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Philipp Flesch Collection

Identifier: AR 25197

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the life and literary pursuits of the librarian Philipp Flesch. Prominent subjects of the papers include Flesch's experiences as a recent immigrant and his personal views as expressed through his writing. The collection consists of numerous manuscripts, correspondence, clippings, and official papers.

Philipp Flesch's life as a recent immigrant during the 1940s can be glimpsed in the papers of every series of this collection. Most noteworthy are the manuscripts of his writing in Series III, of which the majority are unpublished. Among his writing are many poems as well as some essays describing his experiences after his immigration to the United States. These reflect on the cultural changes experienced by refugees from Europe as well as Flesch's own observations on life in New York City. The correspondence of Series II also mentions his life during these years, particularly the hardships he faced as an immigrant. Series I includes an extensive amount of letters of recommendation for Flesch from other individuals while he attempted to secure a teaching position.

Flesch's attempts to publish his writing are also well-documented, outside of the examples of his writing in Series III. Series II includes numerous query letters to publishers of books and periodicals regarding the publication of his works. The letters of reference in Series I include some letters for his application to the artists' retreat Yaddo, where Philipp Flesch hoped to work on a book entitled A Popular Philosophy for America ; the book proposal for this work will be found in Series III. Series I additionally holds a copy of Flesch's doctoral dissertation on the writer Gerhart Hauptmann.

Series VI holds some papers added to the collection after its initial processing. Included is a letter, a few photographs and several unpublished manuscripts, including short stories and a retelling of Faust.


  • 1890-1973
  • Majority of material found within 1940-1948


Language of Materials

The collection is in English and German.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

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.

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

Philipp Flesch was born on March 2, 1896 in Vienna. When he was eighteen, he volunteered for World War I, where he spent four years in the military. He studied German philology and received his Ph.D. in 1922 with a dissertation on Gerhart Hauptmann. From 1928 to 1938 he taught at several schools in Vienna. He immigrated to the United States via Rotterdam, and arrived in New York on December 30, 1939. Unable to find a teaching position, he studied library science at Columbia University and graduated in 1944, eventually securing a position as a cataloger at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also wrote extensively, including the creation of numerous poems, essays and articles, short stories, and a novel; a few of his poems and essays were published.


2 Linear Feet


This collection is comprised of the papers of the librarian and author Philipp Flesch. It prominently features manuscripts of his writing, which consists of poetry, essays, short stories, and a novel. In addition, the collection holds a small amount of Philipp Flesch's personal and professional correspondence as well as some personal papers, including official documents.

Processing Information

Much of the arrangement of the collection follows the original order observed during initial processing, especially the manuscripts of Series III, Subseries 1, which were already in alphabetical order. Superfluous copies of unmarked manuscripts and clippings were removed from the collection.

Guide to the Papers of Philipp Flesch 1890-1973 AR 25197
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
© 2008
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from PhilippFlesch.xml

Revision Statements

  • 2010-03-23 : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl
  • 2013-10-16:: Series VI: Addenda added.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States