The English language term "stein" derives from the German stein, which translates as "stone." German speakers do not refer to steins as English speakers do; instead, they might say steinkrug (which translates as "stone mug"), bierkrug, or use a number of different regional terms. Traditional steins are made from ceramic stoneware. When researching beer steins, it is important to consider terminology when deciding on search terms.
Many museums and collections will refer to steins as "stoneware tankards," however, hobbyist collectors consider "tankard" to refer to British pewter drinking mugs.
These articles are good examples of the types of scholarship on beer steins (and related subjects: drinking vessels, tankards, German stoneware, etc.) in the CCA Libraries digital collections, drawn from our online journal and magazine subscriptions.