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Collection Number: 01920

Collection Title: Samuel Aaron Tannenbaum Papers, 1857-1943.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.

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Size 1.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 375 items)
Abstract Samuel Aaron Tannenbaum was born in Hungary and immigrated to the United States in 1886. In 1898, he began practicing psychotherapy in New York City. He was widely recognized as a scholar of Shakespeare and his times. Chiefly correspondence, 1905-1943, between Tannenbaum and other specialists in 16th- and 17th-century English literature, including Joseph Quincy Adams (1881-1946), Horace Howard Furness (1865-1930), W. W. Greg (1875-1959), William Bailey Kempling, W. J. Lawrence (1862-1940), Arthur Huntington Nason (1877-1944), Ernest Henry Clark Oliphant (1862-1936), Charlotte Endymion Porter (1859-1942), Hyder Edward Rollins (1889-1958), M. H. Spielmann (1858-1948), Marie Charlotte Carmichael Stopes (1880-1958), and Charles William Wallace (1865-1932). Letters discuss Tannenbaum's interest in Shakespeare and his works, with particular emphasis on questions of disputed authorship, on Elizabethan theater productions, and on Shakespeare's handwriting and his sexual habits. Also included are letters relating to the Shakespeare Association, the Modern Language Association of America, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Among the small number of letters not relating to English literature are those from individuals in the field of psychology, including a 1908 letter from Sigmund Freud to E. A. Brill about arrangements for Freud's trip to Clark University; two 1913 letters from Sandor Ferenczi (1873-1933); one 1912 letter from James Jackson Putnam (1846-1918); and seven letters, 1918-1919, from Ernest Jones (1879-1958) about the establishment of an English language journal on psychoanalysis. There are also a few writings by Tannenbaum on literary and medical topics and a small number of photographs.
Creator Tannenbaum, Samuel Aaron, 1874?-1948.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Samuel Aaron Tannenbaum papers #1920, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Dorothy R. Tannenbaum of New York, N.Y., in 1954; transfer from the Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1983 (Acc. 83097).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Samuel Aaron Tannenbaum was born in Hungary around 1874. After immigrating to the United States in 1886, he studied at the College of the City of New York. In 1895, he became a citizen of the United States. In 1898, he received his M.D. degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and began practicing psychotherapy in New York City. Tannenbaum was twice married--in 1901, to Jeannette S. Rosett and, in 1942, to Dorothy Rosenzweig with whom he collaborated on several publications.

Tannenbaum's publications reflect his career in psychotherapy and his intense interest in Shakespeare and his times. Major works range from The Psychology of Accidents (1924) and The Patient's Dilemma (1935) to Problems in Shakespeare's Penmanship (1927) and Shakespearean Scraps and Other Elizabethan Fragments (1933). He contributed a great many articles to journals in the field of psychotherapy and the field of Shakespearean scholarship, serving for many years as the editor of the Shakespeare Association Bulletin.

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Chiefly correspondence, 1905-1943, between Tannenbaum and other specialists in the field of 16th- and 17th- century English literature, including Joseph Quincy Adams, Horace Howard Furness, W. W. Greg, William Bailey Kempling, W. J. Lawrence, Arthur Huntington Nason, Ernest Henry Clark Oliphant, Charlotte Endymion Porter, Hyder Edward Rollins, M. H. Spielmann, Marie Charlotte Carmichael Stopes, and Charles William Wallace. Letters discuss Tannenbaum's interest in Shakespeare and his works, with particular emphasis on questions of disputed authorship. Also included are letters about Tannenbaum's efforts to collect publications relating to Shakespeare and his times, and to the workings of such organizations as the Shakespeare Association, the Modern Language Association of America, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Among the small number of letters not relating to English literature are those from individuals in the field of psychology, including a 1908 letter from Sigmund Freud; two 1913 letters from Sandor Ferenczi; one 1912 letter from James Jackson Putnam; and seven letters, 1918-1919, from Ernest Jones about the establishment of an English language journal on psychoanalysis. There are also a few writings by Tannenbaum on literary and medical topics and a small number of photographs.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1857-1943 and undated.

About 840 items.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated.

About 820 items.

Chiefly correspondence, 1905-1943, between Tannenbaum and other specialists in the field of 16th- and 17th- century English literature. Some letters offer congratulations on the publication of pamphlets, books, and articles, but most deal with substantive issues. There are also four letters, 1857-1898, relating to the work of others on Shakespearean themes that appear to have been collected by Tannenbaum. Tannenbaum's correspondence starts in 1905 with letters between Tannenbaum and scholars in England and the United States about his investigation of Shakespeare's coat of arms. Among the early correspondents are Henry Sweet (1845-1912), Arthur Huntington Nason (1877-1944), John Louis Haney (1877- ), Sir Sidney Lee (1859-1926), Marie Charlotte Carmichael Stopes (1880-1958), Homer Baxter Sprague (1829-1918), A. C. Bradley (1851-1935), and Charles William Wallace (1865-1932). Letters to and from many of these scholars continue throughout the collection.

By 1910, Tannenbaum had become a prolific writer of books, articles, and pamphlets on Shakespeare and his times. Among these works were contributions to such journals as The Dial, for which he produced several reviews of books on Shakespeare. In the 1920s, Tannenbaum investigated the question of Shakespeare's sexual preference. He also was interested in authenticity issues surrounding Shakespeare's signature and handwriting, especially as these issues relate proving authorship.

In the 1930s, there are letters relating to the Shakespeare Society, the Modern Language Association of America, and the Folger Shakespeare Library, the dedication of which Tannenbaum attended in 1932. Among the correspondents from this later period are Horace Howard Furness (1865-1930), M. H. Spielmann (1858-1948), W. J. Lawrence, Thornton Shirley Graves (1883- ), Charlotte Endymion Porter (1859-1942), Arthur Acheson (1864- ), Ernest Henry Clark Oliphant (1962- ), Joseph Quincy Adams (1881-1946), W. W. Greg (1875-1959), Vincent Starrett (1886-1974), Charles Jaspar Sisson (1885-1966), William Bailey Kempling, Macleod Yearsley (1857-1951), and Hyder Edward Rollins (1889-1958).

Folder 1

1857-1898; 1905-1909 #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

1910-1916 #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

1917-1923 #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

1924 #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

1925 #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6

1926 #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 6

Folder 7

1927 January-August #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 7

Folder 8

1927 September-December #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 8

Folder 9

1928 January-July #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 9

Folder 10

1928 August- December #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 10

Folder 11

1929 January-April #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 11

Folder 12

1929 May-August #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 12

Folder 13

1929 September-December #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 13

Folder 14

1930 #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 14

Folder 15

1931 January-May #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 15

Folder 16

1931 June-September #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 16

Folder 17

1931 October-December #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 17

Folder 18

1932 #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 18

Folder 19

1933-1935 #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 19

Folder 20

1936-1937 #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 20

Folder 21

1938-1943 #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 21

Folder 22

Undated and fragments #01920, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence Relating to English Literature, 1857-1943 and undated." Folder 22

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. Other Correspondence 1908-1929.

About 20 items.

Correspondence chiefly relating to psychology and psychoanalysis. Included are a 1908 letter in German from Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) to E. A. Brill about arrangments for Freud's visit to Clark University; a 1912 letter from James Jackson Putnam (1846-1918); two 1913 letters in German from Sandor Ferenczi (1873-1933); and seven letters, 1918-1919, from Ernest Jones, chiefly about establishing an English-language journal of psychoanalysis.

Folder 23

Other Correspondence, 1908-1929 #01920, Subseries: "1.2. Other Correspondence 1908-1929." Folder 23

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Writings, 1916-1936 and undated.

About 25 items.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1. Writings on English Literature, 1926-1932 and undated.

About 20 items.

Miscellaneous short works on Shakespeare and related topics, including authentication of Shakespeare's signature, sexuality, and family. Most of the writings are typed and corrected drafts, but there are also a few reprints.

Folder 23-27

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

Folder 26

Folder 27

Writings on English Literature #01920, Subseries: "2.1. Writings on English Literature, 1926-1932 and undated." Folder 23-27

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2. Other Writings, 1916; 1936.

3 items.

Three reprints of articles by Tannenbaum: "Pollutions, A Psychoanalytic Study" (1916) from the American Journal of Urology and Sexology (see also Clyde Edgerton Papers) and "State Medicine" (1936) and "Medical Racketeering and Other Matters" (1936), both from the Medical Review of Reviews.

Folder 28

Other Writings #01920, Subseries: "2.2. Other Writings, 1916; 1936." Folder 28

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Pictures, 1935-1941.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, July 1992

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.

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