Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding Aid for the Albert Schweitzer, Alice Ehlers letters, 1928-1988 1988.01.r
1988.01.r  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (85.79 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Arrangement note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition note
  • Conditions Governing Use note

  • Title: Albert Schweitzer, Alice Ehlers letters, 1928-1988
    Identifier/Call Number: 1988.01.r
    Contributing Institution: Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives, Leatherby Libraries
    One University Drive
    Orange, CA, 92866
    (714) 532 - 7711
    rboyd@chapman.edu
    Language of Material: The majority of the collection is in German
    Storage Unit: 1
    Physical Description: 0.5 Linear feet (1 box)
    Date (inclusive): 1928-1988
    Abstract: This is a collection of 34 letters from Albert Schweitzer to his friend, Alice Ehlers from 1928 to 1965. The letters discuss the mutual interest of Schweitzer and Ehlers in music, specifically the harpsichord and the organ.
    Location note: Leatherby Libraries
    Language of Materials note: The correspondence in this collection is primarily in German with some being written in French. The accompanying documentation is in English.

    Arrangement note

    The letters are arranged chronologically beginning with the first letter dated 1928 and the last letter dating 1965.
    The documents related to the purchase of the letters are arranged chronologically by date beginning with October 28, 1988 and ending with November 19, 1988.

    Scope and Contents note

    The 34 letters in this collection span a 30 year correspondence between physician and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Albert Schweitzer and Mrs Alice Ehlers, a renowned harpsichordist and Professor of Music at the University of Southern California. Schweitzer writes to Ehlers from his home in Gunsbach and from the hospital in Lambarene. Schweitzer and Ehlers met and established their friendship in Berlin during the late 1920's. Ehlers left Nazi-Germany for England, and then moved to California. The correspondence covers topics of both personal and professional concern, including questions of music (Schweitzer was also a concert organist and music scholar) and how Schweitzer's work in Lambarene was progressing. Their correspondence continued until Schweitzers death in 1965.
    The gift from Chapman Life Trustee and alumna Valerie Scudder '68 made it possible for Chapman University's Albert Schweitzer Institute to acquire the letters. Mrs. Scudder, a resident of Newport Beach, and a recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Award of Distinction, provided the $22,000.00 to purchase the letters from Alice's daughter, Maria Ehlers.
    The gift documents refer to the purchase of 30 letters and copies of the letters written from Ehlers to Schweitzer; however, there are 34 letters in this collection and no copies of Ehlers' letters.

    Biographical/Historical note

    Albert Schweitzer, physician, philosopher and Nobel Peace Prize winner, born in Kaysersberg and reared in Gunsbach, Alsace, met and established a friendship with Alice Ehlers, a renowned harpsichordist who was born in Vienna. In 1933, Ehlers left Nazi-Germany for England, then migrated to California, and joined the faculty of USC in 1940.
    In the letters, that span from 1928 to 1965, Schweitzer writes to Ehlers from his home in Gunsbach and from the hospital he established in 1913 in Lambarene in what was then French Equatorial Africa, and is now the Republic of Gabon.
    In 1991, a book containing a translation of these letters, (and additional Schweitzer letters to Ehlers and letters from Ehlers to Schweitzer, which are not held by our Archives)was published. The book, Albert Schweitzer and Alice Ehlers: A Friendship in Letters, was translated and edited by Kurt and Alice R. Bergel, Chapman University faculty emeriti. The book was published by University Press of America, Lanham; New York; London, c1991. A label on the book states that the book is "A publication of The Albert Schweitzer Institute, Chapman University, Orange, California."

    Conditions Governing Access note

    This collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation note

    [identify item], Albert Schweitzer, Alice Ehlers letters, Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives, Chapman University, CA.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition note

    Valerie Scudder '68, Chapman Life Trustee and alumna, provided Chapman College with $22,000.00 to purchase the letters from Maria Ehlers, daughter of Alice Ehlers in 1988.

    Conditions Governing Use note

    There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.