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Georg Iggers' Office Files

Identifier: AR 25780

Scope and Contents

The collection contains office files of Georg Iggers that pertain to his work as an academic at the University of Buffalo. The collection is arranged into four series and two subseries. The arrangement is based on the original order created by Iggers. Series I is divided into two series: Subseries 1 contains writings by Georg Iggers including articles, book reviews, his master’s thesis, and biographic materials. Some college essays Iggers what as a student are also part of the subseries. Subseries 2 is made up of writings and interviews about Iggers. Included in the subseries are also book reviews about Global History of World Historiography by Iggers and Q. Edward Wang.

Series II consists of materials relating to conferences and exchange programs organized and/or attended by Georg Iggers. The conference folders often include event programs and notes used by Iggers to prepare lectures and presentations for the events. Exchange program folders detail the history of how Iggers helped to set up exchange programs for scholars around the world to share ideas across the political spectrum. Some folders contain correspondence, which was left with the materials to preserve the original order intended by Iggers.

The bulk of the collection is made up of Series III and includes correspondence between Iggers and other renowned historians and scholars. Some folders are arranged thematically to preserve the original order. The letters pertain mainly to Iggers’ professional life as a scholar and touch upon topics ranging from scholarly discourse to casual conversation. The series includes a large amount of correspondence with Hayden White spanning multiple years.

Series IV contains mainly photocopies of personal and family documents pertaining to Iggers and his family. Copies include birth and marriage certificates, immigration papers, and a passport. Two original Stammbücher (family registry books) belonging to the Iggers family are included in this series.


  • 1939 - 2017


Language of Materials

This collection is in English, German, Spanish, and some French.

Biographical Note

Georg Gerson Iggers (December 7, 1926 – November 26, 2017) was born in Hamburg, Germany to Alfred and Lizzie Igersheimer née Minden. He fled Germany with his family in 1938 and settled in Richmond, Virginia. Originally Igersheimer, the family name was changed to Iggers after their immigration to the U.S. Iggers completed his bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond in 1944, and continued his studies at the University of Chicago where he received his master’s degree (1945) and his Ph.D (1951).

Iggers married his wife Wilma née Abeles, a scholar of German literature, in 1948. Both academics took up university postings at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas and later Dillard University in New Orleans. As professors in historically black colleges, Georg and Wilma Iggers joined the Civil Rights Movement and became active members of the NAACP (“National Association for the Advancement of Colored People”). In the 1950s, Georg Iggers compiled a report outlining the differences between Little Rock’s all-black and all-white high schools. The report served as a basis of the Cooper v. Aaron desegregation lawsuit in Arkansas. Both Georg and Wilma Iggers played a major role in the fight to desegregate the Little Rock Public Library.

In 1965, Georg and Wilma Iggers moved to Buffalo, New York where they took up academic positions. Georg Iggers joined the history faculty at SUNY Buffalo as professor of European intellectual history. The couple continued their promotion of intercultural dialogue by creating exchange programs between American universities and those in the German Democratic Republic and Cuba.

Iggers published his first landmark work, The German Conception of History: The National Tradition of Historical Thought from Herder to the Present in 1968. His other books include New Directions in European Historiography, Historiography in the Twentieth Century, and A Global History of Modern Historiography, which he co-authored with Qingjia Edward Wang. He was awarded the Cross of Merit First Class by the German government in 2007 for his contributions to the study of history.

Georg Iggers passed away on November 26, 2017 in Buffalo, New York.


1.5 Linear Feet

1 Folders (1 oversized shared folder in a shared box)


The collection contains the office files of Georg Iggers, a renowned historian and social activist. His fields of expertise included historiography and modern European history. The collection is arranged into four series and two subseries. Materials in this collection include a large amount of correspondence, notes, drafts of writings, and some personal documents. The correspondence includes letters from renowned historians and scholars.


The collection had been arranged thematically and alphabetically. Original order when applicable was preserved.

  1. Series I: Writings and Interviews, 1940s-2015.
  2. Subseries 1: Articles and Book Reviews by Iggers, 1940s-2015.
  3. Subseries 2: Interviews and Articles About Iggers, 2000-2013.
  4. Series II: Conferences and Exchange Programs, 1974-2016.
  5. Series III: Correspondence, 1968-2016.
  6. Series IV: Personal and Family Documents, 1800s-2017

Processing Information

During processing, folders were grouped to form series and subseries. The arrangement of the collection was based on the original arrangement of folders by Georg Iggers.

Guide to the Papers of Georg Iggers
Processed by Agata Sobczak
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States