Guggenheim (Felix) papers Edit

Summary

Identifier
0312
Finding Aid Author
Michaela Ullmann, data transfer by Nicolas Muellerleile
Finding Aid Date
2010
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of Description
English, German

Dates

  • 1941 – 1976 (Creation)

Extents

  • 100 Linear Feet (Whole)

Agent Links

Subjects

Notes

  • Abstract

    This collection comprises the business and private archives of literary agent and Pazifische Presse co-founder Felix Guggenheim (1904-1976). The collection includes private and business correspondence, and contracts with publishers, authors and other business associates between 1925 and 1986 (bulk 1940-1976). The collection also includes manuscripts, some photographs and book reviews of works by many of the authors Guggenheim represented. Authors of the German-speaking Exile community in Los Angeles are particularly well represented.

  • Biographical note

    Felix Guggenheim was born June 6, 1904 in Constance, Germany. He studied economics and law in Munich and Hamburg, earned his doctorate in economics and politics in Zurich in 1925, and his doctorate in law in Leipzig in 1926. Guggenheim began his career as a journalist, and then worked briefly in a banking institution. In 1930 Guggenheim took over the directorship of the Seydel A.G. printing house in Berlin and the Deutsche Buch-Gemeinschaft, beginning his long career in the literary and publishing field.

    Although Jewish, Guggenheim was able to keep a position as member of the board of the printing house and book club until 1938, when he and his wife, actress Evelyn Holt, emigrated via Switzerland and England to the USA. The Guggenheims settled in Los Angeles, California, where they became a part of the large German emigre community. In 1942 Guggenheim and Ernst Gottlieb, a fellow emigre, co-founded the Pazifische Presse. This small press served as a forum for the German immigrant authors in Southern California who were without publishing contracts. Writers published by Pazifische Presse between 1942 and 1948 included Lion Feuchtwanger, Thomas Mann, Franz Werfel and Bruno Frank. Guggenheim would maintain contact with these writers throughout his later career as a literary agent.

    After World War II ended, Germans again had access to a free press. With the outlet of the Pazifische Presse no longer needed, Guggenheim turned his talents elsewhere. Guggenheim's experience in the publishing business, as well as his relationships with many talented and prominent authors, served as the basis for a new career as a literary agent, and sometimes financial and legal advisor. He worked with his friends Feuchtwanger, Mann, Werfel, and Frank, as well as authors Vicki Baum, Paulette Goddard, Thor Heyerdahl, Frederick Kohner, Heinrich Mann, Kurt Marek (Curt Ceram), Alfred Neumann, Erich Maria Remarque, Max Tau, Alma Mahler-Werfel, Victoria Wolff, and Arnold Zweig. Guggenheim remained active professionally until his death in Los Angeles on June 21, 1976.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Exile Studies Librarian at ullmann@usc.edu. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Felix Guggenheim papers, Collection no. 0312, Feuchtwanger Memorial Library, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

  • Scope and Content

    Business archives of literary agent and Pazifische Presse co-founder Felix Guggenheim (1904-1976). The collection includes private and business correspondence, and contracts with publishers, authors and other business associates between 1925 and 1986 (bulk 1940-1976). The collection also includes manuscripts, some photographs and book reviews of works by many of the authors Guggenheim represented. Authors of the German-speaking Exile community in Los Angeles are particularly well represented.

  • Organization

    SERIES DESCRIPTION

    Correspondence

    The Correspondence is divided into 5 sub-series: General, Authors, Business, Enemy Alien Issues, and London.

    General correspondence includes private correspondence as well as correspondence with authors and publishers with whom Guggenheim worked less closely, communication with other prominent literary agents, and simple business transactions including purchases and refunds, as well as donations to charity organizations and clubs. There are many different people and companies represented on a smaller scale in this series.

    Correspondence Authors includes correspondence with authors represented by Guggenheim and correspondence to publishers regarding the authors.

    Business correspondence consists of communication with agents, personal business partners, publishing houses and financial and legal advisees with whom Guggenheim worked closely together, mostly over many years or even decades. Correspondence about film rights for authors' works is also represented here. Two subseries called Publishers A-Z and Film-related exist within the general business correspondence.

    Correspondence Enemy Alien Issues consists of correspondence during the World War II period. It includes correspondence with emigration organizations and government departments regarding enemy alien laws and restrictions. Topics include protest against possible internment of German emigrants and movement for lessoning travel and curfew restrictions. Los Angeles emigrant organizations are best represented.

    Correspondence London consists of correspondence while Guggenheim lived in London. Materials in this series still need further organization.

    Manuscripts

    This series consists of manuscripts of novels and screenplays from authors Guggenheim worked for as a literary agent.

    Contracts

    Includes contracts between authors and publishers. Book rights are best represented, including much about rights to foreign versions of publications and translations. Film rights are also represented.

Components