William E. (William Ezra) Lingelbach papers, 1902-1963


Date: 1902-1963 | Size: 8 Linear feet, Ca. 8000 items


This collection contains correspondence, research notes, papers and addresses, memoranda, drafts of letters and papers. These items center on Lingelbach's career at the University of Pennsylvania and at the American Philosophical Society. There is much correspondence with noted historians relating to various topics. His interest in political history and foreign policy, and his participation in national organizations can be seen in such files as the Foreign Policy Association, National Resources Planning Board, and the U.S. War Dept. Committee on Education and Special Training (World War I).

Background note

William Ezra Lingelbach (1871-1962, APS 1916) was a historian and librarian. He was Librarian of the American Philosophical Society from 1942-1958. He was also founder of the APS Library Bulletin and largely responsible for the completion of the new Library Hall in 1959.

Lingelbach was born in Shakespeare, Ontario on March 17, 1871, the son of John L. Lingelbach and Mary Young. His paternal grandfather William had emigrated to Ontario early in the nineteenth-century from the village of Lingelbach in the Rhineland, and became a pastor in one of the German Protestant in churches in the province. His father John, also a pastor, died when Lingelbach was still a child, and the boy grew up on the farm of an uncle. He matriculated at the University of Toronto and received an A.B. in 1894. At the University Lingelbach combined academic distinction with athletic achievement. He was captain of the varsity soccer team and an undergraduate champion in fencing Following his graduation, Lingelbach worked as a teaching fellow at Toronto in 1894-95, but the following year he migrated to Germany for graduate study in modern European history at the University of Leipzig. After a year of graduate study in Germany, Lingelbach returned to Ontario, but determined to complete his graduate training. He decided to pursue graduate study in the United States, and took classes at the University of Chicago during the 1897-98 academic year. The following year he taught at the Michigan Military Academy, before becoming a history instructor at the University of Pennsylvania in 1900. He received his Ph.D. in modern European history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1901 with a dissertation entitled The Internal Organization of the Merchant Adventurers of England.

In 1902, Lingelbach married Anna Lane, whom he met while studying in Chicago. They had three children, two sons and a daughter. Ms. Lingelbach, also a historian, later became Professor of History at Temple University and a member of the Philadelphia Board of Education.

During the first two decades of his scholarly career, Lingelbach's research interests shifted to Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He published articles in the American Historical Review on Saxon-American relations from 1778-1828 (1912) and on the commercial history of the Napoleonic era (1914). Later in 1933, Lingelbach published another article in the Review entitled "Belgian Neutrality: Its Origin and Interpretation," which showed his interest in the question of responsibility for the Great War. The latter article also reflected Lingelbach's new focus on political and diplomatic history in the interwar years.

As a teacher of history, Lingelbach was quite influential, making his chief undergraduate course "Europe since 1815" a standard offering at the University of Pennsylvania and in other colleges, as well. He was a dignified instructor, who developed his subject with clarity and appeal. He also took a genuine interest in individual students, undergraduate and graduate students. After 1915, he devoted more time to graduate instruction, but continued to display a "sympathetic" interest in individual students. This concern, together with his enthusiasm for the sources of diplomatic history made his seminars at Penn both popular and effective. As a result of the direction he provided and the inspiration he imparted, a number of his students received American Historical Association prizes for their dissertations and many went on to become senior faculty at American universities. In 1959 eighteen of his former students dedicated to Lingelbach the Guide to the Diplomatic Archives of Western Europe, edited by Daniel H. Thomas and Lynn M. Case. Toward the end of his academic career, in 1939 Lingelbach was appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, a position he held until his retirement in 1941.

In addition to his scholarly activities, Lingelbach was active as an educator and civic leader in his adopted city of Philadelphia. His talent for collaborating harmoniously with others became evident early in his career. He was elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society in 1916. Within the A.P.S. he was a member of the Council in 1924-27, a Secretary in 1934-40, and a Vice-President from 1940-43. He also served as President of the local Geographical Society (1914-1916, 1918-20) and President of the Contemporary Club (1943-44). He held memberships with the Lenape, the Franklin Inn, and the Union clubs of Philadelphia; and was active as a member in the music and Sunday School programs of First Presbyterian Church.

On a state and national level, Lingelbach was active in the American Historical Association, first as a member of its Council (1914-18), then Chairman of its Commission on History in the Schools (1923) and finally from 1935-37 Chairman of the Executive Committee. He was a member of the National Board of Historical Research from 1917-18, and served as President of the History Teachers Association of the Middle States and Maryland from 1926-27. For twenty years, from 1926-46 he served as A.P.S. representative to the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). He was ACLS Secretary-Treasurer from 1930-34 and Chairman from 1938-41. During World War II, he was Chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on the Conservation of Cultural Resources (1942-44).

In 1942, at the age of seventy-one after a successful career as a teacher, scholar and academic administrator, Lingelbach undertook a new challenge as Librarian of the American Philosophical Society. A long-serving member of the APS Committee on Library, he had strongly supported the recommendation of its Special Committee in 1941 to expand the Library's holdings and to construct a facility adequate to house them. In the context of a 1953 historical survey of the A.P.S. Library, Lingelbach described the changes accomplished during the first ten years of his tenure as A.P.S. Librarian, as well as plans for the library's future. In order to build the collections, he became a self-taught expert on Benjamin Franklin and dedicated himself to acquiring Frankliniana, Colonial and Revolutionary War materials, Native American collections, as well as collections in the history of science. Within the Society he worked indirectly to develop support for the proposal for a permanent library building to replace the one that temporarily housed the collections. In addition to expanding its collections, Lingelbach brought a number of important changes to the A.P.S. Library. One was the establishment of the Library Bulletin to promote the Library and its holdings, a publication that later became an independent unit within the A.P.S. annual Proceedings. He conceived several major uses for the Bulletin. The first was a means of featuring A.P.S. collections by intermittently publishing some of the key documents or groups of historical documents in the Library's holdings. To the same end the Bulletin frequently published interesting articles, developed from the Library collections on various scholarly topics. Lingelbach also used the publication as a vehicle to campaign for a library building at the Society. Another innovation was to appoint distinguished scholars to funded Library Research Associateships, whose publications would help to promote the collections and whose advice on library acquisitions and policies would strengthen them. No doubt, Lingelbach's greatest achievement was the planning and construction of the new Library Hall on the site of the original Library Company as part of the Independence National Historical Park. According to A.P.S. President William J. Robbins (1890-1978, APS 1941), Lingelbach was responsible, "more than any other individual" for the conception and development of the plan.

Although Lingelbach retired as A.P.S. Librarian in 1958, he retained a small office at the Society and remained a contributing member of the Committee on Library. While not interfering with the activities of his successor, Lingelbach maintained an undiminished interest in the A.P.S. Library program and offered imaginative suggestions even during his final illness. Lingelbach's life came to an end at University Hospital on November 24, 1962, as his wife Anna read to him in his room.

Perhaps the most fitting recognition of Lingelbach's character and service was expressed by A.P.S. President Robbins, who noted that "[Lingelbach's] quiet manner and willingness to contribute advice and good judgment whenever and wherever asked, made him an invaluable counselor to many projects in the City of Philadelphia, the State, and the Nation as well as to the administration of the Society."

Collection Information

Physical description

Ca. 8000 items.


Presented by the Lingelbach family and accessioned, 03/--/1963 (1963 737ms).

Processing information

Only images are noted below.

General note

There is a separate collection (Archives, VII, 2) covering his post as Librarian of the American Philosophical Society, which yields data concerning many of the same topics, particularly those relating to Philadelphia, listed above.

Indexing Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • American Council of Learned Societies
  • American Philosophical Society
  • American Society for the Extension of University Teaching
  • Foreign Policy Association.
  • Independence Hall Association.
  • United States. -- National Resources Planning Board. -- Committee on C
  • United States. -- War Dept. -- Committee on Education and Special Trai
  • University of Pennsylvania.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Independence National Historical Park (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • Philadelphia (Pa.) -- History.

Personal Name(s)

  • Cheyney, Edward Potts, 1861-1947
  • Fry, Frank Dewey
  • Huizinga, Johan, 1872-1945
  • Jameson, J. Franklin (John Franklin), 1859-1937
  • Leland, Waldo Gifford, 1879-1966
  • Lewis, Edwin O.,b. 1879.
  • Lingelbach , William E. (William Ezra), 1871-1962
  • Melvin, Frank Edgar
  • Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990
  • Munro, Dana Carleton, 1866-1933
  • Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919
  • Schlesinger, Arthur Meier
  • Scott, Hugh
  • Shryock, Richard Harrison, 1893-1972
  • Smith, Edgar Fahs, 1854-1928
  • Smith, Rhea Marsh
  • Thomas, Daniel H.
  • Wittfogel, Karl August, 1896-1988


  • History, Modern.
  • International relations.
  • World politics.

Detailed Inventory

 Academy of Political Science
 Adam, Herbert
 Adams, F B
 Adams, Harriet Chalmers
 Adams, J T
 Adams, John, and Hèolise
 Adams, Randolph G
 Addison, Agnes
 Advisory Committee on Naval History.
 Albrecht, Mrs. Florence Craig
 Alden, Carroll S
 Aldrich, Winthrop W
 Alekhem, A
 Allen, Agnes
 Allen, Mary Bernard
 Allen, William H
 Allin, Cephus D
 Althouse, James H W
 Alvord, C W
 American Academy of Arts & Sciences
 American Academy of Political and Social Sciences.
 American Association for the Advancement of Science
 American Book Company.
 American Bureau for Medical Aid to China, Inc.
 American Council of Learned Societies
 American Council of Learned Societies. Finances.
 American Council of Learned Societies. Linguistic Institute.
 American Education Press, Inc.
 American Enterprise Association.
 American Flag House and Betsy Ross Memorial.
 American Friends of Lafayette.
 American Geographical Society.
 American Heritage Foundation.
 American Historical Association
 American Historical Review.
 American Jewish Historical Society
 American Journal of International Law
 American Line.
 American Philosophical Society.

Entry includes: Interest; Committee on Library; Library Hall; Library Hall Dedication; New Library; News; Seal; Secretary

 American Philosophical Society. Interest.
 American Philosophical Society. Committee on Library.
 American Philosophical Society. Library Hall.
 American Philosophical Society. Library Hall Dedication.
 American Philosophical Society. New Library.
 American Philosophical Society. News.
 American Philosophical Society. Seal.
 American Philosophical Society. Secretary.
 American Scandinavian Foundation
 American Society for Extension of University Teaching.
 Americana Corporation.
 Ames, Herman V
 Anderson, Add B
 Anderson, Frank Maloy
 Anderson, M O
 Andrews, Mrs. Evangeline W
 Andrews, Fanny Fern
 Andrews, Roy Chapman
 Anna Lane Lingelbach Public School
 Archives Publishing Company.
 Ashwood, William S
 Associated University of Pennsylvania Clubs.
 Association of History Teachers.
 Associazione per Scambi Internazionali fra Cultori di Scienze Sociali
 Athenaeum (London)
 Atlantic Refining Company.
 Autobiographical notes.
 Aydelotte, James
 Aydelotte, William E
 Ayer, Joseph Cullen, Sr.
 Aymer, Emma
 Babb, James
 Babb, Mary Gibbons
 Babcock, Earle B
 Bach, August
 Bacher, John R
 Bacon, Edmund N
 Bagge, Gösta
 Bahnsen, Alvin
 Baldwin, Clifford A
 Band, Albert T.
 Banta, George, Publishing Company.
 Barbeau, Marius
 Bard, Harry
 Barker, E C
 Barnard, J Lynn
 Barnes, George Emerson
 Barnes, Gilbert H
 Barnes, Harry Elmer
 Barnes, Mrs. Myrtle M
 Barr, Stringfellow
 Barrett, Frank A
 Barrett, Richard Warren
 Barrie, George, Sons.
 Barrows, David
 Barstow, Charles L
 Bartlett, F C
 Bartlett Tours Compnay
 Barton, Bruce
 Bassett, L E
 Bauer, Robert H
 Baugh, Albert C
 Bayard, Samuel P
 Becker, Carl
 Beck, Jean
 Beebe, William
 Beegle, John D

Other Descriptive Information: See: Interviews, in:

 Bell, Eleanor Yorke
 Bell, Emily
 Bell, Herbert C F
 Bell, Thomas C
 Bell, Whitfield Jenks, Jr.,
 Bennett, George A
 Biddle, Clement
 Biddle, Edward M
 Biddle, Gertrude
 Biggar, Harry P
 Bishop, William R , Jr.
 Bittner, Ludwig
 Björlamany, B
 Blake, Robert P
 Blakeslee, Charles B
 Blankenburg, Rudolph
 Blatten, Elsie J
 Bloom, George I
 Boewe, Charles
 Bok, Edward W
 Bolton, Herbert E
 Bond, Beverley W
 Book notes and library
 Bortle, Rollin C
 Botkin, B A
 Bourne, Henry E
 Bow, William K
 Bowman, Francis J
 Bowman, Isaiah
 Boyd, Elizabeth Mifflin
 Boyd, Julian P
 Boyd, William K
 Boyer, David S
 Bradford, Frances M
 Brakel, S van
 Brand, Edna
 Branson, E C
 Brewer, Mary
 Briggs, Marsenus H
 Brinton, Jasper Yeates
 Bristol, George P
 Bristol, William B
 British Society for International Understanding.
 British War Mission
 Brodney, Spencer
 Brogan, Clara
 Brogan, D W
 Brooks, Robert C
 Brooks, Van Wyck
 Broome, Edwin C , Jr.
 Brown, Ernest W
 Brown, Everett H
 Brown, Francis J
 Brown, William Norman
 Brumbaugh, M W
 Brunhouse, Robert L
 Bryant, Henry G
 Buckley, Eleanor C
 Bucknell University. Speech:
 Bulley, Hebe D
 Burpee, W Atlee, Jr.
 Burr, George L
 Burr, William H., & Son.
 Busch, Henry Paul
 Burt, Struthers
 Butler, Geoffrey
 Butler, J R M
 Butsche, Mary S R
 Butterfield, Lyman H
 Byrd, H C
 Byrne, Eugene H
 Cadwalader, Sophia
 Cady, John F
 Calliet, Emile
 Caldwell, Otis William
 Cameron, Elizabeth R
 Calvert, P P
 Cameron, Elizabeth R.
 Campion, Anna Louise
 Canadian Society of Philadelphia.
 Canedo,Lino G
 Caplan, Jerome G
 Carl Shurz Memorial Foundation.
 Carmichael, Leonard
 Carnegie Institution of Washington
 Carpenter, Edmund A
 Carpenter, Rhys
 Carpenter, William S
 Carroll College
 Carson, Hampton L
 Carson, Joseph
 Carson, Mrs. Marian S
 Case, Lynn M
 Cattell, James McKeen
 Catterall, Helen Honor
 Catterall, Ralph C H
 Centennial National Bank.
 Century Company
 Century Historical Series.
 Century Magazine
 Chamberlain, John R
 Chambers, Frank P
 Chapman, Bertha Jayne
 Chase, Mrs. P A
 Chase, Philip P
 Chatelain, Verne E
 Cherry, Clinton M
 Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company.
 Chestnut Hill Academy.
 Cheyney, Alice S
 Cheyney, Edward Potts
 Chicago Council on Foreign Relations
 Child, G C
 Child, William S
 Chinard, Gilbert
 Chreswell, Jennie B
 Church, Herbert
 City Club of Philadelphia.
 Clapp, Clifford Blake
 Clark, C U
 Clark, Edith M
 Clark, Elizabeth W
 Clark, Frederick L
 Clark, Mrs. Susannah L
 Clark, Walter Eugene
 Clauder, Anna C
 Cleveland, Frederick A
 Clothier, John B , Jr.
 Cochran, Thomas C
 Cock, Marion
 Cole, Thomas S
 Collier, Theodore
 Collins, Alfred M
 Collins, Mary Rose
 Colonial Philadelphia Historical Society.
 Coulton, G H
 Columbia University
 Combs, William H
 Comminger, Henry
 Committee on Conservation of Cultural Resources.
 Committee of Seventy
 Committee on Public Information
 Commonwealth Forum
 Conant, James Bryant,
 Confer, Vincent
 Conklin, Edwin Grant
 Conrad, Harold E
 Contemporary Club
 Cook, Arthur N
 Cooper, B Hubert
 Cooper, Clive Forster
 Cooper, Walter I
 Cope, Thomas Darlington
 Corner, Mrs. Betsy C
 Corner, George Washington,
 Correspondence Calendar
 Coulborn, Rushton
 Council for Unified Research and Education.
 Council on Foreign Relations.
 Courses - Graduate School
 Covert, Mrs. Alice H
 Cowherd, Raymond G
 Cox, I J
 Crane, Verner W
 Crawford, W Rex
 Crofts, F S
 Cruickshank, Earl F
 Curran, Henry H
 Current History Magazine.
 Currie, A W
 Curtis, Cyrus H K
 Curtiss, John S
 D. Appleton-Century Company.
 Daland, Judson
 Dalgleish, W Harold
 Dallam, D E
 Danson, Edward B
 Darlington, Oscar G
 David, Charles W
 Davies, Richard L
 Davies, Wallace
 Davis, Sam
 Davis, Stanton Ling
 Dawson, Edgar
 Day, George
 Dechert, Robert
 Dercum, Francis Xavier,
 de Terra, Helmut
 DeWolf, Phyllis
 Dictionary of American Biography.
 Dictionary of Canadian Biography.
 Dietz, F C
 Dillon, Edward S
 Dimler, Fred J
 Dixon, Joseph Kossuth
 Dixon-Hanson Company.
 Dodson, Leonidas
 Doggett, R L S
 Donnelly, Mary
 Dooner, R T
 Dorizas, M
 Dorosh, Harry
 Dover Publications
 Dowley, Ruth S
 Drake, Edward
 Drake, Thomas E
 Drinker, Sophie H
 Duane, Morris
 Du Barry, William H
 Du Bois, H W
 Duffey, Mrs. Parks P
 Dunning, William A
 DuPont, Pierre S
 Dutcher, George M
 Earle, Ferdinand
 Edgerton, Franklin
 Education - Early
 Edwards, Everett E
 Egbert, James E
 Ehle, Emily Lewis
 Eighth American Scientific Congress
 Einardi, Luigi
 Einstein, Albert

Other Descriptive Information: See also: Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, in:

 Eiseley, Loren C
 Eldridge, Thomas Edwin
 Eller, E M
 Elliott, Richard M
 Elviken, Andreas
 Emeny, Brooks
 Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists.
 (A. Einstein)

Location of originals: See Albert Einstein Manuscript Collection Mss. SMs. Coll.12 in vault. , Level E.

 Encyclopedia Americana
 Ends of the Earth.
 English-Speaking Union.
 Eppstein, John
 Epstein, Fritz Th
 Evans, Austin P
 Fackenthal, Frank Diehl
 Fairman, Charles
 Faissler, Margareta A
 Farr, Jessie M
 Farrand, Max
 Fay, Sidney B
 Field, Anthony
 Federal Works Agency. Works Projects Administratio
 Fenton, William Nelson,
 Ferguson, John H
 Fetter, Frank Albert
 Fiedler, Henry George
 Field, Anthony
 Fincke, Paula
 Finnish Relief Fund, Inc.
 Fisher, H H
 Fisk, Carl Russell
 Fitzpatrick, Margaret M
 Fleming, John F
 Fletcher, Sir Angus
 Flood, Gerald F
 Florshem, Robert G
 Foreign Policy Association.
 Foreign Service Educational Foundation.
 Foster & Stewart.
 Fox, Daniel M
 Fox, Dixon Ryan
 Fry, Mary Holmes
 Fuletter, T D
 Franke, W B
 Franklin Inn Club.
 Franklin Institute.
 Frazer, John
 Free Library of Philadelphia.
 Friends of Benjamin Franklin House, London.
 Fry, Charles L
 Fry, Frank D
 Fry, Frantz W
 Fry, Mary Holmes
 Fuletter, T. D.
 Fulton, Deoch
 Gärtner, Margarete
 Gallagher, J M
 Galpin, W Freeman
 Gates, Thomas S
 Gaus, John M
 Gay, E F
 Gilland, Erna Grassmuck
 Gillette, Willson G
 Gearhart, Robert Harris, Jr.
 Geiser, Karl F
 Gentien, Mrs. Norman
 Geographical Society of Philadelphia.
 Gest, Sydney
 Gibbons, Helen Davenport
 Gibbons, Herbert Adams
 Gilbert, Amy M
 Gilland, Erna Grassmuck
 Gillette, William G.
 Gimbel Brothers
 Gipson, Lawrence H
 Girard Estate.
 Gisriel, Stewart W
 Glass, E M
 Glass, Leopold C
 Goddard, Maurice K
 Godfrey, Hollis
 Goebel, Dorothy B
 Goggan, Nellie Andrews
 Goldin, Rosaline
 Goodchild, Donald
 Goode, J Paul
 Goodman, Nathan G
 Goodrich, Herbert F
 Goodwin, Cardinal
 Gordon, G B
 Gosnell, Harold F
 Graff, W H
 Grandidur, G
 Grant, Alec
 Graves, Samuel
 Gray, Cecelia Elizabeth
 Gray, Howard
 Grayson, Theodore J
 Greene, Evarts B
 Gribbel, John
 Griddle Club of the Union League of Philadelphia.
 Grolier Society
 Grosser, E Morton
 Gruber, Frederick C
 Guggenheim (John Simon) Memorial Foundation.
 Guggenheim, William
 Gullander, Magnhilde
 Hagerty, J E
 Haines, Ella Wister
 Hale, Oron J
 Hale, Pat
 Hall, Hubert
 Hall, Vernon, Jr.
 Hall, Walter P
 Hamill, Grace
 Haney, John L
 Hanke, Lewis U
 Hanna, Alfred J
 Hans, Nicholas
 Hanson-Bellows Company.
 Harcourt, Brace and Company
 Harding, George Matthews
 Harnwell, Gaylord P
 Harper, Francis
 Harper, Samuel N
 Harris, Zellig S
 Harrison, Charles C
 Harrison, C W
 Harrop, Leonard B
 Hart, Albert Bushnell
 Hart, Mrs. E Reeves
 Hart, Thomas
 Hart, Walter Morris
 Hartenstein, R F
 Harvard University
 Heller, Clemens
 Haskell, Edward F
 Haskins, Charles L
 Hatfield, Charles A
 Havens, Raymond D
 Haverford College.
 Hayes, Carlton J H
 Haynes, John Randolph, and Dora, Foundation.
 Hazen, Charles D
 Hebrecht, Florence Craig
 Heil, William T , Jr.
 Heilman, Grace E
 Heiser, Victor George,
 Heller, Clemens
 Henderson, Victor
 Hess, Mrs. Gertrude Douglas
 Hettinger, Herman S
 Hewitt, Anna B
 Hindman Settlement School.
 Historical Hike Committee.
 Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
 History and the University of Pennsylvania.
 History Book Club, Inc.
 History Teachers Magazine.
 Heindel, Richard H
 Hoekstra, P
 Hoffman, Benjamin R
 Hoffman, Ross J
 Hofstra College.
 Hoggan, David L
 Holbrook, L
 Holland, Leicester B
 Holland, Louise Adams
 Holland, Rupert Sargent
 Holmes, Robert O
 Holt, Henry, & Company.
 Hopkins, Arthur H
 Hopkinson, Edward, Jr.
 Horkan, W S
 Horticultural Hall, Philadelphia.
 Hoskins, Halford L
 Hottel, Althea Kratz
 Houghton Mifflin Company
 Houtchens, Lawrence H
 Howard, Alsa C
 Howland, Ch C