Dietrich Gerhard Papers
This collection consists of the personal papers of Dietrich Gerhard. Formats include original manuscripts (including a Niebuhr letter), correspondence, scraps of note paper, newspaper clippings, and various publications. Gerhard’s original order of arrangement, particularly with regards to the history lecture notes has been maintained whenever possible.
- Gerhard, Dietrich, 1896-1985 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
For details, contact the University Archivist at (314) 935-9730.
The collection is open to researchers with the exception of select personal letters from the following three (3) correspondence files and denoted as [RESTRICTED UNTIL 2025] on both this finding aid and in their respective locations:
1) Series 02: Personal and Professional Correspondence, Box 01 Adelson, Roger (1970-1980)
2) Series 02: Personal and Professional Correspondence, Box 02 Laue, Theodore H. (1969-1980)
3) Series 02: Personal and Professional Correspondence, Box 02 Lucas, Paul (1970-1981)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. (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.)
36 linear feet
36 boxes (1 oversized folder)
Dietrich Moritz Fritz Gerhard (b. Berlin, Germany November 7, 1896; d. Konstanz, Germany July 31, 1985) was both a specialist and prolific writer of the social and institutional histories of Western Europe, Russia, the British Empire, and the United States of America.
Gerhard is best known for his life-long research and early co-authored publication (with William Norvin) of the letters of Berthold Georg Niebuhrs (b. Copenhagen, Denmark August 27, 1776; d. Bonn, Germany January 31, 1831).
An expert on Roman antiquity, Niebuhr is considered to be the first European historian to devote his methodology to “taetige Skepsis” (or, ‘Constructive Skeptism’) in which only proven historic details are studied devoid of all mythical conjecture.
Gerhard and Norvin’s collaborative work entitled, Die Brief Berthold George Neibuhrs, (Volumes 1 and 2, 1926-29) was seen by contemporary scholars as novel in its comparative view of Niebuhr’s research methodology and the beginnings of modern historiography.
1896 Born in Berlin, Germany.
1914 Completed preparatory university exams at the Koeniglishes Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium, Berlin.
1914-1915 Studied philosophy at the Koeniglische Friederich-Wilhelms-Universitaet zu Berlin.
191- Served in the Imperial German Army.
1919-1920 Studied philosophy at the Badische Ruprecht-Karls-Universitaet Heidelberg.
1919-1924 Studied philosophy at the Koeniglische Friederich-Wilhelms-Universitaet zu Berlin.
1923 Finished doctoral thesis (on Niebuhr) at the Koeniglische Friederich-Wilhelms-Universitaet zu Berlin.
1924 Doctoral degree formally acknowledged by the Koeniglische Friederich-Wilhelms-Universitaet zu Berlin.
1923-1932 Received scholarship from the Rask Oersted Fund (Copenhagen, Denmark) to continue Niebuhr research.
1927-1929 Received a fellowship from the Rockenfeller Foundation to study in England.
1932-1933 Appointed as Lecturer of History at the Hochschule fuer Politik (Berlin, Germany)
1932-1936 Appointed as Private Lecturer (Am. = Assistant Professor) of History at Universitaet Berlin.
1936 Appointed as Guest Professor at Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts USA).
1936 Appointed as Professor of History at Washington University (Saint Louis, Missouri, USA).
1938 (Summer) Taught summer school at Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts USA).
1941 Applied for and was granted American Citizenship.
1944 (Summer) Taught summer school at Cornell University (Ithaca, New York USA)
1945 (Summer) Taught summer school at Cornell University (Ithaca, New York USA)
1948 (Summer) Taught summer school at Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts USA)
1950 (Summer) Appointed as Guest Professor at Universitaet Muenster, Germany.
1951 (Summer) Guest Professor at Universitaet Muenster, Germany.
1951-1952 Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for study in Europe.
1953-[ ] Named Chairman of the History Department at Washington University (Saint Louis, Missouri USA)
1954 (Summer) Appointed as Guest Professor at Universitaet Koeln, Germany.
1954-1955 Awarded a Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (Princeton, New Jersey USA)
1955-1961 Divided time between Washington University (Saint Louis, Missouri USA) as the William Smith Professor of History and Universitaet Koeln as Professor for American History and Director of the Amerika Institut (made Emeritus [at Koeln] in 1961).
1958-1961 Served as President of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Amerika Studien.
1961-1967 Served as Director of the Modern History Department at the Max-Planck-Institut fuer Geschichte (Goettingen, Germany).
1961-1967 Appointed as Honorary Professor of American history at Universitaet Goettingen (Germany).
1966 Retired from Washington University (Saint Louis, Missouri USA).
1970 Granted Emeritus status from Washington University (Saint Louis, Missouri USA)
1983 Moved to Konstanz, Germany.
1985 Died in Konstanz, Germany.
The collection has been divided into the following five (5) series:
Series 01: Personal and Professional Development (4 Boxes, Arranged Alphabetically by Subject)
Series 02: Personal and Professional Correspondence (3 Boxes, Arranged Alphabetically by Last/First Name, Institution, or City of Origin)
Series 03: History Lecture Notes (13 Boxes, Arranged Alphabetically by Subject)
Series 04: Referenced Publications (16 Boxes, Arranged Alphabetically by Last/First Name of Author, or Title of Written Work)
Series 05: Oversized Materials (1 Folder One item, Cross-Referenced from Series 03, Box 11)
Method of Acquisition
This material was donated to the University Archives by Professor and Mrs. Dietrich Gerhard in 1983.
Processed by Jay Kempen in April 1999. Updated by Sarah Pabarcus in January 2006.
- Dietrich Gerhard Papers
- Description rules
- Language of description
- 2021 March 25: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.
Collecting Area Details
Part of the University Archives Collecting Area
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
St. Louis MO 63130 US