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Jacob Picard Collection

Identifier: AR 6016

Scope and Content Note

The collection documents the life and interests of Jacob Picard, and includes his own writing in the form of manuscripts and diaries, as well as clippings, a large amount of correspondence, personal documents, financial and legal papers, photographs, poetry, and a few artifacts.

There are sevaral prominent topics in this collection. These include Jacob Picard's biography of Civil War general Franz Sigel, Picard's interest in the works of poet Gertrud Kolmar, and Picard's own poetry. Biographical information concerning Jacob Picard is also located in various series of the collection, as is information on Picard's daughter Renate Picard and his divorce with Renate's mother, Frieda Picard-Gerson.

Material pertaining to the biography on Franz Sigel will be found in three series. Manuscripts of the work, in both German and English, will be found in Series I: Manuscripts. Newspaper clippings concenring the work are located in Subseries 4 of Series II: Clippings and Writings by Others. Extensive correspondence concerning the publication and translation of the work will be found in Series VI: Correspondence.

A second topic encountered frequently in this collection are the works of poet Gertrud Kolmar, also known as Gertrud Chodziesner. A play by Gertrud Kolmar entitled Cécile Renault: Schauspiel in vier Aufzügen, is located in Series III: Clippings and Writings by Others, as well as clippings about her and her literary works. In Series VI: Correspondence, there is correspondence concerning publication of Gertrud Kolmar's works as well as correspondence with Thea Chodziesner.

Biographical information about Jacob Picard will also be found in several series. Subseries 2 of Series I: Manuscripts contains Picard's autobiography. Subseries 4 of Series II: Clippings and Writings by Others contains newspapers articles about Jacob Picard. Some biographical information may be found in Series III: Diaries and Series V: Personal Documents. Finally, Subseries 1 of Series VI: Correspondence contains several clippings with biographical information on Jacob Picard.

Information on Jacob Picard's failed marriage with Frieda Picard-Gerson and his subsequent relationship with his daughter Renate will also be found in this collection. Correspondence with Renate is available in Subseries 3: Family of Series VI: Correspondence. Other material concerning this topic is also located in Series VII: Legal and Financial Papers, and includes legal documents pertaining to Jacob and Frieda Picard's divorce as well as the custody of their daughter Renate. In addition to court papers and witness depositions for the case, the couple's wedding rings are also placed in this series.


  • Creation: 1849-1992

Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, Yiddish, Dutch, and French.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Collection is microfilmed - MF 487.

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.

Biographical Note

Jacob Picard was born November 1, 1883 in Wangen, Germany and died January 10, 1967 in Konstanz, Germany.

Picard grew up in the area near the Bodensee (Lake Constance) and studied law in Berlin, Munich, and Heidelberg. He started writing poetry while studying law and his first articles were published before 1914. He served in World War I, during which two of his brothers, Wilhelm and Erwin, died.

After an interruption of four years, 1914-1918, he practiced law in Konstanz and Köln until 1933. During this time, he published his poetry under the pseudonyms of J.P. Wangen or Jakob Badner so the writing would not affect his legal career. From 1922-1939 he was on the staff of the Central Verein Zeitung. In 1936 Picard's work Der Gezeichnete (The Marked One) was published, which described the lives of Jews in rural Germany.

Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, he escaped from Germany and travelled to the United States via Russia and Japan. He made his home in the U.S. for 18 years, and in 1958 returned to Europe, where he remained until his death. His writings and poems frequently reflect his great love of the place of his birth.


7 Linear Feet


The collection documents the life and interests of the lawyer and writer Jacob Picard, and includes his own writing in the form of manuscripts and diaries, as well as clippings, a large amount of correspondence, personal documents, financial and legal papers, photographs, poetry, and a few artifacts.

Other Finding Aid

An earlier 38-page typewritten inventory which lists each item in the collection is also available. Roman numerals and numbers of items in the container list refer to this previous inventory.


This collection has been microfilmed and is available on MF 487 reels 1-27.

  1. Reel 1: box 1, folders 1-7
  2. Reel 2: box 1, folders 8-11
  3. Reel 3: box 1, folders 12-16
  4. Reel 4: box 2, folders 1-3
  5. Reel 5: box 2, folders 4-8
  6. Reel 6: box 2, folders 9-11
  7. Reel 7: box 2, folders 12-14
  8. Reel 8: box 2, folders 15-16
  9. Reel 9: box 3, folders 1-6
  10. Reel 10: box 3, folders 7-9
  11. Reel 11: box 3, folders 10-13
  12. Reel 12: box 3, folders 14-18
  13. Reel 13: box 4, folders 1-3
  14. Reel 14: box 4, folder 4
  15. Reel 15: box 4, folders 5-8
  16. Reel 16: box 4, folders 9-13
  17. Reel 17: box 4, folder 14-box 5, folder 1
  18. Reel 18: box 5, folders 2-10
  19. Reel 19: box 5, folders 10-14
  20. Reel 20: box 5, folder 5-box 6, folder 2
  21. Reel 21: box 6, folder 3; folders 11-13
  22. Reel 22: box 7, folders 4-6
  23. Reel 23: box 6, folders 4-5; box 7, folders 7-9
  24. Reel 24: box 6, folders 6-10
  25. Reel 25: box 7, folders 12-23
  26. Reel 26: Photographs
  27. Reel 27: box 7, folders 24-27

Separated Material

Jacob Picard's memoirs are catalogued separately in the memoir collection (ME 501).

Addenda 3: Dissertation certificate (Heidelberg, 1914, 2 scrolls) is also located separately from the rest of the collection.

Photographs have been removed to the photograph collection. They include photos of Jacob Picard, family members, and others, as well as photographs from World War I.

Guide to the Papers of Jacob Picard (1883-1967) 1849-1992 AR 6016 / MF 487
Processed by Carole E. Geringer
© May 2004.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from JacobPicard.xml

Revision Statements

  • March 2005: Access points added by Dianne Ritchey Oummia.
  • January 2006: Entities removed from EAD finding aid.
  • 2011-01-03: Encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl .

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States