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Ernst Feise papers

Identifier: MS-0144

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of research and/or lecture notes in Feise's handwriting concerning approximately 300 major German literary figures of the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. The notes are filed alphabetically by author, and for most of them Feise provides biographical details and and analysis of the works of each author. The papers have no dates with the exception of a few pages which are dated in the early 1940s, but Feise probably compiled the material between the mid-1930s and the early 1950s. A large portion of the notes is in German.


  • Creation: 1884-1996


Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical Note

Ernst Feise, Chairman of the German Department at Johns Hopkins University, was born in Germany at Braunschweig in 1884. He earned his doctorate in 1907 at the University of Leipzig. He became instructor in German at the University of Wisconsin and was an Assistant Professor there in 1917 when he was ousted as a result of the rise of anti-German sentiment during World War I. Deprived of his livelihood, he worked as a plumber and electrician until he secured a post at Aleman College in Mexico City after the war. He taught at the Ohio State University for three years beginning in 1924. In 1927 he joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University. He was named Professor in 1927 and later headed the German Department until he became Professor Emeritus in 1952.

Professor Feise was known for his analysis of poetry and the novel, including Goethe's "Werther," and a translation of the poetry of Heinrich Heine, in which he attempted to preserve the lyrical verse of the original for English readers. Dr. Feise died on June 17, 1966, survived by his wife Dorothy Findlay; two sons, Richard Feise of Clarksville, Pa. and Frederick Feise of Baltimore; and a daughter, Dorelen Bunting of Albuquerque, NM.


4.27 Cubic Feet (10 letter size document boxes, 1 legal size document box)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The papers were removed from storage in Gilman Hall in February 1984. Additional materials were added in 1987. Items transferred from Rare Books were added to the collection, May 1995.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

There is no known acquisition information for this collection.


The Schirohauer material and the Herman and Dorthea material have the Accession Number, 93-94.36. The Accession Number for the notebooks containing Loewenberg descriptions is 93-94.13.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared in Feb. 1984, Aug. 1987 May 1995.

Liz Beckman revised the Biographical note in this finding aid in November 2023 to bring it into compliance with Johns Hopkins guidelines for inclusive and conscientious description (2023). The previous version of the finding aid is available upon request.

Ernst Feise papers
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA