The collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, notes, and ephemera regarding the lives and work of many German-speaking emigre artists in Southern California.
One focus of the collection are German Expressionist Theater director Leopold Jessner (1878-1945) and his brother-in-law, the actor and director Fritz Jessner (1889-1946), both of whom left Germany in the 1930s to escape the Nazi persecution of Jews. The collection also includes more extensive materials on Walter Wicclair, director William Dieterle, art-director Rudi Feld, Felix Jackson, the Mann family, Lion Feuchtwanger, and Elow as well as about the Jewish Club of 1933. Furthermore it contains transcripts of various conferences on exile studies, articles, presentations, interview transcripts, Wim Wenders screenplays, and data sheets Marta Mierendorff created about various exiled German-speaking artists.
The materials were collected by Marta Mierendorff (b. 1911), who was made Emeritus Research Professor in 1984 at USC.