Newberry Library Microfilm Digitization
Interim web Page

Bookmark this page as http://www.wwjohnston.net/famhist/newberry-films.htm
Last updated: March 24, 2015 -- Added New Images of St Paul's Marriage Certificates; Marriages 1872-1897; Deaths 1869-1888, 1888-1947, 1949-1986; Indexes 1-4; Communicants 1887-1904; Confirmations 1880-1900; Baptisms 1863-1985
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This is an interim web page for the purpose of presenting the files of digitalized microfilm images that I created in September 2012 and October 2013. I took just under 27,000 pictures in 2 weeks in 2012 and about 18,000 in 2013. I call this page interim, since I anticipate that this page will ultimately become obsolete when the Newberry Library's ChicagoAncestors web site becomes the home for this material. But the process of making the images organized and available for use for that purpose requires a good deal of work by me, which will require years of image processing. So this web page brings some sense of organization and links to the files, in the raw form of the images as I took them.

I had not originally made this page public. But in October 2013, after talking with Matt Rutherford of the Newberry Library, he said that their goal is to make these films more available, so that I should go ahead and make the page and the files public.

At this time, all of the 2012 images are posted, and I have begun posting the 2013 images, but there are more 2013 images yet to come.

I took high quality digital photographs of the complete reels (except for some blank pages) of the following. The microfilm reel numbers are all under the Newberry Library's Local History Reference. Note that in some cases, the images on the microfilm required taking two digital images of each microfilm image, one of the top of the original page and one of the bottom of the original page.

  • Lutheran Church Records
    • First St. Paul's - digitized both reels of call number 1076 and all three reels of 1077 - BOTH REELS OF CALL #1076 NOW POSTED, REEL 1 of #1077 NOW POSTED, PART OF REEL 2 of #1077 POSTED
    • First Immanuel - digitized both reels of call number 867 (thus all existing Immanuel reels) - BOTH REELS NOW COMPLETELY POSTED
    • Zion - digitized both reels of call number 1260 (thus all existing Zion reels) - BOTH REELS NOW COMPLETELY POSTED
    • Bethlehem - digitized all reels 1-3 (thus all existing Bethlehem reels) - REEL 1 NOW COMPLETELY POSTED

  • German-American Cemetery Records
    • Wunders - digitized both reels of call number 1261 (thus all existing Wunders reels) - BOTH REELS NOW COMPLETELY POSTED
    • Waldheim - digitized the first two reels of call number 1215 (thus all existing Waldheim reels) - BOTH REELS NOW COMPLETELY POSTED
    • Forest Home - digitized reels 3-5 of call number 1215 (thus all existing Forest Home reels) - ALL THREE REELS NOW COMPLETELY POSTED

NOTE: These are VERY LARGE files and may take some time to download, even on a high-speed connection. If you left-click the link, your browser might show a blank window with the processing icon spinning up above that will stay that way for a long time. You can just let it run, and it will eventually download the file. But a BETTER OPTION is to right-click on the link and then save the PDF file to your hard-drive and then view it from there.

About the Images

I took the digital images with a camera aimed at the microfilm reader screen. I use the term "raw" for images that are as I took them, showing the microfilm reader and the immediate surrounding space. The images should all ideally be cropped, so that only the documents appear. However, the first step in my processing is simply to organize the images and make them available. So I am first putting the images into PDF files of the raw blocks of records. When there are only 300 or so records in a PDF, the software that I have can handle generation of the PDF at 300 dots per inch. For larger PDF files, I have to use 150 dpi, which sacrifices some visual quality but does not sacrifice readability.

In some cases, large ledger books were used to record the original entries. For these, I took two images per page - first the top and then the bottom (although I sometimes took the bottom first and then the top and then the bottom again, when my rhythm was disturbed.)

I also used the rule of thumb that if I lost track of whether I had photographed an image, then I would photograph it, even if that meant creating a duplicate. Since the person doing the microfilming had also used this rule of thumb, there is some redundancy of images, which final image processing must eventually eliminate.

The PDF files are not necessarily in the order that they appear on the microfilm. They are in order by date within record type within reel within church/cemetery. I did not include trailing or leading blank pages in the PDF files.


First St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church

There are two reels of microfilm under call number 1076 and three under call number 1077. The organization of the films on the reels reflects the organization in the original books - but in reverse order, since reel 1 of microfilm 1076 has somehow become reversed. The bottom line is that there is a nightmarish jumble of records. For one example, there are different sections of the same type of records that have overlapping date ranges. For another example, the Minutes are a problem, since in the midst of them are multiple groups of death records and a list of names. And even when there are blocks of pages of the same types of records, they are often in reverse chronological order by year due to the microfilm order reversal, so that they are even further jumbled.

Reel 1 of 1076 needs extensive work to properly organize the images into a final presentation. All I can do at this point is to try to separate out the blocks of records in the raw images, with the recognition that while this greatly improves access to the records, much more work is still needed to present the records properly.

I have separated the blocks of records into different PDF files, rather than trying to put them all back into a single file for each type of record.

Here are links to the PDF files of raw images for the two reels of microfilm that I have digitized.

NOTE: These are VERY LARGE files and may take some time to download, even on a high-speed connection. If you left-click the link, your browser might show a blank window with the processing icon spinning up above that will stay that way for a long time. You can just let it run, and it will eventually download the file. But a BETTER OPTION is to right-click on the link and then save the PDF file to your hard-drive and then view it from there.

  • Call Number 1076-Reel 1 (14 PDF files, two repeated in different categories - NOT in order as they are on the film)
    • Baptisms
      • 1846-1859 (150 dpi; 73 MB; 261 pages) -- in reverse order by year - overlaps with and includes two pages of Confirmants at front of PDF and one page of Constitution near end of PDF
      • 1859-1863 (150 dpi; 65 MB; 204 pages) -- in reverse order by year
    • Confirmants and Communicants - sometimes separate; sometimes on same pages
      • Confirmants 1852-1865 (300 dpi; 65 MB; 27 pages) -- in reverse order by year - includes duplicates two images of baptisms due to overlap
      • Confirmants and Communicants 1846-1871 (150 dpi; 65 MB; 204 pages) -- in reverse order by year
      • Confirmants 1873-1878 (300 dpi; 28 MB; 20 pages) -- in reverse order by year
      • Confirmants 1878 or 1879 (300 dpi; 254 MB; 181 pages) -- This is really the 1846-1868 death file, but it includes two 1878 or 1879 Confirmation PDF pages just prior to the last two pages of the PDF file. These are the final (chonologically) Confirmation entries in the book.
      • Communicants 1872?? (150 dpi; 98 MB; 310 pages) - This is the marriages, but it includes what appears to be the final (undated) page of communicants.
    • Deaths
      • 1846-1868 (300 dpi; 254 MB; 181 pages) -- in reverse chronological order by year - includes two 1878 or 1879 Confirmation PDF pages just prior to last two pages of PDF file
      • 1868 (300 dpi; 2 MB; 2 pages) - Sequential numbers 1161-1173
      • 1868-1869 (300 dpi; 20 MB; 15 pages) - Sequential numbers 1226-1251, 1200-1225, 1174-1197, in that order
    • Marriages
      • 1846-1871 (150 dpi; 98 MB; 310 pages) - in reverse order by year - stray 1865 Busse-Müller marriage inserted on paper with 1846 marriages (see PDF page 305) - also PDF page 308 is a name list
    • Minutes and Constitution
      • 1846-1881 (first part) (150 dpi; 365 MB; 797 pages) - concludes in middle of constitution
      • 1846-1881 (second part) (300 dpi; 6 MB; 5 pages) - last part of constitution [follows immediately after name list, which is immediately after 1868-1869 deaths, which is immediately after first part of Minutes]
      • 1846-1881 (third part) (300 dpi; 4 MB; 2 pages) - Constitution, Articles 1-4 [follows immediately after deaths 1161-1173, which are after part 2 of Minutes]
      • Constitution and Book Title Pages (300 dpi; 16.5 MB; 13 pages) - This is the very first part of the book -- and the very last part of the microfilm.
    • Name List
      • c1869 (300 dpi; 5 MB; 4 pages) - not sure what this is; appears to be related to articles of consitution; follows immediately after 1868-1869 deaths, just before which are the first part of the 1848-1881 Minutes

  • Call Number 1076-Reel 2 (3 PDF files - in order as they are on film)
    The original images on this microfilm were in reverse order, due to someome improperly rewinding the reel onto another reel. (The originals on the microfim are in correct chronological order, if the film is properly rewound.) However the PDF files have the images in the correct order, with the exception that the reel box photos are at the end of the PDF of the 1876-1895 Minutes. Each physical page of the original book is often captured in the PDF file as two images - top and bottom of the physical page - so that there is some overlap.
    • Minutes
      • 1848-1895
        • 1848-1863 (300 dpi; 118 MB; 100 images)
        • 1863-1876 (150 dpi; 130 MB; 563 images)
        • 1876-1895 (150 dpi; 156 MB; 699 images) - photos of microfilm box at end of this PDF

  • Call Number 1077-Reel 1 (PDF files - NOT in order as they are on film)
    • Baptisms
      • Confirmations
        • Communicants
        • Deaths
        • Marriages
          • 1897-1985 (300 dpi; 717 MB; 411 images)
          • 1897-1985 (150 dpi; 200 MB; 453 images)
          • Certificate Carbon Copies (300 dpi; 57 MB; 37 images) - Carbon copies of after-the-fact certificates for marriages recorded in the registers, along with miscellaneous related papers (such as notes about what marriage to look up) - There is no apparent order to this group of records.
          • Indexes
            I am not sure what these indexes are indexing. They come one after the other, immediately after the 1869-1888 deaths, which are immediately after the 1872-1897 marriages.
            • Index 1 (300 dpi; 178 MB; 101 images) - This index begins with H surnames. It does not include any A-G surnames.
            • Index 2 (300 dpi; 109 MB; 65 images)
            • Index 3 (300 dpi; 101 MB; 61 images)

  • Call Number 1077-Reel 2 (PDF files - NOT in order as they are on film)
    • Baptisms
    • Communicants
      • 1897-1904 (300 dpi; 4 MB; 2 images) - I am not entirely sure these are communicants.
    • Deaths
    • Indexes
      I am not sure what these indexes are indexing. This one comes after 1897-1904 Communicants, but it appears to be (in reverse order from G to A), the first part of Index 1 on the previous microfilm reel.
      • Index 4 (300 dpi; 40 MB; 22 images)

  • Call Number 1077-Reel 3 (PDF files - NOT in order as they are on film)
    • Deaths

First Immanuel Lutheran Church

There are two reels of microfilm under call number 867. Thus I have digitzed the complete set of Immanuel Church records held by Newberry. The organization of the films on the reels reflects the organization in the original books, except that the microfilmers chose to film the earliest book as the last one on the microfilm. The bottom line is that there is a real jumble of types of records. This is primarily due to the way that the entries were made in the books. Even the Newberry Library listing of contents on the side of the microfilm box did not have the actual order of the records on the film (nor in some cases the correct years), although the list was mostly accurate.

For example, the records of confirmants from 1879 to 1908 was begun in a middle section of the book. But when in 1886 the list of confirmants grew and reached a page that was followed by another record enumeration, an earlier page in the book was used to continue the listing. But that section also ran out of room in 1894, so that yet a third section was begun on an even earlier page in the book. The result is that the confirmants for 1879 to 1908 are actually in thee blocks in reverse chronological order: 1894-1908, 1887-1894, 1879-1886.

I have separated the blocks of records into different PDF files, rather than trying to put them all back into a single file for each type of record.

Here are links to the PDF files of raw images for the two reels of microfilm.

NOTE: These are VERY LARGE files and may take some time to download, even on a high-speed connection. If you left-click the link, your browser might show a blank window with the processing icon spinning up above that will stay that way for a long time. You can just let it run, and it will eventually download the file. But a BETTER OPTION is to right-click on the link and then save the PDF file to your hard-drive and then view it from there.

  • Reel 1 (17 PDF files - NOT in order as they are on the film)

  • Reel 2 (8 PDF files - NOT in order as they are on the film)
    • Baptisms
    • Burials
    • Church Council Members (includes Pastors)
    • Confirmations
    • Marriages
    • Transfers In

Zion Lutheran Church

There are two reels of microfilm under call number 1260. I have digitzed both reels. The organization of the films on the reels reflects the organization in the original books.

I have separated the blocks of records into different PDF files, rather than trying to put them all back into a single file for each type of record.

Here are links to the PDF files of raw images for the first of the three reels of microfilm.

NOTE: These are VERY LARGE files and may take some time to download, even on a high-speed connection. If you left-click the link, your browser might show a blank window with the processing icon spinning up above that will stay that way for a long time. You can just let it run, and it will eventually download the file. But a BETTER OPTION is to right-click on the link and then save the PDF file to your hard-drive and then view it from there.

  • Reel 1 ( PDF files - in order as they are on the film)
  • Reel 2 ( PDF files - not in order as they are on the film)
    • Baptisms
    • Confirmations
      • 1868-1942 (300 dpi; 168 MB; 111 images) - 1888 and 1889 are the last three pages
    • Deaths
    • Marriages

First Bethlehem Lutheran Church

There are three reels of microfilm under call number 1173. I have digitzed only the first reel. The organization of the films on the reels reflects the organization in the original books.

I have separated the blocks of records into different PDF files, rather than trying to put them all back into a single file for each type of record. Note that there are gaps in the years of some of the records. I do not know if the missing dates are covered in reel 2, nor do I know the reason for the gaps ... I can only show what is on reel 1, and this is what is on reel 1.

Here are links to the PDF files of raw images for the first of the three reels of microfilm.

NOTE: These are VERY LARGE files and may take some time to download, even on a high-speed connection. If you left-click the link, your browser might show a blank window with the processing icon spinning up above that will stay that way for a long time. You can just let it run, and it will eventually download the file. But a BETTER OPTION is to right-click on the link and then save the PDF file to your hard-drive and then view it from there.

  • Reel 1 (8 PDF files - NOT in order as they are on the film)
    • Baptisms
      • 1871-1876 (300 dpi; 349 MB; 219 pages)
      • 1876-1877 (300 dpi; 98 MB; 62 pages)
      • 1877-1892 (144 dpi; 319 MB; 1,072 pages) - first page is 19 Oct 1880 letter, second and third are loose sheets with notes of three baptisms; fourth page begins the register
    • Deaths (Totenregister)
    • Communicants
    • Confirmations
      • 1874 (300 dpi; 4 MB; 2 pages)
    • Marriages

Wunders Cemetery

There are two reels of microfilm under call number 1261. I have digitzed both reels. The organization of the contents and books on the reels is as shown in the "Wunders Cemetery Records" document. The records range from 1870 to 1944, except for one 20 Apr 1960 burial.

For now, I have NOT separated the blocks of records into different PDF files. Each reel is on a single PDF file. So you did need to consult the "Wunders Cemetery Records Document" in order to know where to look for something.

Here are links to the PDF files of raw images.

NOTE: These are VERY LARGE files and may take some time to download, even on a high-speed connection. If you left-click the link, your browser might show a blank window with the processing icon spinning up above that will stay that way for a long time. You can just let it run, and it will eventually download the file. But a BETTER OPTION is to right-click on the link and then save the PDF file to your hard-drive and then view it from there.

  • Reel 1 (150 dpi; 326 MB, 1,225 images)
  • Reel 2 (150 dpi; 308 MB, 1,301 images)

Waldheim Cemetery

There are two reels of microfilm under call number 1215. I have digitzed both reels. The reels are nicely organized into the specific volumes, which are each reproduced in a separate PDF file here.

Here are links to the PDF files of raw images.

NOTE: These are VERY LARGE files and may take some time to download, even on a high-speed connection. If you left-click the link, your browser might show a blank window with the processing icon spinning up above that will stay that way for a long time. You can just let it run, and it will eventually download the file. But a BETTER OPTION is to right-click on the link and then save the PDF file to your hard-drive and then view it from there.


Forest Home Cemetery

There are three reels of microfilm under call number 1215, the same call number as Waldheim, since the cemeteries are adjacent. So the Forest Home reels are numbered 3-5. I have digitzed all three reels. The reels are nicely organized into the specific volumes, which are each reproduced in a separate PDF file here.

Here are links to the PDF files of raw images.

NOTE: These are VERY LARGE files and may take some time to download, even on a high-speed connection. If you left-click the link, your browser might show a blank window with the processing icon spinning up above that will stay that way for a long time. You can just let it run, and it will eventually download the file. But a BETTER OPTION is to right-click on the link and then save the PDF file to your hard-drive and then view it from there.