Irene E. Barbasch Collection
Scope and Content Note
This small collection is fragmentary and should be considered in relation to the papers of Lilian Singer (AR 25363) as both women are present in each collection. What is contained in this collection only documents specific parts of the subject’s life and does not offer a comprehensive history of Irene Barbasch.
The correspondence covers the period between 1944 and 1946. Much of it concerns food rations or Irene’s efforts to secure affidavits from her American cousins that would enable her to emigrate. The bulk of the correspondence addressed to Irene consists of passionate love letters signed by someone named “Marshall,” whose identity cannot be determined from these materials.
Photographs are the other dominant material type. Only a few are annotated with names or dates, but they appear to document a wide range of places and periods. These offer a more intimate view of the two women, their relationship, and their families, particularly in the 1960s.
- Majority of material found within 1940-1973
Language of Materials
The collection is in English.
This collection is open to researchers.
Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.
Biographical Note<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Portrait of Irene E. Barbasch (right) and Lilian P. Singer (left), undated" href="http://digital.cjh.org/webclient/DeliveryManager?pid=2040733" show="embed" title="Irene E. Barbasch (right) and Lilian P. Singer (left); undated photo"/>
Irene Estelle Barbasch was born in 1915 in Manchester, England (U.K) to Henry Barbasch and Maud Kersh. She was the eldest of three sisters, followed by Sybil (born 1918) and Audrey (1922). Relatively little personal information about Irene is contained in this collection, but she served in the Women’s Land Army during the Second World War and experienced the privations of war-time rationing along with the rest of the U.K. Correspondence dated 1945-1946 shows that she struggled for years to obtain travel papers allowing her to immigrate to the United States, where she intended to study chiropractics at Lincoln College in Indianapolis. Other documents and photographs indicate that she was a resident of Kentucky by 1954 and eventually earned the title of Doctor.
By the end of the 1950s, Irene had met Dr. Lilian Singer (née Popper), a Jewish war refugee originally from Brno who practiced medicine in Europe, India, and Pakistan before settling in the U.S. Dr. Singer and Dr. Barbasch lived together in Erlanger, Kentucky until Lilian’s death in 1977. Irene remained in their home, where she had established her naturopathy practice, until her death in 2008 at age 93.
0.25 Linear Feet
This collection contains the correspondence of Dr. Irene E. Barbasch written mainly in England during and just after WWII, as well as photographs and other documents pertaining to her relationship with Dr. Lilian P. Singer of Brno (Czech Republic).
Arranged alphabetically by document type.
Duplicate photos and envelopes were weeded. Photographs found grouped in envelopes remain together but were transferred into archival sleeves and envelopes before being placed in folders. The broken glass plate negative of Dr. Singer’s diploma was placed in protective housing to stabilize it and prevent further damage.
- Guide to the Irene E. Barbasch Collection 1883-2006 (bulk 1940-1973) AR 25592
- Processed by Alyssa Carver
- © 2014
- 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
- June 9, 2014 : Link to digital objects added in Container List.