Scope and arrangement
The papers consist of correspondence, programs, financial records, clippings, contracts, scripts, sides, scores, publicity pieces, photographs, and scrapbooks connected with Bertha Kalich. The majority of the materials are in English, though a great many clippings and some scripts are in Yiddish, and some early official documents are in German and Hebrew. The materials in this collection provide a valuable look at the history of Yiddish theatre on the Lower East Side of New York.
The collection also includes some papers connected with Kalich's husband, Leopold Spachner, such as business correspondence and official documents, and a group of letters Spachner wrote to their daughter, Lillian, in 1928-1929, when Bertha Kalich was both physically ill and mentally depressed and was accusing her family of disloyalty and indifference. The visitor's book from Leopold Spachner's funeral, as well as nineteenth-century documents (some in fragile condition) are among the holdings; these documents include school certificates in German and a wedding contract in Hebrew. The collection also includes papers belonging to Lillian Kalich/Spachner such as some school papers, personal, professional, and business correspondence. A large number of telegrams and letters from Bertha Kalich to Lillian are also included here as well as other personal and professional materials such as school records and scripts.
The Bertha Kalich papers are arranged in seven series:
This series consists of personal and professional correspondence pertaining to Bertha Kalich, as well as Lillian Kalich and Leopold Spachner.
This series consists of posters, programs and flyers, parts of scripts, sides, other pieces for performance, typescripts of interviews, press releases and articles, contracts, and accountants' reports. Also included are notes connected with interviews for an autobiographical series of articles about Bertha Kalich that appeared in The Day (in Yiddish) in 1925. Most of these materials are in English, with some material in Yiddish.
The series is comprised of official documents, certificates, and ephemera. These materials are almost entirely in German and Hebrew, with some material in English. The papers of Lillian Kalich/Spachner include her school papers from 1907-1908, when she studied at the Baldwin School, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, as well as script submissions she reviewed while at Paramount and Metro-Goldwyn Mayer in the early 1930s. The papers of Leopold Spachner consist of official documents, including school certificates in German and a wedding contract in Hebrew, as well as some business papers. The visitor's book from Spachner's funeral is also a part of in this collection.
This series consists of parts of scripts, sides, promptbooks, and other pieces for performance. There are several sets of sides from Magda and The Kreutzer Sonata. Most of these materials are in English, with some material in Yiddish.
The series is comprised of black and white portraits, snapshots, mounted photographs, and negatives of family and business associates.
This series consists of two boxes of loose clippings, primarily in English and Yiddish. The bulk of these clippings date primarily from 1925-1927 when Kalich was at the height of her career and touring across the United States. They are primarily clippings of theatrical reviews of Bertha Kalich’s various performances.
This series contains photograph and clippings scrapbooks including production stills and theater news in both Yiddish and English.