Scope and arrangement
The Raphael Patai papers date from 1903 to 2011. The collection documents Patai's career as a scholar, editor, professor and author on the subjects of Jewish culture and history and the modern Middle East. Patai's publications and speaking engagements are extensively documented through manuscript drafts, research notes, and transcripts and recordings of lectures and interviews. Patai's personal and professional activities are further documented through photographs, correspondence, scrapbooks, and diaries. The collection contains some papers of Patai's family members, including his parents Edith and Jozsef Patai and sister Eva Patai. Files of Raphael Patai's daughter, Daphne Patai, document her stewardship of her father's estate and posthumous publications of his work. The collection also contains artwork created and collected by Patai, comprising sketches, paintings, and prints. Materials are in English, German, Hebrew and Hungarian.
The Raphael Patai papers are arranged in ten series:
This series contains papers of Raphael Patai's parents Edith and Jozsef Patai and sister Eva Patai (Koigen Patai), and files of correspondence with his family members.
Photographs consist of prints, slides and negatives (including many glass plate negatives). Some of the photographs are held in albums which have been disassembled. Many photographs are no longer attached to the pages.
Photographs depict Patai, his family, his appearances at events and lectures, and travels in Europe, Mexico, and Israel. The glass plate negatives are mostly images of Patai when he was a teenager and images of his parents and siblings. The files also contain images that were used for his books, including Jews of Kurdistan, Myths of the Jewish Race, and The Jewish Alchemists.
This series consists of Patai's diplomas and certificates; identification cards and passports; scrapbooks containing clippings, printed matter, and correspondence related to Patai's career; and a recording of his daughters singing as children.
Most of the recordings are lectures in front of a live audience at universities and similar settings.Interviews include both interviews conducted by Patai, and interviews where his life and work were the subject. This series includes many talks on The Hebrew Goddess, as well as several interviews and conversations with Robert Graves related to Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis.
All recordings are sound recordings, except for two video recordings of interviews with Patai. The lectures are mostly in English with some in Hungarian.
Diaries contain brief entries documenting Raphael Patai's social and professional activities.
Artwork consists of prints, drawings, and paintings. Most of the artwork is unrelated to Patai's research.
Publishing files contain contracts and correspondence regarding Raphael Patai's books, especially posthumous publications. The series contains files concerning Daphne Patai's efforts to have her father's Encyclopedia of Jewish Folklore completed and published after his death. The series also contains correspondence and clippings concerning the public and scholarly reaction after The Arab Mind was cited in a 2004 article by Seymour Hersh as one of the inspirations for the U.S. Army's abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.
Death and Estate files contain condolence letters written to Raphael Patai's daughters; obituaries; documents related to his estate and the disposition of his library; fliers for the Patai memorial lecture; and an essay on mortality that Patai wrote shortly before his death.