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Leopold von Ranke Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University


Finding aid created by: [Summit record]
Date: 2001-01-01



Biographical History

Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886) was a German historian and historiographer. He was highly influential in shaping the modern approach to history, emphasizing such things as reliance on primary sources, narrative history and international politics. He rejected the idea that each era is by definition superior to those that preceded it, as well as the idea of sweeping historical theories that attempt to encompass huge swathes of time and geography. His niece Amalie von Ranke was the mother of the British novelist and poet Robert Graves, whose full name was Robert von Ranke Graves.

Ranke's personal and professional library, consisting of more than 10,000 books, several hundred manuscripts and approximately 5 linear ft. of personal papers, was purchased for Syracuse University in 1887 and formed the nucleus of what is now the Syracuse University Special Collections Research Center (SCRC).

Theodor Weidemann, whose bibliographic aids about the Ranke Library are also included in the collection, was Ranke's amanuensis for the last fifteen years of his life.


Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Leopold von Ranke Papers consists of personal papers relating to Ranke, his wife Clarissa Graves Ranke, and their family and friends. The collection also contains extensive bibliographic material compiled by Theodor Wiedemann about Ranke's library and manuscript collection, as well as a few items that were laid in various volumes of Ranke's personal library and found during cataloging. These items are accompanied by a note indicating where they were found.

The collection is divided into series, possibly based on when items were acquired. The OA (original acquisition) series was part of the purchase of Ranke's library in 1887. The Z series was purchased at auction from Sotheby's in the 1970s. The meaning of the other series (X, Y, GNC) is unknown at this time. Each series contains similar types of material: correspondence, notes, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, photographs, poems and family letters.

Topics discussed in the letters include health advice, child-rearing practices, administration of the English Poor Laws (John T. Graves was a district administrator), British Parliamentary politics, literary criticism and news, reception of Ranke's work in Britain, and the possibility of a revolution in England and Ireland in 1848, among others.


Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is divided into series, possibly based on when items were acquired. Within that, material is in no particular order.


Restrictions

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.

Box 7, item GMC540, is restricted due to fragile condition. Researchers should use either the microfilm version of this item, or one of the two photocopies (GMC541 or GMC542, also in Box 7), NOT the originals.

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

The personal and professional library of Leopold von Ranke, consisting of more than 10,000 books, several hundred manuscripts and approximately 5 linear ft. of personal papers, was purchased for Syracuse University in 1887 and formed the nucleus of what is now the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at Syracuse University.

The personal papers comprise this collection, the Leopold von Ranke Papers.

The more than 10,000 volumes of Ranke's personal library, containing many works on historical, political and literary subjects dating from the 16th to 19th centuries and in numerous European languages, have been transfered to Rare Books for cataloging. They are accessible via the Classic Catalog .

The manuscripts, containing items in numerous languages dating back to the 16th century, comprise the Leopold von Ranke Manuscript Collection.

Items in the OA and GMC series are also available on microfilm.


Subject Headings

Persons

Graves family.
Ranke family.
Ranke, Clarissa von, 1801-1871.
Ranke, Leopold von, 1795-1886.
Wiedemann, Theodor, 1823-1901.

Subjects

Historians, Germany.

Genres and Forms

Bibliographies.
Correspondence.
Lecture notes.
Legal documents.
Manuscripts (document genre)
Memorabilia.
Photographs.
Poems.

Occupations

Historians.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Leopold von Ranke Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 1887.

Z series material purchase with Arents Fund, 5 November 1975.


Table of Contents

Original acquisition (OA) series

X Series

Y Series

GMC Series

Z series

Miscellaneous series


Inventory

Note on alternate formats:

Items in the OA and GMC series are also available on microfilm.