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Thomas R. Brendle Collection of Pennsylvania Germania

Identifier: MS 060


This collection consists of newspaper column clippings, manuscripts, articles, radio scripts, and audio recordings on Pennsylvania German dialect, music, folklore and culture. Also included are church records from the Eastern Pennsylvania area. Materials date from the early 19th century through 1968.


  • c.1800-1968,
  • Majority of material found within 1918-1957


Restrictions on Access

Access unrestricted.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Photocopying and publication restricted by copyright. except by permission of copyright holder..

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Royce Brendle (1889-1966) was born on September 15, 1889 in Schaefferstown, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. After attending Albright College, Brendle transferred to Franklin and Marshall College where he completed his undergraduate work in 1908. In 1911 he graduated from the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) and married Anna Schwartz. Soon after graduation, Brendle began ministry work at a church mission in Abilene, Kansas. He returned to Pennsylvania in 1913 to serve as pastor of the Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Church in Montgomery County. He remained in Montgomery County until 1926 when he was reassigned as pastor of the Egypt Reformed Church in Lehigh County. During most of his adult life Brendle researched and collected Pennsylvania-German folklore, which he kept in numerous notebooks and scrapbooks. With William S. Troxell he collected and recorded folk songs from 1935-1940 and served as a director and officer (including, Secretary, 1944-1961) of the Pennsylvania German Society. Thomas Royce Brendle died on September 1, 1966 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.


15.5 Linear feet (39 boxes)

Language of Materials



Collection: Arranged into five series by type and /or subject of material and into subseries within each series.

Ownership and Custodial History

All of the materials in this collection were donated to Franklin and Marshall College's Fackenthal Library in 1958 by the Rev. Thomas R. Brendle, Secretary of the Pennsylvania German Society. A substantial portion of the materials, including most of the clippings on PA German dialect, were acquired by Mr. Brendle from the estate of William S. Troxell whose daily PA-German dialect column 'Pumpernickle Bill' makes up the bulk of the clippings. Additional 'Scholla' columns were donated by Walter L. Sonen ca. 1968. Approximately 450 German-American books and pamphlets, donated with this collection, have previously been incorporated into the library's collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Thomas R. Brendle. Address--Egypt, PA. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1958..

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Walter L. Sonen. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1968..

Related Archival Materials

[Collections]: Custodian--Center for Pennsylvania German Studies: Address--Millersville University, Millersville, PA, Country--USA..

Related Archival Materials

Thomas R. Brendal [sic] Scrapbooks (MS 163): Custodian--Special Collections and Archives, Ganser Library: Address--Millersville University, Millersville, PA, Country--USA..

Processing Information

Processing completed November 2003.

Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Franklin and Marshall College Special Collections Repository

PO Box 3003
Lancaster PA 17604 United States