Finding aid for Ernst Kantorowicz correspondence

Summary Information

Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center
Ernst Kantorowicz correspondence
1940-1942, 1950-1963, 1985
1.0 folders
Material Specific Details note
The Small Manuscripts Collection (SMC) designation is given to collections of personal papers that comprise less than 0.25 linear feet. In many cases, these collections consist of a single folder.

Preferred Citation note

The suggested citation for the material is "[item], Ernst Kantorowicz correspondence, From the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, USA."

Return to Table of Contents »

Biographical note

Ernst Hartwig Kantorowicz was born on May 3, 1895, to a Jewish family in what is now Poznan, Poland. He served in the German Army during World War I, then studied philosophy at the University of Berlin. He moved to the University of Heidelberg to study history with Karl Hampe and Friedrich Baethgen, two noted medievalists. While in Heidelberg, Kantorowicz became involved with the so-called Georgekreis, a group of artists and intellectuals devoted to the German poet and aesthete Stefan George and who shared an interest in art, literature and Romantic mysticism.

He served on the faculty of the University of Frankfurt until 1933, when he was forced to resign by the Nazi regime. He taught briefly at Oxford University, then joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley. He remained at Berkeley until 1949, when he left after a controversy in which he refused to sign a loyalty oath. He then joined the faculty of the Institute for Advanced Study, where he was a Professor in the School of Historical Studies from 1951 until his death on September 9, 1963.

Return to Table of Contents »

Scope and Contents note

The Ernst Kantorowicz correspondence consists primarily of letters to Kantorowicz from fellow scholars representing various fields in the humanities. Roughly thirty unique individuals are among the correspondents. Other documents in the collection include one short typed manuscript, one business card, and a typed introduction on behalf of a speaker giving a lecture (this appears to have been given by Kantorowicz for Dom Anselm Strittmater). Some letters express thanks to Kantorowicz for having loaned the offprint in which the letter was found, and which was authored by a third party. In some cases the letter to Kantorowicz is accompanying a courtesy copy of an article written by the letter's author.

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center

Historical Studies-Social Science Library
Einstein Drive
NJ, 08540

Revision Description

  November 29, 2018

Custodial History note

The Ernst Kantorowicz offprints collection is in the holdings of the Institute for Advanced Study's Historical Studies-Social Science Library. Though a few scholars and staff appear to have known, at least in part, that correspondence could be found among these offprints, those materials had never been systematically identified or recorded. In response to a research question posed in February of 2011, current Library and Archives staff made a preliminary inspection and found one piece of correspondence inserted into one of the offprints. In response to this, the researcher who had posed the question came to the campus and made a thorough search under Archives staff supervision of the entire Ernst Kantorowicz offprints collection. The offprints themselves were retained by the Library and the found materials were transferred to the Archives Center and now comprise the contents of this collection. In 2012, another researcher found a few more items of a similar kind among the offprints. Those few items were handled in the same way and interfiled with the already existing collection.

Processing Information note

To preserve the provenance of the items and support accessibility for all users, photocopies of the original documents were placed in the Historical Studies-Social Science Library's Ernst Kantorowicz offprints collection in the same location where each item was found and, correspondingly, digital and print copies of identifying pages from the offprints collection have been placed with the original documents in this collection.

Note, too, that this collection provides evidence that there was at least one addition made to the Library's Ernst Kantorowicz offprints collection after the initial transfer. This one identified instance is described in the 1985 gift letter to the Library from Homer Thompson, Faculty member of the Institute's School of Historical Studies, of a Kantorowicz-authored offprint.

Return to Table of Contents »

Collection Inventory


Digitized file (PDF)


Return to Table of Contents »