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Lee Sommer Collection

Identifier: AR 25572

Scope and Content Note

The Lee Sommer Collection contains many family photographs and some documents of members of the Lee Sommer family. The bulk of the collection consists of photo albums, photographs, and picture postcards of the family, but the collection also includes a small amount of family correspondence, memorial albums, and some articles about Hermann Schuelein, director of Rheingold breweries.

Series II is the largest area of the collection, with extensive photographs of family members and the places to which they traveled, family pets, vacations, and school excursions and events. It also includes many photographs and picture postcards from World War I.

Series I contains the documents of Lee Sommer and his family. This series includes family correspondence from the 1940s, newspaper and magazine clippings about Hermann Schuelein, and memorial albums that mark the deaths of family members.


  • 1914-1971
  • Majority of material found within 1914-1948

Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English, with a small amount of French.

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

Lee Sommer was born as Leo Sommer on May 8, 1899 in Cologne (Köln), Germany, the son of Moritz and Elise (née Strauss) Sommer. He had two brothers, Max and Emil. Lee and his wife Traudi arrived in New York on August 12, 1938, and during the 1940s lived in the Washington Heights neighborhood in northern Manhattan. Max and Trude Sommer survived World War II in Switzerland and joined his brother in the United States in 1946.

Lee Sommer died on November 11, 1970.


1 Linear Feet


The Lee Sommer Collection primarily consists of photographic material of the Lee Sommer family. In addition it contains a small amount of family correspondence, memorial albums, and articles about Hermann Schuelein.


The collection is arranged in two series:

Processing Information

During processing of the archival collection, it was divided into two series and untitled photo albums were assigned titles based on the albums' contents. Many photographs in multiple photo albums were discovered to have fallen loose from their album pages. Therefore they were placed in photo envelopes separate from their album, with identification of the photographs and their respective pages recorded on the envelopes to preserve their order within the albums.

Guide to the Papers of Lee Sommer 1914-1971 AR 25572
Processed by Dianne Ritchey
© 2018
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from LeeSommer.xml

Revision Statements

  • August 2018:: 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