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Abraham Anscher papers


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Archives at the Library of the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies [Contact Us]420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-3703

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Archives at the Library of the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Abraham Anscher recounts his adventures in Matabeleland, the Transvaal, along the Zambezi River, and beyond in his unpublished narrative documenting his 1883-1884 expedition through southern Africa. Throughout the narrative he also recalls his time in Chicago, and makes many references to the Jewish faith, recounting old stories from the Talmud and the Torah, and complaining about the Christian missionaries in Africa. Anscher's narrative ends after January of 1884, when he was heading deeper into the interior of Africa, up the Zambezi. The existence of any other material, and his ultimate fate, are currently unknown.

The Abraham Anscher papers comprise a detailed narrative of an 1883-1884 expedition through Southern Africa, written by exploring party leader Abraham Anscher, a Jewish Chicago immigrant. The narrative spans 295 pages, with five additional letters totaling 60 pages; altogether more than 38,000 words. Anscher describes his adventures in Africa including big game hunting; trekking through the desert; interactions with local indigenous people (including royalty), and white missionaries, traders, and hunters; ethnographic, botanical, geological, and zoological observations. This unrecorded account is organized as a letter addressed to Edith Delia Rogalski Roe (1864-1946). Other letters are addressed to Edith's husband as of 1885, Israel Jackson Roe (1857-1926), her parents, Samuel (1836-1922) and Sarah Rogalski (1845-1897), and her brother Benny (born ca. 1865).

Sold by McBride Rare Books, 2022.

Collection accessioned as 2022.000117. Samantha Dodd proccessed, wrote and encoded the finding aid, 2023. Due to their fragile condition, papers were left in orignal page protectors.

University of Pennsylvania: Archives at the Library of the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies
Finding Aid Author
Samantha Dodd
Finding Aid Date
2023 July 18
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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Narrative, pg. 1-20, 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 1
Narrative, pg. 21-40, 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 2
Narrative, pg. 41-60, 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 3
Narrative, pg. 61-80 [Poland], 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 4
Narrative, pg. 81-100 [hunting in the U.S.A.; Laramie Plains, Montana; California; Arizona], 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 5
Narrative, pg. 101-120, 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 6
Narrative, pg. 121-140 [fossils], 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 7
Narrative, pg. 141-160, 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 8
Narrative, pg. 161-181 [Ishomore; Winsloe; Pinto], 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 9
Narrative, pg. 182-201 [camp Phoenix], 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 10
Narrative, pg. 202-221 [Hebrew], 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 11
Narrative, pg. 222-241, 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 12
Narrative, pg. 242-261 [Pinto' Victoria Falls; Latt.; S.S. Pretoria], 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 13
Narrative, pg. 262-281, 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 14
Narrative, pg. 282-295, 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 15
Letters, 1883-1884.
Box 1 Folder 16-17
Envelope, Mrs. Edith D. Rose, undated.
Box 1 Folder 18

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