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SUB-GROUP Identifier: HUGFP 43

Business records of Walter Lichtenstein


Records of Walter Lichtenstein cheifly in his roles as Executive Secretary and as Vice President of the First National Bank of Chicago.


  • 1918-1958


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.


33 cubic feet (93 boxes, 1 folder of photographs, and 1 panoramic photograph)
Records of Walter Lichtenstein chiefly in his role as Executive Secretary and later as Vice President of the First National Bank of Chicago. One document box holds records from his time as Chief of Financial Institutions during the U.S. military occupation of Germany at the end of the Second World War.

Biographical summary

Walter Lichtenstein (born Germany 1880; died Cambridge, Massachusetts 1964) was a librarian and a banker. He worked at Harvard University and at Northwestern University as a librarian and switched to banking in 1918 as suspected German sympathies resulted in his leaving Northwestern. His banking activities were chiefly at the First National Bank of Chicago.
Biographical chronology
  1. 1880 April 13: Walter Lichtenstein born to Joseph and Rosa (Elkan) Lichtenstein in Brunswick, Germany
  2. 1881: Brought to the United States
  3. 1884-1895: Attends Hoboken Academy
  4. 1889: A.B. New York University
  5. 1900: A.B. Harvard University
  6. 1901: A.M. Harvard University
  7. 1902-1903: Editor of the New International Encyclopedia
  8. 1905-1906: Curator of the Hohenzollern Collection of Harvard University, travels in Europe for fourteen months on a book-buying trip
  9. 1906 August 29: Marries Gemma Elizabeth Baumgarten of Arlington, New Jersey
  10. 1906: Appointed assistant-in-charge of the European collections in the Harvard College library
  11. 1907: Ph.D. Harvard University
  12. 1908-1918: Head librarian of Northwestern University and member of the faculty with the rank of professor
  13. 1911: Travels to Europe on a library book-buying trip
  14. 1913-1915: Travels to South America on a library book-buying trip
  15. 1918: Resigns from his position at Northeastern University under suspicion of pro-German activities during World War I
  16. 1918-1921: Foreign Trade Advisor, First National Bank of Chicago
  17. 1921-1933: Executive Secretary, First National Bank of Chicago
  18. 1929: General Secretary of the Organizing Committee of the Bank for International Settlements which met in Baden-Baden, Germany
  19. 1930: Travels to Russia on behalf of the International Harvester Company and the First National Bank of Chicago
  20. 1932: Delegate of the Government of the United States at the Telecommunication Conference at Madrid, Spain
  21. 1933-1945: Vice President First National Bank of Chicago
  22. 1945 October-1947 December: Chief of Financial Institutions, Branch of Military Government of Germany
  23. 1948-1954: Speaks and writes, conultant for International Harvester Company
  24. 1954: Honorary Curator of Harvard University Library
  25. 1964 March 14: dies in Cambridge, Massachusetts at 83 years of age

Custodial History

Gifted to the Harvard College Library from Walter Lichtenstein prior to 1977.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession 09241 received from the Harvard College Library 1981 July 1.

Related material in the Harvard University Archives

Papers of Walter Lichtenstein, HUGFP 11.

Papers of Walter Lichtenstein Accession 11937.

Writings and student notes (various call numbers).
Related material in the Historical Collections in Baker Library of the Harvard Business School The Walter Lichtenstein Papers. Baker Library, Harvard Business School. consist of records from Lichtenstein's work at the First National Bank of Chicago and as the secretary for the Federal Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board.

Inventory update

This document last updated 2020 September 14.

Processing Information

This inventory encoded by Kate Bowers with data from an inventory database and internal control files. Material not examined.
Link to catalog
Lichtenstein, Walter, 1880-1964. Business records of Walter Lichtenstein, 1895-1958 : an inventory
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

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