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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2612

Gerhard Nellhaus papers on Bertolt Brecht


Papers of German-American neurologist, scholar, and translator Gerhard Nellhaus, chiefly concerning the plays of German writer Bertolt Brecht.


  • 1920-2000

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in German and English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Most of this collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Item (28) is shelved at Houghton as pf.


1.5 linear feet (4 boxes)

Includes Nellhaus' translations of plays, poems, and songs by Brecht into English; working copies of plays in German by Brecht and others; essays on Brecht; correspondence from Brecht to Nellhaus; photographs from American and European stage productions of Brecht's plays; clippings; and playbills.

Biographical / Historical

Pediatric neurologist Gerhard Nellhaus, MD, Harvard AB 1944 (1946), translated Brecht's plays Herr Puntila und sein Knecht Matti, Im Dickicht der Städte, Mann ist Mann, and Trommeln in der Nacht as well as Brecht's version of Der Hofmeister by J.M.R. Lenz into English for performance by various theatre troupes in the United States. In addition to writing and lecturing on Brecht, he also assisted in stage productions and conducted correspondence with Brecht himself, directors, actors, academics, critics, and fans.


Arranged into the following series

  1. I. Gerhart Nellhaus correspondence
  2. II. Gerhart Nellhaus translations of Brecht
  3. III. Gerhart Nellhaus essays
  4. IV. Ephemera
  5. V. Copies of compositions by others
  6. VI. Photographs

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Physical Location

b, pf

Immediate Source of Acquisition

1999M-21, 1999M-42, 1999M-62. Gift of Gerhard Nellhaus, Kursana Residenzen, Rabenkopfstrasse 2, 79102 Freiburg, Germany; received: 1999 November 5,2000 February 11, and 2000 June 14.

Separated Materials

Brecht's Private Life of the Master Race, translated by Eric Bentley, New Directions Publishing Corp., 1944, was originally included in this collection. It was removed and cataloged separately in HOLLIS as *AC9.N4398.944p.

General note

Most of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Processing Information

Processed by: Michael W. Austin

Nellhaus, Gerhard. Gerhard Nellhaus papers on Bertolt Brecht, circa 1920-2000: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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