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Albert Schweitzer Papers

Assembled from a variety of sources, the Albert Schweitzer Papers spans the years 1896 to 1965 and comprises Correspondence, Writings and Memorabilia of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning humanitarian doctor (1875-1965). Of Alsatian background, Schweitzer spoke both French and German, and his notebooks and family correspondence move freely, at times randomly, between the two. In 1913 Albert Schweitzer relinquished a promising career as a theologian and musician to travel to French Equatorial Africa where he established a hospital at Lambaréné on the Ogowe River. Documenting Schweitzer's realization of his own philosophy of "reverence for life," the collection offers an intimate look at the thoughts and daily life of one of the most revered men of the twentieth century.

The collection includes correspondence (1901-1965); 123 notebooks (1918-1965); manuscript essays and lectures on religion, philosophy, and medicine; and sermons. Correspondence includes nearly 1400 letters between Schweitzer and wife Hélène Bresslau (1901-1939); 396 letters (1950-1965) written in German to Erica Anderson; 180 letters to daughter Rhena Schweitzer Miller; and 70 letters to various recipients, including 3 to Rudolf Bultmann. Notebooks document Schweitzer's daily life in Lambaréné, the diseases and stories of his patients, and the arrival of visitors to the mission. They also contain poems, quotations, excerpts from books on philosophy, religion, and history; clippings from French, German, English, and African newspapers; reports on world politics; and commentaries on himself and his work. 

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Related collections include the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Records, the Albert Schweitzer Center Records, and the Grant Foundation / Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Records