Paul Schrecker papers
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. 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
Paul Schrecker (1889-1963) was a philosopher who obtained his education from the University of Vienna (LL.D) and the University of Berlin (Ph.D). In 1933, with the passing of the Nuremberg Laws, he was dismissed from his position at the Prussian Academy of Sciences and fled to Paris where he taught at the University of Paris from 1933 to 1940. He moved to the United States after the German occupation of France in 1940 and taught at the New School for Social Research in New York from 1941 to 1945; at the École Libre des Hautes Studies in New York from 1942 to 1945; as a professor at Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore Colleges (probably from 1945 to 1950); and as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania from 1950 until his retirement in 1960. His last year of teaching was spent as John Hay Whitney visiting professor at the Claremont Graduate School. He edited the works of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) from 1929 to 1933 and Nicolas Malebranche (1638-1715) from 1934 to 1940, and is the author of Work and History: An Essay on the Structure of Civilization, published by Princeton University Press in 1948.
Paul Schrecker married Anne Martin in 1951. His son Anthony, from a previous marriage, was born in 1915, and his son Theodore, now professor at Durham University in the UK, was born in 1954.
The Paul Schrecker papers, 1921-1964, consist primarily of the professional papers, correspondence, writings, and research materials of University of Pennsylvania professor, Paul Schrecker. This collection consists of teaching materials, correspondence, research and bibliographic notes, annotated drafts of conference papers and commentaries, and unbound volumes of works by Leibniz and Malebranche. These materials document Schrecker's scholarly pursuits, particularly his writing, research, and teaching career at the University of Pennsylvania, the New School for Social Research, Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, and Swarthmore College. The collection also contains personal materials such as financial records and family papers.
The first series in this collection, Teaching and Lectures, 1929-1962, contains records from Paul Schrecker's teaching career at Bryn Mawr College, the University of Pennsylvania, and the New School for Social Research. Other colleges and universities at which Schrecker taught are arranged in a subseries that includes: Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and Columbia University, among others. Records in this series consist of administrative correspondence, exam questions, lecture notes and manuscripts, and student lists and grades (which are restricted).
The second series in this collection, Writings by Schrecker, 1927-1957, focuses on the philosophers Rene Descartes (1596-1650), Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), and Nicolas Malebranche (1638-1715). This series contains manuscripts and typescripts on the philosophers, as well as related correspondence, newspaper clippings, and research notes. The subseries Other Writings, 1936-1963, contains other manuscripts and typescripts, including unpublished original manuscripts.
The third series in this collection, Research, 1936-1946, contains research notes and manuscripts on Descartes, Leibniz, and Malebranche, as well as other philosophers, including Thomas Hobbes and Lucien Levy-Bruhl.
The extensive correspondence in this collection-- the fourth series, Correspondence to and from Schrecker, 1921-1963-- is made up of letters to Paul Schrecker as well as copies Schrecker made of the letters he himself sent and includes correspondence with notable people such as: poet W. H. Auden; historian Raymond Klibansky; historian George Sarton; psychiatrist Charlot Strasser; judge Otto Kaus; and philosophers: Hermann Broch, Claude Levi-Strauss, Otto Neurath, Siegfried Kracauer, Alexandre Koyré, Julius Kraft, Robert Fitzgibbon Young, Glenn R. Morrow, and Richard Popkin. This correspondence, which is arranged alphabetically by last name, also contains letters to and from family members including Anthony, Charles, Franz, and Leonie Schrecker.
Personal and family records, 1933-1963, comprises the fifth series in this collection and includes date books from 1933 to 1959, financial records, papers regarding insurance for Schrecker's personal library and related moving arrangements, personal bibliographies, business cards, diplomas and certificates, naturalization records, and letters and records related to son Theodore's birth.
The sixth, and last, series in this collection consists of published journals and books. Most of the journals contain published essays by Paul Schrecker. The two books in the collection-- The Federalist; a commentary on the Constitution of the United States, being a collection of essays written in support of the Constitution agreed upon September 17, 1787, by the Federal convention (The Modern Library, 1941); and Basic writings of Thomas Jefferson (Willey Book Co., 1944)-- include inlaid looseleaf notes by Schrecker.
This collection is of value to researchers interested in materials on Enlightenment philosophers-- specifically Leibniz and Malebranche-- and the culture of 20th century academia. Note that this collection is mainly in English, but contains significant portions in French and German.
Gifts of Paul Schrecker, 1963, and Ted Schrecker, 2016.
The processing of the original gift of papers from Paul Schrecker was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' "Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives" Project. The original gift may be found almost entirely in Series III. Research. The remainder of the collection was donated in 2016 by Schrecker's son.
- Bryn Mawr College
- University of Pennsylvania
- New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y. : 1919-1997)
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Megan Evans and Chase Markee (2014) and Alexandra M. Wilder (2017)
- Finding Aid Date
- 2014 May 14 and 2017 May 4
- The creation of the electronic guide for this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' "Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives" Project.
- Access Restrictions
The bulk of this collection is open for research use; however, some folders contain student records and are restricted.
- 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.