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Cramer Family papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS 0788

Scope and Contents

The Cramer Family papers contain materials relating to the Cramer family. Frederick H. Cramer (1906-1954) was a professor in the Mount Holyoke College history department; his daughter, Lilian Cramer Randall, is an alumna of the Mount Holyoke Class of 1950 and the donor of the bulk of the collection. Previously, the MHC Archives & Special Collections held a small amount of documentation on Professor Cramer, which has been absorbed into this collection. These materials cover over a century of family history, starting primarily around 1872. The majority of the collection is divided into the following sections: one each for Hans S. Cramer (1872-1963) and Gertrud Bruck Cramer (1874-1946), their children Frederick H. Cramer and Charlotte Cramer Sachs (1907-2004), and Charlotte's daughter Eleanor Cramer (1926-1972). Included in these files are official documentation, correspondence, writings, ancestry, biographical information, diaries/financial logs, and photographs. Additionally, there is a small collection of Cramer family books, written by acquaintances and/or containing evidence of ownership by these individuals.

The Frederick H. Cramer Papers consist of writings, biographical information, and photographs dating from 1938-1954. The collection is primarily made up of the reprints of articles written by Cramer. They concern contemporary European history including "The Rivalries Between the Great European Powers," "The Growth of Revolutionary Movements," "The Decline of European Economy, "World War II," "The Collapse of Western and Eastern Europe," "America At the Cross Roads," and "American Foreign Policy." The collection includes of a series of four articles written for the "Current History" magazine entitled "Between East and West," "Benes of Czechoslovakia," "Renner of Austria," "Cripps of England," and "Jouhaux of France." Numerous articles written during the same period on subjects ranging from the circumstances of tourist travel in Europe to the economic and political situations in Italy, Switzerland, and France are also included. Personal accounts of his travel in Europe between 1947-1948 were published in the Holyoke, Massachusetts "Transcript-Telegram." The collection also includes two books by Cramer: The Caesar and the Stars (1951), dealing with the influence of astrology on Roman life, and Classica et Mediaevalia (1951), describing the political, cultural and legal aspect of the early Roman period. The biographical information includes newspaper clippings concerning his interest in automobile racing. The photographs are primarily portraits of Cramer and his wife Elizabeth Ziegler Cramer.


  • Creation: 1872-2004

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Frederick Henry Cramer was born on March 2, 1906 in Berlin, Germany. His father was Hans Cramer, a wealthy import/export grain merchant in Germany. He attended the Arndt Gymnasium in Berlin, then attended law school at age 17 from 1923-1924. He did graduate work at Erlangen University, Columbia University, the University of Berlin, and the Universitat Zurich from which he received his Ph.D. Before joining the Mount Holyoke faculty as an associate professor of history in 1938, he served as a visiting lecturer at Zurich and during the 1938-1939 academic year was a visiting lecturer at Harvard University. Along with his professorship at Mount Holyoke College, Cramer also taught at Hartford Junior College and Holyoke Community College, was a visiting lecturer at Smith College during the summer of 1938, and taught at the Harvard and Boston University summer schools as well as at the Universitat Zurich. Cramer and his wife Elizabeth Ziegler Cramer were married for twenty-seven years and were the parents of five children. The Cramers were avid automobile racers and were the only American entrants in the Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo, Europe's biggest auto competition, in January 1954. Frederick Cramer died September 4, 1954 at the age of forty-eight while taking part in the Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo.


6 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Cramer, Frederick Henry, 1906-1954; historian and college teacher. Mount Holyoke College faculty member, 1938-1954. Papers consist of writings, biographical information, and photographs; primarily documenting his scholarly activities and his interest in automobile racing.

Cramer papers, 1872-2004.
Finding Aid
Edited Full Draft
#169; 2003
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Repository Details

Part of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections Repository

50 College Street
8 Dwight Hall
South Hadley MA 01075-6425 USA