Access and Provenance

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Box and Folder Listing

Subject Tracings



A Finding Aid to the

Ludwig Lewisohn Collection

Manuscript Collection No. 166

1895-1980. 2 Linear ft.

The LUDWIG LEWISOHN COLLECTION was donated to the American Jewish
Archives by many different individuals between the years 1956-1975. 
A list of these donors may be found in the Appendix at the end of 
this inventory. 

The property rights of the LUDWIG LEWISOHN COLLECTION have been assigned 
to the American Jewish Archives. All literary rights to material authored 
by Ludwig Lewisohn are held by the Lewisohn heirs. Literary rights to materials 
authored by others are held by the individual author or his/her heirs. 
Questions concerning rights should be addressed to the Director of the 
American Jewish Archives.

The LUDWIG LEWISOHN COLLECTION is restricted. Any person wishing to view the
papers must address his/her request in writing to the Director. In addition, a
number of files in SERIES A. CORRESPONDENCE are restricted to Brandeis 
University Library, Waltham, Mass. The files bearing this restriction have 
been so marked in the Box and Folder List in this inventory. Questions
concerning access to these files should also be addressed to the Director
of the American Jewish Archives.

The LUDWIG LEWISOHN COLLECTION is available to approved users in the reading 
room of the American Jewish Archives.


Ludwig Lewisohn was born in Berlin, Germany to Jacques and Minna
(Eloesser) Lewisohn on May 30, 1883. He came to the United States with his
family in 1890 at the age of 7. He attended the College of Charleston, South
Carolina and graduated with A.B. and M.A. degrees in 1902. He then attended
Columbia University in New York City and received an M.A. degree in 1903. In
1914 the College of Charleston awarded him the honorary degree, Doctor of

Following his graduation from Columbia, Lewisohn worked with Doubleday,
Page & Co. in New York as a member of the editorial staff. The following year,
1905, he left Doubleday to become a free-lance magazine writer. In 1910 he
became an instructor in German at the University of Wisconsin. He remained
there for one year and then accepted the position of professor of German
language and literature at the Ohio State University where he remained from
1911-1919. Upon leaving OSU Lewisohn became dramatic editor of the Nation.
He was promoted to associate editor in 1920 and worked there until 1924.

In 1920 Lewisohn began lecturing widely on topics of Jewish and general
interest. He also wrote extensively and from 1924 when he left the Nation
until 1943 when he became editor of New Palestine, lecturing and writing
became his career and only means of support. Lewisohn was editor of New
Palestine until 1948 when he became one of the 13 original faculty members at
Brandeis University, holding the position of Comparative Literature until his
death in 1955.

Lewisohn was the author of numerous articles and of 31 books of criticism,
history, fiction, biography and Jewish affairs. Some of his better known works
include Upstream (1922), Island Within (1928), Mid Channel (1929), Expression in 
America (1932) and Renegade (1942). He also translated from German works of 
Gerhart Hauptmann, Jacob Wasserman and Franz Werfel.

Lewisohn was a member of the Jewish Academy of Arts and Sciences and was
an honorary secretary of the Zionist Organization of America. Lewisohn
strongly supported the Zionist cause and he lectured and wrote widely on its

Lewisohn was married three times. He was married to Mary Arnold in 1906,
to Edna Manley in 1940 and to Louise Wolk in 1944. His first two marriages
ended in divorce and he was survived in death by his third wife. Lewisohn also
had a son, James Elias, by Thelma B. Spear, a concert singer with whom he lived
for many years.

Ludwig Lewisohn died in Miami Beach, Florida on December 31, 1955 at the
age of 72.


The LUDWIG LEWISOHN PAPERS (1895-1980) describe the professional career
and personal life of Ludwig Lewisohn, author, poet, teacher and Zionist
leader. The collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, notes, poems,
clippings, diaries, legal papers and other personal and miscellaneous items.
The span dates for the collection are 1895-1980, but the bulk of the material
in the collection spans the years 1935-1955. The Papers are divided into three

                        A. CORRESPONDENCE
                        B. WRITINGS 
                        C. PERSONAL

The CORRESPONDENCE series (1901-1955) consists of one and one-half
Hollinger boxes of correspondence. The correspondence is arranged
alphabetically by the name of the person or organization. Letters are 
arranged chronologically within each folder. The vast majority of the 
letters in this series are in English but a few letters are written in 

Note: Access to some of the more important subjects and individuals in
this collection may be made through the Box and Folder List and the Subject
Tracings at the end of the inventory.

The WRITINGS series (1909-1953) consists of two Hollinger boxes of
manuscripts, articles, notes, poems, reviews and translations of Lewisohn. 
The writings have been arranged alphabetically according to title or subject.

The PERSONAL series (1895-1980) consists of one and one-half Hollinger
boxes of clippings, diaries, legal papers and other personal and miscellaneous
items. Of particular interest in this series are the diary and notes of Edna
M. Lewisohn and the correspondence of Charles A. Madison concerning his
research for a book on Lewisohn which contains recollections of many of
Lewisohn's friends and contemporaries.

Note: The American Jewish Archives has a number of tape recordings and
microfilms concerning Ludwig Lewisohn. For further information on these and
other items concerning Lewisohn, contact the Archives.


Box  Folder    Contents


1    1         A-V, General
     2         Bergman, Hugo 1951 (Restricted to Brandeis University Library)
     3         Bernstein, Philip S. (Ludwig Lewisohn's marriage to 
                    Edna Manley) 1938-1940
     4         Blumenfeld, Kurt 1952 (Restricted to Brandeis University Library)
     5         Buber, Martin 1944; 1952 (Restricted to Brandeis University Library)
     6         Einstein, Albert 1936; 1944 (Restricted to Brandeis University Library)
     7         Feuchtwagner, Lion 1952 (Restricted to Brandeis University Library)
     8-12      Lewisohn, Edna M. 1939-1943

2    1         Lewisohn, Edna M. 1944-1948, n.d.
     2-4       Lewisohn, Edna M. (Correspondence with parents, relatives 
                    and others) 1940-1945, n.d.
     5         Lewisohn, Louise A. 1944-1952, n.d.
     6         Lewisohn, Mary A. 1934
     7         Mann, Thomas 1939-1953, n.d. (Restricted to Brandeis University Library)
     8         Ribalow, Harold U. 1948-1955
     9         Ruppin, Arthur 1936 (Restricted to Brandeis University library)
     10        Silver, Abba Hillel 1942-1943
     11        Spear, Thelma B. 1938
     12        Viereck, George S. 1953 (Restricted to Brandeis University Library)
     13        Villard, Oswald 1933-1936
     14        Watkins, Ann 1942, n.d.
     15        Weizmann, Chaim 1947 (Restricted to Brandeis University Library)
     16        Wise, Stephen S. 1926-1942
     17        Zweig, Arnold 1933 (Restricted to Brandeis University  Library)
     18        Unidentified 1937, n.d.


     19        Anniversary: An American Novel (Original Manuscript) n.d.
     20        Articles (B-J) 1949, n.d.

3    1         Articles (L-W; untitled) 1936; 1952, n.d.
     2         Breathe Upon These 1944
     3         Notes, n.d.
     4         Notes (The Theory of Literature) ca. 1950
     5         Poems 1909, n.d.
     6         Poems (written for Edna M. Lewisohn) 1939-1941, n.d.
     7         Reviews 1951-1953, n.d.
     8-11      The Song of Bernadette (English translation by Ludwig Lewisohn and original                              German manuscript) n.d.

4    1-4       The Song of Bernadette (English translation by Ludwig Lewisohn and original                              German manuscript) n.d.
     5         Thirty-One Poems, by Rainer Maria Rilke (translation and notes by Ludwig                                 Lewisohn) 1942; 1946

     6         Clippings
     7         Contracts 1920; 1946
     8         Diary 1949-1954
     9         Last Will and Testament 1948
     10        Legal Matters (including custody of James Elias Lewisohn) 1938-1956

5    1-2       Lewisohn, Edna M. (Diary and notes) 1938-1942; 1980, n.d.
     3         Lewisohn, Edna M.   (Her portion of the manuscript Haven) 1940
     4-5       Madison, Charles A. (correspondence concerning research for                                              book on Ludwig Lewisohn) 1970-1973
     6         Memorial Tribute by Milton Hindus 1956
     7         Notebook 1935
     8         Passports 1924; 1929; 1934
     9         Miscellaneous 1895-1962, n.d.


Note:     The following list of subjects is a selective index to many of the
topics and individuals in the LUDWIG LEWISOHN COLLECTION. It is selective in that
it only attempts to draw attention to the more significant items in the
collection. It does not attempt to list every subject or individual not does
it try to indicate all places that a listed subject or individual appears in
the collection. When used in conjunction with the Box and Folder List, the
Subject Tracings should help the researcher locate topics. References are to
boxes and folders: e.g., 3/10 means Box 3 folder 10.

Billikopf, Jacob 1/1

Hebrew Free Loan Society 1/1

Lewis, Sinclair 4/10
Lewisohn, Edna Manley 1/3; 2/16; 3/6; 4/6, 10; 5/4, 5
Lewisohn, James Elias 1/1; 4/10
Lewisohn, Louise Wolk 2/5; 5/4, 5

Marshall, Louis 1/1

Soviet Jewry 5/9
Spear, Thelma B. 2/4, 16; 4/6, 10; 5/9
Spiro, Saul S. 5/4, 9

Werfel, Franz 3/8

Zionism 1/1, 4; 2/15; 4/6


Donors of Ludwig Lewisohn materials to the American Jewish Archives

Burton Berinsky               New York, N.Y.             1963
Philip S. Bernstein           Rochester, N.Y.            1965
Robert K. Black               Upper Montclair, N.J.      1965
Brandeis University Library   Waltham, Mass.             1956 and 1967

Stanley F. Chyet              Cincinnati, Ohio           1962
College of Charleston Library Charleston, S.C.           1964

Stuart Geller                 Cleveland, Ohio            1970

Houghton Library              Cambridge, Mass.           1970
     Harvard University

Edna M. Lewisohn              Rochester, N.Y.            1970-1977
Louise M. Lewisohn            Washington, D.C.           1964-1972

Charles A. Madison            New York, N.Y.             1974
Jacob R. Marcus               Cincinnati, Ohio           1969
Mugar Memorial Library        Boston, Mass.              1974

Harold U. Ribalow             New York, N.Y.             1975
Paul J. Richards              Brookline, Mass.           1965
Max Roth                      Cleveland, Ohio            1970

Thelma B. Spear               New York, N.Y.             1965
Saul S. Spiro                 Dayton, Ohio               1970

University of South Carolina  Columbia, S.C.             1972

Zionist Archives and Library  New York, N.Y.             1963