Gerald J. Oppenheimer Collection
Scope and Content Note
This collection is a combination of personal family papers and materials related to the Jewish community of Frankfurt am Main, Germany in general. Series I contains records of the Jewish community of Frankfurt from the mid-18th century to the early 20th century. Materials include official decrees, tax and building regulations, and official papers related to individuals and firms. Series II contains personal papers of members of Gerald J. Oppenheimer’s family, many of whom lived in Frankfurt, including genealogical materials, correspondence, and emigration papers. While some of the materials in Series I mention relatives of the Oppenheimers, papers relating exclusively to the relatives of Gerald Oppenheimer can be found in Series II.
The inventory in folder 1 includes accurate descriptions of each item in the collection across both series. The names of some of the folders have been altered slightly (see Processing Information for details).
Language of Materials
The collection is in German and English with a few items in Hebrew.
This collection is open to researchers with some restrictions on use. Contact the LBI Archives with inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Gerald J. Oppenheimer was born Julius Oppenheimer on August 5, 1922 to Jacob Oppenheimer (1892-1976) and Bella née Spier (1894-1973). Jacob, Bella, and Julius Oppenheimer immigrated to the United States in August of 1940, sailing from Yokohama, Japan to Washington state, where the family settled. Julius took on the name Gerald by the time he declared intention to become a U.S. citizen in 1941. He served in the U.S. Army starting in 1943. In 1946, Gerald Oppenheimer married Mildred née Karnofsky (born 1925), and the couple had two children. After earning a degree in library science, Gerald Oppenheimer worked at the Seattle Public Library, the Boeing Scientific Research Laboratories, and the libraries at the University of Washington, eventually serving as the Director of the Health Sciences Library and the Assistant Director of Libraries there. He was also the founding president of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Library Directors.
Gerald Oppenheimer traced his ancestors back through the Oppenheimer, Spier, Wallach, and Kahn families that lived mainly in the state of Hesse, Germany, particularly in Frankfurt am Main, at least as far back as the 18th century.
0.5 Linear Feet
This collection contains materials on the Jewish community of Frankfurt am Main, Germany from the early 18th century through the early 20th century as well as personal papers of Gerald J. Oppenheimer’s (1922-) family. Oppenheimer’s family papers include extensive genealogical materials, emigration records, and personal correspondence. The records of the Jewish community of Frankfurt include tax and building regulations, lists of taxable individuals, correspondence with government officials, and correspondence among members of the Jewish community.
The collection is arranged thematically or by document type according to the original order given to the materials by Gerald J. Oppenheimer, shown in the inventory in folder 1. The collection is divided into two series:
The collection has been digitized and made accessible online in its entirety.
Photocopies of pages from books on the Jews of Merzhausen, Hesse (most prominently Gottfried Ruetz’s “Von den Juden in Merzhausen” and Alfred Höck’s “Die Steuerpflichtigen des Jahres 1840 in den Synagogengemeinden des Kreises Ziegenhain”) were removed to the LBI Archives Clippings Collection AR 6588 C.
During processing in February 2014, the arrangement of the collection followed the original order indicated in the inventory in folder 1. The materials were separated into two series, Series I reflecting “Appendix A” of the inventory and Series II reflecting “Appendix B.” Some folder titles were shortened, translated into English, or otherwise altered to make the tone appropriate for a public finding aid. The materials designated as “Miscellaneous” in Oppenheimer’s Appendix B were separated by document type into folders 10-11 and given titles reflecting the contents. Duplicates were removed. The family tree was removed from a binder. Oversized materials were placed in oversized folders. Brittle materials were placed in Mylar sleeves.
- Cities and towns
- Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
- Genealogical tables
- Jewish ghettos -- Germany
- Jews -- Genealogy
- Jews, German
- Kahn family
- Municipal government
- Oppenheimer family
- Oppenheimer, Gerald J.
- Regulations (executive records)
- Spier family
- United States -- Emigration and immigration
- Vital statistics records
- Wallach family
- Guide to the Gerald J. Oppenheimer Collection 1719-1997 AR 6588
- Processed by Leanora Lange
- © 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 Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.
- 2014-June-25: T.R. Mendenhall: added links to folder-level digitized manifestations of collection materials.
- April 26, 2018:: Scope and content note for Series II edited.
Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository
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