Guide to the Walter Hart Blumenthal papers, undated, 1882-1969
bulk 1900-1969


The finding aid was prepared by Janine Veazue in 2015.

American Jewish Historical Society

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 294-6160



© 2019  American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Janine Veazue in November 2015. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Blumenthal, Walter Hart, 1883-1969
Title: Walter Hart Blumenthal papers
Dates:undated, 1882-1969
Dates:bulk 1900-1969
Abstract: This collection consists primarily of manuscripts, printed articles and reviews, notes, news clippings, and other source material of Blumenthal’s published books and articles. In addition, the collection also includes personal materials such as genealogical information, photographs, correspondence, and several travel diaries.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: 3.5 linear feet plus one 1 oversized folder (7 manuscript boxes, 1 oversized folder - in shared box)
Identification: P-83
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS New York, NY
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Biographical Note
Portrait of Walter Hart Blumenthal (1883-1969)

Portrait of Walter Hart Blumenthal (1883-1969)

Walter Hart Blumenthal, son of noted book collector Hart Blumenthal, was born in Clinton, Iowa in 1883. W. H. Blumenthal graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics and later earned a PhD from the University of Halle-Wittenberg (Germany) in 1904. After returning to the United States, Blumenthal entered the literary world, working as a magazine editor, essayist, and book collector. He was the author of more than thirty books on a wide range of subjects including etymology, women of the American Revolution, and the plight of the American Indian, among others. During World War I, he was Chief Librarian for the Camp Greene Library in Charlotte, N. C. which served close to 80,000 troops. He married Claudine Eleanore Brown in 1919.

Along with being a frequent contributor to several New York City newspapers and magazines, Blumenthal served as literary editor for the New Jewish Encyclopedia and later as an associate editor of American Hebrew magazine in New York. Due to his expertise in the literary world, he also found later success as an antiquarian book dealer in New York and Philadelphia in the 1930s. Walter Hart Blumenthal died in Philadelphia in 1969.

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Scope and Content Note

The Walter Hart Blumenthal papers reflect both personal and professional materials associated with the author’s life and work. Series I contains items relating to Blumenthal’s personal life, including photographs, travel diaries, and biographical documentation such as genealogical records, official certifiates of marriage and graduation, and printed resumes. Series II contains professional materials such as manuscripts, research source material (news clippings, hand-written notes, etc.), professional correspondence, and published works.

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This collection is organized into two series: personal and professional. Blumenthal's professional papers are further organized into five subseries. This arrangement is built upon the original alphabetical filing system of the previous processing done in 2009. Several modifications to folder titles and locations within the collection have been added.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011

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Related Material

MS-229. Walter Hart Blumenthal Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Walter Hart Blumenthal papers, 1899-1965, Ms. Coll. 1104, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania

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Other Finding Aid

A concordance listing old box number can be found at

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Walter Hart Blumenthal papers; P-83; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY.

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Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Blumenthal and Leon Obermayer.

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Processing Information

The Walter Hart Blumenthal papers were minimally processed in 2009. This minimal processing consisted of brief folder titles, loose alphabetical organization, a .pdf inventory of folders, and a machine-readable finding aid (converted from a MARC record) to serve as a placeholder until an EAD record was created. Several items were placed in an OS folder due to their sizes.

Updated processing in 2015 included folder name clarification (in adherence to institutional standards), folder and box re-housing, as well as additional minimal physical reorganization. Any reorganization that differs from the original box inventory is noted in a concordance for reference. A detailed EAD record was also created. All oversized items that were originally separated for proper storage have remained in that space.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

Click the box in the request column to open the form that allows you to request a box for onsite viewing in the reading room at the Center for Jewish History, New York, NY.


Series I: Personal Material, undated, 1918-1969

This series is in English.
Box 1, and one oversized folder in box OS2 (0.5 linear feet)

Folders are organized by item type and arranged alphabetically.

Processing Information:

Photographs in this series remain in their original folders, but are now protected in labeled, archival sleeves. Their locations have been noted in the finding aid via folder-level scope notes. All oversized items in this series are housed in box OS2.

Scope and Content:

This series includes family correspondence, genealogical documents, photographs, and travel diaries. This series also contains several oversized items including sheet music, Photostat copies of documents, a marriage certificate, a passport, and Blumenthal’s B.S. diploma from the University of Pennsylvania.

11Bibliographical Information1923-1969request_box

Includes photographs.

12Family Correspondence1918-1942request_box
13Genealogical Documents1882-1968request_box

Includes wedding and death notices for both the Brown and Blumenthal families. Also includes photographs.

14Travel Diaries and Photographsundated, 1902-1969request_box

Includes photographs.

OS2F1Oversized Items—Sheet Music—Valse Petiteundatedrequest_box
OS2F1Oversized Items—Sheet Music—Regrets in a Garden1931request_box

Lyrics by W.H. Blumenthal, music by Walter L. Rosemont.

OS2F1Oversized Items—Sheet Music—Driftingundatedrequest_box

Poem by W.H. Blumenthal, music by Walter L. Rosenberg.

OS2F1Oversized Items—Sheet Music—When Eyes of Blue are True1905request_box

Words by W.H. Blumenthal, music by Walter L. Rosenberg.

OS2F1Oversized Items—Photostat documents 1813request_box

Correspondence from Secretary of the Navy William Jones to Commodore Isaac Chauncey, acknowledging the scalp and other trophies sent. From the National Archives, record group No. 45, Letters to Officers, Ships of War, vol. 10.

OS2F1Oversized Items—Photostat documents 1813request_box

Letter of Commodore Isaac Chauncey, War of 1812-15, regarding scalp in Parliament House at York (Toronto), captured with other trophies. From the National Archive, record group No. 45, Captain's letters, 1813.

OS2F1Oversized Items—Photostat documents 1855request_box

A large, mounted and armed group of frontier whites on March 8, 1782 massacred ninety-six Delaware Indians at the Moravian mission settlement in Ohio. Forty males, twenty-two squaws, and thirty-four Indian children were slain and scalped. From the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

OS2F1Oversized Items—Photostat documents 1813request_box

Captain's letters, 1813, volume 4, number 15. From the National Archives.

OS2F1Oversized Items—Photostat documents 1756request_box

Benjamin Franklin during his six weeks military career on the Pennsylvania frontier issues instructions from Bethlehem, on January 12, 1756, to Captain Van Etten near Easton. Franklin as Colonel of a regiment had 500 militia. From the MSS Division of the New York Public Library Emmet Collection, number 836.

OS2F1Oversized Items—Photostat documents undatedrequest_box

Images of chastity girdles.

OS2F1Oversized Items—Photostat documents undatedrequest_box

Proclamations from John Penn, Esq., Hunter Morris, Esq., and Joseph Reed, Esq., concerning the rights of the local Indian tribes.

OS2F1Oversized Items—Primary documents 1919request_box

Marriage certificate of Walter Hart Blumenthal and Claudine Brown.

OS2F1Oversized Items—Primary documents 1919request_box

Marriage certificate of Walter Hart Blumenthal and Claudine Eleanore Brown.

OS2F1Oversized Items—Primary documents undatedrequest_box

Walter Hart Blumenthal's passport document.

OS2F1Oversized Items—Primary documents 1903request_box

Walter Hart Blumenthal's diploma for the completion of a Bachelors in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Series II: Professional Materials, undated, 1902-1969

This series is in English.
Boxes 2-7 (3 linear feet)

Subseries in this series are alphabetically arranged by type or by title of published work. Folders in "Subseries 4: Source Material” with no specific published work titles are simply filed alphabetically by subject.

Processing Information:

Several folders in this series have been rearranged from their original placements. Any re-organization was done so for more concise intellectual and physical order. A concordance is available for reference.

Scope and Content:

Items in this series display both Blumenthal's frequency of publication and his dedication to research. Blumenthal's interests were wide and varied, ranging from American History to word origins, to the frivolity and excitement of circuses and dancehalls, many of which are represented in this collection. Folders containing materials on Blumenthal's lecture and radio appearances detail his enthusiasm for presentation and community involvement.

Subseries 1: Books, undated, 1927-1968

This subseries is in English.
Box 2 (0.5 linear feet)

Books are arranged by size, relative to their best fit within the manuscript box. Instead of listing titles by placement, this inventory lists titles alphabetically for ease of use.

Processing Information:

Items are stored closely together in an upright position in a single manuscript box to maximize spine and board support.

Scope and Content:

Published works in this subseries are all written by Walter Hart Blumenthal except for the following titles: Bibliopegia Fantastica by Lawrence S. Thompson, a City Books auction catalog: Sale no. 218: The Library of Hart Blumenthal, a supplement containing a list of members of the Bibliographical Society of America, and The Hornbook — Foreword by James C. McGuire, to a list of the Collection of Hornbooks given by him to the New York Public Library.

This subseries contains multiple copies of several titles. This is reflected in the container list.

Box TitleDate
2 American Indians Dispossessed: Fraud in Land Cessions Forced Upon the Tribes- A Recital Based on Documentary Sources1955
2 American Panorama: Patter of the Past and Womanhood in its Unfolding1962
2 Bibliopegia Fantastica by Lawrence S. Thompson1947
2 Auction Catalog: City Books Auction: Sale no. 218, The Library of Hart Blumenthal1942
2 Bookmen's Trio1961
2 The Bouquet of Old Books1937
2 A Charm of Books1961
2 A Dime a Dozen1967
2 Eccentric Typography and other Diversions in the Graphic Arts1963
2 False Literary Attributions1965
2 False Literary Attributions1965
2 False Literary Attributions1965
2 Filigree Lettering1957
2 Franklin Sampler: A Garner for the Mind's Delight1964
2 Heaven and Hades1965
2 The Hornbook- Foreword by James C. McGuire, to a list of the Collection of Hornbooks given by him to the New York Public Library1927
2 Imaginary Books and Phantom Libraries1966
2 Imaginary Books and Phantom Libraries1966
2 In Old America: Random Chapters on the Early Aborigines1931
2 The Jaded Jester1965
2 The Jaded Jester1965
2 List of Members of the Bibliographical Society of America1968
2 Manuscripts Quarterly: Volume XIV- Number 1-"The Literature of Concealment" 1962
2 Manuscripts Quarterly: Volume XVIII- Number 1- "One Cannot Flesh the Shakespeare Figure"1966
2 The Mermaid Myth: Shakespeare Not Among Those Present1959
2 No Fans in Hell1964
2 No Fans in Hell1964
2 The Pepper Shaker1964
2 Rendezvous with Chance1954
2 Shakespeare: Veneration versus Verity1963
2 Whirligig1967
2 Wise and Otherwise: A Grave and Gay Garner [At the Sign of the Jaded Jester]1965

Subseries 2: Correspondence, 1920-1968

This subseries is in English.
Box 3, Folders 1-6 (0.5 linear feet).

This subseries is organized alphabetically by correspondent.

Scope and Content:

Correspondence in this series relates to business matters between Walter Hart Blumenthal and several of his publishers.

31Achille St. Onge, Publishers (Worcester, MA)1963-1965request_box
32The Colophon1932-1937request_box
33Miscellaneous1920; 1927-1967request_box

Includes correspondence from associates and academic societies thanking Blumenthal for several articles he had written. 1920 letter found in the AJHS library book, H. Mikve Israel, esto es, Esperanza de israel obra con suma curiosidad compuesta by Manasseh ben Israel written from Blumenthal to George Alexander Kohut. Book contains Kohut bookplate.

34Obermayer, Leon J.1960-1968request_box
36Scalp Bounties & White Scalping1955-1962request_box

Includes correspondence concerning manuscript illustrations.


Subseries 3: Manuscripts and Printed Texts, undated, 1909-1968

This subseries is in English.
Box 3, Folder 7- Box 4, Folder 22 (1 linear foot).

Folders are organized alphabetically by journal (for shorter articles grouped by publication) or by title of work. Folder titles reflect the breadth of items within.

Processing Information:

Several folders contain only errata, forewords, or chapter lists. They are labeled with the general title ‘Manuscripts.’

Scope and Content:

The bulk of the material consists of typescripts and manuscripts as well as the final printed text of several dozen items written by Blumenthal. This subseries also includes articles written by Walter Hart Blumenthal for American Hebrew and other Jewish publications.

37American Book Collector—Articles—Printed Text1933-1958request_box
38American Hebrew—Articles—Printed Text1920-1931request_box
39American Hebrew—Articles—Printed Text1932-1935request_box
310Barbs and Bludgeons—Manuscript and Printed Text1957-1963request_box

Includes bibliography, notes, and sources.

311Bogus Books and Sham Shelves—Manuscript1933request_box
312Book-Edge Masterpieces—Printed Text1938-1963request_box
313Bookmen's Bedlam—Manuscript1956request_box
314Bookmen's Carnival—Manuscript1966request_box

Includes contents, title page, and foreword.

315Books and Printing—Printed Text1920-1955request_box
316Book reviews (by Blumenthal)—Printed Text1931-1964request_box
317Boudoir Books for Ladies-In-Waiting—Manuscript and Printed Text1957-1961request_box

Manuscript and printed text differ.

318Breeders for the Colonies—Manuscript1967request_box
319Chained Books—Manuscript and Printed Text1932-1964request_box
320Circusiana—Printed Text1962request_box
321A Dime a Dozen—Printed Text1966-1967request_box
322Girdle Books for Waist Wear—Manuscript and Printed Text1963request_box

Includes page proofs.

323George Washington and Border Warfare—Manuscript and Printed Text1965request_box
324The Hand Symbol in Aboriginal American and Primitive Palestine—Manuscript1922request_box
325Heaven's Library—Printed Text1965request_box
326Hurdy Gurdies- Dollar-A-Dance Girls—Manuscript and Printed Text1960request_box
327Imaginary Books and Phantom Libraries—Manuscript1966request_box

Includes page proofs.

328Literature of Concealment—Manuscriptundatedrequest_box
329The Lures of Eros—Manuscript and Printed Text1964request_box
41Made Their Own Books—Manuscript1961-1968request_box
43Miscellaneous—Printed Text1921-1964request_box
44Miscellaneous Jewish Publications—Printed Text1916-1934request_box
45Most Founders Feared Demcracy—Manuscript1968request_box
46Mulattoes in American Colonies—Manuscriptundatedrequest_box
47A New Pattern of Humanity—Printed Text1929request_box
48No Curfew for Cupid—Manuscript1968request_box
49Once Upon a Time—Manuscript and Printed Text1961request_box
410Pocahontas and Her Descendents—Manuscript1968request_box
412Rendezvous with Chance—Manuscript1954request_box
413The Russo-Japanese War—Printed Textundatedrequest_box
414The Sacred Number Seven in Aboriginal America and the Old Testament Heptad—Manuscriptundatedrequest_box
415Samuel Harris on the Dighton Rock Inscription—Manuscriptundatedrequest_box
416Scalp Bounties & White Scalping, chapters 1-5—Manuscriptundatedrequest_box

Includes title page, contents, and foreword.

417Scalp Bounties & White Scalping, chapters 6-10—Manuscriptundatedrequest_box
418Scalp Bounties & White Scalping, chapters 11-12—Manuscriptundatedrequest_box

Includes appendix and bibliography.

419Should American History be Hero Worship?—Printed Text1927request_box
420Strange Trove and Old Garb—Manuscriptundatedrequest_box

Includes bibliography.

421Winepress—Manuscript and Printed Text1920-1964request_box

Includes poetry by Blumenthal.

422Word Gossip—Manuscriptundatedrequest_box

Includes a typed introduction and handwritten manuscript pages.


Subseries 4: Source Material, undated, 1922-1968

This subseries is in English.
Box 5, Folder 1 – Box 7, Folder 4 (2.5 linear feet)

Folders are organized by topic or title of work (when known).

Processing Information:

The published works created from these source materials are not always listed, but may be extrapolated based on subject matter.

Scope and Content:

Items in these folders consist of clippings and handwritten notes used as source material for publications destined for both magazine and single-volume publication.

51American Indians1946-1959request_box
52American Indians Dispossessed1924-1967request_box

Includes notes for the revised edition.

53American Panorama1962request_box
54Anti-Nazi activities1932-1938request_box
55Bathtub Hoax and other Literary Forgeries1929-1966request_box
56Benjamin Franklin1935-1964request_box
57Brides from Bridewell1962-1965request_box

Includes one page of typed manuscript.

58Colonial Libraries, Collections, and Bibliophiles1934-1968request_box
59Epigrams, Aphorisms, Whimseys, Japes, Quotes, etc. 1959-1961request_box
510Erotica and Scatology1966-1967request_box
512Far West, Northwest (OR, ID, WY, WA)1954-1964request_box
513Formats and Bindings1933-1963request_box
514George Washington (and Glass's Latin Biography)1926-1966request_box
61Illiteracy, Convicts, and Slaves In Colonial America1948-1959request_box
62Illustrations, Wood1933-1966request_box
63The Jaded Jester, Old Fools, and New Follies1965request_box
64Literary Curiosities1930-1964request_box
66New England, New York, Canada1951-1957request_box
67Oriental, Medieval and Miscellaneous Manuscripts1934-1968request_box
68Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Northwest Territories1954-1967request_box
69Scalp Bounties & White Scalping1954-1958request_box
610Scalp Bounties & White Scalping1954-1958request_box
611Scalp Bounties & White Scalping1954-1965request_box
612Scalp Bounties & White Scalping1955-1956request_box
71South and Southwest1946-1954request_box
72Women in the West1953-1965request_box

Subseries 5: Promotional Material, 1902-1966

This subseries is in English.
Box 7, Folders 5 - 21 (0.5 linear feet)

Folders are organized by title of work.

Scope and Content:

Items within this subseries include newspaper and magazine releases advertising Walter Hart Blumenthal’s latest published work, printed reviews, announcements for upcoming lectures, and items relating to radio shows where Blumenthal was a guest.

75American Hebrew1927-1933request_box
76Bookmen's Trio1961request_box
77Clippings about Blumenthal1902-1953request_box
78Clippings by Blumenthal1926-1961request_box
79Eccentric Typography and Other Diversions in the Graphic Arts1966request_box
710False Literary Attributions1966request_box
711Filigree Lettering and Ornamentation, A Forgotten Book Art1957-1958request_box
712Hart Book Company1937-1954request_box

Includes book dealer catalogues and listings.

713In Old America1931-1932request_box
714Jewish Book of the Month Club1930request_box
715Lecture Announcements1902-1965request_box
716McManus, George S., Publishers1921-1952request_box
717The Mermaid Myth1959request_box
718Radio Shows1929-1937request_box

Includes correspondence, transcripts, and admission tickets.

719Shakespeare: Veneration vs. Verity1964request_box
720Universal Encyclopedia1929-1931request_box
721Women Camp Followers of the American Revolution1952-1960request_box
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