Scope and arrangement
Hermann Vollmer was a physician of German-Jewish origin who practiced pediatric medicine in Heidelberg, Germany in the early 1920's. By the late 1930's he and his wife Ruth Vollmer (née Landshoff) had emigrated to the United States and settled in New York City. The Vollmers were evidently well acquainted socially as evidenced by their correspondence with many distinguished persons in the arts and sciences. Ruth Vollmer, a sculptor, wasthe daughter of the German conductor, musicologist and editor Ludwig Landshoff (1874-1941).
Their autograph collection consists of manuscript letters, documents, musical scores, photographs and other papers of European, British and American composers, musicians, authors, novelists, poets, playwrights, historians, philosophers, painters, sculptors, scientists, physicians, politicians, statesmen, royalty and others spanning the period from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Composers represent the strongest category present (55 items), followed by novelists (37), poets (30), painters (27), authors (20), and physicians (19). The most outstanding item in the collection is a fragment (1 p.) musical score attributed to Mozart. Several letters from literary figures are addressed to Harvey Breit, of the New York Times Book Review, a friend of the Vollmers. Many letters by painters are addressed to art dealer Curt Valentin . There are several letters by prominent persons addressed to the Vollmers. The manuscripts were originally filed in cellophane envelopes in six loose-leaf binders and described in alphabetical order on a 27 p. preliminary listing. The family correspondence (1922-1959) which is in German includes correspondence of the Vollmers (scattered in the autograph collection), and correspondence of Ruth Vollmer with family and friends in Europe just prior to the outbreak of W.W. II. The correspondence reflects in part the efforts of Ludwig Landshoff to obtain permission from the French government to reside in Paris in order to escape persecution as a Jew in his native Germany. There are also 68 letters present in German from the musicologist Alfred Einstein (1880-1952) addressed to Philippine Landshoff, wife of Ludwig Landshoff. These letters are personal and social in nature and relate in part to the publication of works by Landshoff after his death in 1941. Present also are two volumes of facsimiles of French historical manuscripts.
The Ruth and Hermann Vollmer papers are arranged in three series:
- 2 vols