The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center is an open-air folklife museum and research center dedicated to preserving and celebrating Pennsylvania German folk culture, history, and language in a unique educational setting at Kutztown University.

Fraktur – Pennsylvania German Document Art

Pennsylvania German document art, often called Fraktur, is among the most celebrated of early American folk art. Combining inscriptions in German blackletter calligraphy (Fraktur-Schrift) with hand-painted, hand-colored, or printed images, these documents were typically produced by school masters, ministers, and professional calligraphers known as scriveners. The majority of these documents are birth and baptismal certificates (Taufscheine), but examples also include house blessings, family registers, bookplates, handwriting samples (Vorschriften), and awards of merit. These documents were often religious in nature, and were intended to commemorate various important events in the lives of Pennsylvania German families, or as inspirational works of art.