Tuesday, November 29, 2011
In 1626, Peter Minuit — a native of the German town of Wesel am Rhein — purchased Manhattan Island for 60 guilders worth of trade goods. Since that purchase, German immigrants have been integral to the development of the city of New York. As the German community in New York exploded in size, it built churches, started businesses, founded hospitals, created clubs, propagated culture, erected monuments, and birthed dynasties in business and the arts. Over the years, however, the community assimilated and dispersed, but it left an indelible mark on the city. New York has been built up and torn down, both by design and by tragedy, but if you look closely, traces of the German immigrant experience can still be found hiding throughout the city’s corridors. German Traces NYC is a mobile, augmented reality experience designed to let learners explore German cultural heritage in New York City. The application makes use of archival documents, photographs, and multimedia narratives to bring to life to this significant thread of New York City and United States history.
German Traces NYC and GeoStoryteller are a joint project between the Goethe-Institut New York and Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science.