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Alexander Langsdorf Papers

Identifier: WUA-03-wua00110


  • 1893-1974


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.)


13.50 linear feet

Biographical Information

Alexander Suss Langsdorf, son of Adolph and Sarah (Suss) Lansgdorf was born August 31, 1877 in St. Louis, Missouri. Graduating from St. Louis High School in 1894, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Engineering at Washington University in 1898, and a M.M.E. [Masters of Mechanical Engineering] from Cornell University in 1901.

Alexander Langsdorf married Elsie Hirsh June 26, 1906 and had two children. Their daughter Helen (Shiman) (BS ’29) married and had three children, Paul, Elsa, and Steven.  Their son Alexander Lansdorf, Jr. (BS ’32) married Martyl Schweig (BS ’38) in 1941 and had two children, Suzanne and Alexandra (Sandie).

Alexander Suss Langsdorf served as a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Washington University from 1901 – 1910. He continued as a Professor of Engineering and served as Dean of the Washington University School of Engineering and Architecture from 1910 – 1920 and from 1929 – 1948. Between 1950 and 1973 Langsdorf served as a Professor Emeritus of Engineering.  Professor Alexander Suss Langsdorf died in St. Louis, November 9, 1973.

For further biographical information, see The Book of St. Louisans, edited by John W. Leonard (St. Louis: The St. Louis Republic, 1912), page 354.


This collection is organized into six series, as described below:

Series 01: University History.  Mainly concerns Langsdorf’s research for his unpublished history of Washington University, titled “The Story of Washington University” (arranged alphabetically by subject)

Series 02: Labor Arbitration Records (arranged alphabetically by client name)

Series 03: Consulting Records (arranged alphabetically by client name)

Series 04: Publications and Reprints. Includes speeches and addresses (arranged alphabetically by title)

Series 05: General Correspondence (arranged alphabetically by last name of correspondent)

Series 06: Miscellaneous Drawings

Series 07: Personal Papers (arranged alphabetically by subject)

Series 08: University Materials Honoring Professor Langsdorf (arranged alphabetically by subject)

For related materials, see also the Finding Aid for the Alexander Langsdorf Jr. Papers, a collection held by University Archives.

Method of Acquisition

This material was donated to University Archives. Additional material was donated by Alexandra Shoemaker (granddaughter of Alexander Langsdorf, Sr. and daughter of Alexander Langsdorf, Jr.) in November 2006. A recording of the Washington University’s chapter of the “St. Louis Story” as broadcast on October 5, 1952 and recording of Elsie Hirsh Langsdorf receiving the Eleanor Roosevelt Award donated by Alexandra Shoemaker in November 2011.

Accruals and Additions

Accruals are interfiled within the collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Pabarcus in September 2005. Updated by Miranda Rectenwald in November 2006. Updated by Sarah Schnuriger in February 2017.

Alexander Langsdorf Papers
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 May 13: 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