ZWEIG COLLECTION AT REED LIBRARY: HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION
The story of the Stefan Zweig Collection at the State University of New York College at Fredonia (SUNY College at Fredonia) must inevitably begin with the late Dr. Robert Rie (1904-1981). A native of Austria with a Doctor of Law degree from the University of Vienna, Robert Rie fled his homeland after the Anschluss, and via Italy and France came to the United States on December 21, 1938. After having taught at various schools and colleges throughout the country, in 1963 Rie joined the faculty of SUNY College at Fredonia as professor of German language in the College's Foreign Languages Department.
Rie's association with Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) goes back to the time of the beginning of World War I. In 1915, in the company of his mother, Therese Rie-Andro (1879-1934), a well-known writer in her time, he met Stefan Zweig in Vienna for the first time. The acquaintance later turned into a long-lasting friendship. In 1938, while still in London (England), Stefan Zweig wrote an excellent reference for Robert Rie, noting, among other qualifications, Rie's "universal knowledge in matters of history and literature which would enable him to be an excellent teacher and lecturer."
Before and after the marriage in 1920 of Friderike von Winternitz (1882-1971) to Stefan Zweig, Rie had been a guest of Zweig's at Rodaun and later at Zweig's "villa" at Salzburg's Kapuzinerberg. At that time he also met Friderike's two daughters from her first marriage: Elizabeth and Susan von Winternitz. Contacts between Rie and Friderike Zweig and her daughters were resumed and intensified after all of them settled down in the United States: Rie in Fredonia, Friderike Zweig and her daughters first in New York City and later in Stamford, Connecticut.
In 1950, Friderike Zweig introduced Rie to Dr. Harry Zohn, professor of German language and literature at Brandeis University. A few years later, in 1957, Zohn, Erich Fitzbauer and Rie founded the International Stefan Zweig Society (Internationale Stefan Zweig Gesellschaft) in Vienna, Austria.
When Stefan Zweig and his second wife, Charlotte (Lotte) Zweig-Altmann died in 1942 in a suicide pact in Brazil, Zweig's literary estate was inherited by Dr. Eva Alberman, the niece of Charlotte Altmann, and, partially, by Friderike Zweig. Dr. Richard Friedenthal (1896-1979) was designated by the Albermans as the executor of Zweig's literary estate.
At the time when Robert Rie arrived at Fredonia (1963), the College was in process of developing and expanding liberal arts programs which badly needed appropriate library collections and other resources. During the mid-sixties (1963-1967) the College Library had no special collections nor notable holdings in German-Austrian literature. Only a few titles of Stefan Zweig works in English translation were in the Library's general collection. What follows from here on is a more or less chronological sequence of events in result of which there is NOW a remarkable collection of Stefan Zweig materials--print and manuscript--at the College's Reed Library.
During his early years at Fredonia (1963-1965) Rie resumed and maintained correspondence with Friderike Zweig in Stamford. Already in 1964 he was planning to invite Friderike to Fredonia for a lecture on "Stefan Zweig as a librettist to the late Richard Strauss." The lecture was to be given to the members of the German Club of Fredonia College for which Rie served as a faculty advisor. In his "Recollections with Regard to Stefan Zweig" (unpublished interview, n.d.) Rie tells that in 1965, Dr. Lucian Minor, Chairman of the Modern Languages Department, called him to the office and told him "that Dr. Lanford [President of the College] wanted the College to gain an international dimension." Rie further notes that, in this context, he had suggested that the College acquire Stefan Zweig materials.
Rie apparently must have known that Friderike Zweig was considering selling some of her archival (manuscript) possessions. However, the College needed to know what exactly was offered for sale and what were the conditions of the sale. To that end Rie wrote a letter to Friderike Zweig asking for a description of materials: namely, the number of letters, their provenance and the dates of the literary archives. A few months later the College Librarian, Dr. Emerson Jacob, followed up with a letter to Friderike Zweig indicating that the "College Library is interested in a Stefan Zweig Center and in purchasing letters by the late author which you might wish to sell." In the meantime, an ad hoc committee consisting of Robert Rie, Robert Nossen, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Emerson Jacob, College Librarian, was established to study the feasibility of acquiring the manuscripts of the Stefan Zweig-Friderike Zweig correspondence and establishing a Stefan Zweig Center at the College Library.
Friderike Zweig, in her letter to Emerson Jacob dated April 8, 1967 wrote that she was "delighted to hear that Fredonia College intends to establish a Stefan Zweig Center," and that she "would be willing to sell the letters published at Scherz Verlag, Bern, and Hastings House, NY," noting that "in view of the purpose" she would sell the letters for $2,800 and that "to make the center still more interesting" [she] would donate letters of friends of Stefan Zweig and other items.
At the request of Robert Hesse, Executive Assistant to the President, Rie submitted an outline of his proposal for the establishment of a "Stefan Zweig Center" at the College's Library. In his proposal, he points out that "because of my personal friendship with the late Stefan Zweig and his living first wife I thought that this great author--under all circumstances the only type of ‘grand ecrivain' German literature ever had--would be a given object for a Center." As to the physical facilities for the Center, Rie suggested "one room in our new Library, dedicated to the author." Furthermore, Rie also proposed that Friderike Zweig be invited to the campus for the celebration of her 85th birthday on December 4, 1967, and for the inauguration of a "Stefan Zweig Center" at Fredonia at the same time.
It appears that there was a consensus among the members (Rie, Nossen, Jacob) of the ad hoc "Committee for a Stefan Zweig Center" that the acquisition of Stefan Zweig materials for the College Library and setting up a Zweig Center in the new Library was feasible and recommendable.
As Director of the College Library, Dr. Jacob initially was very much involved in ascertaining the rationale and providing justification for the purchase of Zweig's manuscript materials for the College. He consulted Dr. Randolph Klawiter of Notre Dame University, compiler of the Stefan Zweig bibliography, seeking his views in regard to the advisability of acquiring manuscript materials for a college library. According to Jacob, Klawiter's response was "favorable." Arrangements also were made with Adler's Foreign Books, Inc., for handling technicalities of the purchase. In August 1967, the President of the College at Fredonia, Dr. Oscar E. Lanford, approved the purchase of those Stefan Zweig-Friderike Zweig original (manuscript) letters which were published as Briefwechsel 1912-1942 by Scherz, Bern, 1951 and, in English translation, as Correspondence by Hastings House, N.Y., 1954. Subsequently, the letters were purchased at the price of $2,800.00. In Adler's Foreign Books' estimate "this figure constitutes a modest price and...this collection would...fetch [a] much higher amount if offered in the commercial market." Packed and "sealed" by Friderike Zweig on June 11, 1967, in the presence of Adler's representative, the letters eventually were shipped to the College at Fredonia and placed in the Library.
Arrangements were made by the College and Robert Rie for Friderike Zweig to visit the College and to have a special ceremony inaugurating the idea of a "Stefan Zweig Center" and acknowledging the transfer of some Zweig materials to the College. The ceremony took place on March 26, 1968. Present at the event and at a one-hour program were Thomas Nowotny, Austrian Deputy Consul General; Dr. Gotfried Heindl, Director of the Austrian Cultural Institute, New York City; Manfred Inger, Austrian actor; Dr. Harry Zohn; Dr. Robert Nossen; Dr. Oscar Lanford; Dr. Robert Rie; Mrs. Friderike Zweig; and others in the audience.
Immediately following the Friderike Zweig visit, the College Library experienced a severe administrative crisis resulting in the resignation of College Librarian Jacob. The severity of the crisis was further compounded by the impending move to the new library building, construction of which was to be completed within the next few months. There were no advance plans made for the move nor for the actual distribution of library collections in the new building. While the College administration undertook the search for a new director, President Lanford appointed John P. Saulitis as Acting Director effective May 31, 1968. Under such circumstances, the Library's involvement in Stefan Zweig collection development was temporarily interrupted. It also turned out that nobody on the library staff except Dr. Jacob was aware of the arrangements and commitments made by the College, Dr. Rie and Friderike Zweig. The published portion of the Stefan Zweig-Friderike Zweig correspondence acquired by the Library, together with some printed materials presented to the College by Friderike Zweig, were secured and, in February 1969, were placed in the special collections room in the new Daniel A. Reed Library. In the meantime, library holdings of Stefan Zweig materials were searched and documented. Once the new Library administration learned about the College's intentions to create a "Stefan Zweig Center," a tentative plan was adopted, both for the acquisition of Stefan Zweig's works in original edition and for the preservation and care of manuscript materials as acquired.
In reviewing and verifying the original manuscript letters and comparing them with the letters published in the German and English editions (Scherz, 1951, Hastings House, 1954, respectively), it was established that a significant number of letters had been edited, "excerpted" or not published at all. It was, therefore, of the utmost importance for the Library to complete its manuscript holdings of the Briefwechsel (Correspondence) by acquiring the remainder of the correspondence between Stefan and Friderike Zweig as well as other materials related to Stefan Zweig's life and works owned by Friderike Zweig.
Mrs. Zweig's visit to Fredonia and the ceremony inaugurating the idea of a "Stefan Zweig Center" at the SUNY College at Fredonia was much publicized locally (Western New York) and nationally. A number of scholars and Stefan Zweig enthusiasts sent their inquiries to Dr. Rie as well as to the Library seeking information about the collection and offering their personal materials to the Library. The scholarly interest in Zweig's works and his personality clearly was a compelling factor for the Library to intensify and to expand the acquisition of Stefan Zweig materials and to bring about a special collection of national and international significance. Toward that end Dr. Rie was a most valuable diplomat-agent, an "ambassador-at-large." It was Rie who brought to the attention of the new director of Reed Library actual and potential sources of Stefan Zweig materials as well as individuals interested in promoting and supporting creation of a Stefan Zweig Center at Fredonia. Most prominent among them were Dr. Harry Zohn of Brandeis University, Dr. Richard Friedenthal in London and, naturally, Friderike Zweig. Numerous other scholars, admirers, and contemporary acquaintances of Stefan Zweig donated editions of Stefan Zweig works in various languages as well as copies of other pertinent materials. However, most of the donated original works and secondary study materials came from the libraries of Harry Zohn and Richard Friedenthal. All gift materials in the collection are identified by Reed Library's gift plate.
While the Zweig collection of printed materials grew rapidly during the period 1968-1973, acquisition of not-yet-published parts of the Stefan Zweig-Friderike Zweig-Lotte Zweig correspondence was being deferred mainly for the reason that the Library had no exact knowledge about the quantity, contents and nature of the unpublished material. After Friderike Zweig's death on January 18, 1971, there seemed to be some uncertainty among the heirs of the Friderike Zweig estate, Susanne Hoeller and Elizabeth Stoerk, as to what to do with their mother's Nachlass. Dr. Rie also learned from the daughters that "they want to do nothing until Prof. Prater will have inspected literary files at Stamford."
Donald A. Prater of the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), the author of European of Yesterday; a Biography of Stefan Zweig (Oxford, 1972), arrived in Stamford in November 1972 "to investigate, classify and prepare for possible publication from the Nachlass of...Friderike Zweig."
While in Stamford, Mr. Prater contacted Dr. Rie and the College Library and made arrangements for a visit to the College to see the Library and its Zweig collection. Mr. Prater, accompanied by Susan Hoeller, came to Fredonia on December 7, 1972, and, during their two-day stay, met the new College President, Dr. Dallas K. Beal, the Library Director, John Saulitis, and the library staff members involved in Special Collections projects. During the visit, Mrs. Hoeller presented the Library with several books authored by her mother, Friderike Zweig. Library future plans with regard to the Stefan Zweig Collection were discussed and explained, indicating that the Library would be happy to include in its Special Collections the works and literary archive of Friderike Zweig. It was also made clear that the Library wished to acquire the original, not-yet-published portions of the Stefan-Friderike-Lotte Zweig correspondence held by the heirs of Friderike Zweig's estate in Stamford.
Upon his return to Stamford, Mr. Prater completed his investigation and classification of Friderike Zweig's Nachlass, organizing it in eight sections with separate appendices for each section. The unpublished correspondence between Stefan-Friderike-Lotte Zweig, of immediate interest and importance to the Stefan Zweig Collection at Fredonia, appeared in Appendices IV A and IV B. Mr. Prater's Report was a most useful and valuable document on the basis of which to initiate selective acquisitions of Stefan Zweig materials from the Friderike Zweig Nachlass.
About two months after Prater's and Hoeller's visit to Fredonia, Saulitis received a letter from Elizabeth Stoerk (sister of Susanne Hoeller), offering for sale the unpublished portion of Stefan Zweig-Friderike Zweig-Lotte Zweig correspondence at a price of $12,500 (40.000 DM as valued by J. A. Stargardt of Marburg, Germany). Since the Library had no funds for such special purchases and, yet, since the manuscript portion offered for sale, in form and content, was an integral part of the Stefan Zweig Correspondence already in Reed Library's manuscript collection, the Director of the Library recommended that the College administration accept the offer made by the daughters of Friderike Zweig and seek funding from the SUNY central administration. Along with the recommendation, Saulitis outlined the history of the Zweig Collection and its rationale, noting the visibility it had gained and the support it had received from scholars at home and abroad.
In the meantime, Mrs. Stoerk and Mrs. Hoeller were informed that the Library had made its recommendation to President Beal, expecting that the purchase would be approved by SUNY. Arrangements also were made for the Director of the Library to visit Mrs. Stoerk and Mrs. Hoeller at their Stamford home to inspect the materials (unpublished correspondence) for sale and to discuss "some details" (inclusions and exclusions) of their offer. The visit took place on April 18, 1973. During the visit there was a mutual understanding that, for the time being, only unpublished parts of the correspondence were considered for sale as listed by Prater on Appendices IV A and IV B. Other materials would be handled at the pleasure of the heirs. It was hinted by Mrs. Hoeller that donations from the Nachlass might be forthcoming some time in the future with no specific commitments made at this meeting. At this point it appeared that all principal issues were resolved and the purchase could have been accomplished as agreed by both parties (Reed Library and the heirs of the Friderike Zweig estate). However, the College administration was unable at that time to come up with money necessary for the purchase. Only a year later, in June 1974, the College received the State's authorization for the payment of $12,500 to the heirs of Friderike Zweig to acquire the remaining manuscript portion of the Stefan Zweig-Friderike Zweig-Lotte Zweig correspondence. The purchase was executed on July 9, 1974. The Director of Reed Library received the materials as described in Prater's Appendices IV A and IV B and hand-carried them to Reed Library where they were added to the existent Stefan Zweig Collection. Included among the materials in this purchase was a sealed envelope containing Stefan Zweig-Friderike Zweig and Lotte Zweig correspondence during the Stefan Zweig/Friderike Zweig divorce proceedings. The envelope was to remain sealed during the lifetime of Friderike Zweig's heirs, Susanne Hoeller and Elizabeth Stoerk.
While the Library was experiencing ups and downs in its efforts to acquire materials from the Friderike Zweig Nachlass, Robert Rie was seeking access to the Stefan Zweig literary estate for which Richard Friedenthal, as previously noted, was designated executor. Already in July, 1968, Rie had informed Robert Nossen, Vice President for Academic Affairs about his correspondence with Friedenthal, noting Friedenthal's favorable attitude with regard to establishing a Stefan Zweig center at Fredonia, as well as Friedenthal's willingness to arrange a meeting with the actual heir to the Stefan Zweig estate, Dr. Eva Alberman. In subsequent communications Rie suggested to Friedenthal that he consider Reed Library at Fredonia as a suitable depository of books and manuscripts pertaining to the life and works of Stefan Zweig. In addition to the regular exchange of letters, Rie, on his annual trips to Europe, occasionally visited Friedenthal at his residence in London. During one such visit in May, 1973, arrangements were made for Rie to meet the Albermans at their residence in London. This two-hour meeting took place on May 26, and, literally and virtually, opened the door to the Stefan Zweig archives held by Eva Alberman. Rie explained to Dr. Alberman and her husband Reed Library's interest in expanding its Stefan Zweig Collection and its ability to house and to preserve memorial donations of literary manuscripts for future studies and scholarly research.
During the following three years (1973-1975) the subject of acquiring Stefan Zweig archives held by Eva Alberman was kept alive and under discussion. Richard Friedenthal and Donald Prater, through their personal contacts with the Albermans, fully supported and actively promoted the idea of transferring Stefan Zweig materials to the College at Fredonia. However, Rie learned from the Albermans that they had been approached by other universities wishing to obtain Stefan Zweig materials for their libraries and that the Albermans had been very much interested in the Hebrew National and University Library "to which they have made generous donations." It is most likely that Dr. Alberman was aware that Stefan Zweig in 1933 secretly transferred about 1400 original letters addressed to him by 47 important European writers to the Hebrew National and University Library in Jerusalem. It is therefore understandable that the heirs of the Stefan Zweig estate may have had some hesitation and reservation in deciding which institution should receive the Stefan Zweig materials in their possession. Finally, in June 1974, the Library received word from Robert Rie, who was in London at that time, that the Albermans had agreed to donate most of the letters written to Stefan Zweig during the period 1901-1942 to the Library of the College at Fredonia. On Friedenthal's suggestion that some sort of formal agreement be drafted with regard to this gift transaction to Reed Library, Director John Saulitis and Robert Rie drafted the "agreement" to be signed by Dr. Alberman, and by the President of the SUNY College at Fredonia, Dr. Dallas K. Beal. In this document the College at Fredonia was named the recipient of the Stefan Zweig literary archives as selected by the heir for inclusion in the already existent Zweig Collection held and maintained by Reed Library. Reed Library was to assume responsibility for transportation expenses, cataloging and/or indexing of materials and providing Dr. Alberman with a copy of the inventory of materials cataloged and/or indexed. Furthermore, Reed Library was to provide, upon request by the heir and with the consent of the Library Director, photocopies of certain specified archival materials free of charge. With the conclusion of this agreement, the materials referred to in this document were to become property of Reed Library--i.e., property of the State University of New York as a gift from Dr. Eva Alberman. The transfer of ownership to Reed Library had no bearing on copyrights applicable to the materials transferred. The agreement was signed by President Beal on September 1, 1975, and, in the presence of Robert Rie, by Eva Alberman in London on November 14, 1975. It was a great day for Rie and all those involved in making this gift possible!
With the agreement signed, the next step was to have materials packed and secured for shipment. Mr. Richard Blackwell of Oxford (England), who had earlier assisted Friedenthal with the transportation of books donated to Reed Library, was asked, and he agreed, to provide his company's services to Eva Alberman in preparing and shipping the materials to the Library. However, before releasing materials for shipment, Dr. Alberman felt it necessary to review the Stefan Zweig literary archives and to set aside for her retention those materials which, reportedly, consisted of "purely private and personal family correspondence involving still living individuals." In other words, Dr. Alberman decided not to release the correspondence between Stefan Zweig, Friderike Zweig and Lotte Zweig dealing with Stefan Zweig's divorce and his second marriage. For this and some other reasons (Friedenthal's illness) over which Reed Library had no control, the actual shipment of materials occurred sixteen months after the agreement was signed (November 1975 to March 1977 was the time period involved).
As soon as the Zweig materials arrived at Reed Library (March 14, 1977), the Library staff, under Ms. Joanne Schweik's supervision, went about the task to sort, prepare an inventory, and to record item by item individual letters found in the Stefan Zweig files. It seems important to note at this time that, except for the executor of the Zweig literary estate, Richard Friedenthal, and the heir, Eva Alberman, nobody else had an idea as to the exact contents of Stefan Zweig's correspondence files in London. Therefore, what Reed Library received in the Alberman "gift package" by far surpassed all expectations on the part of the College and Library administrations. The gift consisted of thousands of letters, postcards and numerous mementos from 332 individuals representing "a wide circle from the artistic and intellectual milieu during the first 40 years of the twentieth century"--all addressed to Stefan Zweig. In sum, the quantity of materials is expressed in figures as follows:
4341 individual letters
400 other materials (telegrams, calling cards, poems, etc.)
The time covered by the correspondence comprised the years 1901-1942. There were no materials in Stefan Zweig's own hand.
The inventory prepared by the library task force was compiled in three parts, that is, three separate alphabetical listings by the names of correspondents. The rationale for a tripartite inventory was derived from the fact that the correspondence was received from the original owner in that arrangement. The members of the task force involved in processing E. Alberman's gift and in compiling the inventory included Ms. Yvonne Wilensky, Librarian for Technical Processes, Ms. Gerda Morrissey, translator/interpreter, Ms. Jean Callagee, secretary/special collections, Laura Cirrincione, student assistant, and Ms. Schweik. The work was accomplished in six weeks and on May 4, 1977, a copy of the inventory was mailed to Dr. Alberman in fulfillment of #3 of the agreement. Subsequently, Kenneth W. Rendell of Rendells, Inc., dealers in autograph letters and manuscripts, was commissioned to undertake an evaluation of the monetary worth of the Alberman gift as described and enumerated in the inventory. Mr. Rendell assessed the gift at $125,000.
Since SUNY regulations require that acceptance of a gift valued at $5,000.00 or more must be "authorized" by the SUNY Board of Trustees, President Beal requested and received the appropriate authorization in the form of a resolution adopted by the Trustees on September 28, 1977.
It is fitting that this resolution, which broadly wraps up the accomplishment of Robert Rie's "mission to London" be quoted here in full as follows:
State University of New York
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12210
Authorization to accept the correspondence comprising the Stefan Zweig Archives on behalf of the State University College at Fredonia in accordance with the deed of gift dated September 1, 1975 from Dr. Eva Alberman.
Whereas State University College at Fredonia has heretofore established the Stefan Zweig Collection at Reed Library consisting of books, articles, letters and correspondence by and about Stefan Zweig; and
Whereas the College at Fredonia has received from Dr. Eva Alberman the Stefan Zweig Archives consisting of letters to Stefan Zweig from various correspondents covering the period 1901-1942; now, therefore, be it
Resolved that the correspondence comprising the Stefan Zweig Archives, be and hereby is, accepted with grateful appreciation on behalf of the State University College at Fredonia and the same shall be used and maintained by the College in accordance with the deed of gift dated September 1, 1975 from Dr. Eva Alberman; and, be it further
Resolved that this Board expresses special appreciation to Professor Emeritus Robert Rie of the State University College at Fredonia for his invaluable contributions in establishing and developing the Stefan Zweig Collection.
As the Library was about to complete the documentation of Stefan Zweig's archive received from Dr. Alberman, Robert Rie brought to the Library Director's attention the obituary from the Aufbau announcing that Alfred Zweig, brother of Stefan Zweig, had died in New York City on July 19, 1977, at the age of 97. It was a sad surprise and an embarrassing situation because nobody at the College or at the Library had any knowledge that Stefan Zweig's brother had been living in New York for almost forty years. If Robert Rie knew about it, he never mentioned it. At Rie's urging, Library Director Saulitis tried to contact survivors at the Alfred Zweig residence. It was learned that there were no survivors in direct line and that Alfred's wife, Stephanie, born Duschak, had died a few weeks earlier (June 30, 1977). It was also learned that Alfred Zweig's estate had been placed in trust and that John P. Reiner and William W. Reiner, Attorneys at Law, were designated executors of his estate. Saulitis contacted the executors, informing them about the Library's Stefan Zweig Collection and suggesting, for consideration, placement of Alfred Zweig's family archives with Reed Library. The suggestions were favorably received and the trustees agreed to have Alfred and Stephanie Zweig's family archives given to Reed Library at a nominal price ($100.00). The archive was signed out to Reed Library on October 25, 1979.
Among the books, pamphlets, newspaper clippings and family papers, the archive included letters of Stefan, Friderike and Charlotte Zweig to Alfred and Stephanie Zweig, family albums and the Stammbaum der Familie Zweig (Zweig Family Tree) dating back to 1750.
With the acquisition of the Alfred Zweig archive, it seemed that all accessible Stefan Zweig family sources had been explored and that the literary archives from those sources had been tapped by Reed Library to the extent the heirs of the respective estates were willing to release them.
As indicated earlier in this story, Stefan Zweig, personally, chose to place his letters from 47 European writers in the Hebrew National and University Library (HNUL) in Jerusalem. It is also known that other correspondents have entrusted their Stefan Zweig letters and other relevant materials to HNUL. Furthermore, another major portion of Zweig's estate was given to the British Library as a gift "consisting of 203 items, most of which are music manuscripts often autographed by or in the hand of their composer, and also including autographs from literary figures of Zweig's time and acquaintance." Reed Library corresponds with these two major library depositories and conducts exchanges as needed.
It seems necessary, at this point, to pause for a moment and to reflect briefly on the indefatigable Robert Rie. After having crisscrossed the Atlantic on various missions and having visited Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland and England, everywhere spreading the "good news" about the Stefan Zweig Center at Fredonia, New York, Rie must have felt an inner need, if not an obligation, to pay personally a homage to his "friend and teacher," Stephen Zweig, entombed in Petropolis, Brazil. Thus, it was not surprising to receive a letter from Brazil, in which Rie told about his visit to "the tomb of Stefan and Lotte Zweig" on March 13, 1979. In the same letter, he told about his meeting with two individuals who had known Stefan Zweig during the Zweigs' sojourn in Brazil: Dr. Arnold H. Neufeld of Petropolis and Dr. Austregesilo de Athayde, President of the Academia Brasileira de Lettras in Rio de Janeiro. Both gentlemen, according to Rie, were interested in future contacts with Reed Library. Occasionally Robert Rie would bring from his trips a "small gift" for the Library collection. This time the gift was two issues of Revista de Academia Brasileira, vols. 51 and 63, containing a "homage to Stefan Zweig on August 25, 1936" (vol. 51), and the "eulogy after the tragedy of February, 1942" (vol. 63).
Along with various types of special materials (manuscripts, photographs, family papers, memorabilia) added to the Stefan Zweig Collection as they became available mostly from Zweig family sources, Reed Library was making a continuous, and consistent effort to expand and to enrich the collection by acquiring books by and about Stefan Zweig, as well as relevant journal and newspaper articles from the "in-print" and "out-of-print" markets. The Library also greatly benefited from the generosity of the authors of current studies having Stefan Zweig for their subject. A "complimentary copy" in most instances would come from those scholars who had used the Reed Library's Stefan Zweig Collection for their research. By the end of the decade of the seventies Reed Library could justifiably claim to have the largest Stefan Zweig Collection in North America and one among the largest collections worldwide.
While the collection showed a steady growth and the use of the collection by scholars continued to increase, the space, originally allocated for housing, preserving and serving the Stefan Zweig materials was getting filled to its capacity. Time had come for the Stefan Zweig Collection to have a room of its own.
During the spring of 1979, the SUNY College at Fredonia initiated a plan for a three-day symposium to be convened in 1981 to mark the centennial of Stefan Zweig's birth (11/28/1881). Actually, the author of the plan was Dr. Marion Sonnenfeld, professor of German language and literature in the College's Foreign Languages Department. The theme for the symposium was entitled: The World of Yesterday's Humanist Today. A special committee for the Stefan Zweig centennial was formed, consisting of Dr. Oscar E. Remick, Dean for Arts and Humanities; Dr. John (Jack) Cogdill, Chair, Department of Theatre Arts; Harry John Brown, University Professor (Music Department); John P. Saulitis, Director of Libraries; Yvonne Wilensky, Librarian, Technical Services; and Dr. Sonnenfeld, Symposium Coordinator.
The committee's task was to plan, develop and implement campus-based symposium enrichments such as performance of a Reader's Theatre version of Zweig's Thersites, a Zweig in Concert program with selections from Richard Strauss's Die schweigsame Frau (libretto by Stefan Zweig) conducted by Harry John Brown, and the Library's program featuring the Stefan Zweig Collection at Reed Library.
The symposium plan was enthusiastically endorsed and supported by the College Administration and by President Beal, particularly. Responsibility for the academic side of the symposium, its form and content, was assumed by Dr. Sonnenfeld and assisted by Ms. Wilensky. The other campus-based projects became the responsibility of the participating departments: Music, Theatre Arts and the Library.
As for the Library project, there seemed to be no better way to feature the Stefan Zweig Collection than to place it in a more suitable facility--a room that would have controlled access, security for special materials (manuscripts) and an environment conducive to study and research. Everyone on the Zweig centennial committee enthusiastically supported this course of action, considering it as a most fitting project for the occasion: highlighting the Stefan Zweig Collection in a specially designed and dedicated room. Such a room had been envisioned by Robert Rie already in 1968 when he made his proposal to the College Administration. After studying various possibilities, the Library administration made a recommendation that the Library section (Room 004) used then as "closed stacks" for special materials (rare, unique editions, expensive art books, over-size materials, etc.) be partitioned and one part of it redesigned and converted into a special collections room dedicated to Stefan Zweig. Vice President J. Carter Rowland and President Beal approved the project with the proviso that the opening of the Stefan Zweig room be part of the symposium program in 1981. A good number of campus and off-campus workers were involved in the project. Structural changes and carpentry work were accomplished by the College's maintenance crew. The interior design and furnishings were provided by the College's "first lady," Mrs. Dallas K. (Kris) Beal, in consultation with other individuals participating in the project: Dr. Sonnenfeld, Dr. Rie, Harriet Saveth, Charlotte Morse and Ms. Wilensky. The Friends of Reed Library organization, as co-sponsor of the project, provided money to cover the cost of materials not available from campus resources. Some artwork was donated by the Friends of Reed Library: a painting, done specially for the Zweig room, entitled View of Salzburg by Monika Rich of New York City; a decorative glass vase; donated by Ms. Nancy Conklin of Silver Creek, New York; and framing costs covered by Ms. Sibylla Sonnenfeld of Fredonia, New York. Destined to supplement the Zweig room's decor and style were the art works donated earlier by Dr. Harry Zohn, namely: A Girl with a Tambourine by Georgian painter Niko Pirosmanashvili (1863-1919), a woodcut on a biblical theme by Ludwig Schwerin, and a print of Old Vienna. Also a copy of a portrait of Zweig done by Ludwig Schwerin in 1931 and donated by Donald Prater in 1976 was assigned to the Zweig room.
The Stefan Zweig room was completed as planned and designed, and the collection of Zweig materials was moved to the new facility just in time for the opening of the Zweig Centennial Symposium. On the evening of March 30, 1981, with most of the Symposium participants present, the Stefan Zweig room was formally presented to the College by the President of Friends of Reed Library, James Cummings.
On behalf of the College, Vice President Rowland acknowledged the presentation, and, by cutting the blue and gold ribbon, "opened" the room henceforth to be known of as the Stefan Zweig Room of Reed Library. Special guests at the opening ceremony, hosted by the Director of Reed Library and his staff, were Dr. Fritz Cocron, Director of the Austrian Cultural Institute, Dr. Harry Zohn of Brandeis University, Dr. Rie, Dr. Sonnenfeld, Mrs. Beal, and Mr. Cummings.
The Stefan Zweig Centennial Symposium brought to the Fredonia College campus thirty participants from across the United States, Europe (England, Austria), Latin America (Brazil) and Canada. It was the largest scholarly gathering in the College's history, having the international dimension which the former President of the College, Dr. Lanford, had advocated and which Dr. Rie had associated with the personality and writings of Stefan Zweig. The quality of the scholarly papers presented at the symposium is evident in the proceedings published by the SUNY Press in 1981. Perhaps it is superfluous to add that the Zweig Centennial Symposium at Fredonia was noticed, among other places, by Le Mondeand by the editors of Modern Austrian Literature.
Publicity and public relations are important assets in building and enriching special collections at any institution. Reed Library was very fortunate to have on its staff a writer, Joanne Schweik, who possessed the knowledge and skill to present and intelligently interpret the Library's special collections to the College faculty and to the general public. Stefan Zweig was not a "household word" at Fredonia. And yet, in time, the Stefan Zweig Collection became the favorite project supported financially by the Friends of Reed Library, an organized body of library-oriented and dedicated individuals on the College's faculty and in the community at large. With Ms. Schweik's assistance, the Library published in 1974 Zweig's Thanks to Books, a fly-sheet, hand-lettered by Ms. Jean Callagee of the Library staff and distributed among the Friends of Reed Library and among the College faculty. A year later the Friends of Reed Library published the English version of Stefan Zweig's Abschied von Rilke, originally translated by Marion Sonnenfeld and first published in the Geprägte Form; Festschrift für Robert Rie. The Friends' edition in book form, with a "Preface" by Ms. Schweik and an "Afterword" by Dr. Sonnenfeld, and with illustrations by Ursula Joseph, was published as a limited edition of 750 copies and offered for sale mostly to college and university libraries in the United States. Proceeds from the sale were used to support other Stefan Zweig Collection projects. The main objective of the Friends, however, was to publicize Stefan Zweig's works and to enhance the Library's role in building and developing its Stefan Zweig Collection.
Since Reed Library uses the OCLC system for cataloging and interlibrary loan functions, information about the Library's holdings, including all cataloged Stefan Zweig materials, is available "on-line" to all OCLC member libraries and to individuals having access to the OCLC system. Manuscript materials and paraphernalia, although well-organized and inventoried, have been kept uncataloged. Only a small fraction of manuscript holdings have been reported to the National Union Catalog of Manuscripts. On the other hand, inquiries about the Library's manuscript holdings have been promptly answered with full information supplied by mail.
As Reed Library entered the 1980s, the Stefan Zweig Collection seemed to serve its goals quite well: it was accessible, it had rich resources for Zweig scholars, researchers and interested students here and abroad, and it had a room of its own commemorating the illustrious writer-humanist of the 20th century--Stefan Zweig. And Robert Rie must have experienced a profound feeling of accomplishment, for it was he who caused much of it to happen or saw it happening at Fredonia before he parted from this world, from the College he highly respected, from the Reed Library he loved, and from the friends he cherished. Robert Rie, Doctor and Professor Emeritus died at age 75 at his residence in Fredonia on April 18, 1981. Just three weeks earlier, he had taken an active part at the Stefan Zweig Centennial Symposium as coordinator of the section "Zweig--The Emigrant," and as master of ceremonies at the banquet.
In his testament, Robert Rie bequeathed his library, his personal papers and his correspondence to Reed Library with a stipulation that the papers and correspondence "not be read or displayed for a period of twenty years after [his] death." The Robert Rie archive was placed in lockable file cabinets in the manuscript section in the Stefan Zweig Room. With his death, the Library lost not only a friend and benefactor, but, distressingly, one of the motivating powers as far as the development of the Stefan Zweig Collection is concerned. Nevertheless, the Zweig Collection keeps growing in size and in services.
There was a natural surge of interest in Stefan Zweig in conjunction with several symposia held worldwide during the Zweig Centennial--at Lee College, Tennessee; London University, England; Ben Gurion and Beer Shiva, Israel; Metz, France and, of course, Fredonia, New York.
Meanwhile, Randolph Klawiter, in his paper presented at the Fredonia Symposium, reported that there exist several other major depositories housing Stefan Zweig manuscripts, such as the Deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach, the Ellen Key Archives in Stockholm, the Stadtbibliothek in Vienna, the Houghton Library at Harvard University, the Hebrew National and University Library in Jerusalem, and, perhaps, elsewhere. In addition, as Klawiter pointed out, "there are countless hundreds of letters in the collected correspondence of [Zweig's] friends, in articles about him, in newspaper reports, in the memoirs and autobiographies of acquaintances and other contemporaries and in private collections."
As to the future of Stefan Zweig research, Klawiter noted: "When one considers...the hundreds and hundreds of letters by and to Zweig which are scattered around the world, one is forced to the realization that this area of Stefan Zweig research has barely been tapped."
At this point it seems very fitting to rephrase Klawiter's statement in the form of a question: How much of the "iceberg" is Reed Library, that is, SUNY College at Fredonia, willing to tap in the future? That may be a good subject for continuing this story.
To those who helped me to gather the data and to refresh my memory: Franciska Safran, Joanne Schweik, Yvonne Wilensky and Gina Palermo--
thank you sincerely!
John P. Saulitis
Reed Library, Director Emeritus