Skip to main content

Leo Herland Collection

Identifier: AR 25177 / MF 741

Scope and Content Note

The Leo Herland Collection largely documents Leo Herland's writing and professional career, with some materials on his personal life. The largest amount of information is on his writing career.

Items concerning Leo Herland's personal life will mainly be found in Series I. These items include documents such as immigration and travel papers and forms, his military service papers, identification papers and cards, educational and financial papers, ration books, a few unidentified photographs, and some papers from vacations or trips the family took. This series also contains diaries and scrapbooks. Other papers relating to Leo Herland's personal life include the correspondence he maintained with family members and friends, which will be found in Series III: Correspondence. A small amount of papers of his immediate family members are located in Series II: Other Family Members' Papers.

Professional and writing materials make up the remainder of the collection. Located among the correspondence are a few folders with professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association as well as with publishers Herland worked with. Series IV, however, makes up the bulk of the collection. This series holds all of Leo Herland's writings, most of which are unpublished. Perhaps most noteworthy of the manuscripts found here are Herland's physiognomic character analyses, a few of which are of well-known individuals. Included here are also many unpublished manuscripts of fictional works, most of which appear to be a part of a longer work. Herland's published articles and reviews of his book Gesicht und Character are located in the last subseries of this series. Many of the collected clippings found in Series V: Collected Materials, may also have been used or been intended for use by Leo Herland in his character analyses.


  • 1890-2000
  • Majority of material found within 1924-1960

Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English.

Access Restrictions

Researchers must use microfilm (MF 741).

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

Leo Herland was a psychologist whose main area of expertise was the study of physiognomy - the study and interpretation of the face. He was born in Vienna, Austria in 1888. From August 1916 through March 1920 Leo Herland served in the military. In 1912 he married Melanie nee Sgalitzer, who was fourteen years older than him, and also from Vienna. In 1919 their daughter Lotte was born.

By 1935 Leo Herland had completed his studies at the Universität Wien. During the late 1920s and early 1930s he was active in the socialist movement in Vienna, and his writings were published in publications such as Freundschaft , Die Gemeinwirtschaft, and Arbeiter-Zeitung. In 1938 Leo Herland's book on physiognomy, Gesicht und Charakter, was published by Rascher Verlag. That same year he and his wife left Vienna. They first arrived in England in August, where their daughter Lotte was living, before continuing on to the United States a month later. Leo Herland spent much of his time in the 1940s and 1950s writing, and signed a contract with Frederick Ungar Publishing in 1952 for the publication of an English-German Dictionary of Mathematical Sciences. In 1953, Melanie Herland died. Gesicht und Charakter was published again in 1956 and 1975. A second edition of the dictionary was published in 1965. Leo Herland died in New York in 1969.


9.5 Linear Feet


This collection describes the work and life of the physiognomist and writer Leo Herland. The papers found here emphasize his written work, and the largest portion of the collection is made up of manuscripts of his compositions. The collection also holds personal and professional correspondence, published articles, some personal documents, diaries, clippings, and a few photographs.


This collection is available on nine reels of microfilm.

  1. Reel 1: 1/1 – 1/29
  2. Reel 2: 1/30 – 1/58
  3. Reel 3: 1/59 – 2/13
  4. Reel 4: 2/14 – 2/27
  5. Reel 5: 2/28 – 3/19
  6. Reel 6: 3/20 – 3/43
  7. Reel 7: 3/44 – 4/3
  8. Reel 8: 4/4 – 4/9
  9. Reel 9: 4/10 – 5/1
Guide to the Papers of Leo Herland (1888-1969) 1890-2000 AR 25177 / MF 741
Processed by Jerry Lindenstraus and Dianne Ritchey Oummia
© 2005
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from LeoHerland.xml

Revision Statements

  • 2010-04-28 : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States