, 1958-1992 21 26-31
  National gymnastic championship, 1965, 1967 27 4
  Invitational gymnastic meet, 1953 21 32
  National Junior Turnfest, 1929 21 33
  National Junior Turnfest diploma of honor, 1932 27 5
  National softball tournament, 1975-1995 21 34
  National swimming championship, 1940-1960 21 35
  National tennis championship, 1968-1978 21 36
  National track and field championship, 1942-1947 21 37
  National volleyball championship, 1936-1947, 1949-1950, 1952-1956 21 38-42
  National volleyball championship, 1957-1958, 1961-1968, 1971-1977 22 1-3
  National volleyball championship photographs, 1981 29 25
  Circuit Turnfest ribbon and pin, 1887-1895 31  
Publications    
  AThe American Turner,@ 1917 22 4
  AAmerican Turner Topics@    
    1936-1956, 1958-1959, 1963-2000 22 5-66
    1960-1962, 2001-2004, 2006-2008 26 5-9, 15-16, 19-21
  AEssays Concerning the German System of Gymnastics,@ n.d. 22 67
  Freidenker almanac and Turner calender, 1901 22 68
  German songs, n.d. 22 69
  Guidelines for Turner activities, 1925-1971 26 10
  Jahn Education Foundation lectures, 1955-1958 26 11
  Map of Columbian Exposition and Turner societies in Chicago, 1893    
  Promotional literature, 1919-ca. 1980s 26 12
  Releases for society publications, 1948-1956 26 13
  Turner catalogs, 1938-1975 26 14
  ATurner March@ by Charles E. Weik, 1909 27 7
  Turner schoolbook, 1870 23 1
  Turner songs, 1890s-1951 23 2
  Turners' World's Fair publication, 1893 23 3
  Yearbook of German-American Turners, 1890-1894 23 4-6
Districts    
  Central States District    
    District convention minutes, 1880-1897, 1908-1910, 1921-1949, 1951-1955, 1977-1982, 1984-1991 23 7-17
    District convention photograph, 1902 30 10
    District convention ribbons, 1906-1921 31  
    National convention delegates, 1983-1986 23 18
    Constitution, 1980 23 19
    Correspondence, 1976-1984 23 20
    District officers' meeting minutes, 1974-1986 23 21
    Leadership conference, 1975-1986 23 22
    Mid-winter conference, 1978-1983 23 23
    Activities, 1934-1990 23 24
    District Turnfest pins and ribbons, 1886-1907 31  
    District Turnfest diploma of honor, 1940 27 8
    Golf tournament, 1976-1983 23 25
    Photographs, 1953-1989 29 26-27
  Chicago District Turnfest program, 1901 23 26
  Connecticut District history, 1912 23 27
  Illinois District    
    Activities, 1923-1989 23 28
    Turner camp, 1928-1986 23 29
    Songbooks, ca. 1930s 23 30
    Ribbons and pins, 1898-1940 31  
    Photographs, 1915-1954 29 28-29
  Kansas District bylaws, 1874 23 31
  Lake Erie District    
    Convention minutes, 1891, 1903, 1925-1939 23 32-33
    Convention minutes, 1940-1949 24 1
    Correspondence, 1919 24 2
    District Turnfest souvenir programs, 1898-1950 24 3
    Circuit Turnfest workplan and program, 1929 24 4
    Photographs, 1947-1949 29 30
  Long Island District exhibition program, 1895 24 5
  Middle Atlantic District statutes, 1973 24 6
  Midwest District correspondence, 1947-1956 24 7
  Minnesota District statutes and bylaws, n.d., and postcard for district Turnfest, 1915 24 8
  Missouri District correspondence, 1954-1956 24 9
  Missouri Valley District convention minutes, 1888 24 10
  New England District    
    Convention minutes, 1939-1972 24 11
    Constitution and bylaws, 1964-1984 24 12
    District Turnfest rules and programs, 1935-1973 24 13
    Candlepin tournament rules and programs, 1963-1967 24 14
  New Jersey District society directory, 1931 24 15
  New York District    
    Constitution and bylaws, 1900-1987 24 16
    Society directories, 1940-1994 24 17
    District Turnfest programs, 1913-1946 24 18
    Course description for gymnastic instructors' course, 1916-1917 24 19
    Photographs, 1947 29 31
  Ohio District    
    Convention minutes, 1869-1871 24 20
    Publications, 1885-1928 24 21
  Ohio Valley District convention minutes, 1873-1879 24 22
  Pacific District convention minutes, 1949 24 23
  Philadelphia District convention minutes, 1895-1897 24 24
  St. Louis District    
    Convention minutes, 1898-1945 24 25
    History, 1912 24 26
    District Turnfest, 1902 24 27
  Upper Mississippi District    
    Convention minutes, 1916-1918, 1929-1937, 1940-1963 24 28-30
    Convention invitation and song sheet, 1938 24 31
    Regional invitational Turnfest program, 1964 24 32
  Upper Missouri District convention minutes, 1895 24 33
  Western New York District    
    Convention minutes, 1945-1960 24 34
    Correspondence, 1915 24 35
    District Turnfest souvenir programs, 1896-1924 24 36
    Photographs, n.d. 29 32
  Western Pennsylvania District    
    Convention minutes, 1896-1982 24 37
    Constitution and bylaws, 1925-1968 24 38
    Athletic events, 1906-1971 24 39
    Reports and publications, 1936-1982 24 40
    Women's Auxiliary constitution and bylaws, 1969 24 41
    Photographs, 1950-1971 29 33
  Wisconsin District    
    Convention minutes and reports, 1895-1994 24 42
    Listing of societies, n.d. 24 43
    District Turnfest program, 1938 24 44
    Photographs, 1950 29 34
German Turners    
  Yearbooks, 1926-1957 24 45
  Publications, 1897-1995 25 1
  ADer Turner,@ 1902-1903 25 2
  Bonner Turnverein e.V.1860, 1999 25 3
  Keiler Gaenner-Turnverein bylaws, 1844-1857 25 4
  Sportfreunde Dottingen, 1948 25 5
  Turngemeinde Schweinfurt, 1949 25 5
  Turnfest, 1908-1938, 1958, 1973 25 7-10
    Films, 1933, 1968, 1973    
  European gymnastic organizations' publications, 1894-1900 25 11
  Photographs, 1880-1923 29 35
  Deutscher Turnerbund pennant, 1991 27 9
Related Organizations    
  Amateur Athletic Union articles of alliance and event records, 1891-1959 25 12
  Amateur Athletic Union minutes, 1895 27 10
  Freidenker Vereine, 1892-1903 25 13
  German-American Gymnastic Committee, 1957-1958 25 14
  United States Olympic Gymnastic Committee, 1955-57 25 15
  United States Olympic Gymnastic Committee photographs, 1948-1956 29 36
  United States Volleyball Association, 1949-1965 25 16
Photographs [search the collection online ] 29-30  
Audio-Visual Materials    
  Video Recordings    
    Film (16mm)    
      German Turnfest, 1933    
      German Turnfest, 1968    
      German Turnfest, 1973    
    VHS Format    
      49th National Turnfest, 1995    
Last updated by bburk on 04/08/2009