Karl William Henry Scholz Papers
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: University Archives and Records Center [Contact Us]3401 Market Street, Suite 210, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
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Overview and metadata sections
Karl William Henry Scholz, professor of economics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, was born on December 31, 1886 in Riesbrick, a small town in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany. At the age of six, he emigrated to the United States, where he became a naturalized citizen. Scholz attended Central High School, a preparatory school in Philadelphia, before entering the University of Pennsylvania as a freshman in 1907. As an undergraduate, he was a four-year member of the Zelosophic Society, serving as its vice president in his senior year. He was also President of the Deutscher Verein (German Society) for the final three years of his undergraduate career. When Scholz graduated from the College in 1911 with a Bachelor of Sciences degree, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
From 1911 to 1914, Scholz taught German and mathematics at Bethlehem Preparatory School, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Scholz left secondary education in 1914 and returned to his alma mater to study and to teach German. After earning his Master of Arts degree in 1915 and his Ph.D. in German in 1918, he continued his duties as German instructor at the University.
In 1920, Scholz's teaching career took a dramatic change of course; he moved from the German department to the Wharton School's Economics department, apparently without prior academic experience in the field. He taught there first as an instructor until 1925, as an assistant professor of economics until 1930, and then as a full professor until his retirement in 1957.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Scholz was an active researcher in international economic problems. He traveled extensively in the late 1920s and 1930s, visiting Europe eight times to study firsthand the economic and social conditions of various European countries. Scholz was particularly interested in Russian economic life, engaging in an intensive study of the economic conditions of Russia, touring Leningrad and Moscow as well as rural sections of the country. From his visits to Russia, Scholz would later conclude in lectures and various publications that Russian industry was developing rapidly but would continue to be hindered by weak agricultural conditions.
Scholz was actively involved in local Philadelphia affairs and served as a consultant to various public and private agencies on topics such as housing, taxation, and economics in government. He was a research associate for the Fels Institute of Local and State Government at the University of Pennsylvania, and also served as the director of the Philadelphia Housing Association, chairman of the Philadelphia Committee on Public Affairs, a member of the Pennsylvania Local Tax Study Committee, and as vice chairman of the Independence Council.
Scholz co-authored several books in the field of economics, including Science and Practice of Urban Land Valuation (1925) with W.W. Pollock, Rudiments of Business Finance (1926) with E. S. Mead, and Economic Problems of Modern Life (1948) with S. H. Patterson. He also collaborated on the Pennsylvania Assessors Handbook, published in 1941.
Following his 1957 retirement from Penn, Scholz began lecturing in economics at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, an activity he continued until his death. Scholz died at his house in Media, Pennsylvania on May 9, 1962.
This collection documents the active public and professional life of one of Philadelphia's leading economists. The bulk of the collection consists of Scholz's writings from 1930 until his death in 1962. These typed or printed writings reflect different stages in the publication process. Some are early drafts of papers and chapters; others are published brochures and articles. These writings paint a vivid picture of national, state, and local economic and financial concerns during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Issues addressed most prominently in Scholz's writings include real estate, taxes, and postwar international relations, with a particular focus on the Russian economy. Several writings in the collection focus on Russia's role in post-war international collaboration.
The remaining series in the collection offer only a fragmentary picture of Scholz's unpublished work and research. The clippings and invitations series contains only 3 items: one invitation and two newspaper clippings on personal finance. The correspondence and printed surveys, reports, and addresses series are similarly sparse. The research drafts and notes series includes a substantial number of Scholz's hand-written notes, the organization and content of which are not always evident.
The Karl William Henry Scholz collection is organized into five series: Writings, Clippings and invitations, Correspondence, 1937 - 1952, Printed Surveys, reports, and addresses, and Research drafts and notes. His papers are arranged alphabetically within each series.
Transferred from Van Pelt Library by the University Archives in March 1963.
- University of Pennsylvania: University Archives and Records Center
- Finding Aid Author
- Deborah Singer
- Finding Aid Date
- July 2006
- Access Restrictions
Access to collections is granted in accordance with the Protocols for the University Archives and Records Centers.