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Leopold and Adelheid Zunz Collection

Identifier: AR 3648

Scope and Contents

The collection contains items related to Leopold and Adelheid Zunz, such as articles about them, portraits, and correspondence. Also included are a handwritten catalog of Leopold Zunz's library and over 800 visiting cards; more than 270 of which contain original autographs.

The bulk of the collection consists of Leopold and Adelheid Zunz's correspondence with friends and relatives, including Philipp Ehrenberg, Samuel Meyer Ehrenberg, Salomon von Hönigsberg, and Meier Isler. Also included are letters from Adelheid Zunz, often with postcripts by her husband, Leopold Zunz, to Julie Ehrenberg (née Fischel).


  • 1815-1959


Language of Materials

The collection is in German.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

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

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011


Biographical Note

Born in Detmold on August 10, 1794, Leopold Zunz was educated at the Samson'sche Freischule in Wolfenbüttel, and the universities of Berlin and Halle. In 1819, he was a founding member of the Verein fuer Cultur und Wissenschaft der Juden in Berlin, in which prominent intellectual figures like Eduard Gans, Heinrich Heine, M. I. Jost and Immanuel Wohlwill gathered. From this club, the so-called Wissenschaft des Judentums emerged, mainly based on two early works of Zunz, the programmatic article "Etwas über rabbinische Litteratur" (1818) and the major ground-breaking study on Jewish sermons, Die gottesdienstlichen Vortraege der Juden, historisch entwickelt (1832). After receiving his doctorate in 1821, he worked as a preacher and teacher and became the editor of the journal Zeitschrift für die Wissenschaft des Judenthums. In 1822, he married Adelheid Bermann (1802-1874). In later years, he retreated more and more from his public duties and dedicated his life to the study of Jewish literature. He died in Berlin on March 17, 1886.


1 Linear Feet


Leopold Zunz (1794-1886) was one of the founders of the Wissenschaft des Judentums. The bulk of this collection consists of his and his wife Adelheid's correspondence. Also included is an extensive collection of visiting cards he received as well as a few images and articles about him.

Other Finding Aid

Several older finding aids, which contain item-level inventories, are included in this collection. They can be found in Series I and also at the beginning of the subseries they describe.


The collection is on three reels of microfilm (MF 1053):

  1. Reel 1: 1/1 - 1/48
  2. Reel 2: 1/49 - 1/89
  3. Reel 3: 1/90 - 1/93

Related Material

Correspondence from Samuel Meyer and Philipp Ehrenberg to Leopold Zunz can be found in the Samuel Meyer Ehrenberg Collection (AR 4035) in the LBI Archives. This collection contains 297 letters written between 1815 and 1855. Julie Ehrenberg's letters to Adelheid Zunz are also available in the LBI Archives in the Julie Fischel Ehrenberg Collection (AR 4245). There are 231 letters and one telegram written between 1844 and 1878. A significant portion of the correspondence between the Ehrenberg and Zunz families was published in Nahum Glatzer's books Leopold Zunz, Jude - Deutscher - Europäer; ein jüdisches Gelehrtenschicksal des 19. Jahrhunderts in Briefen an Freunde (Tuebingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1964) and Leopold and Adelheid Zunz, an account in letters 1815-1885 (London: Published for the Institute by the East and West Library, 1958).

An extensive collection of original materials related to Leopold Zunz is available in the archives of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The inventory of this collection was published in the Bulletin of the Leo Baeck Institute (Vol. 7, 1959). Paper and microfilm copies of some of the items from the Zunz Archives in Jerusalem are available in the LBI Archives (AR 2370).

Guide to the Papers of Leopold Zunz (1794-1886) and Adelheid Zunz (1802-1874), 1815-1959   AR 3648 / MF 1053
Processed by Ilse Turnheim and Viola Voss
© 2006
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • October 2010.: Microfilm inventory added.
  • March 10, 2014 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States