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Antje Bultmann Lemke Collection Relating to Albert Schweitzer

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: PRB
Date: 4 Nov 2010

Biographical History

Antje Bultmann Lemke (b. 1918) is a German-American librarian and Schweitzer scholar. In addition to her long career as a librarian and teacher, she has worked for many years to ensure the preservation and documentation of Schweitzer's work.

Lemke's father, noted theologian Rudolf Bultmann, was a friend and admirer of Schweitzer's, and Lemke herself intended to become a doctor. However, acceptance to medical school in Germany at that time required membership in the Nazi Party, which Lemke refused to consider. Instead, she earned a degree in Library Science from the University of Leipzig, all the while using her position as librarian to assist those escaping Germany and passing information between members of anti-Nazi resistance organizations, putting her life in jeopardy on more than one occasion.

In 1949 she came to the United States, and shortly thereafter was hired as Art and Music Librarian by Syracuse University (SU). She remained at SU for more than thirty years, as librarian and later as a teacher in the university's School of Library and Information Science. In addition to her teaching, she translated into English two of Schweitzer's books: Out of My Life and Thought: An Autobiography and The Albert Schweitzer-Helene Bresslau Letters, 1902-1912. The Antje Bultmann Lemke Seminar Room, located in SU's Special Collections Research Center, is named for her.

In 1973 Lemke met Erica Anderson, creator of the 1959 Oscar-winning documentary "The Life and Times of Albert Schweitzer." The two became friends, and Lemke became involved in Anderson's work with the Albert Schweitzer Friendship House, eventually serving ten years as President of its Board of Directors. When the ASFH sold its house and property in the 1990s, Lemke was instrumental in the transfer of Anderson's photographic archive to Syracuse University. She also donated her father's correspondence with Schweitzer to Syracuse University, and persuaded her long-time friend Rhena Schweitzer Miller, Schweitzer's daughter, to deposit Schweitzer's own papers there as well.

[Portions of this biographical sketch adapted from "The Antje Lemke Endowed Fellowship," on the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship website at]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Antje Bultmann Lemke Collection Relating to Albert Schweitzer consists of writings, correspondence and subject files relating to various Schweizer organizations and Schweitzer events, and a few miscellaneous items.

Writings relate almost entirely to Lemke's translations of Schweitzer's books, Out of My Life and Thought: An Autobiography and The Albert Schweitzer-Helene Bresslau Letters, 1902-1912. This series includes manuscripts, drafts, research notes, proof copies and other related material.

Schweitzer organization files contain correspondence, publicity, photographs, and other items to and from the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Deschapelles, Haiti; Albert Schweitzer Friendship House (later Albert Schweitzer Center); Association Internationale de L’Oeuvre du Docteur Albert Schweitzer de Lambaréné (AISL); Albert Schweitzer Fellowship; Archives Centrales Albert Schweitzer; and others.

Schweitzer theme events include material relating to symposia, coursework, workshops, and more.

Miscellanea contains papers relating to the Schweitzer collections at Syracuse University and elsewhere, a poster for the Schweitzer Friendship House, and a charcoal portrait of Schweitzer by an unknown artist.

Helene Schweitzer original material includes journals spanning more than forty years, correspondence, and family memorabilia.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection has received minimal processing. Most remains in original order, and in the original file folders as donated. The inventory below is a simple box list.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has extensive holdings relating to Albert Schweitzer. To locate all relevant manuscript material, the researcher should search our holdings; please refer to the SCRC Subject Index and search for "Schweitzer." To locate monographs and other published works, please refer to the Classic Catalog

Collections of particular interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

Subject Headings


Bresslau, Helene, 1879-1957.
Lemke, Antje Bultmann.
Schweitzer, Albert, 1875-1965.

Corporate Bodies

Albert Schweitzer Fellowship .
Archives Centrales Albert Schweitzer.
Association Internationale de L'Oeuvre du Docteur Albert Schweitzer de Lambaréné.
Hôpital Albert Schweitzer.

Associated Titles

Out of my life and thought: an autobiography.
The Albert Schweitzer-Helene Bresslau letters 1902-1912.


Missionaries, Medical.

Genres and Forms

Manuscripts (document genre)
Research notes.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Antje Bultmann Lemke Collection Relating to Albert Schweitzer,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Antje Bultmann Lemke, 2010.

Table of Contents

Writings by Antje Bultmann Lemke

Schweitzer organization files

Schweitzer theme events


Helene Schweitzer original material