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Otto Heller Papers

Identifier: WUA-03-wua00261

This collection primarily contains materials related to Heller's scholarly work in modern European literature and literary criticism.


  • Creation: 1890-1961


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


4.00 linear feet

Biographical Information

Otto Heller was born in 1863 in the province of Saxony, Germany. After initial aspirations to be an actor, Heller attended the University of Prague, followed by the universities of Munich, Vienna, and Berlin. He came to the United States in 1883 as a tutor and secured the post of instructor in Greek at LaSalle College in Philadelphia in 1887. After receiving his doctor’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1890, he taught briefly at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before becoming a professor of German language and literature at Washington University in 1892. In 1914, Heller was made professor of modern European literature in addition to his original professorship, and in 1924 he became the first dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, a post he held until he became dean emeritus in 1937. Heller was married to Jean S. Blair Heller. He was an active and well respected critic of literature as well as being a writer himself.  His publications include “Henrik Ibsen, Play and Problems,” “Studies in Modern Literature,” “Prophets of Dissent,” and many others. Otto Heller died July 29, 1941


This collection has been arranged into six series.

Series 1: Publications by Otto Heller -- includes scholarly works, in both English and German, arranged alphabetically by title.

Series 2: Book Reviews and Articles --  arranged by title of the review.

Series 3: Speeches and Radio Talks -- both published and unpublished; arranged alphabetically by title

Series 4: Personal Correspondence

Series 5:  Otto Heller Memorial Volumes

Series 6.  Miscellaneous

Method of Acquisition

This material was donated to the University Archives.

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Pabarcus in December 2005.

Otto Heller Papers
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 March 31: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the University Archives Collecting Area

Sonya Rooney
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495