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Richard May Collection

Identifier: AR 1997

Scope and Content Note

The bulk of this collection consists of Richard May’s manuscripts. All of the manuscripts are typed and in many cases include hand written notes. Most of the manuscripts date between the time when he left Germany in 1948 and 1963, when Richard May went back to Germany, even though the actual work could have been written much earlier. Included here are mostly complete manuscripts of Richard May’s work, which include both, published as well as unpublished works. All the manuscripts are in German and are accompanied by a synopsis, in English and German, which was written, in many cases, by Richard May. There are manuscripts of plays as well as short stories and novels.

There are also documents, printed materials about Richard May, some correspondence and other materials.

There are almost no personal materials of Richard May or materials dating before his immigration to the United States.


  • 1914-1972

Language of Materials

The collection is in German with some English.

Access Information

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.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

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

Richard May, writer and journalist was born on May 19th, 1886 in Berlin, Germany. He studied journalism at several universities, including Berlin, Freiburg, Munich, and Geneva. He joined the Nordwestdeutsche Zeitung in Oldenburg before working for the Vossische Zeitung in Berlin in 1911. He remained there until the end of 1917. He was simultaneously working for the Frankfurter Generalanzeiger. At the end of 1919, May returned to Berlin to become the editor of the Deutsche Einheit. Between 1919 and 1933, he served as the editor of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung organized by the Reichswehrminister Gessler. During World War II, unlike many other Jewish political journalists or writers, May was spared from the concentration camp and was sentenced to forced labor between 1941 and 1945. After the war, he worked in the RIAS (Radio im amerikanischen Sektor) and, along with Hans Erich Fabian, for the Weg and the Berlin section for the Duesseldorfer Allgemeine Zeitung. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1948. May moved back to Berlin in 1963 where he lived until his death on February 21st, 1970.


1.25 Linear Feet


The Richard May Collection consists most entirely of typed manuscripts by Richard May, writer and journalist. Most of the manuscripts date between 1949 and 1963. Also included here are documents, correspondence, and printed materials.


This collection is divided into two series:


This collection is on three reels of microfilm (MF 873):

  1. Reel 1: 1/1 - 1/8
  2. Reel 2: 1/9 - 1/14
  3. Reel 3: 1/15 - 2/5
Guide to the Papers of Richard May (1886-1970) 1914-1972 AR 1997 / MF 873
Processed by Yakov Sklar
© 2008
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

Revision Statements

  • 2010-03-23 : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl
  • December 2008.: Microfilm inventory added.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States