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Richard M. Sheirich Research Collection

Identifier: AR 25593

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of materials collected by Richard M. Sheirich as part of his research on Richard Beer-Hofmann. Materials include correspondence, published works, photos, and some of Beer-Hofmann’s original papers along with photocopies of these papers accompanied by Sheirich’s notes. The original papers of Beer-Hofmann include Beer-Hofmann’s and his family members’ correspondence, drafts of literary works, notes, a photo album, and photos. Beer-Hofmann typed and arranged his correspondence and added additional markings and comments.

The collection is divided into two series: Series I: Richard Sheirich papers, undated, 1867-2002; and Series II: Richard Beer-Hofmann papers, undated, 1867-1944.


  • Creation: 1867-2002


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers with some restrictions on use. Contact the LBI Archives with inquiries at

Access Information

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

Biographical Note

Richard M. Sheirich was born on October 9, 1927 in Erie, Pennsylvania. He studied German at Colgate University, Northwestern University and at Universität Hamburg, and earned a Ph. D. in German at Harvard University in 1965; his dissertation was titled “Die Historie von König David.”

After teaching German at the University of California at Berkeley,Richard M. Sheirich became a faculty member at Pomona College in 1962 and retired from the same institution in 1996.

Sheirich’s research interest was the Austrian literary movement Das Junge Wien and specifically Richard Beer-Hoffman’s work. He started working on Beer-Hofmann’s writings in the 1950s. His work in this field was the preparation of an inventory of the Richard Beer-Hofmann papers for Harvard University. As part of his research, Sheirich travelled to Vienna, Austria several times and conducted a long correspondence with Richard Beer-Hofmann’s daughter Miriam Beer-Hofmann Lens. Alongside other smaller publications, the result of Sheirich’s research was the publication of Der Briefwechsel mit Paula, 1896-1937 , Richard Beer-Hofmann’s correspondence with his wife Paula.

Richard M. Sheirich died in his home in Claremont, California on December 11, 2011.

Richard Beer-Hofmann was born on July 11, 1866. He was the son of Hermann and Rosa Beer. His mother died within a week of his birth and after her death, he was adopted and reared by his uncle and his aunt, Bertha and Alois Hofmann. He spent his early childhood in Brünn (Brno, Czech Republic), where Alois Hofmann owned a textile factory. In 1880 the family moved to Vienna and Richard Beer-Hofmann finished his schooling at the Akademisches Gymnasium. He studied law at the University of Vienna and made his law degree in 1890. Richard Beer-Hofmann had studied law, but he worked as a poet, novelist and dramatist and was one of the most influential members of the circle of Viennese writers known as “Young Vienna”. Many of his works deal with Jewish themes and his novel Der Tod Georgs is probably the most representative art nouveau novel in the German language. Richard Beer-Hofmann immigrated to the United States via Switzerland in 1939 and he died in New York City on September 26, 1945.1


  1. 1Richard Beer-Hofmann’s biography in LBI‘s Richard Beer-Hofmann Collection, AR 745.


1.75 Linear Feet


This collection consists of Richard M. Sheirich’s materials pertaining to his research on Richard Beer-Hofmann’s private correspondence and works. In addition to the original papers, correspondence, notes, and photos of Richard Beer-Hofmann and his family that Richard M. Sheirich gathered, the collection contains Sheirich’s correspondence with Richard Beer-Hofmann’s daughter Miriam Beer-Hofmann Lens, his and other scholars’ works on Beer-Hofmann, several photocopies of the original Beer-Hofmann papers, and Sheirich’s notes.


The collection is housed in three boxes and arranged into two series by creator:

The folders in each series are arranged by genre, chronological order, or topic.

Related Material

Leo Baeck Institute has a Richard Beer-Hofmann Collection (AR 745) and a Miriam Beer-Hofmann Lens collection (AR 7258) in its holdings. Harvard University keeps Richard Beer-Hofmann’s correspondence in MS Ger 183. In addition, Leo Baeck Library has a number of books, which pertain to Richard Beer-Hofmann’s life, family, and/or work.

Separated Material

The book Essays in Honor of James Edward Walsh On His Sixty-Fifth Birthday, a publication of The Goethe Institute of Boston and The Houghton Library in 1983, was removed to the Leo Baeck Library.

Processing Information

Material was rehoused in acid-free folders. The binders in which Richard Beer-Hofmann kept the typescripts of his and his family’s correspondence were discarded. Some of the original folders that Richard M. Sheirich designated to hold his research papers were kept. Rusty paper clips as well as plastic sleeves were replaced. The sticky notes that were found attached to materials were photocopied onto acid-free paper and the originals were removed. Sticky notes on Sheirich’s folders were generally left as they were found.

Guide to the Richard M. Sheirich Research Collection 1867-2002 AR 25593
Processed by Katalin Franciska Rac
© 2014
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processing made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation and the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe.

Revision Statements

  • January 2015:: 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