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.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH top
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 Literature. 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 behalf. 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.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE top
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 series: 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 German. 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 AND FOLDER LISTING top
Box Folder Contents SERIES A: CORRESPONDENCE 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. SERIES B. WRITINGS 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.
SUBJECT TRACINGS top
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