Werner L. Gundersheimer (AC 1959) Papers
Scope and Contents
Correspondence, photographs, articles, awards and other materials documenting the academic and professional life of Werner L. Gundersheimer, educator, historian and past Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. Included are Dr. Gundersheimer's early school records, some of his undergraduate academic papers at Amherst College, scholarly articles on early Modern European history (and reviews of same), and awards received, including honorary degrees and memberships. Particularly noteworthy are two personal memoirs, one unpublished, on growing up as a German Jewish refugee in post-World War II America. The Folger Shakespeare Library material chiefly concerns events held there during Dr. Gundersheimer's tenure as Director, and invitations to Washington, D.C. receptions and dinners which Dr. Gundersheimer received; Series 2 (General Correspondence) also includes letters from appreciative and noteworthy patrons and supporters of the Library.
- Creation: 1940-2004
- Gundersheimer, Werner L. (AC 1959) (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
There is no restriction on access to the Werner L. Gundersheimer (AC 1959) Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.
Conditions Governing Use
Requests for permission to publish material from the Werner L. Gundersheimer (AC 1959) Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.
Biographical / Historical
Werner L. Gundersheimer, historian, educator, and Director Emeritus of the Folger Shakespeare Library, was born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, in 1937. He emigrated to the United States at age 3, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1945. His chief field of scholarship is in European history, 1300-1600, with special emphasis on French and Italian intellectual, social and urban history.
Dr. Gundersheimer attended Amherst College, graduating in the Class of 1959. He received an M.A. (1960) and Ph.D. (1963) from Harvard University. He has held academic appointments (often visiting or adjunct) at numerous institutions including the University of Pennsylvania (1966-68, 1972-84) and Amherst College (1986-2002). Dr. Gundersheimer was appointed Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library in 1984. During his tenure (1984-2002), he addressed serious financial challenges caused in part by the recessionary inflation of the 1970s, initiating fund-raising and capital campaigns. Gundersheimer strengthened the core functions of cataloging and acquisitions, added scholarly fellowships, and placed a new emphasis on exhibitions as both scholarly endeavors and public outreach. At this time the library also completed the work of putting its catalog online.
1.5 Linear feet (1 record storage box, 1 archives box)
Language of Materials
Correspondence, photographs, articles, awards and other materials documenting the academic and professional life of Werner L. Gundersheimer, educator, European historian and past Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.
This collection is organized into seven series:
- Series 1: Amherst College
- Series 2: General Correspondence
- Series 3: Writings and Speeches
- Series 4: Folger Shakespeare Library
- Series 5: Awards
- Series 6: Photographs
- Series 7: Personal Affairs Including Juvenalia
- Finding Aid
- Peter A. Nelson
- Language of description
- Script of description