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Paula Elkisch Collection

Identifier: AR 25231

Scope and Content Note

The Paula Elkisch Collection is arranged in three series and includes photocopies of psychological writings, correspondence, photographs, poems, prose, printed matter, clippings, lectures, notes and translations by Paula Elkisch and others.

The collection documents the professional life of Paula Elkisch through her psychological and literary writings. Materials relate to psychoanalysis of children and their drawings, feminist publications in the German magazine Die Frau, psychological analyses of literary works and her literary work in prose and poetry.

The collection has been divided into 3 series. The first series contains 6 folders with Paula Elkisch's writings. These include her psychological articles, publications, magazine contributions, lectures, essays, autobiographical notes, translations, poetry and prose.

Series II consists of one folder containing her research notes. These are photocopies of off-prints by Kurt R. Eissler on psychoanalysis with Elkisch's notes, annotations and comments, newspaper clippings and an essay on Rainer Maria Rilke along with one of his poems.

Series III contains the correspondence with the Thomas Mann Archives in Zürich, Switzerland regarding letters from Thomas Mann, and copies of these letters. There is also a copy of a letter by Erika Mann and photographs of Thomas Mann taken by Thea Goldmann and blank postcards showing Thomas Mann's home and study.

The bulk of the collection consists of several publications on children's drawings and a test she devised on the same topic: "The Scribbling Projection Test." Furthermore, there are analytic interpretations of case studies, concerning the psychological treatment of children. Lectures and essays also cover women's problems and Rainer Maria Rilke's work.

Documents on children's drawings include a psychological monograph, the "Scribbling Projection Test" and several reprints of different articles from various publications.

Documents on children's psychology in general consist of several reprints from publications, different essays and autobiographical notes.

Materials dealing with women's problems cover lectures and essays published in the magazine Die Frau.

Literary work consists of copies of her poems, a story and a translation of a fragment by Goethe.

A large amount of the research notes consists of Elkisch's comments in reprints of articles by Kurt R. Eissler.

Materials on literary works cover essays on Rainer Maria Rilke by Paula Elkisch and others.

Correspondence includes copies of letters by Thomas Mann, letters regarding these and photographs pertaining to Thomas Mann.


  • 1924-1989
  • Majority of material found within 1948-1979


Language of Materials

The collection is in English and 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

Paula Elkisch, Ph.D. was a psychoanalyst specializing in child psychiatry and psychoanalytical analysis of literary works. She published extensively in these fields, contributing articles to magazines, and devised a psychological test for children called "The Scribbling-Projection-Test." She was especially interested in the psychoanalytic importance of children's drawings. She also wrote poetry and prose and translated "Die Natur," a fragment by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe into English. During the 1940s she corresponded with Thomas Mann.


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The Paula Elkisch Collection contains her writings on psychoanalysis and her poetry and prose. It also contains her research notes as background information on those writings.

Related Material

See also the Papers of Paula Elkisch at the Library of Congress Manuscript Division.

Separated Material

Several publications by K.R. Eissler were removed from the archival collection to the LBI Library during processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in preparation for online publication of the EAD finding aid. Similar materials were grouped together by format or subject to form series and unmarked publications were removed to the library with copyright information retained in the collection. Description was added to the finding aid.

Guide to the Papers of Paula Elkisch 1924-1989 AR 25231
Processed by Philipp Thater
© 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from PaulaElkisch.xml

Revision Statements

  • July 19, 2013 : 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