Skip to main content
BGSU University Libraries

BGSU 1910 - Understanding Immigration: Global and Local Perspectives (Fall 2017): CAC

Overview to the CAC

The Center for Archival Collections is home to BGSU's University Archives. We're also the regional repository for local history and government resource materials (of northwest Ohio); Genealogy, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes. We're located on the 5th floor of the library and look forward to working with you on your research project.


Monday: 8AM-9PM
Tuesday - Friday: 8AM-5PM
*All services end 15 minutes prior to close.
  • —Feel free to stop by anytime the CAC is open or make an appointment.

How to request materials

1) Identify the materials you would like to consult. For books and journals, make note of the call number. For archival collections, make note of specific collection titles and numeric identifiers,  as well as the specific boxes and folders you would like to use.
2) Visit the 5th floor of Jerome Library & complete a Researcher Application Form for the items you would like to view.
3) We will pull the materials and you may view them in the reading room. Our materials do not circulate, but you can take notes, make photocopies or scan to PDF on the photocopier, or you can take photos with your cell phone or camera.

Schraidt Collection

MS 632 - Louis Emil Schraidt Collection

Page from one of the scrapbooks in the Louis Emil Schraidt Collection featuring 5 family photosThe papers of the Louis Emil Schraidt family consist of 2 linear feet of material centered on Johann Casper Schraidt of Ottawa County, Ohio. Spanning the years from 1847 to 1971, the collection includes correspondence (some in German), legal documents, clippings, photographs, and genealogical files relating to the Schraidt, Weigand, Kuehner, and Trapp families of German immigrants to the Lake Erie Islands area, as well as information on the wine culture of the region.

One group of correspondence in the collection includes a series of German letters between Franz and Alois Trapp, written between California and Sandusky from the 1860s through the 1880s, with some personal documents dating to 1847. These have typed transliterations for a few pieces, but no translations. The other body of correspondence relates to the family of Louis Emil Schraidt, including letters between his mother (Wilhelmina Trapp Schraidt Weigand), a series of letters from daughter Norma Schraidt Parrino and her family, and letters from miscellaneous friends. 

The legal documents in the collection include both personal papers, such as marriage certificates and wills, as well as property records. These center primarily on Wilhelmina Trapp, her first marriage to Caspar Schraidt, his estate, her marriage to William Weigand, and their property in Put-in-Bay, on South Bass Island, Lake Erie. 

The final section of the collection consists of photographic material, both loose items and family photo albums. The loose photos show views of Schraidt/Weigand related wine businesses in Put-in-Bay. The albums were the possessions of Louis Emil Schraidt, and most of the identifications supplied were written by him.

View the complete finding aid and inventory.

Margit Heskett Collection

Abgangszeugnis for Artur Bloch, 1920MS 1091 - Margit Heskett Collection

Margit B. Heskett, a native of Czechoslovakia, was born July 17, 1920 to Karl and Flora Bloch in Teplice in northwest Bohemia. While in her late teens she and her parents fled their homeland and came to the United States in the wake of World War II. Her father, an architectural engineer settled the family in New York. Margit enrolled at Columbia University to study architecture. Her deep interest in the arts, however, prompted her to change her major. She received her B.S. degree in physical education from Wittenberg University and in 1964 completed her M.A. in dance at Columbia. Heskett taught dance at BGSU in the Department of Physical Education and Recreation from 1965 until her retirement in 1979. Modern and folk dancing were her specialties. The University Performing Art Dancers were formed during her tenure. She also organized dance workshops for the community, led dance troupes on tours and traveled extensively in Europe where she studied and performed. 

The collection includes 5 linear feet of correspondence, files, literary productions, printed materials, news clippings, photographs, sound recordings and motion picture film documenting Heskett's life as a dancer, scholar and innovative instructor of dance. The collection begins with Margit’s parents’ correspondence in Europe in 1913 and ends with her own memorial service in 2010. The correspondence and news clippings provide considerable detail about her life in dance, her associates, her folk dancing studies abroad, her travels, a vast interest in the arts, and her commitment to Ethnic Studies at BGSU. Since Margit was the only child of Karl and Flora Bloch, family documents comprise a large portion of the collection beginning with her parents’ correspondence in 1913.

View the complete finding aid and inventory.

The United Ladies’ Sewing Circle (Sandusky, Ohio)

MS 544 - The United Ladies’ Sewing Circle (Sandusky, Ohio)

Handwritten page from the minute books of the United Ladies Sewing CircleOn January 28, 1891 Mrs. William Altstaetter and Mrs. Jacob Greenfelder founded the German Ladies' Sewing Circle, an independent women's organization consisting of twelve charter members. The organization was formed for charitable reasons. Women met weekly, sewing bedding and sheets for Good Samaritan and Providence Hospitals. The women continued to sew for Good Samaritan hospital, but they also entered into other charitable ventures, which included contributions to the needy and maintenance of day nursery facilities for small children of widows.

During World War I, original members feared that animosities toward the country of Germany would be directed at them because of the name German Ladies, so it was changed to the United Ladies' Sewing Circle. Priorities of the organization also changed. As the Good Samaritan Hospital's demand for home-sewn bedding decreased, the organization looked for other ways to serve the community. The organization expanded its contributions to Good Samaritan Hospital, the Young Men's Christian Association, Girl's State, Follett House, the Sparkle Shower for Toledo State Hospital and the Sandusky Area Cultural Center.

View the complete finding aid and inventory.

Franz, Sauer, and Rettig Family Papers

Postcard depicting soldiers moving equipment with caption "ready for action"

MS 1098 - Franz, Sauer and Rettig Family Papers

Henry Franz was born on July 6, 1837 in Hessen, Nassau, Germany. In the spring of 1852, Henry along with his father, Johann Franz, mother, Christina George Franz, and siblings, William, Elizabeth, Jacob, Anna Christina, John August and Frederick immigrated to the United States aboard the Vista. The family settled in Galion, Ohio about three miles from town, but moved again in 1854, settling in Flat Rock Township, Henry County. Soon after the family moved, United States erupted into a Civil War, and Henry Franz enlisted in the Union Army, 68th Regiment, Ohio Infantry. After the Civil War, Henry Franz married Mary Kemm and they had six children; Irene, Emma, Louise, Katie, Mary, Nettie and Adolph.

The collection consists of family correspondence starting with the Franz family before and during the Civil War, and then the Sauer and Rettig family correspondence which is dated until 1975. The rest of the collection consists of varying literary productions including a memoir which describes the family’s initial immigration to the United States, legal documents such as Henry Franz’s military pension information, financial documents, newspaper clippings of the Rettig family’s music store, and photographic materials, all of which supply details of the family history and activities.

View the complete finding aid and inventory.

Contact Information

To access CAC materials, please visit us on the 5th floor of the library. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us: 

Megan Goins-Diouf
Reference Archivist

Michelle Sweetser
Head Librarian

Related Secondary Sources