Franz Viktor Grünfeld Collection
Scope and Content Note
This collection documents the passionate involvement of Franz Viktor Grünfeld (better known as Frank Victor) in the field of graphology, the study of handwriting as a means of determining personality traits. His professional materials include published and unpublished writings, extensive correspondence with a variety of figures in the world of graphology, and his working files, primarily from the late 1950s. This collection also contains some personal material, such as a wide-ranging scrapbook that includes newspaper clippings, printed material about his family's textile firm FV Grünfeld, Landeshuter Leinen und Gebildweberei, ephemera, drawings, film reviews, off-prints, business and personal correspondence, and photographs.
The collection contains a scrapbook, clippings, correspondence, printed material, photographs and slides, typescripts and manuscripts, photostats, and ephemera.
This collection provides evidence of the history and practice of American and European graphology, as well as the schisms and fights that plagued the field from its modern inception in the 19th century. The breadth and depth of materials dating from the late 1950s provide a particularly comprehensive insight into the state of graphology at that time. The inclusion of materials related to other methods of understanding behavior, such as Rorschach tests and Dianetics manuals, also places graphology in the larger context of the development of scientific approaches to understanding and modifying mental processes and behaviors.
- Majority of material found within 1956-1960
- Victor, Frank, 1895- (Person)
Language of Materials
This collection is primarily in English and German, with a small quantity of French.
Open to researchers. There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection.
The following materials are restricted to use on-site at the Lillian Goldman Reading Room:
- Box 4 Folder 3: Dianetics materials
- Copyrighted materials from other folders:
- Box 3 Folder 6
- Box 3 Folder 8
- Box 4 Folder 4
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<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Portrait of Franz Viktor Grünfeld (1895-1965)" href="http://digital.cjh.org/webclient/DeliveryManager?pid=1168466" linktype="simple" show="embed" title="Franz Viktor Grünfeld"/>
Franz Viktor Grünfeld, also known as Frank Victor and Franz Grunfeld, was born November 11, 1895 in Berlin to Ludwig Grünfeld and Gertrud (nee Goldstein). He grew up comfortably in Berlin, along with his sisters Edith and Thea. After a stint in the German army during World War I, he attended the University of Greifswald. In 1923, he obtained his doctorate with the dissertation Working conditions in the Silesian textile industry. Between 1914 and 1939, Grünfeld was a partner in the family textile company FV Grünfeld, Landeshuter Leinen und Gebildweberei. In the 1920s, Grünfeld married Elli Neumann.
In 1939, Grünfeld and his family fled Germany for the United States, and settled in New York City. In 1944, he became a United States citizen and adopted the nom de plume Frank Victor. He worked as a draftsman and founded his own textile company, Lyonset Inc, but his main dedication was to graphology, the study of handwriting as a means of determining personality traits. Grünfeld was active in the field at both the theoretical and practical levels. He wrote extensively and corresponded with leading graphologists, and also provided handwriting analysis services to companies and individuals. The best-known of his books is Handwriting: a personality projection ( 1952 ). He died in October 1965 and was buried in Zurich.
2 Linear Feet (4 boxes)
This collection documents the passionate involvement of Franz Viktor Grünfeld (Frank Victor) in the field of graphology, the study of handwriting as a means of determining personality traits. Grünfeld was active in the field from 1920 until 1965. He published extensively and corresponded with leading graphologists, and also provided handwriting analysis services to companies and individuals. The collection also contains some personal material, as well items concerning his work with his family's textile firm, FV Grünfeld Landeshuter Leinen und Gebildweberei, prior to his immigration to the United States in 1939.
This collection was previously arranged by Grünfeld himself (the scrapbook found in Series I as well as Series II, Subseries 3) and by the archivist who initially processed this collection. The collection is organized into two series, Personal and Professional. The order of the items is unchanged from the original processing, and corresponds to the detailed item-level list.
Other Finding Aids
A 15-page item-level description, written in partially in English and partially in German, was prepared in 1978 and can be obtained from LBI.
The following graphoanalysis journals were removed from the collection: Graphoanalyst Nos. 1-13 (1956-1960), Graphologie Nos. 47, 69-71 (1952, 1958), Handwriting Analysts News Vol. 1, Nos. 2-4, 6-13, Vol. 2 Nos. 1, 3, 4, 9 (1958-1960), Iserlohner Schreibkreis Nos. 15/16, 17, 21-25, 27-30 (1956-1960), Mind Writing Vol. 1 Nos. 4-7, 9-10, Vol. 2 Nos. 2-11 (1958-1959), and Scripta Vol. 1 Nos. 2-4, Vol. 2 No. 6, Vol. 3 No. 7 (1956-1959).
Some photographs were removed to the LBI Photograph Collection.
This collection was previously processed. The initial archival processing was at least partially based on Grünfeld's original order, as explicitly noted in the original inventory (the scrapbook in Series I and Grünfeld's graphology papers, Series II, Subseries 3). An existing order seems to have informed the remainder of the processing as well. The initial archivist marked many of the documents in pencil with an accession and index number, and in some cases additional information.
The collection is divided into two series; the seven original series were maintained as subseries or folder titles, as appropriate.
Some of the paper materials are fragile, and some of the documents created with early reprography methods are fading.
Box 1, folder 1 contains the previously prepared item-level list, photocopies of LBI's index cards, and an inventory.
- Berlin (Germany)
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Ephemera (general object genre)
- Graphology -- Europe -- History -- 1933-
- Grünfeld family
- Jews, German
- Landeshuter Leinen- und Gebildweberei F.V. Grünfeld
- Manuscripts (documents)
- Research notes
- Stats (copies)
- Textile industry -- Germany (West)
- United States -- Emigration and immigration
- United States -- History -- 1945-
- Victor, Frank, 1895-
- Guide to the Franz Viktor Grünfeld (1895-1965) Collection 1911-1965 (bulk 1956-1960) AR 3174
- Processed by Kevin Schlottmann
- © 2010
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation
- 2011-June-17: Timothy Mendenhall: Revised controlled access points, added link to photographs, updated title to Franz Viktor Grünfeld Collection before sending for digitization.
- 2011-June-28: Timothy Mendenhall: Added folder number 1A to scrapbook.
- November 28, 2011 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.
- March 2012 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.
Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States