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Albert Renger-Patzsch papers, 1890-1980 (bulk 1924-1966)

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Renger-Patzsch (Albert) papers

Scope and Content of Collection

The archive documents Albert Renger-Patzsch's professional life and provides detailed information about his business-related activities, especially his work on book projects and private commissions for industrial firms. It also allows insight into his artistic views on photography and the technical details of his photographic workshop. A small portion of the archive consists of personal documents and family correspondence. Almost all items are in German; most are typescripts, or carbon copies of typescripts, especially letters by Albert Renger-Patzsch. Relatively few are in old German handwriting.

The main portion of the archive consists of post-war correspondence between Renger-Patzsch and numerous institutions, industrial firms, and individual correspondents. A relatively small part of the correspondence dates from the time before the war. Set apart is the predominantly business-related correspondence of Renger-Patzsch's widow Agnes and his son Ernst, and the personal correspondence of Albert Renger-Patzsch, mainly letters from his mother Frieda and other relatives. Two separate groups of correspondence are organized by topic.

Another significant portion of the archive presents ca. 30 drafts of mostly unpublished lectures and articles about photography by Albert Renger-Patzsch.

A large number of ephemeral publications, newspaper clippings and offprints related to Albert Renger-Patzsch provides information about the scope and reception of his photographic work before and after the war, his book projects, exhibitions, and other professional activities. Also included are a small number of personal documents related to Albert Renger-Patzsch and his family, a few portrait photographs taken by his daughter Sabine, poems by unknown authors, and business-related bills and receipts.

The archive includes several drafts of book texts by other authors: both texts about Renger-Patzsch and texts written to accompany Renger-Patzsch's books of photographs. Also in the archive are drafts of texts unrelated to Albert Renger-Patzsch, including 9 unpublished texts by the German ecologist Hugo Hertwig.


The papers are organized in 9 series:
Series I. Correspondence, 1924-1966;
Series II. Family and personal correspondence, 1924-1977;
Series III. Correspondence by topic,1952-1967;
Series IV. Writings by Albert Renger-Patzsch, 1954-1958,undated;
Series V. Ephemera, 1927-1980;
Series VI. Personal papers, 1890-1974;
Series VII. Bills and receipts, 1930, 1962-1967;
Series VIII. Manuscripts related to Albert Renger-Patzsch, 1927-1967, undated;
Series IX. Texts unrelated to Albert Renger-Patzsch, 1922-1928, undated.

Unidentified items are filed at the end of each series. Oversize items from various series are filed in Box 24*.

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