Guide to the Papers of Richard Beer-Hofmann (1866-1945)

AR 745 / MF 494

Processed by Nicole Kneisz

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305



© 2010 Leo Baeck Institute. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Dianne Ritchey in September 2010. Description is in English.
February 2011: Links to digital objects added in Container List. December 3, 2014: Remaining links to digital objects added in Container List.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Beer-Hofmann, Richard, 1866-1945
Title: Richard Beer-Hofmann Collection
Dates:bulk 1810-1976
Abstract: The Richard Beer-Hofmann Collection documents the correspondence of Richard Beer-Hofmann and other family members. It contains letters from Ludwig August Frankl, Hermann Struck, Fritz Mauthner, and Hedwig Mauthner. Letters from several family members, for example Katharina, Rosa and Hieronymus Beer, Alois und Bertha Hofmann and Agnes and Sigmund Beer can be found in this collection as well. Photos of Richard and Paula Beer-Hofmann, personal items, transcriptions of correspondence, books, a bible and certificates are held in this collection as well as family trees, drawings and clippings.
Languages: This collection is in German, Yiddish, French and Latin.
Quantity: 2.25 linear feat, 2 OS (5 OS folders) and 1 OSL
Identification: AR 745 / MF 494
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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Biographical Note

Richard Beer-Hofmann was born on July 11. 1866. He was the son of Hermann and Rosa Beer. His mother died within a week of his birth and after her death, he was adopted and reared by his uncle and his aunt, Bertha and Alois Hofmann. He spent his early childhood in Brünn (Brno, Czech Republic), where Alois Hofmann owned a textile factory. In 1880 the family moved to Vienna and Richard Beer-Hofmann finished his schooling at the Akademisches Gymnasium. He studied law at the University of Vienna and made his law degree in 1890. Richard Beer-Hofmann had studied law, but he worked as a poet, novelist and dramatist and was one of the most influential members of the circle of Viennese writers known as "Young Vienna". Many of his works deal with Jewish themes and his novel Der Tod Georgs is probably the most representative art nouveau novel in the German language. One edition of this book can be found in this collection. Richard Beer-Hofmann immigrated to the United States via Switzerland in 1939 and he died in New York City on September 26, 1945.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection documents the correspondence of Richard Beer-Hofmann and other family members. The collection is divided into three series. The first series is called Beer-Hofmann Family and it primarily consists of correspondence between Richard Beer-Hofmann and several family members like Rosa Beer, Alois Hofmann and Agnes Beer Hofmann. It also contains materials from Katharina and Hermann Hieronymus Beer, such as a journal, visiting cards, clippings and notebooks. Series II is all about Richard Beer-Hofmann and contains correspondence, photographs, title pages of his books, clippings and an inventory list, as well as transcriptions of some correspondence with Alois and Bertha Hofmann and Sigmund and Agnes Beer. Series III includes only materials belonging to Dr. Hermann Hieronymus Beer and an addendum. Oversize materials like a list of photographs, materials about Hermann Hieronymus Beer, documents about estate and house, a diploma and two doctoral certificates can be found in this third series as well. Documents relating to Hermann Hieronymus Beer are arranged in Series I as well as in Series III.

The whole collection is provided with little notes written by Richard Beer-Hofmann and his daughter Miriam. They describe the content of the folders and Richard Beer-Hofmann made a list of the transcript letters with annotations about the important and not so important letters as well. These notes were identified through a verification of the handwritings of Richard and Miriam Beer-Hofmann.

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The collection is arranged in two series in the following manner:

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Access and Use

Access Information

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

Collection is microfilmed — MF 494.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:
Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011

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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

Separated Material

Photographs have been removed to the LBI Photograph Collection. Box containing metal stamps has been removed to the LBI Art and Object Collection. The book Die Feldzüge Napoleons has been removed to the LBI Library.

A little book-shaped box containing metal stamps (Lederkästchen mit Stempel in Buchform) has been removed to the Arts and Objects Collection.

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Most of the collection is on four reels of microfilm [MF 494]:

Some items have not yet been microfilmed, and will be available on the microfilm addenda.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Richard Beer-Hofmann Collection; AR 745; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Processing Information

A former inventory existed for the collection, with some arrangement of topics or formats by box. In preparation of the EAD finding aid, the previous inventory was reviewed and analyzed to identify existing series. These series were maintained in the new finding aid with the exception of photographs, which were removed to the LBI Photograph Collection at an earlier date.

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Other Finding Aids

For details see typewritten 31-page inventory in Box 2 and the handwritten short inventory list in Folder 0 in Box 1.

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Container List

Follow the links to access the digitized materials.


Series I: Beer-Hofmann Family, 1706-1929

This series is in German, Yiddish and Czech.
1 linear ft.

Original order.

Scope and Content:

Series I is comprised of the papers of several members of the Beer-Hofmann family and it consists of notes and notebooks, songbooks, visiting cards, journals, correspondence and certificates. The major portion of the correspondence is between family members, friends and Richard Beer-Hofmann. Topics mentioned concern work, health, activities and travels. In addition this series holds birth and death certificates of Naphatoli Beer, prenuptial agreements of his first and second marriage, contracts of purchase, the last will of Gabriel Schmeichler, diverse protocols and school reports of Hermann Hieronymus Beer. A bound journal of Hermann Hieronymus Beer, documents and certificates from several associations and floral paintings of Bertha Hofmann can be found in this series as well. Furthermore Series I includes a songbook of Jeanette Beer, a poetry book of Richard Beer-Hofmann and a hardbound book of sayings with a handwritten letter of Anna Beer from 1828 on the last page of the book. A death certification of Anna Hofmann (born Beer) can be found in this collection as well as correspondence between her and Albert Hofmann. A significant part of the correspondence of Albert Hofmann is written in Yiddish. The folders regarding Albert Hofmann contain not only correspondence, but visiting cards, travel documents, a marriage contract, certificates of belongings, protocols and personal income tax records as well. The last folder comprises a list of dates related to Richard Beer-Hofmann's life. Most of the materials in this series are handwritten.

10Inventory [handwritten box and folder list]undated
11Katharine Beer (born Hofmann)1799, 1818-1856
12Steckerl (born Schmeichler)1861-1912
13Hermann Hieronymus Beer - Journalundated, circa 1830
14Hermann Hieronymus Beer - Documents1836-1865
15Hermann Hieronymus Beer - Rosa Steckerl Correspondence1810-1929
16Hermann Hieronymus Beer - Miscellany1865-1902
17Bertha Hofmann (born Steckerl: 1843-1866)1843-1891
18Rosa Beer - Correspondence and Documents1845-1869
19Alois Hofmann - Correspondence1866-1890
110Alois Hofmann - Correspondence and Documents1836-1907
111Jeanette Beer - Songbook1824
112Richard Beer-Hofmann - Poetry Bookundated
113Richard Beer-Hofmann - Book of Saying1785, 1814, 1846
114Anna Hofmann (born Beer) - Correspondence and Documents1706, 1845-1896
115Albert Hofmann - Correspondence with Alois Hofmann1824-1854
116Albert Hofmann - Correspondence with Anna Beer1828-1829
117Albert Hofmann - Correspondence with Annie Beer, diverse Documents1808-1853
118Sigmund Beer - Needlework and Notebook1854, 1856
119Agnes Beer-Hofmann - Documents, Clippings, Catalogue and Notebook 1854-1907
120Agnes Beer-Hofmann - Correspondence with Alois Hofmann1854-1907
121Richard Beer Hofmann - Dates (List of Correspondence)1944
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Series II: Richard Beer-Hofmann, 1838-1998

This series is in German, Yiddish and French.
1 linear ft.

Original order.

Scope and Content:

Richard Beer-Hofmann conceived an idea for his archive in 1940. He divided his whole estate into two parts. The first part should be the family-archive which contains documents up to 160 years. These documents are expected to compare letters, diaries, notes, family trees, photographs, certificates and much more; they can be found in Series I of this collection. The second part of his archive concerned Richard Beer-Hofmann himself. It would hold drafts, some of his manuscripts, excerpts, clippings, his correspondence with family members and friends as well as photographs and letters from his wife Paula Beer-Hofmann. He noticed that these documents should be treated very carefully. He writes that Paula was his life and everything which came into being during their relationship would not have happened without her. In every letter, manuscript and poem which he wrote was her spirit and in every piece of paper she was mirrored. All of this information can be looked up in Folder 16 of Series II.

Series II contains all the documents mentioned previously. It also includes handwritten letters from Alois and Bertha Hofmann and Agnes and Sigmund Beer as well as their transcriptions beginning in 1872 until 1944. Correspondence of Fritz Mauthner, Hermann Beer and Rosa Steckerl also can be found in Series II. The correspondence of his uncles and aunts deals with several trips to Munich, Milan, Florence, Salzburg and other places around the world. The correspondence also pertains to money and Richard Beer-Hofmann's lifestyle. It also illustrates the rift between Richard Beer-Hofmann and his uncle and stepfather Alois Hofmann. The rift arose from the fact that Richard didn't write regularly and his unstable work as a writer. In addition, this series holds family trees, envelopes, photo albums, a bible, wax stamps, a souvenir book with autographs, poems and two books. The first book is Der Tod Georges by Richard Beer-Hofmann, which contains notes from the author himself. This book is not on the microfilm. The second book is called Die Feldzüge Napoleons, written by M. Grunewald, and has been removed to the LBI Library.

21Correspondence - Alois and Bertha Hofmann and Agnes and Sigmund Beer1872-1909
22Transcription - Correspondence - Alois and Bertha Hofmann and Agnes and Sigmund Beer1872-1909
23Transcription - Correspondence, Alois and Bertha Hofmann1872-1909, 1944
24Transcription: Correspondence Agnes and Sigmund Beer1872-1909, 1944
25Transcription - Excerpts from family letters1869-1890
26Personal Correspondence and List of Photographs1853-1910
27Silhouette and Envelopes1932
28Correspondence regarding Beer-Hofmann family1905-1914
29Note - Der Tod Georgesundated
210Correspondence - Hermann Beer1897-1907
211Correspondence - Alois and Bertha Hofmann1897-1907
212Correspondence - Alois and Bertha Hofmann (marked as revised)1881-1897
213Correspondence - Agnes and Sigmund Beer1883-1908
214Note resuming Folder 231981
215Correspondence - Steckerl, Wolf, Mandel and Schwarz1886-1923
216Note about archive collection and family trees1895, 1913, 1940
217Correspondence - Fritz Mauthner1919-1924, 1937
218Addenda, Clipping1995
219Photo album (RBH 25)undated
220Photo album (RBH 26)undated
221Photo album (RBH 27)undated
222Souvenir book with autographs (RBH 9a)undated
223Photo album – Paula (RBH 28)undated
224Bible (RBH 32)1838
225Book title pages1900, 1913
226Notes and copies of wax stampsundated
227Autographs and Photos1900-1931
228Poetry, Clippings, etc.1926-1976
229Obsolete inventories for information only (in correlation to present listings)undated
230List of items (removed) and wax stampsundated
231Book - R. Beer Hofmann - Der Tod Georgesundated
232Book - M. Gruenewald (Hg.) - Die Feldzuege Napoleonsundated
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Series III: Dr. Hermann Hiernoymus Beer, undated, 1815-1997

This series is in German, French, Latin and Yiddish.

Original order.

Scope and Content:

The bulk of Series III is comprised of the documents of Dr. Hermann Hieronymus Beer. He was a professor of forensics medicine and his school testimonials, diplomas and doctoral degrees can be found in this collection. It includes a marriage certification, visiting cards, a last will as well as some correspondence pertaining marriage and his studies. The correspondence is written in German, French, Latin and Yiddish and the languages are often compounded. Documents about Hermann Hieronymus Beer's estate and construction plans are arranged in Folder 2 in the oversized materials (OS 58).

31Correspondence; Documents1815-1859
32Documents; School Testimonials1822-1855
33Documentsundated, 1828-1873
OS 2Doctoral certificate of Hermann Beer, illustrations and a list of photographsundated, 1861
OS 581Material Hermann Hieronymus Beerundated
OS 582Documents about estate and houseundated
OS 583Diploma; Ausstoss-Register Aug.-Oct. 1827undated, 1827
OS 584Doctoral certificates of Hermann Hieronymus Beer1861
OSL 22Oversized documents
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