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Cyrus Adler Papers 1906-40

Guide to the Cyrus Adler Papers
1906-40

Collection Overview

Creator: Cyrus Adler, 1863-1940

Title: Cyrus Adler Papers

Inclusive Dates: 1906-40

Bulk Dates: 1910-33

Size: 6.666 linearfeet

Number of Boxes: 16 boxes

Languages: English with some items in Yiddish, German, and French.

Biographical Note
Cyrus Adler, a son of Samuel Adler and Sarah (nee Sulzberger), was born in 1863 in Van Buren, Arkansas. In 1864, he moved north with his family. He grew up largely in Philadelphia and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1883. He trained as lawyer but then went on to receive a Ph.D. in Semitics from Johns Hopkins University in 1887. Adler was a distinguished figure in the academic world. From 1887-90, he taught Semitic languages at Johns Hopkins University and biblical archaeology at the Jewish Theological Seminary. In 1892 he was appointed librarian of the Smithsonian Institution, later becoming assistant secretary there. In 1908, he became the president of Dropsie College, a position he held until his death. He was also president of the Jewish Theological Seminary from 1924 until 1940.

Many civic, cultural, and educational organizations benefitted from Adler’s service. He was a founding member of the American Jewish Committee.  In 1929, upon the death of Louis Marshall, Cyrus Adler assumed the helm of  AJC, becoming the third president.  He would serve as president for eleven years.

His many years of leadership and involvement at  AJC were marked by a number of notable accomplishments.  The American Jewish Yearbook, which Adler had begun and edited prior to AJC’s establishment, would eventually be incorported into AJC and become one of its most outstanding publications. In 1919, as an AJC delegate, he attended the Paris Peace Conference. There he and other Jewish delegates worked for the inclusion of international guarantees of minority rights in the peace treaties. 

In addition to his work for AJC, Adler was affiliated with a number of civic institutions, Jewish cultural organizations, and scientific and educational societies; among these were the Federation of Jewish Charities of Philadelphia, United Synagogue of America, Council of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. 

Scope and Contents
The collection is valuable to those researching the life and career of Cyrus Adler, the development and activity of American Jewish organizations and cultural life in the twentieth century, and modern Jewish history up to and including the outbreak of World War II.  The collection provides information on AJC efforts to assist European Jewry, provide relief for the Jewish community in Palestine, endorse the Balfour Declaration, combat anti-Semitism at home, advocate for a more open immigration policy, and express criticism and concerns with the Freiburg Passion Play.

Arrangement
The materials are arranged into the following two series:
Series I: Chronological Files: 1906-35
Series II: Subject Files: 1929-40

Related Material
AJC General Correspondence files

Conditions Governing Access and Use
Available to researchers deemed to be qualified by the archivist.

Preferred Citation
A suggested form for citing the collection is as follows: item description, date, American Jewish Committee Archives, Cyrus Adler Papers, series number, box number, folder number.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: Chronological Files,1906-35. Boxes 12, 5 linear feet
The series is in English, with some items in Yiddish and German.

Scope/Contents: This series records Cyrus Adler’s administrative activities, relief and fund-raising efforts, and involvement with the issues of anti-Semitism at home and abroad, communism, church-state relations, foreign affairs in Europe and in Russia and Eastern Europe in particular, immigration, Palestine and Zionism, World War I and the peace.

Arrangement:
Arranged chronologically by year.

Box Folder Description
1 1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Correspondence, 1906 Nov.-Dec.
Correspondence, 1907 Apr.-Dec.
Correspondence, 1907 Jun.-Mar.
Correspondence, 1908 Jan.-Jun.
Correspondence, 1908 Jul.- Dec.
Correspondence, 1909 Jan.-Sept.
Correspondence, 1909 Oct.-Dec.
     
Box Folder Description
2 1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Correspondence, 1910 Jan.-Feb.
Correspondence, 1910 Mar.-May
Correspondence, 1910 Sept.-Dec.
Correspondence, 1911 Mar.-Apr.
Correspondence, 1911 May-Jun.
Correspondence, 1911 Jan.-Feb.
Correspondence, 1911 Jul-Dec.
     
Box Folder Description
3 1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Correspondence, 1912 Jan.-May
Correspondence, 1912 Jun.-Aug.
Correspondence, 1912 Sept.-Dec.
Correspondence, 1913 Jan.-Apr.
Correspondence, 1913 May-Aug.
Correspondence, 1913 Sept.-Dec.
Correspondence, 1914 Jan.-Jun.
Correspondence, 1914 Jul.-Dec.
     
Box Folder Description
4 1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Correspondence, 1915 Jan.-May
Correspondence, 1915 Jun.-Jul.
Correspondence, 1915 Aug.-Sept.
Correspondence, 1915 Oct.-Dec.
Correspondence, 1916 Jan.-Feb.
Correspondence, 1916 Mar.
Correspondence, 1916 Jun.
     
Box Folder Description
5 1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Correspondence, 1916 Jul.-Aug.
Correspondence, 1916 Sept.-Oct.
Correspondence, 1916 Nov.-Dec.
Correspondence, 1917 Jan.-Apr.
Correspondence, 1917 May-Aug.
Correspondence, 1917 Sept.-Oct.
Correspondence, 1917 Nov.-Dec.
     
Box Folder Description
6 1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Correspondence, 1918 Jan.-Apr.
Correspondence, 1918 May-Aug.
Correspondence, 1918 Sept.-Oct.
Correspondence, 1918 Nov.-Dec.
Correspondence, 1919 Jan.-Feb.
Correspondence, 1919 Mar.-May
Diary (drafts), 1919 Mar.-Jul.
     
Box Folder Description
7 1
2
3
4
5
6
Correspondence, 1919 Jun.-Jul.
Correspondence, 1919 Aug.-Sept.
Correspondence, 1919 Oct.-Dec.
Diary, 1919 Mar.-Jul.
Diary excerpts (copies), 1919 Mar.-May
Diary excerpts (copies), 1919 Jun.-Aug.
     
Box Folder Description
8 1
2
3
4
5
6
Correspondence, 1920 Jan.-Mar.
Correspondence, 1920 Apr.-Jun.
Correspondence, 1920 Jul.-Aug.
Correspondence, 1920  Sept.-Oct.
Correspondence, 1920 Nov.-Dec.
Correspondence, 1920 Jan.-Feb.
     
Box Folder Description
9 1
2
3
4
5
Correspondence, 1921 Mar.-May
Correspondence, 1921 Jun.-Dec.
Correspondence, 1922 Jan.-Aug.
Correspondence, 1922 Sept.-Dec.
Correspondence, 1923
     
Box Folder Description
10 1
2
3
4
5
6
Correspondence, 1924
Correspondence, 1925 Jan.-Jun.
Correspondence, 1925 Jul.-Dec.
Correspondence, 1926           
Correspondence, 1927
Correspondence, 1928
     
Box Folder Description
11 1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Correspondence, 1929
Correspondence, 1930
Correspondence, 1931
Correspondence, 1932
Correspondence, 1933
Correspondence, 1934
Correspondence, 1935
     
Box Folder Description
12 1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Index – Personal Papers
Index – Correspondence (Chrono.) – Administrative
Index – Correspondence (Chrono.) – Anti-Semitism
Index – Correspondence (Chrono.) – Church-State
Index – Correspondence (Chrono.) – Communism - Anti-Semitism, U.S.
Index – Correspondence (Chrono.) – Foreign – Europe – Russia – Eastern Europe
Index – Correspondence (Chrono.) – Immigration
Index – Correspondence (Chrono,) – Palestine - Zionism
Index – Correspondence (Chrono.) – Relationships
Index – Correspondence (Chrono.) – WWI – Peace
Index – Correspondence (Chrono.) – Other
     

Series II: Subject Files, 1929 – 40. Boxes 4,1.66 linear feet

Scope/Contents: This series contains correspondence and some related documents regarding specific topics and Adler’s viewpoints on them, certain events, some of Adler’s publications, and correspondence from, with, and about specific individuals and organizations. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by given subject, in folders within four boxes. The correspondence in the subject files is primarily from the period 1929-40, and many of the folders are arranged by date, although not in strict linear order. It chronicles Cyrus Adler’s involvement in organizations that dealt with Jewish affairs, relief efforts, the growing crisis for world Jewry, and the rise of Nazism, as well as his continued scholarly publications and pursuits and civic interests.

Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically by subject.

     
Box Folder Description
13 1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
Adler – Election to Presidency of AJC (1929)
Adler – 70th Birthday (1933)
Adler – 75th Birthday (1938)
American Friends Service Committee
American Jewish Congress
Anti-Defamation Council (Phila.)
Anti-Semitic Circulars, etc.
A – Miscellaneous
Board of Jewish Deputies
B – Miscellaneous
Christian Pedagogical Literature
Communism
Contemporary Jewish Record
COTY
C – Miscellaneous
Discrimination against Jews
Discrimination in Employment
D – Miscellaneous
Feilchenfeld, Dr. Ernest (see also: League of Nations)
F – Miscellaneous
General Jewish Council
     
Box Folder Description
14 1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Germany 1929-33
Germany 1938-39
Goldsmid, O.E.d.’A (see also: Marshall – Russia, Goldsmid)
Guatemala
Guinzberg, Harold
G – Miscellaneous
Hungary
Immigration
Immigration – Michigan Alien Registration Bill
Industrial Defense Assn.
Iraq
Italy
Jewish Communal Directory
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Joint Foreign Committee
J – Miscellaneous
Kohler, Max J.
K – Miscellaneous
Laski, Neville
Linfield, Harry S.
L – Miscellaneous
Marshall, Louis
M – Miscellaneous
Neutrality
N – Miscellaneous
     
Box Folder Description
15 1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Palestine
Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Correspondence (various topics) 1933-39
Poland
P – Miscellaneous
Refugees
Romania
Rosenberg, James N.
Russia
Schneiderman, Harry
Spain
Stroock, Sol M.
Survey Committee
S – Miscellaneous
T – Miscellaneous
United States News
Universal Jewish Encyclopedia
     
Box Folder Description
16 1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Waldman, Morris D., 1929-33
Waldman, Morris D., 1937-40
Wallach, Sidney
World Jewish Congress
W – Miscellaneous
Year book
Yemenites
Y-Z – Miscellaneous