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Siegfried Seligmann Mühsam Collection

Identifier: AR 7112

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the life of Siegfried Seligmann Mühsam. It contains material about his education, military service, pharmacy, and public service in Lübeck, as well as some writings. It also contains materials by and about Mühsam's ancestors and descendants, both original correspondence and genealogical research.

The Family Correspondence folder contains letters and documents from Mühsam's ancestors, including about a dozen letters from the early 1800s, some in Judeo-German.

Documentation about Mühsam's shop, the St. Lorenz Pharmacy in Lübeck, includes the initial loans and founding documents, administrative and advertising material, and the documents of sale. Included in the educational materials, in addition to university transcripts and grades, are notebooks from both Rosalie and Siegfried's Jewish school in the mid 1800s. Documents concerning Mühsam's engagement in the public life of Lübeck include Lübeck City Council minutes and correspondence with the Israelitische Gemeinde of Lübeck. The collection contains some material about his children and relatives, and includes a postcard from his son Erich Mühsam.

The few photographs found in this collection include a small 1873 photo of the relatives of Mühsam's wife Rosalie Cohn, as well as modern color reproductions of photos of family and the St. Lorenz pharmacy.

The genealogical materials in this collection include notes and annotated copies of his book about the Mühsam family; genealogical tables for the families Mühsam (going back to Pinkus Seligmann Pappenheim), as well as Breit-Mühsam and Meyer (from Freckenhorst, Westphalia); and correspondence and other material about a 1911 reunion of the extended family.

Material that post-dates Mühsam's death was probably collected by his children and sons-in-law.


  • 1801-1988
  • Majority of material found within 1853-1915


Language of Materials

This collection is in German, with a small amount of Hebrew, Judeo-German, and Silesian.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

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

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

Siegfried Seligman Mühsam was born in Landsberg an der Warthe (now Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland) on September 2, 1838, to Moritz (1805-1869) and Charlotte (1810-1870, née Schweitzer) Mühsam. He was the grandson of Pinkus Seligmann Pappenheim, who received the Mühsam family name from Frederick the Great in 1785. In 1871, Siegfried married Rosalie Cohn (1849-1899). Their children were Erich Mühsam, the anarchist writer, Charlotte (m. Leo Landau), a member of the Lübeck City Council, Elisabeth Margarethe (m. Julius Joel), Hans, and Ernst. Siegfried Mühsam died in Lübeck on July 21, 1915.

Mühsam studied pharmacy at the University of Königsberg, and after his apprenticeship and service in the Austro-Prussia War settled in Lübeck, where he had a pharmacy and was a member of the city council in 1890 and again from 1909-1911. He was also a dedicated family historian, and wrote a monograph about the Mühsam family.


0.5 Linear Feet


This collection documents the life of Siegfried Seligmann Mühsam. It contains material about his education, military service, career as a pharmacist, public service in Lübeck, as well as some writings. It contains also materials by and about Mühsam's ancestors and descendants, both original correspondence and genealogical research.


Folders with titles having a Roman numeral follow the original archival arrangement, as best as possible, as provided in the generally accurate item-level description in folder 1 (in German). The Roman numerals in parentheses after the folder titles refer to the sections found in the item-level description. Folder titles correspond to the original section headings but were translated into English. "SM" in the folder titles stands for "Siegfried Mühsam." Folders that contain addenda have titles followed by an "A," and were placed in the logical location adjacent to related original materials. These folders are not described by the item-level index.

Other Finding Aid

An annotated item-level list (German) describing the original accession of materials is found in folder 1.

Related Material

LBI holds archival collections relating to Mühsam's daughter Charlotte Landau (AR 7287), his son Erich Mühsam (AR 1806), and his grandson Gustav Landau (AR 25357). The Mühsam Family collection (AR 25021) documents the Graz branch of the Mühsam family.

LBI also holds memoirs by Mühsam's daughter Charlotte (ME 381).

The LBI Library holds Mühsam's family history monograph Geschichte des Namens Mühsam; this collection contains notes, drafts, and a manuscript of an updated edition prepared by his son Hans.

A book formerly owned by Siegfried Seligmann Mühsam can be found at the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek (ZLB) Berlin.

Separated Material

Medals from Sections IV (Military), for participation in military exercises in 1892, and Section X (Varia), commemorating the opening in 1900 of the Elbe-Trave Canal, were removed to the LBI Arts and Objects collection.

Processing Information

AR 7112 (two boxes - 0.75 lf) found at B27/7 were reprocessed together with AR 7256 (one box - 0.5 lf) at S 47/1. Most of the material from AR 7256 was removed to AR 7287. Two folders were added to AR 7112 (one of which was labeled AR 307).

The collection was rehoused, envelopes were removed, and acid-free paper was interleaved between fragile and acidic material. Photographs were individually housed. Articles from entire newspapers were photocopied and journals discarded, as per LBI processing guidelines.

Guide to the Siegfried Seligmann Mühsam (1838-1915) Collection Undated, 1801-1988 , bulk 1853-1915 AR 7112
Processed by Kevin Schlottmann
© 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • January 17, 2012 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.
  • March 15, 2019:: Link to ZLB Berlin added to Related Material.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States