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Martin Buber Collection

Identifier: AR 9

Scope and Content Note

The Martin Buber Collection holds various papers of this philosopher, with a focus on his work. More than half the collection consists of his letters to Franz Rosenzweig, including a number of them devoted to their collaborative translation of the Bible. In addition the collection holds texts of some of Martin Buber's lectures, photographs, a few letters to others, invitations and an article.

Martin Buber's work is primarily documented in Series III, which holds his letters to Franz Rosenzweig and Series IV, which contains his lectures. Buber's letters to Rosenzweig cover a number of subjects, most notable among them topics of lectures he gave at the Freies Jüdisches Lehrhaus in Frankfurt am Main, discussion of his book Ich und Du (I and Thou), and especially their translation of the Bible. Many notes on the translation will be found in the undated correspondence of Series II. Series III consists of typescripts of Martin Buber's lectures, which encompass various themes. Among the most prominent of them are lectures that pertain to the role of the community or the state in relation to religion, and discussion of the concepts of revelation, salvation and the Messiah in Judaism.

The other three series of this collection have more general materials. Series I: Autographs contains a few letters by Martin Buber to individuals other than Rosenzweig. Series II holds some photographs of Martin Buber, including as a child and young man and also has one photograph of his descendants. Series V: Other Materials includes some invitations sent to him as well as for events after his death, a recollection of a meeting with him and two letters.

The following individuals are mentioned in this collection: Ahren, Yitzhak; Balthasar, H. von; Billigheimer, Samuel; Diamond, Malcolm; Fackenheim, Emil; Farber, Leslie; Fox, Marvin; Friedman, Maurice; Galliner, Arthur; Galliner, Helmut; Gandhi, Mohandas K.; Glatzer, Nahum; Goes, Albrecht; Guggenheim, Siegfried; Heinemann, F.; Hesse, Ninon; Hocking, William Ernst; Hohoff, Curt; Kaplan, Mordechai; Kaufmann, Fritz; Kerenyi, Karl; Klotz, Elena; Kohn, Hans; Kreutzberger, Max; Kuhn, Helmuth; Landauer, Gustav; Levin, Meyer; Levinas, Emmanuel; Loewenberg, Frank; Mailenburg, James; Marcel, Gabriel; Michael, Max; Newman, Louis; Niebuhr, Reinhold; Pfuetze, Paul; Porter, Jack Nusan; Ross, Irvin; Rotenstreich, Nathan; Schneider, Herbert; Scholem, Gershom; Schorsch, Ismar; Sholem, Gershom; Simon, Ernst; Simon, Isidor; Stahr, Adolf; Tagore, Rabindranath; Taubes, Jacob; Weltmann, Lutz; Weltsch, Robert; Wheelwright, Philip; Wilkers, Karl.


  • 1897-1985
  • Majority of material found within 1921-1929

Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English and Hebrew.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. To request access to this item, please contact the LBI Archivist. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

The book, "Between Man and Man" by Martin Buber with handwritten annotations, is not available in digital form due to copyright restriction. Please contact the LBI Archivist to request access.

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 Vienna on February 2, 1878, Martin Buber studied philosophy and art history at various European universities, became active in the Zionist movement, and worked as an author, editor, and publisher. Moving to Berlin in 1906, and to Heppenheim near Frankfurt am Main in 1916, he published highly regarded philosophical and theological works. Buber emigrated to Palestine in 1938, where he taught at Hebrew University in Jerusalem until his death on June 13, 1965.


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This collection contains papers of the philosopher, author and scholar Martin Buber. Notable among the papers are his letters to his colleague and friend Franz Rosenzweig on a number of subjects, including their translation of the Bible. Other material consists of typescripts of lectures, a few letters to other individuals, photographs, invitations and some material on events about him.

Other Finding Aid

A detailed item-level list of Martin Buber's letters in Series III has been retained in the collection. There are also catalog cards that list each item in the collection.

Related Material

The LBI Archives has several collections that relate to Martin Buber, and to his work with Franz Rosenzweig. Most closely connected to this collection are the Franz Rosenzweig - Martin Buber Notebooks (AR 4219, available online), which holds notebooks dictated to Martin Buber by Rosenzweig regarding the translation of the Bible. The Franz Rosenzweig Collection (AR 3001, available online) contains some letters to Martin Buber. The memoir by Erich Ahrens includes his recollections of Martin Buber from this time: "Franz Rosenzweig and the men of the Frankfurt Lehrhaus 1921-1922: Reminiscenses, Observations and Notes" (DM 87, available online). An essay by Maurice Freedman on the relationship between Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig is part of the Manuscript Collection "Franz Rosenzweig and Martin Buber. Is the 'new thinking' still new?" (MS 530, available online).

The LBI Library includes copies of the translation of the Bible by Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig in addition to a number of books and publications on Martin Buber and his work.

Separated Material

In the LBI Audiovisual Collection is a recording of a speech by Martin Buber "Der Mensch und sein Gebild" at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich (November 9, 1954; Bayerischer Rundfunk) (part I: 1:03:27 minutes, Part II: O:44:41) in various formats: the original magnetic tape (7 "), audiocassette and compact disc.

Some photographs were removed to the LBI Photograph Collection.

One folder of published articles on Martin Buber and an example of a stamp issued in his honor was removed to AR 9 C: Martin Buber Clippings Collection.

Processing Information

In March 2013 the collection was reprocessed in preparation of the EAD finding aid; the already established arrangement was retained and description was added to the finding aid. One folder of published articles about Martin Buber was moved to AR 9 C and the original letters of Series I were placed back into the collection.

Guide to the Papers of Martin Buber (1878-1965) 1897-1985 AR 9
Processed by LBI Staff and Dianne Ritchey
© 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from MartinBuber.xml

Revision Statements

  • May 2016: dao links added by Emily Andresini.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States