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Stella Hanau papers, 1890-1990
9 boxes (4 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 73

Abstract:
Editor; Publicist; Birth control activist. Correspondence with family and associates in the birth control movement and the Works Progress Administration (1930s); birth control and WPA publications edited by Hanau; biographical information, memorabilia, photographs, and material for her book, The Provincetown: A Story of a Theatre (1931).

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The Papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to unpublished works in this collection created by Stella Bloch Hanau. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note
Dance card, undated

Dance card, undated

Stella Bloch was born in New York, New York, on July 24, 1890. Her father, Edward Bloch (1852-1933), and mother, Elizabeth Long (1861-1928), moved to New York from Alabama in 1882 after their cotton business sustained heavy losses. In New York, Edward Bloch went into the silk business, although family lore indicates that he was not a good businessman. Stella had three older brothers: Alexander (1881-1983), Samson Friedrich (1885-1936), and Eugene Godfrey (1888-1974). According to a biographical sketch by Stella's son, Richard Hanau, while Stella considered herself an agnostic, the family identified as Jewish though they did not attend temple or observe holidays.

After attending Wadleigh High School in Manhattan, Hanau earned a B.A. in English Literature from Barnard in 1911. While attending college she was secretary-treasurer for the Barnard chapter of the Collegiate Equal Suffrage League of New York, participated in the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, Deutscher Kreis, and the College Settlements Association. She also joined a variety of theatre groups and participated in productions. Just before college she met Hella Bernays, Sigmund Freud's niece, and the two became lifelong friends and collaborators.

In 1914 Stella married Leo Hanau (1884-1969), a New York City stockbroker. Originally from Mainz, Germany, Leo immigrated to New York in 1906, but remained a German citizen until the beginning of World War II. The Hanaus had a son, Richard, in 1918. They separated in 1921 and divorced in 1930.

During the 1920s Hanau acted as a press agent and publicity manager for several "experimental" theatres in New York City. These included the Greenwich Village Theatre and Neighborhood Playhouse, Playwrights Theater, and Provincetown Playhouse. Stella also co-authored, with Helen Deutsch, The Provincetown: A Story of the Theatre, in 1931 and managed Paul Robeson's first concert. Throughout her life she wrote and published playbills, press releases, and similar material related to theatre.

Hanau was also involved in the suffrage and birth control movements. She was editor of the Birth Control Review (1929-1933), editor and director of publications for the American Birth Control League (1933-1935), and educational director of the National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control (1935-1938). During her stint with the Birth Control Review, Hanau became friends with social service personnel and notable women in the birth control movement including Kitty Marion, Margaret Sanger, and early workers at Planned Parenthood. When Margaret Sanger left the American Birth Control League in 1935, Hanau left with her to work on publicity for Sanger in Washington.

Following her nearly fourteen years working for Margaret Sanger, Hanau went to work for the U.S. government. She was a staff editor for the Federal Writer's Project under the Works Progress Administration (1938-1942), an Information Specialist for the War Production Board (1942-1945), and Chief Copy Editor at the Department of Commerce (1945-49). She returned to New York City in 1949 where she worked as a free-lance editor. Among other projects, she collaborated with her lifelong friend Hella Bernays on the translation, indexing and editing of psychiatry books.

Stella Bloch Hanau died at age 81 on April 23, 1972, in Chelsea, New York.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Stella Bloch Hanau Papers consist of 4 linear ft. and are related to her personal and professional life, dating from 1890 to 1990. Types of materials include correspondence, datebooks, employment records, news clippings, photographs, publications, publicity materials, theatrical playbills and programs, and memorabilia. The papers are arranged in three series:

  • I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS AND PHOTOGRAPHS
  • II. CORRESPONDENCE
  • III. ORGANIZATIONS
  • OVERSIZE MATERIALS

The bulk of the Papers date from 1910 to 1970 and consist in large part of correspondence. Approximately half of the correspondence is with family, especially Hanau's son Richard, his wife Laia, and their daughter Loren Michael. The rest of the correspondence is with Hanau's friends and associates in experimental theatre, the birth control movement, the Works Progress Administration (1930s), and in editing and publishing. Printed material includes birth control and WPA publications edited by Hanau as well as playbills from her theatre publicity days. Also included is biographical information, memorabilia, photographs, and material about Hanau's book, co-authored with Helen Deutsch, The Provincetown: A Story of the Theatre (1931).


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

The Papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to unpublished works in this collection created by Stella Bloch Hanau. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. 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:

Stella Bloch Hanau Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

Stella Hanau's son, Richard Hanau, donated Stella Bloch Hanau's papers to the Sophia Smith Collection from 1971 to 1992.

Processing Information

Processed by Alexandra Bush, 13 April 2016


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Series Descriptions
(1890-1990)
1 linear ft.

This series includes biographical sketches, employment records, college memorabilia, news clippings, datebooks, legal documents, and photographs. Particularly revealing is an anecdotal sketch of Hanau written by her son, Richard.

(1904-1974)
2.5 linear ft.

This series consists of incoming and some outgoing correspondence. It is organized in two subseries: Family and Friends and associates. The Family subseries includes correspondence between Hanau and her brothers, father, and various extended family. The Friends and associates subseries contains both professional and personal correspondence. Notable correspondents include Kenneth MacGowan, Hella Bernays, Murray Bernays, and Roderick Seidenberg.

(1919-1969)
0.5 linear ft.

This series consists of materials related to Hanau's work in the birth control movement, experimental theatre, and for the federal government. It is arranged alphabetically.

Contents List
SERIES I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS AND PHOTOGRAPHS



General,
1890-1990, n.d.

Box 1: folder 1
Employment records and curriculum vitae,
1937-67, n.d.

Box 1: folder 2
Barnard College



General,
1909-1913

Box 1: folder 3
Equal Suffrage League,
1910

Box 1: folder 4
Family



General,
1917-62, n.d.

Box 1: folder 5
Edward Bloch [father],
1932-35, n.d.

Box 1: folder 6
Richard, Laia, and Loren Michael Hanau,
1928-70, n.d.

Box 1: folder 7
Marriage,
1914-30

Box 1: folder 8
Friends



M. Eleanor "Fitzi" Fitzgerald,
1955

Box 1: folder 9
Kenneth MacGowan,
1919-57

Box 1: folder 10
Marion Meisel,
1946, n.d.

Box 1: folder 11
Hermann Muller,
1949-56

Box 1: folder 12
Miscellaneous memorabilia,
1909-70, n.d.

Box 1: folder 13
Real estate



General,
1928-35

Box 1: folder 14
457 West 24th Street, New York, NY,
1926

Box 1: folder 15
Patterson, New York


Box 1
Williams property,
1925-63

Box 1: folder 16
Tabb lot,
1942-54

Box 2: folder 1
Photographs



Stella Bloch Hanau and family,
n.d.

Box 2: folder 2
Birth control-related,
n.d.

Box 2: folder 3
Provincetown Players,
n.d.

Box 2: folder 4
Miscellaneous,
1948, n.d.

Box 2: folder 5
Diaries and planners



1950-66

Box 2: folder 6-7
1967-72

Box 3: folder 1-4
SERIES II. CORRESPONDENCE



Family



Bloch, Alexander [brother],
1907-08, n.d.

Box 4: folder 1
Bloch, Blanche [sister-in-law],
1905-22, n.d.

Box 4: folder 2
Bloch, Edward and Elizabeth (Long) Bloch [parents],
1905-07

Box 4: folder 3
Bloch, Eugene [brother],
1912-33, n.d.

Box 4: folder 4
Bloch, Marion,
n.d.

Box 4: folder 5
Bloch, Samson [brother],
1907, n.d.

Box 4: folder 6
Hanau, Leo [husband],
1913-20, 1944

Box 4: folder 7
Hanau, Leo (incoming, third party),
1914-19

Box 4: folder 8
Hanau, Richard [son],
1918-36

Box 4: folder 9
Hanau, Richard, Laia, and Loren Michael



1941-55

Box 4: folder 10-20
1956-72, n.d.

Box 5: folder 1-13
Relatives in Germany,
1914

Box 5: folder 14
"Cousin Irma,"
1904-08

Box 5: folder 15
"Cousin Sidney,"
1904-09

Box 5: folder 16
"Cousin Walter,"
1908-10

Box 5: folder 17
Miscellaneous,
1907-33, 1953

Box 5: folder 18
Friends and associates



Alsberg, Henry,
1929-31

Box 5: folder 19
Barnett, Edith,
1910-23

Box 5: folder 20
Bernays, Hella



Incoming,
1911-23

Box 5: folder 21-23
Outgoing,
1912-17

Box 5: folder 24
Bernays, Murray,
1916-22

Box 6: folder 1
Borchard, Edwin,
1913-14

Box 6: folder 2
Briggs, Janine,
1957-59

Box 6: folder 3
Colby, Merle,
1950, 1962-64

Box 6: folder 4
Colby, James and Vivienne,
1957-66

Box 6: folder 5
Davenport, Mabel and Roderick,
1929

Box 6: folder 6
deLeon, Solon,
1912-13

Box 6: folder 7
Deutsch, Helen,
1961-74

Box 6: folder 8
Ellis, Havelock,
1931, 1933

Box 6: folder 9
Gay, Katherine



Incoming,
1905-32

Box 6: folder 10-13
Outgoing,
1907-22

Box 6: folder 14-15
Goodman, Eddie,
1931-17

Box 6: folder 16
Hamilton, G.V.
1931

Box 6: folder 17
Hastings, Mary E.,
1913

Box 6: folder 18
Herts, B. Russell,
1908-21

Box 6: folder 19
Koch, Frank



Incoming,
1910-16

Box 6: folder 20-23
Outgoing,
1910-12

Box 7: folder 1-2
Lesher, Robert,
1934

Box 7: folder 3
Levin, Ben,
1912

Box 7: folder 4
Marks, Margot Strauss,
1908-22

Box 7: folder 5
MacGowan, Edna and Kenneth,
1914-57

Box 7: folder 6-8
Meisel, Marion,
1921-22, n.d.

Box 7: folder 9
Muller, Hermann and Dorothy,
1930-67

Box 7: folder 10
Naumberg, Carl,
1910-11

Box 7: folder 11
Payne, Kenneth,
1971

Box 7: folder 12
Price, Willard,
1912-13

Box 7: folder 13
Randolph, Francis,
1908

Box 7: folder 14
Solis, Caroline,
1916-20

Box 7: folder 15
Schreiber, Lois Colby,
1963-64

Box 7: folder 16
Schwitzer, Myrtle,
1912-16

Box 7: folder 17
Seidenberg, Roderick,
1925-39

Box 7: folder 18-20
Shepherd, Betty,
1964

Box 7: folder 21
Smith, Olive,
1962

Box 7: folder 22
Spier, Doris,
1903-21

Box 7: folder 23
Stevens, Helen,
1963-69, n.d.

Box 7: folder 24
Symington, Varinka,
1968-69

Box 7: folder 25
Von Wahl, Constance,
1911

Box 7: folder 26
Weingart, Amelia and Lena,
1909-11

Box 7: folder 27
Weingart, Sylvia,
1905-16

Box 7: folder 28
Wengraf, Fritz and Gertrude,
1968-71, n.d.

Box 8: folder 1
Zucker, Marian,
1917-19, n.d.

Box 8: folder 2
"Agnes,"
1908-21

Box 8: folder 3
"Bert B.S."
1909-13

Box 8: folder 4
"Clarissa" (Fairchild?)
1907-11

Box 8: folder 5
"Fritz,"
1921

Box 8: folder 6
"Helen R."
1907

Box 8: folder 7
"Susan B.M."
1909-33

Box 8: folder 8
Miscellaneous correspondents, A-Z


Box 8: folder 9-10
Unidentified, first name only,
1907-72, n.d.

Box 8: folder 11-17
SERIES III. ORGANIZATIONS



American Birth Control League,
1929-35

Box 8: folder 18
National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control



1934-35

Box 8: folder 19
1936-37, n.d.

Box 9: folder 1
Provincetown Players and Greenwich Village Theatre



General,
1924-70, n.d.

Box 9: folder 2
Playbills,
1919-30

Box 9: folder 3-9
Playbills project,
1924-65

Box 9: folder 10
The Provincetown: A Story of the Theatre



General,
1927-71, n.d.

Box 9: folder 11
Reprint,
1958-71

Box 9: folder 12
"Vote the New Moon" by Alfred Kreymborg: typescript,
n.d.

Box 9: folder 13
U.S. Civil Service Commission,
1937-48

Box 9: folder 14
U.S. Department of Commerce,
1945-49

Box 9: folder 15
War Production Board,
1942-45

Box 9: folder 16
Washington Society for the Hard of Hearing,
1945

Box 9: folder 17
Works Progress Administration (WPA), Writers' Project



General,
1940-42, 1969

Box 9: folder 18
Correspondence,
1938-68

Box 9: folder 19
Publications,
1938-41

Box 9: folder 20-21
OVERSIZE MATERIALS



SERIES I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS AND PHOTOGRAPHS



Architects' drawings for addition to house, Patterson, NY,
1947

flat file drawer 18
SERIES III. ORGANIZATIONS



Provincetown Players: program for "him" by e.e. cummings,
1928

flat file drawer 18
Office of War Information posters (2),
n.d.

flat file drawer 18

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
  • American Birth Control League--History-
  • Bernays, Hella
  • Birth Control Review--History
  • Birth control--United States--History--20th century--Sources
  • Experimental theater--United States--History--20th century
  • Federal Writers' Project--History
  • Hanau, Stella, 1890-1972
  • Macgowan, Kenneth, 1888-1963
  • New York (N.Y.)--Social life and customs--20th century
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America--History
  • Provincetown Players--History
  • Sanger, Margaret, 1879-1966
  • Women editors--United States--Biography--Sources


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