Guide to the Eleanor and Paul Alexander Collection
(bulk 1930-1977)

AR 6414

Processed by Leanora Lange

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305



© 2013  Leo Baeck Institute
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Leanora Lange in September 2013. Description is in English.
May 2016: dao links added by Emily Andresini.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Alexander, Eleanor
Title: Eleanor and Paul Alexander Collection
Dates:bulk 1930-1977
Abstract: Eleanor Alexander née Eyck (1913-2009) and her husband Paul Alexander (1910-1977) were both born in Berlin and immigrated to the United States in the 1930s, where Paul Alexander became a respected professor of Byzantine history. This collection mainly documents his education and career. Several folders also contain book reviews and biographical information related to the lawyer and historian Erich Eyck, Eleanor’s father. It also contains correspondence between Eleanor Eyck and her parents from the 1930s, a few photographs, a family tree, and a few materials relating to other family members.
Languages: The collection is in English, German, and French.
Quantity: 0.75 linear feet + 1 OS folder
Identification: AR 6414
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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Biographical Note

Eleanor Eyck was born in Berlin, Germany in 1913 to the lawyer and historian Erich Eyck (1878-1964) and his wife Hedwig (1888-1971). Although he was never formally trained as a historian, Erich Eyck wrote respected accounts of Bismarck and the history of the Weimar Republic.

Eleanor began to study medicine, but this pursuit was interrupted in 1933 when she emigrated to France. While in Paris, France, she met her future husband, Paul Julius Alexander (born in Berlin in 1910). Paul had already earned a doctorate in law from the University of Hamburg and a license to practice law in France when he came to the United States in 1935 to study history at the University of Michigan with the sponsorship of a Jewish fraternity Phi Sigma Delta. The next year, he received a scholarship to attend Harvard University. Eleanor immigrated to the U.S. after spending some time teaching German in London and with family friends in Brazil. She and Paul married in 1938 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Paul earned his PhD in Ancient and Byzantine History from Harvard in 1941, and the couple moved to Washington, D.C, where Paul worked for the Office of Strategic Services. The couple then moved to Geneva, New York, where Paul was a professor of history at Hobart College until 1954. They spent a year in Princeton, New Jersey while Paul was on a Guggenheim Fellowship, and he later taught at Brandeis and the University of California at Berkeley. They had three children, Ann (born 1941), Lawrence (born 1944), and Michael (born 1947). Paul Alexander became a respected scholar of Byzantine history and medieval apocalypticism and served as a member of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences. After his death 1977, Eleanor Alexander set up a memorial fund in his honor. She died in 2009.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection consists mainly of materials collected by Eleanor Alexander reflecting the work of her husband, the historian Paul Alexander, and her father, the lawyer and historian Erich Eyck. The bulk of the collection reflects the career of Paul Alexander from his studies of law in Germany and France until 1935 to his studies of history in the United States and career as a professor of Byzantine history. These materials include correspondence regarding Alexander’s scholarly career, honors, fellowships, and projects; education records such as course schedules, grades, and diplomas; reviews of books written by Alexander; copies of a few of his articles; a syllabus; correspondence with the Warburg Institute and with Harvard University classicist Werner Jaeger; and obituaries, eulogies, and other commemorations of Alexander.

Materials related to Erich Eyck include a biographical sketch, a few vital documents, obituaries, correspondence with Theodor Heuss, articles about Eyck and about his books, and a speech given about him by his son Frank Eyck.

Some materials relate more directly to Eleanor Alexander, such as letters she exchanged with her parents during the 1930s and correspondence regarding commemorations of her husband after his death. A family tree of the Alexander family is also included as well as photocopies of vital records of some of Paul Alexander’s ancestors and a few photographs. Oversize copies of Paul Alexander’s diplomas from Gymnasium and the University of Hamburg as well as his license to practice law in France are also included.

Some materials were bound together by Eleanor Alexander and given titles and short introductions. These items are indicated in the folder titles of the container list with quotation marks that denote the title.

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The collection is arranged by individual to whom the materials primarily relate.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

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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

Related Material

See also five memoirs by Eleanor Alexander in the LBI Archives’ Memoir Collection: A Tribute to My Mother Hedwig Eyck (1888-1971), Gratiarum Actio, Lecture given at the Goethe Institut San Franscisco, Stories of My Life, and A Bit of Family History.

The LBI Library holds copies of several books by Erich Eyck including Bismarck und das deutsche Reich and Geschichte der Weimarer Republik.

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Separated Material

Copies of the following items were removed because they are already available in the LBI Archives: A Tribute to My Mother Hedwig Eyck (1888-1971), Gratiarum Actio, and The World of Franz Kafka. These items can be accessed online.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Eleanor Alexander Collection; AR 6414; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Processing Information

Duplicates were removed. Materials were rehoused in acid-free archival folders. Oversized materials were placed in oversized folders and boxes. In the cases where articles written by Erich Eyck or Paul Alexander were donated as part of an entire issue of a periodical, only the article and the title page of the publication were retained.

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Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection. Follow the links to access the digitized materials.


Eleanor and Paul Alexander Collection, 1860-2004

1 1 Alexander family tree and vital records of ancestors 1860-1878, 1970s
1 2 Alexander née Eyck, Eleanor: Letters from parents 1934-1963, circa 2001
1 3 Alexander née Eyck, Eleanor: "Letters from Italy October 4-December 20, 1937" 2001
1 4 Alexander née Eyck, Eleanor: Correspondence about Paul Alexander 1978-1998
1 5 Alexander née Eyck, Eleanor: Correspondence about former school (Kolleg Schöneberg) 2002
1 6 Alexander née Eyck, Eleanor: "Dr. Magdalena Schoch" 1992
1 7 Alexander, Paul: Biographical sketch by Eleanor Alexander 2002
1 8 Alexander, Paul: Identification cards and vital documents 1910-1977
1 9 Alexander, Paul: Early education and legal training 1924-1935
1 10 Alexander, Paul: Law publications 1932
1 11 Alexander, Paul: Books of university class schedules from Germany and France 1928-1934
1 12 Alexander, Paul: Bank records and receipts (France) 1933-1935
1 13 Alexander, Paul: Studies at the University of Michigan and Harvard 1936-1940
1 14 Alexander, Paul: Affidavit of support and resitution claims forms 1937-1953
1 15 Alexander, Paul: Correspondence regarding scholarly career 1932-1977
1 16 Alexander, Paul and Eleanor: Warburg Institute correspondence 1936-1984
1 17 Alexander, Paul: Correspondence with Werner Jaeger 1941-1962
1 18 Alexander, Paul: Honors, memberships, and fellowships 1937-1976
1 19 Alexander, Paul: Office of Strategic Services 1943-1945
1 20 Alexander, Paul: Nature and History of Western Civilization syllabus 1954
1 21 Alexander, Paul: Book reviews and correspondence regarding publications 1955-1980
2 1 Alexander, Paul: Articles 1938-1978
2 2 Alexander, Paul: Obituaries, eulogies, and commemorations 1977-1979
2 3 Alexander, Paul: Byzantine Studies conferences with commemorations 1978, 1989, 1995
2 4 Alexander, Paul: "Paul Alexander: Documents and Letters 1933-1954" 2003
2 5 Eyck, Erich: Vital documents, biographical sketches, and obituaries 1910-1964, 2001
2 6 Eyck, Erich: Friendship with Theodor Heuss 1958-1962, circa 2001
2 7 Eyck, Erich: Articles by and about Eyck and his books 1938-1964
2 8 Eyck, Erich: Speech given by Frank Eyck 2002
2 9 Other family members 2002-2004
2 10 Photographs 1932, 1974, circa 1990s
OS 158 Paul Alexander's diplomas and clippings about Erich Eyck 1927-1964
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