The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

Henry Waldemar Nordmeyer Papers, 1905-1962

MSS-012

Size: 8 linear feet

Provenance:

Access: Open

Related Collection(s):

Collection Summary: Collection consists primarily of extensive correspondence with colleagues and relatives. Principal familial correspondents include Nordmeyer's wife, Friedel; his parents, Ernst and Mary; his sisters; and his brothers. Correspondence with friends and lovers is also comprehensive; it documents the reaction in the 1920s to Victorian social mores. Slightly more than half of the correspondence is in German -- scanty outgoing letters are often in shorthand.

Subject(s): Literature; War, Soldiers, and Veterans

Processing Note: 

Copyright: The literary rights to this collection are assumed to rest with the person(s) responsible for the production of the particular items within the collection, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion

Completed by: Paul Gifford, April 1986; revised by Tamara Jones, November 2012, last updated: April, 2014

Biographical Sketch

1891

Born Magdeburg, Germany, son of Ernst Nordmeyer, secondary school teacher of French and

 

English, and of Mary Barker (Andrews) Nordmeyer, a British-born woman

1910

Graduated from gymnasium at Braunschweig, Germany

1910-13

Student at University of Leipzig

1913-14

Assistant in German, University of Wisconsin

1914

Received Ph. D., University of Wisconsin

1914-15

Iinstructor in German, Ohio State University

1915-18

Instructor in German, University of Illinois

1918-20

Copy-and proof-reader, Open Court Publishing Company, LaSalle, Illinois

1920-21

Copy-and proof-reader, University of Chicago Press

1921-24

Professor of Modern Languages, Grand Rapids (Mich.) Junior College

1924-25

Assistant Professor, Swarthmore College

1925-29

Assistant Professor, Washington University

1926

His translation, Edward FitzGeralds Rubaiyat des Omar Khayyam, published in Potsdam

1929-32

Associate Professor and Chairman of German Department, New York University

1929-55

Compiler of annual Modern Language Association Germanic languages bibliography

1932

Married Freda (Friedel) Ida (Zimmermann) Altvater of Ilberstedt, Germany

1932-35

Professor and Chairman of German Department, New York University

1935-60

Professor and Chairman of German Department, University of Michigan

1981

Died in Ann Arbor, Michigan

 

Scope and Content Note

Scope and Content Note

Despite his travels and frequent changes of residence in his early life, Henry W. Nordmeyer was meticulous in saving his incoming letters. As a result, his papers contain letters from individual correspondents written over long spans of years. It is this comprehensiveness which makes this collection valuable to the researcher. On the negative side, Nordmeyer's own notes and drafts of letters were frequently written in the Stolze-Schrey shorthand system, doubtlessly with peculiar quirks, which only the most dedicated researcher will want to try to decipher.

Nordmeyer's papers are divided into three main series: correspondence, notes and papers, and miscellaneous.  Correspondence falls into roughly three different categories: professional, family, and romantic or social. Professional correspondence routinely deals with professional appointments in the German departments of American universities and Modern Language Association activities, as well as requests for comments or citations on German literary questions. Since Nordmeyer was active during years difficult for German-Americans, letters not infrequently touch on issues such as American attitudes towards Germans following World War I and the American absorption of scholars fleeing Nazi Germany. Principal professional correspondents include Friedrich Bruns, Edward Prokosch, Charles A. Williams, Otto Heller, Alexander R. Hohlfeld, and Otto E. Lessing.

Henry and Friedel Nordmeyer maintained regular contact with their relatives in Europe, and were generous in supporting their needy family members. The half-British Henry Nordmeyer supported his widowed aunt, Mrs. Isabella Ogilvy-Ramsay, for many years. He kept up a steady correspondence with his parents Ernst and Mary, his sisters Gertrud Koehler and Paula Nordmeyer, and brothers Albert and Willie. Their letters reflect the dire economic conditions they faced in 1923 and in the postwar period, as well as the bright prospects they thought they had when the Nazis first carne to power. Friedel's relatives in Soviet-occupied Germany, including her mother Johanne Braun, her aunt Nanny Burghardt, sister Lilo Ruhe, and niece Elisabeth Strecker, depended on the Nordmeyer's support to carry them through the 1950s. Finally, the letters of Henry's nephew George Nordmeyer, a German scholar at Yale, cross the lines of both professional and family categories.

Nordmeyer seems to have made friends and lovers easily. His correspondence with Jack and Evelyn Orelup, Bettina Jackson, Erich Brockelmann, Elizabeth Spanknebel, Charlotte Rudolph, and others demonstrates the reaction of the 1920s to Victorian social mores.

Although the correspondence is remarkably comprehensive, certain gaps do exist. Letters written in 1921 and 1922 are missing, and those from the 1930s appear to be underrepresented. Any letters which Henry and Friedel Nordmeyer exchanged prior to their marriage in 1932 apparently were removed from the collection.

Outgoing letters are rare. When they do exist, they are drafts, often in shorthand, or they are carbon copies. Although sparse in number, they are often informative. Outgoing letters are interfiled with incoming letters by correspondent.

Other material in the collection consists largely of research notes and drafts written in shorthand; lecture notes; and a substantial paper, "Reinmar der Alte und Heinrich von Rugge," all written while a student at the University of Leipzig. Further material which may be found includes a miscellany of poems, articles, and notes written by Nordmeyer and others.

Slightly more than half of the correspondence is in German, with the remainder in English. Nearly all the German handwriting done before 1920 is in the Gothic cursive script, but as time progressed, more correspondents adopted Italic cursive. Nordmeyer's own handwriting, however, was in Italic cursive. He was fluent in English at an early age.

Folder List

 

Box

Folder

Item

 

 

SERIES 1: CORRESPONDENCE

1

1

Calendar of correspondence, 1913-20

1

2

A

1

3

Adley, Angus

1

4

Ahrens, Hildegard and Georg

1

5

Albert Teachers' Agency

1

6

Alexander, John, M.D.

1

7

Altvater, Carol (Doran) (1951-52)

1

8

Altvater, Carol (1953-54)

1

9

Altvater, Carol (1955-56)

1

10

Altvater, Carol (1957-58)

1

11

Altvater, Carol (1959-61)

1

12

Altvater, Harry Wolfgang (1935; Oct.-Dec. 1942)

1

13

Altvater, Harry Wolfgang (Jan.-June 1943)

1

14

Altvater, Harry Wolfgang (July-Dec. 1943)

1

15

Altvater, Harry Wolfgang (Jan.-June 1944)

1

16

Altvater, Harry Wolfgang (July-Dec. 1944)

1

17

Altvater, Harry Wolfgang (Jan.-May 1945)

1

18

Altvater, Harry Wolfgang (June-Dec. 1945)

1

19

Altvater, Harry Wolfgang (1946)

1

20

Altvater, Harry Wolfgang (1950-57)

1

21

Altvater, Harry Wolfgang (1958-59)

1

22

Altvater, Harry Wolfgang (1960-June 1961)

1

23

Altvater, Harry Wolfgang (July-Dec. 1961)

1

24

American Academy in Rome

1

25

American Association of Teachers of German

1

26

American Association of University Professors

1

27

American College Bureau

1

28

Anacker, Hilde von

1

29

Andiron Club of New York City

1

30

Arndt, Karl J.

1

31

Aron, Albert W.

1

32

B

1

33

Bachmann, Frederick W.

1

34

Bacon, Carl Alfons

1

35

Belden, Iva M.

1

36

Bergholz, Harry

1

37

Biberich, Walter

1

38

Blume, Reinhard

1

39

Blumenthal, Frances B.

1

40

Bode, B. H.

1

41

Boesche, A. W.

1

42

Boesser, Otto H.

1

43

Bouton, Archibald L.

1

44

Bradley, Lyman R.

1

45

Braun, Frank X.

1

46

Braun, Johanne (1932-37)

1

47

Braun, Johanne (1946-49)

2

1

Braun, Johanne (1950-54)

2

2

Braun, Johanne (1955-58)

2

3

Brennecke, Henry and Elsie

2

4

British Consulate, Detroit

2

5

Broadbent, Thomas L.

2

6

Brockelmann, Erich

2

7

Bruns, Friedrich (1915-27)

2

8

Bruns, Friedrich (1928-34)

2

9

Bruns, Friedrich (1935-43)

2

10

Bruns, Friedrich (1944-52)

2

11

Bruns, Friedrich (1953-58)

2

12

Bruns, Friedrich (1959)

2

13

Bruns, Gertrude

2

14

Bruns, Lydia

2

15

Buchholz, Luise

2

16

Buist, Martha

2

17

Burghardt, Nanny

2

18

Burkhard, Arthur

2

19

C

2

20

Cameron, George

2

21

Carleton College

2

22

Carter, A. Louise

2

23

Castleman, Lillie

2

24

Christman, Besse P.

2

25

Cody, Louise

2

26

Cole, Ethel S. and Arthur

2

27

Crew, William H.

2

28

D

2

29

Deutsch-Amerikanische Beratungs-Vermittlungsgesellschaft (DABERA)

2

30

Deutsches Institut für Auslander an der Universität Berlin

2

31

Diamond, William

2

32

Diez, Max

2

33

Dippner, Gertrud

2

34

Dippner, Kurt

2

35

Drake, Helen Jean

2

36

Drewes, Margarete and W.

2

37

Dwyer, Ellen

2

38

E

2

39

Eaton, J. W.

2

40

Eddy, Wilhelmina

2

41

Einarsson, Stefan

2

42

Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe

2

43

Esslinger, Esther (1918-26)

2

44

Esslinger, Esther (1927-May 1929)

2

45

Esslinger, Esther (June 1929-1932)

2

46

Evans, M. Blakemore

2

47

F

2

48

Fajans, Salomen

2

49

Faust, A. B.

2

50

Fehling, Milton E.

2

51

Feise, Ernst

2

52

Fernsemer, Oscar F. W.

2

53

Filsinger, H. J.

2

54

Filsinger, Irma Louise

3

1

Finney, Dorothy

3

2

Franz, Mia

3

3

Friedrich, W. P. -Letters re: Comparative Literature Section of M.L.A.

3

4

Fritz, Hedwig (Stuczynski)

3

5

Fritz, Horst (Stuczynski)

3

6

Funke, Erich

3

7

G

3

8

George, Anneliese

3

9

German Consulate, St. Louis

3

10

Germanic Review

3

11

Gingrich, Arnold

3

12

Gingrich, John H.

3

13

Goebel, Julius

3

14

Goedsche, C. R.

3

15

Goethe Society of America

3

16

Goetsch, Charles

3

17

Gotze, Albrecht

3

18

Gotze, Hermann

3

19

Gotze-van Hoboken, Gertrude (Schmidt)

3

20

Goldschmidt, Grete

3

21

Graf, Otto

3

22

Grand Rapids Junior College

3

23

Graz, Ilse

3

24

Green, Albert B.

3

25

Green, Alexander

3

26

Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

3

27

Gumbel & Bering

3

28

Gwilliams, Lila (Doran)

3

29

H

3

30

Haessler, Clara L.

3

31

Hagboldt, Peter

3

32

Hagenow, C. F.

3

33

Halley, Albert B.

3

34

Hamburg-American Line

3

35

Hamburger, Ronnie

3

36

Handorf, lIse

3

37

Haney, John B.

3

38

Hanssler, Anna

3

39

Haring, Ethel and Alexander

3

40

Hasenfratz, Otto

3

41

Heinz, Heinrich

3

42

Heller, Otto

3

43

Hellersberg-Wendriner, Anna

3

44

Hense, Wilhelm

3

45

Heyneck, Hans

3

46

Hoboken, G. B. Rudolf van

3

47

Hohlfeld, Alexander Rudolf

3

48

Hulst, Cornelia

3

49

Humphrey, Helen

3

50

I

3

51

J

3

52

J----, Ruth

3

53

Jackson, Bettina (1914-16)

3

54

Jackson, Bettina (1917-18)

3

55

Jackson, Bettina (1919, 1923)

3

56

Jackson, Bettina (1924, 1926)

3

57

Jackson, Bettina (1927-29)

3

58

Jackson, Bettina (1930-33 and undated)

3

59

Jaeger, Hans

3

60

Janecke, Margarete

3

61

Janecke, Robert (includes poetry)

3

62

Jente, Richard

3

63

Jockers, Ernst

3

64

Jurgenberg, A.

3

65

Jurgenberg, Margarete – from, to H. W. Nordmeyer

3

66

Jurgenberg, Margarete – to, from H. W. Nordmeyer

4

1

K

4

2

Keidel, Heinrich

4

3

Keil, Guenther and Carla (Kreykenboom)

4

4

Kendall, Sallie

4

5

Kipp, H. J.

4

6

Klein, Arthur

4

7

Koch, Ernst

4

8

Kohler, Gertrude (Nordmeyer) (Perlet)

4

9

Koester, Leonard

4

10

Kraus, Carl von

4

11

Kubitz, E. Ida (Walz) (1916-19, 1922-24)

4

12

Kubitz, E. Ida (Walz) (1929-35)

4

13

Kummer, Karl and Margarete

4

14

Kunstmann, John G.

4

15

Kurath, Hans

4

16

L

4

17

Lane, George S.

4

18

Lange, Albert

4

19

Lange, Magdalen C.

4

20

Lange, Victor

4

21

Lenz, Harold

4

22

Leonard, William E.

4

23

Leopold, W. F.

4

24

Lessing, Otto Eduard

4

25

Liepe, Wolfgang

4

26

Loomis, Roger S.

4

27

Lubeck, Otto

4

28

M

4

29

Maier, Georg

4

30

Mayer, Sofie

4

31

Meade, Laura M.

4

32

Meier, Hermann

4

33

Meyer, Fritz

4

34

Meyer, Heinrich

4

35

Milch, Werner

4

36

Modern Language Association of America

4

37

Modern Language Forum

4

38

Morgan, Bayard Q.

4

39

Mueller, Walter J.

4

40

Must, Gustav

4

41

N

4

42

Nabholz, Hans

4

43

Naumann, Walter

4

44

Neuse, Werner

4

45

New York University

4

46

Newport, Clara Price

4

47

Nordmeyer, Albert

4

48

Nordmeyer, Armin

4

49

Nordmeyer, Erika (Mrs. Albert)

4

50

Nordmeyer, Ernst to Henry W. Nordmeyer (1905-14)

4

51

Nordmeyer, Ernst to Henry W. Nordmeyer (1915-16, 1919-20)

4

52

Nordmeyer, Ernst to Henry W. Nordmeyer (1923-26)

4

53

Nordmeyer, Ernst from Henry W. Nordmeyer

4

54

Nordmeyer, Friedel, to H. W. Nordmeyer

4

55

Nordmeyer, George (Georg) (1924-33)

4

56

Nordmeyer, George (Georg) (1934-41)

4

57

Nordmeyer, George (Georg) (1942-46, 1950-60)

4

58

Nordmeyer, Gloria (Goodkind) (Mrs. Klaus) (1950-53)

4

59

Nordmeyer, Gloria (Goodkind) (1954-56)

4

60

Nordmeyer, Gloria (Goodkind) (1957-58)

4

61

Nordmeyer, Gloria (Goodkind) (1959-62)

5

1

Nordmeyer, Mrs. Heini

5

2

Nordmeyer, Heinrich

5

3

Nordmeyer, Joachim

5

4

Nordmeyer, Klaus

5

5

Nordmeyer, Mary B. (Andrews)

5

6

Nordmeyer, Pauline (Paula) (1914-27)

5

7

Nordmeyer, Pauline (Paula) (1928-41)

5

8

Nordmeyer, Pauline (Paula) (1945-50)

5

9

Nordmeyer, Pauline (Paula) (1951-61)

5

10

Nordmeyer, Wilhelm (Willie) (1919-28)

5

11

Nordmeyer, Wilhelm (Willie) (1929-40)

5

12

Nordmeyer, Wilhelm (Willie) (1945-60)

5

13

Nugent, Theresa

5

14

Nutt, Rudolf

5

15

O

5

16

Ogilvy-Ramsay, Isabella (1910-16)

5

17

Ogilvy-Ramsay, Isabella (1917-20)

5

18

Ogilvy-Ramsay, Isabella (1923-26)

5

19

Ogilvy-Ramsay, Isabella (1927-29)

5

20

Ogilvy-Ramsay, Isabella (1930-33)

5

21

Ogilvy-Ramsay, Isabella (1934-36)

5

22

Ogilvy-Ramsay, Isabella (1937-38)

5

23

Ogilvy-Ramsay, Isabella (1939-42 and undated)

5

24

Ogilvy-Ramsay, Mary

5

25

Ogilvy-Ramsay, Max

5

26

Open Court Publishing Company

5

27

Orelup, John Wesley and Evelyn

5

28

Otto, M. C. 

5

29

P

5

30

Patison, G. M.

5

31

Paulsen, Wolfgang

5

32

Penzl, Herbert

5

33

Peterson, Charlotte Reid

5

34

Philippson, Ernst A.

5

35

Pick, Hanns and Elly

5

36

Price, Hereward J.

5

37

Price, Percival

6

1

Prokosch, Edward (1926-31)

6

2

Prokosch, Edward (1932-38)

6

3

Prokosch, Gertrud

6

4

Prokosch, Mathilde

6

5

Prosser, Jean

6

6

Pulgram, Ernst

6

7

Purin, C. M.

6

8

R

6

9

Ramcke, Meta-Maria (lngeborg)

6

10

Raschen, John F.

6

11

Reichart, Walter

6

12

Reichenberger, Arnold G.

6

13

Reiss, F. A.

6

14

Repmann, Hans

6

15

Richter, Georg and lIse

6

16

Riepl, lnnocenz

6

17

Rittinghaus, F. B.

6

18

Robinson, Elizabeth

6

19

Roedder, E. C.

6

20

Roeseler, R. O.

6

21

Rose, Ernst

6

22

Rothstock, Walther

6

23

Rowe, Helen B.

6

24

Rudolph, Charlotte (1908-13)

6

25

Rudolph, Charlotte (1914-20)

6

26

Rudwin, Maximilian J.

6

27

Ruhe, Lieselotte

6

28

S

6

29

Sasse, Gretel

6

30

Schaefer, H. Josef

6

31

Schafheitlin, Anna

6

32

Scherer, Philip

6

33

Schering, Herbert

6

34

Schiller-Akademie

6

35

Schirokauer, Arno

6

36

Schlitt, Dorothy Lasher

6

37

Schmidt, Jessy and Raymund (includes pencil sketches)

6

38

Schoffler, Heinz Herbert

6

39

Schoffler, Helga (Olga) (Dehning) (1913-16, 1919-20)

6

40

Schoffler, Helga (Olga) (Dehning) (1923-37)

6

41

Schoffler, Helga (Olga) (Dehning) (1946-60)

6

42

Schreiber, C. F.

6

43

Schreiber, Theodore

6

44

Schuchard, G. C. L .

6

45

Schütze, Martin

6

46

Schumann, Detlev W.

6

47

Schwartz, Abraham

6

48

Schwenn, Walter

6

49

Schwietering, Julius

6

50

Selmer, Carl

6

51

Senn, Alfred

6

52

Smith, Margaret A.

6

53

Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study

6

54

Sommerfeld, Martin

6

55

Spanknebel, Elizabeth (1923-24)

6

56

Spanknebel, Elizabeth (1925-26)

6

57

Spanknebel, Elizabeth (1927-29)

6

58

Spanknebel, Elizabeth (1930-35 and undated)

7

1

Springer, Otto

7

2

Starck, Taylor

7

3

Steitz, A.

7

4

Strecker, Elisabeth (Gerlits)

7

5

Striedieck, Werner

7

6

Stuckensen (Stuczynski), Alexander Jr. and Liesel

7

7

Stuczynski, Alexander (1946-48)

7

8

Stuczynski, Alexander (1949-58)

7

9

Stuerm, Francis H.

7

10

Swarthmore College

7

11

T

7

12

Twaddell, W. Freeman

7

13

U

7

14

Uhlendorf, Bernhard A.

7

15

Universität Leipzig

7

16

University of Delaware Committee on Foreign Study

7

17

University of Illinois – President

7

18

University of Illinois Press

7

19

University of Michigan – German Department

7

20

University of Michigan – Goethe Bicentennial

7

21

University of Michigan – Research Club

7

22

University of Wisconsin – German Department

7

23

University of Wisconsin – Library

7

24

V

7

25

Voss, Ernst and Annie H.

7

26

W

7

27

Wagman, Frederick

7

28

Walz, John A.

7

29

Washington University

7

30

Weigand, Hermann J.

7

31

Weilbrenner, Marie

7

32

Wensinger, A. S. (Jerry)

7

33

Wickware, Sarah R. (1910-13)

7

34

Wickware, Sarah R. (1914-19 and undated)

7

35

Wilkens, F. H.

7

36

Williams, Charles A. (1918-29)

7

37

Williams, Charles A. (1930-57)

7

38

Winkelman, John

7

39

Wood, Frank H., Jr.

7

40

Wulff, Alfred

7

41

Y

7

42

Z

7

43

Z-----, Heli

7

44

Ziersch, G.

7

45

Zinnecker, M. D.

7

46

Zucker, A. E.

7

47

Zurfluh, Hattie

7

48

Book dealers

7

49

Book publishers

7

50

Letters of solicitation from charitable and political organizations

7

51

Magazines and journals

7

52

Unidentified correspondents – incoming letters

7

53

Unidentified correspondents – outgoing letters

 

 

 

 

 

SERIES 2: NOTES AND PAPERS

7

54

Articles and reviews by H. W. Nordmeyer

7

55

Class assignments, 1959 (?)

7

56

Essays

7

57

Fragments

7

58

Notes

7

59

Official documents

7

60

Poetry

7

61

Reinmar der Alte und Heinrich von Rugge (folder 1)

7

62

Reinmar der Alte und Heinrich von Rugge (folder 2)

8

1

Shorthand key

8

2

Shorthand notes (folder 1)

8

3

Shorthand notes (folder 2)

8

4

Shorthand notes (folder 3)

8

5

Lecture notes – Prof. Brugmann, "Elemente der Sprachwissenschaft"

8

6

Lecture notes – Prof. Koester, "Faust, etc."

8

7

Lecture notes – Prof. Kronenberg, "Kant"

8

8

Lecture notes – Prof. Lamprecht, "Kulturgeschichte Urzeit und Mittelalter"

8

9

Lecture notes – Prof. Sievers, "Deutsche Grammatik" (folder 1)

8

10

Lecture notes – Prof. Sievers, "Deutsche Grammatik" (folder 3)

8

11

Lecture notes – Prof. Sievers, "Einführung in das Mittelhochdeutsch"

8

12

Lecture notes – Prof. Sievers, "Einführung in das Studium des Althochdeutsch"

8

13

Lecture notes – Prof. Sievers, "Einführung in das Studium des Nibelungenliedes"

8

14

Lecture notes – Prof. Sievers, "Einführung ins Iliad"

8

15

Lecture notes – Prof. Sievers, "Literaturgeschichte IIIa"

8

16

Lecture notes – Prof. Sievers, "Parcival"

8

17

Lecture notes – Prof. Sievers, "Wolfram"

8

18

Lecture notes – Prof. Witkowski, "Methodik der Literaturgeschichte"

8

19

Lecture notes – Prof. Wundt, "Philosophie von Kant bis jetzt"

8

20

Miscellaneous class notes, 1908-11

 

 

 

 

 

SERIES 3: MISCELLANEOUS

8

21

Articles by others

8

22

Bibliographies by others

8

23

Clippings (folder 1)

8

24

Clippings (folder 2)

8

25

Clippings (folder 3)

8

26

Funeral register

8

27

Papers and lectures by others

8

28

Photographs – Family

8

29

Photographs – Friends and personal

8

30

Poems by Robert Janecke, 1907-09

8

31

Miscellaneous

Last Updated: 4/17/14