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Jacob Burckhardt Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 13 Apr 2010

Biographical History

Jacob Burckhardt (1818-1897) was a German art and cultural historian. The son of a Protestant clergyman, Burckhardt came from a thriving and respected family who had built their power and political sway over three centuries, many serving as professors and pastors. Burckhardt studied at the University of Basel, focusing on Greek and theology. While attending the University of Berlin, he worked with two professors - Franz Kugler and Leopold von Ranke - who turned his focus to the philological and historical. Burckhardt specialized in the Renaissance and classical periods, and is most known for his work Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien (1860). He is sometimes credited with developing the field now known as cultural history.

Georg Leyh (1877-1968) was a German librarian, library historian, philosopher, and administrator. He studied philology and history in Munich, Stasbourg, and Tubingen. He began as a library research assistant at the Kaiser Wilhelm Library in Poznan, then worked in univerisity libraries in Gottingen, Konigsberg, Berlin, Halle, Wroclaw, the Prussian Historical Institute in Rome, and the Royal Library in Berlin. From 1914-1917 he served in the First World War. He made many advances to the design of libraries, and is especially known for The Dogma of the Systematic Arrangement.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Jacob Burckhardt Collection consist of correspondence, memorabilia, printed material, and writings. Some material is by Burckhardt but the bulk is about him.

Correspondence contains letters from Burckhardt and a substantial amount of letters to or from Leyh.

Memorabilia contains artwork, photographs, and miscellaneous material.

Printed material contains brochures for books, clippings, dust jackets, and magazines.

Writings contains material by Burckhardt, Leyh, Wolfflin, and others. Some items are handwritten and some are pritned.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged by sender and chronologically with undated material or empty envelopes at the end. Artwork and miscellaneous memorabilia are arranged chronologically with undated material at the end. Photographs are in no particular order. Printed material is arranged chronologically with undated material at the end. Writings are arranged by author with unidentified material at the end.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Burckhardt, Jacob, 1818-1897.
Leyh, Georg, 1877-1968.
Wolfflin, Heinrich, 1864-1945.


Art historians -- 19th century.
Art historians -- Switzerland.

Genres and Forms

Book jackets.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Magazines (periodicals)
Manuscripts for publication.


Art historians.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Jacob Burckhardt Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Transfer from Rare Books, 1969.

Table of Contents



Printed material