Research Catalog

Bertha Kalich papers

Title
Bertha Kalich papers, 1866-1955.
Author
Kalich, Bertha, 1874-1939.
Supplementary Content
Finding Aid

Items in the Library & Off-site


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StatusVol/DateFormatAccessCall NumberItem Location
Scrapbook of clippings (1918-1922)Mixed materialUse in library *ZC-342 Scrapbook of clippings (1918-1922)Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 23Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 23Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 22Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 22Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 21Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 21Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 20Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 20Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 19Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 19Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 18Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 18Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 17Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 17Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 16Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 16Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 15Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 15Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 14Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 14Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 13Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 13Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 12Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 12Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 11Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 11Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 10Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 10Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 9Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 9Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 8Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 8Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 7Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 7Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 6Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 6Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 5Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1991-005 Box 5Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre

Details

Additional Authors
  • Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945.
  • Fields, W. C. (William Claude), 1880-1946.
  • Fiske, Harrison Grey, 1861-1942.
  • Tucker, Sophie, 1884-1966.
Description
8 linear feet (23 boxes)
Subjects
Genre/Form
  • Clippings.
  • Contracts.
  • Correspondence.
  • Printed ephemera.
  • Financial records.
  • Photographs.
  • Promotional materials.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Scripts.
  • Scores.
Access (note)
  • Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Language (note)
  • This collection contains materials in English, though a great many clippings and some scripts are in Yiddish, and some early official documents are in German and Hebrew.
Indexes/Finding Aids (note)
  • Collection guide available in repository and on internet.
Call Number
*T-Mss 1991-005
OCLC
  • 232546303
  • 232546303
Author
Kalich, Bertha, 1874-1939.
Title
Bertha Kalich papers, 1866-1955.
Restricted Access
Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Summary
The papers consist of correspondence, programs, financial records, clippings, scripts, sides, scores, publicity pieces, photographs, and scrapbooks connected with Bertha Kalich. The majority of the materials are in English, though a great many clippings and some scripts are in Yiddish, and some early official documents are in German and Hebrew. The collection also includes some papers connected with Kalich's husband, Leopold Spachner, such as business correspondence and official documents, and a group of letters Spachner wrote to their daughter, Lillian, in 1928-1929, when Bertha Kalich was both physically ill and mentally depressed and was accusing her family of disloyalty and indifference. The visitor's book from Leopold Spachner's funeral, as well as nineteenth-century documents (some in fragile condition) are among the holdings; these documents include school certificates in German and a wedding contract in Hebrew. The collection also includes papers belonging to Lillian Kalich/Spachner such as some school papers, personal, professional, and business correspondence. A large number of telegrams and letters from Bertha Kalich to Lillian are also included here as well as other personal and professional materials such as school records and scripts.
Biography
Bertha Rachel Kalich, daughter of Solomon Kalich and Babette Haber, was born on September 8, 1874 in Lemberg, Galicia (Poland), where she trained in declamation and voice culture from an early age despite the disapproval of her conservative Jewish family. While a student at Lemberg's Conservatory of Music, she met Leopold Spachner, a fellow student, whom she married in 1892. Starting as a chorus singer in Lemberg, Kalich soon achieved wide acclaim on the Polish and Romanian stages, despite deep anti-Semitic sentiment that made such success an unlikely prospect. In 1895, Kalich and Spachner immigrated to the United States where Kalich enjoyed great success in the Yiddish theatre until 1905. In that year, Harrison Grey Fiske persuaded Kalich to attempt a transition to the American stage. After only a few months she mastered English pronunciation sufficiently to manage the transition and became an immediate success. She appeared in plays by Sudermann, Maeterlinck, Tolstoy, and Shaw with occasional returns to the Yiddish stage, and was successful, as well, in the cinema. Her most famous, and often repeated, roles were as Magda in Sudermann's play of that name and Lilla Olrick in Jacobi's Riddle Woman. Kalich toured tirelessly in both the United States and Canada, her "emotional" brand of acting winning her great acclaim. In 1928, Kalich took ill during a run of The Soul of a Woman. From that time on, she was unable to work more than sporadically. Threatened with blindness, she underwent a series of operations. Between 1931 and 1936, friends in the theatrical world arranged a number of benefit performances to aid her in an unsuccessful battle to regain her health that decimated her fortune and embittered her. Correspondence among members of the family from 1928 on indicates that Kalich became despondent and felt abandoned by her husband and daughter, although the accuracy of her perception is not borne out by the documentation in the collection. On the other hand, there is evidence in these letters that she alienated many long-time associates outside the family. Kalich died on April 19, 1939, in New York City.
Language
This collection contains materials in English, though a great many clippings and some scripts are in Yiddish, and some early official documents are in German and Hebrew.
Location of Other Archival Materials
See also one oversize scrapbook of clippings (1918-1922), available on microfilm, call number *ZC-342.
Indexes
Collection guide available in repository and on internet.
Connect to:
Finding Aid
Occupation
Actresses.
Added Author
Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945.
Fields, W. C. (William Claude), 1880-1946.
Fiske, Harrison Grey, 1861-1942.
Tucker, Sophie, 1884-1966.
Research Call Number
*T-Mss 1991-005
*ZC-342
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