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Werner L. Gundersheimer (AC 1959) Papers, 1940-2004
1 records storage box, 1 archives box (1.5 linear ft.)

Abstract:
Correspondence, photographs, articles, awards and other materials documenting the academic and professional life of Werner L. Gundersheimer, educator, European historian and past Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the Werner L. Gundersheimer (AC 1959) Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the Werner L. Gundersheimer (AC 1959) Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Amherst, MA

Biographical Note

Werner L. Gundersheimer, historian, educator, and Director Emeritus of the Folger Shakespeare Library, was born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, in 1937. He emigrated to the United States at age 3, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1945. His chief field of scholarship is in European history, 1300-1600, with special emphasis on French and Italian intellectual, social and urban history.

Dr. Gundersheimer attended Amherst College, graduating in the Class of 1959. He received an M.A. (1960) and Ph.D. (1963) from Harvard University. He has held academic appointments (often visiting or adjunct) at numerous institutions including the University of Pennsylvania (1966-68, 1972-84) and Amherst College (1986-2002). Dr. Gundersheimer was appointed Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library in 1984. During his tenure (1984-2002), he addressed serious financial challenges caused in part by the recessionary inflation of the 1970s, initiating fund-raising and capital campaigns. Gundersheimer strengthened the core functions of cataloging and acquisitions, added scholarly fellowships, and placed a new emphasis on exhibitions as both scholarly endeavors and public outreach. At this time the library also completed the work of putting its catalog online.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Correspondence, photographs, articles, awards and other materials documenting the academic and professional life of Werner L. Gundersheimer, educator, historian and past Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. Included are Dr. Gundersheimer's early school records, some of his undergraduate academic papers at Amherst College, scholarly articles on early Modern European history (and reviews of same), and awards received, including honorary degrees and memberships. Particularly noteworthy are two personal memoirs, one unpublished, on growing up as a German Jewish refugee in post-World War II America. The Folger Shakespeare Library material chiefly concerns events held there during Dr. Gundersheimer's tenure as Director, and invitations to Washington, D.C. receptions and dinners which Dr. Gundersheimer received; Series 2 (General Correspondence) also includes letters from appreciative and noteworthy patrons and supporters of the Library.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the Werner L. Gundersheimer (AC 1959) Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the Werner L. Gundersheimer (AC 1959) Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

[Identification of item], in Werner L. Gundersheimer (AC 1959) Papers [Box #, Folder #], Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library.

History of the Collection

Gift of Werner Gundersheimer in 2004 and 2005.

Processing Information

Processed in June-July 2014 by Peter A. Nelson, College Archivist.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
PO Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Phone: (413) 542-2299
Fax: (413) 542-2692

Email Reference Form: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/askus
URL: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives
Language
English

Contents List
SERIES 1: AMHERST COLLEGE,
1955-1959


Series 1 consists chiefly of academic papers from Gundersheimer's first two years at Amherst, and also several awards.

English 1-2
1955-1956

Box 1: folder 1
French paper
1955-1956

Box 1: folder 2
Humanities 2
1955-1956

Box 1: folder 3
Physics
1955-1956

Box 1: folder 4
American Studies 21-22
1956-1957

Box 1: folder 5
English 21-22
1956-1957

Box 1: folder 6
Amherst prizes received
1958-1959

Box 1: folder 7
Amherst College Commencement program
1959

Box 1: folder 8
SERIES 2: GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE,
1986-2002


Series 2 consists primarily of letters received while he was Director of the Folger Library. Correspondents include Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, David Souter and Byron White.

Banine, Mary, re: Sidney Yates
2000

Box 1: folder 9
Bosman, Anston
2001

Box 1: folder 10
Bush, Barbara
1989

Box 1: folder 11
Bush, George H.W.
1995

Box 1: folder 12
Londre, Felicia, re: dinner with Ambassador Paul Nitze
1995

Box 1: folder 13
O'Brien, Kevin
2000 Sep

Box 1: folder 14
O'Connor, Sandra (US Supreme Court Justice)
1988

Box 1: folder 15
Orbán, Viktor (Prime Minister, Rep. of Hungary)
2001

Box 1: folder 16
The Royal Household (card)
n.d.

Box 1: folder 17
Ruxin, Paul
2002 May

Box 1: folder 18
Skotheim, Robert Allen
2001 Feb

Box 1: folder 19
Souter, David (US Supreme Court Justice)
1990-1991

Box 1: folder 20
Washington Post-"Doers" Profile
1995

Box 1: folder 21
Washington Post -letter to Editor re: J.F. Kennedy on Robert Frost and funding for the arts
1990

Box 1: folder 22
White, Byron (US Supreme Court Justice)
1986 Mar

Box 1: folder 23
White House (Holiday greeting cards from Pres. and Mrs. Clinton)
1996-1997

Box 1: folder 24
SERIES 3: WRITINGS AND SPEECHES,
1966-2002


Series 3 collects some of Gundersheimer's scholarly writings on European history, and reviews of them; also included are speeches. Noteworthy here are two personal memoirs about growing up as a German Jewish émigré in the U.S.: "Christian-ish and Jew-ish: Childhood on a Religious Shuttle" and "The Only Henniker on Earth."

The Life and Work of Louis Le Roy - reviews
c. 1966-1968

Box 1: folder 25
Ferrara: The Style of a Renaissance Despotism; and Art and Life at the Court of Ercole I d'Este (1972) - reviews and correspondence
c. 1971-1982

Box 1: folder 26
Public talks
1985-1998

Box 1: folder 27
Articles about WLG
1994-1998

Box 1: folder 28
"Christian-ish and Jew-ish: Childhood on a Religious Shuttle"
n.d.

Box 1: folder 29
"The Only Henniker on Earth," in: The Longing for Home, ed. by Leroy S. Rouner (Univ. of Notre Dame Press)
[1996]

Box 1: folder 30
"Renaissance Concepts of Shame and Pocaterra's Dialoghi Della Vergogna"
1994

Box 1: folder 31
"Clarity and Ambiguity in Renaissance Gesture: The Case of Borso d'Este"
1993

Box 1: folder 32
"The Eyes of the Beholders: Seeing Italy through Travellers & Travellers through Italy." In: The Spell of Italy: British and American Travel Accounts, 1800-1914, keepsake of an exhibition in Special Collections, University of Virginia Library
1989

Box 1: folder 33
"Kristallnacht Revisited: A Nightmare, A Legacy." Washington Post
[1988]

Box 1: folder 34
Remarks at the Inauguration of the Olin and Chalmers Memorial Libraries at Kenyon College
1986 Oct

Box 1: folder 35
"Duking It Out." Review of Goffen, Renaissance Rivals: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Titian
[2002]

Box 1: folder 36
SERIES 4: FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY,
1986-2002


Series 4 includes invitations, photographs, public relations material and other documentation of events and programs held by the Folger Library and Dr. Gundersheimer's related social activities as its Director.

Invitations 1
c. 1993-1998

Box 1: folder 37
Invitations 2
c. 1989-1997

Box 1: folder 38
Invitations 3
c. 1991-1995

Box 1: folder 39
Invitation - Chief of Naval Operations, Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony
2000

Box 1: folder 40
Invitations-White House State Dinners
2000

Box 1: folder 41
Folger appointments
1987

Box 1: folder 43
Folger public relations
1991-1998

Box 1: folder 44
Folger public relations photographs
n.d.

Box 1: folder 45
Folger functions
c. 1986-2002

Box 1: folder 46
SERIES 5: AWARDS,
1979-2003


Series 5 includes material on several honorary degrees Gundersheimer received (including Amherst College, in 1984), as well as memberships and prizes from a number of scholarly and social organizations.

Rosenbach Foundation
1979

Box 1: folder 47
Amherst College honorary degree
1984

Box 1: folder 48
Amherst Student, Commencement edition featuring honorands
1984

Box 1: folder 49
Phi Beta Kappa Associates
1984

Box 1: folder 50
Cheltenham High School (Elkins Park, Pa.) Hall of Fame
1987 May

Box 1: folder 51
Cheltenham High School Hall of Fame plaque
1987 May

Box 1: folder 52
Williams College honorary degree
1989 Sep

Box 1: folder 53
Williams College honorary degree certificate
1989 Sep

Box 1: folder 54
Phi Beta Kappa - elected Senator
1994

Box 1: folder 55
American Philosophical Society - elected membership
1998

Box 1: folder 56
Capitol Hill Community Achievement Award
1998 May

Box 1: folder 57
Davidson College honorary degree
1998

Box 1: folder 58
American Association of University Administrators - certificate of appreciation
2000

Box 1: folder 59
Rotary Club, Washington, D.C.
2000 Jun

Box 1: folder 60
Shakespeare Birthday Trust - George Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award
2002

Box 1: folder 61
National Humanities Alliance - statement of appreciation
2003

Box 1: folder 63
Washington College honorary degree
2003

Box 1: folder 64
Muhlenberg Honorary Degree
1991 Nov

Box 1: folder 65
SERIES 6: PHOTOGRAPHS
1940-2000


Scope and content:

Series 6 consists of both personal and publicity photographs.

Note:

Other photographs of Dr. Gundersheimer can be found elsewhere in the collection under specific folder headings related to events.

Note

See also Series 4, box 1, folder 45.

Photographs - misc.
n.d.

Box 2: folder 1
Photographs-Alfalfa Club dinner
1990

Box 2: folder 2
Photographs-Bush, George H.W.
1985

Box 2: folder 3
Photographs-Clinton, William; Dr. Ruth Westheimer
2000

Box 2: folder 4
Photographs-Darenblum, H., Ambassador of Costa Rica
n.d.

Box 2: folder 5
Photographs-Great Benefactors of the Folger - Simon Bessie
1986

Box 2: folder 6
Photographs-Heston, Charlton
1986 Jul

Box 2: folder 7
Photographs-PEN/Faulkner board
1994

Box 2: folder 8
Photographs-Queen Elizabeth
1991

Box 2: folder 9
Photographs-Tulchin, Joe
[1996]

Box 2: folder 10
Childhood photograph of WLG
1940

Box 2: folder 11
SERIES 7: PERSONAL AFFAIRS, INCLUDING JUVENILIA,
1946-2004


Series 7 includes childhood school records as well as material on academic positions offered, and major life milestones and achievements.

Curriculum vitae
2004

Box 2: folder 12
Juvenilia-before high school
1946-1951

Box 2: folder 13
Juvenilia -high school
1952-1955

Box 2: folder 14
Youth Material-photographs
n.d.

Box 2: folder 15
Philadelphia Orchestra
1949

Box 2: folder 16
Junior and Senior high school diplomas
1952, 1955

Box 2: folder 17
Rotary Foundation fellowship
1961-1962

Box 2: folder 18
Position offerings
1965-1994

Box 2: folder 19
Retirement from Folger Shakespeare Library
2002

Box 2: folder 20
Herman M. Wessel (AC 1919) obituary
1992

Box 2: folder 21
Town and Country featuring WLG
1999 Oct

Box 2: folder 22
Tyler Gestures (Newsletter of the Tyler School of Art, Temple University) featuring WLG's father, Professor Emeritus Dr. Herman Gundersheimer
1993 Fall

Box 2: folder 23

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Folger Shakespeare Library.
  • Jews -- United States -- Personal narratives.
  • Jews, German -- United States -- Personal narratives.
  • Renaissance -- France.
  • Renaissance -- Italy.


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