Center for Research Libraries - Global Resources Network

Resources for

German Illustrated Periodicals

James Simon
Director of Global Resources, The Center for Research Libraries


“Anxiety in Paris” is portrayed in issue 3693 of Fliegende Blätter (1916) following a bombing campaign in Verdun. From CRL Collections.

The Center for Research Libraries holds a number of illustrated press periodicals from Germany. Illustrated weeklies served an important niche in society, utilizing “the powerful visual representation of symbols and stereotypes to gain access to an illiterate public impossible to reach through the written press, thus creating an opportunity to educate them.”1 Scholar Michèle Martin points out that in the mid-19th century, engraved drawings were routinely used to convey contemporary events and were taken not as “products of the imagination” but as the representation of reality.2 It was thus that the illustrated weekly gained enormous appeal during periods of conflicts for their depiction of scenes “from the front.”

The German “Illustrirte Zeitung” was founded in July 1843, using news, practical knowledge, and serialized novels to appeal to the general population. The illustrations and photographs, printed in lavish detail on thick paper stock, provided readers with stunning representations of German culture and events from the revolutions in Europe through the Second World War. CRL holds a complete run on fiche for 1843–1944.

Die Gartenlaube began in 1853, modeled more on the classical version of the illustrated press, including essays on a variety of topics and current events, novels, short stories, and other ‘useful information.’ It quickly gained the strongest readership of any periodical at the time (382,000 in 1873)3 and was considered “the Family Paper of Germany.”4 CRL holds a complete fiche version from 1853–1944.

Über Land und Meer was founded in 1858 and was well renowned for its publication of novels and essays from leading authors in Germany. This title, as well as Gartenlaube, suspended their more generalist articles to cover the events of the Franco-Prussian war.
Other titles of interest which CRL holds include:

Title: Der Bazar: illustrirte Damen-Zeitung Imprint: [Berlin: Louis Schaefer, Holdings: v. 9–11, 13, 16, 18–21, 29–31 [1863–1885]

Unf title: Deutsche Blätter (Leipzig, Germany: 1863) Imprint: Leipzig: E. Keil Holdings: 1863–1876 (42 fiche)

CRL has recently acquired selected issues of Fliegende Blätter, the Munich satirical illustrated journal, for the period [1845–1934].