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Guide to the John G. Zoerb Oktoberfest Collection, 1961-1994 MSS 085

Guide to the John G. Zoerb Oktoberfest Collection, 1961-1994

MSS 085

Summary Information

John G. "Hans" Zoerb (1903-1995) was a La Crosse, Wis., resident. He was involved with Oktoberfest, a La Crosse annual festival and served as Festmaster in 1969. This collection of Zoerb contains photographs, newspaper clippings, and other documents relating to Oktoberfest in a collection of 24 scrapbooks. The collection also includes group photos of Festmasters from 1961-1994 and other miscellaneous photographs, which are separate from the scrapbooks.
Collection Title
John G. Zoerb Oktoberfest Collection
Date of Materials
Zoerb, John G., (Hans), 1903-1995
Call Number
MSS 085
3.4 cubic feet
Physical Description
1 archives box, 3 record center cartons
Language of Materials
La Crosse Public Library Archives

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John G. Zoerb Oktoberfest Collection, MSS 085, La Crosse Public Library Archives, La Crosse, WI

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Biographical Note

John G. "Hans" Zoerb was born in 1903 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. When he was three years old, his parents returned to Giessen, Germany, where his father managed the family business. Hans lived there for six years, which is where he completed his first three years of school. After graduating from the University of Illinois, Hans married Isabella Berck on November 7, 1926. Hans was president of La Crosse Floral from 1949-1971.

Zoerb started collecting Oktoberfest memorabilia when he was Festmaster in 1969. His collection includes photographs, buttons, and steins. Scrapbooks for each year, created by Zoerb, include pictures, newspaper clippings, and other print documents. Zoerb was very active in the community. He attended many parades and activities associated with Oktoberfest well into his '90s. One of his favorite activities was speaking to groups, especially children, about Oktoberfest's origins and the celebration that takes place in La Crosse every year.

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Scope and Contents

This collections consists of photographs and scrapbooks, each arranged alphabetically and then by year.

Group photographs of Festmasters are divided into folders by year starting with 1961. A clipping file and a miscellaneous photograph folder are also included.

Scrapbooks contain photographs, newspaper clippings, and other print documents which are separated mainly into one festival year per book, starting with 1961.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

La Crosse Public Library Archives 2005 June

800 Main St.
La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601
(608) 789-7136

Access to Materials

Materials in this collection are available for patron use.

Acquisitions Information

(Accession no. 2005.044) Donated by the La Crosse County Historical Society, May 2005; previously donated to the LCHS through a bequest of the John G. "Hans" Zoerb estate, 1997

Processing Information

Processed by Katie Adams, June 2005

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Oktoberfest USA.

Personal Name(s)

  • Zoerb, John G., (Hans), 1903-1995


  • Ethnic festivals--Wisconsin--La Crosse

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Clippings, undated 

1 1


Box Folder

Festmasters, 1969-1994 

1 2-8

Miscellaneous, undated 

1 9