TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Administrative Information

Biography of Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler

Scope and Content of the Collection

Organization

Selected Search Terms

Container List

Series 1: Family Papers, 1882-1981, bulk 1882-1931

Series 2: Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler Materials, 1877-1931

Series 3: Sigmund Zeisler Materials, 1881-1951

Series 4: Photographs, 1869-1930

Series 5: Artifacts, 1869-1925

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Inventory of the Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler and Sigmund Zeisler Papers, 1869-1981, bulk 1883-1931


The Newberry Library
Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610-7324
USA
Phone: 312-255-3506
Fax: 312-255-3646
E-Mail: specialcolls@newberry.org
URL: http://www.newberry.org

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Lisa Janssen, 2004.

©2004.


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Creator Bloomfield-Zeisler, Fannie, 1863-1927
Title Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler and Sigmund Zeisler Papers
Dates 1869-1981,
Dates bulk 1883-1931
Extent 3.8 linear feet (5 boxes, 1 oversize box and 2 artifacts boxes)
Abstract Correspondence to and from pianist Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler, Sigmund Zeisler, their sons Ernest, Leonard and Paul, and relatives and friends; also, miscellaneous material relating to Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler's life and musical career, including a biography of Fannie Zeisler written by her husband Sigmund; works of Sigmund Zeisler relating to his legal career and involvement in the Haymarket riots of 1886; also assorted memorabilia of Fannie Zeisler and the Zeisler family, photographs of the Zeislers and a few celebrities; and nine artifacts.
Language Materials are in German and English.
Repository Newberry Library, Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
Collection Call Number Midwest MS Zeisler
Collection Stack Location 3a 44 7

Administrative Information

Cite As

Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler and Sigmund Zeisler Papers, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Provenance

Gift of Claire Zeisler, 1987; Betty Jean Klapman, 1988; Mrs. Robert W. Catzen (Fannie Zeisler Catzen), 1996.

Processed by

Virginia H. Smith, 2003.

Access

The Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler and Sigmund Zeisler Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 5 folders at a time maximum (Priority II).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler and Sigmund Zeisler Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

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Biography of Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler

Austrian-American concert pianist.

Fannie Bloomfield (nee Fannie Blumenfeld) Zeisler, whose concert career spanned forty years, was born near Vienna in 1863. The Blumenfeld family in 1866 emigrated to the United States, finally settling in Chicago in 1870, where Fannie's father set up a dry-goods store. Always musically precocious, she began her piano studies at the age of seven. Her talent proved so impressive, and being unhappy in school because of poor health and her Jewish background, at fifteen Fannie Blumenfeld went with her mother to Vienna for five years of study with the great piano pedagogue, Theodore Leschetizky.

In 1883, using the name Bloomfield, Fannie began building her reputation as a concert pianist by touring American cities. In 1885 she married Sigmund Zeisler, a politically active lawyer who would serve as associate defense counsel for the Chicago anarchists following the Haymarket riot of 1886. Though happy in her marriage as wife and mother of three sons and despite continuing poor health, Fannie Zeisler did not choose to give up her highly successful professional life. Besides years of touring both in the United States and Europe, she maintained a commitment to teaching and to various professional associations. Although she referred to herself as Fannie Zeisler, she was also known as Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler.

In 1893, Zeisler and Paderewski were solo artists at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Following a triumph there, she toured German cities, earning great acclaim from reviewers who pronounced her a first-rank performing pianist. By the season of 1901-1902 Zeisler was making over forty appearances, a schedule which finally took its toll on her always frail health. After several seasons in retirement, she returned to touring, first in American cities and then again in Europe in 1912. A triumphant Golden Jubilee celebrating her very first public appearance took place in 1925, and this marked the end of Zeisler's active, brilliant musical career.

The Zeislers had three sons: Leonard, Paul and Ernest. Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler died in 1927, honored as an important force in the development of music in Chicago.

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Biography of Sigmund Zeisler

Lawyer.

Sigmund Zeisler was born in Bielitz, Austrian Silesia in 1860. He emigrated to Chicago in 1883, and in 1884 earned his LLB at Northwestern University, after which he practiced law in Chicago until his retirement. In 1885 he married Fannie Bloomfield, the successful concert pianist.

Associate counsel for the defense in Anarchist cases, 1886-1887, Zeisler was a liberal and active member of many associations including the American Anti-Imperialist League, the Municipal Voters' League, and the Civil Service Reform Association. Besides being a writer and popular lecturer on legal topics, Zeisler was also associated with a number of Chicago social clubs such as the Chicago Literary Club, The Little Room, Book and Play and the Cliff Dwellers.

The Zeislers had three sons, Leonard, Paul and Ernest. After Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler's death, Zeisler married Amelia Spellman in 1930. He died in 1931.

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Scope and Content of the Collection

Correspondence is mainly family correspondence between Fannie and Sigmund Zeisler and their three sons, Ernest, Leonard and Paul, much of it in German. A few letters are to and from Fannie regarding her professional life, and letters to Sigmund, including 5 from William Jennings Bryan; most concern his legal life and/or his article "Reminiscences of the Anarchist Case." Among the miscellaneous material is an autograph book, a family visitors' book, various articles, clippings, pamphlets and programs, a photostat copy of Sigmund Zeisler's biography of Fannie, some published music and probate and estate records for both Zeislers; also, a group of photographs of Fannie and Sigmund and a few family members, and several celebrities including Hamlin Garland, Victor Herbert and Leopold Stokowski; also nine artifacts.

Narrative descriptions of the subject matter, types of material, and arrangement of each series are available through the Organization section of the finding aid.

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Organization

Papers are organized in the following series:

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Selected Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Newberry Library's public catalog. Researchers desiring additional materials on a particular topic should search the catalog using these headings.

Names

  • Bloomfield-Zeisler, Fannie, 1863-1927
  • Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925
  • Garland, Hamlin, 1960-1940
  • Herbert, Victor. 1859-1924
  • Morris, William, 1834-1896
  • Stokowski, Leopold, 1882-1977
  • Zeisler, Sigmund, 1860-1931

Subjects

  • Authors -- Portraits
  • Correspondence -- United States -- 1851-1900
  • Correspondence -- United States -- 1901-1950
  • Diaries -- Europe
  • Haymarket Square Riot, Chicago, Ill., 1886
  • Lawyers -- Illinois -- Chicago -- History -- Sources
  • Manuscripts, American
  • Manuscripts, German
  • Musicians -- Correspondence
  • Musicians -- Portraits
  • Parent and child -- Correspondence
  • Photographs -- 1851-1900
  • Photographs -- 1901-1950
  • Pianists -- Illinois - Chicago

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Container List

Series 1: Family Papers, 1882-1981, bulk 1882-1931

Correspondence to and from Fannie and Sigmund Zeisler, mostly in German, and between them and their three sons, Ernest, Leopold and Paul; a small group of letters from relatives, some clippings and family memorabilia, and a folder of correspondence about the Fannie Zeisler Memorial Prize, and one relating to the eventual disposition of the Zeisler family papers.
Arranged by family member, followed by a few miscellaneous items arranged in chronological order by correspondent.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Correspondence: Fannie B. Zeisler to Sigmund Zeisler, 1883-1889, n.d.
1 2-7 Correspondence: Sigmund Zeisler to Fannie B. Zeisler, 1883-1920, n.d.
1 8 Correspondence: Fannie B. and Sigmund Zeisler to sons Ernest and Paul, 1910-1912
1 9 Correspondence: Fannie and Sigmund Zeisler to son Paul, 1923-1926
1 10-13 Correspondence: Ernest Zeisler to parents Fannie and Sigmund Zeisler, 1908-1930
1 14 Correspondence: Leonard Zeisler to parents Fannie and Sigmund Zeisler and stepmother Amelia Zeisler, 1895-1931
1 15-16 Correspondence: Paul Zeisler to parents Fannie and Sigmund Zeisler, 1910-1931
1 17 Correspondence: Ernest, Leonard and Paul to parents Fannie and Sigmund Zeisler, 1911-1912
1 18 Correspondence: Relatives/Family to Fannie and Sigmund Zeisler, 1882-1930, n.d.
1 19 Correspondence: Ruth Szold and parents to parents-in-law Fannie and Sigmund Zeisler, 1916; 1930
1 20 Miscellaneous: Correspondence relating to the disposition of Zeisler family papers, 1952-1966
1 21 Miscellaneous: Memorabilia, 1911-1981
1 22 Miscellaneous: Memorial Prize for Fannie B. Zeisler, 1961-1966

Series 2: Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler Materials, 1877-1931

Correspondence to and from Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler, 1880-1927; articles, autograph book, booklets, clippings, Golden Jubilee telegrams and programs, printed music dedicated to Fannie, and other miscellaneous items. Also, probate record of the Fannie B. Zeisler estate, 1928.
Arranged by type of material, correspondence and miscellaneous. Miscellaneous items arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
2 23 Correspondence: Zeisler, Fannie - Outgoing, 1909-1913
2 24 Correspondence: Zeisler, Fannie - Incoming, 1880-1927
2 25 Correspondence: Zeisler, Fannie - To and from Leo Zelenka- Lerando, 1912
2 26 Correspondence: Zeisler, Fannie - To and from Alexander M. Zenier, 1910-1912
2 27 Miscellaneous: Articles on Fannie Zeisler, [1893]; 1895; 1911
2 27a Miscellaneous: Autograph note by Fannie Zeisler (Photocopy), Feb. 20, 1898
2 28 Miscellaneous: Autograph Book, 1877-1887
2 29 Miscellaneous: Booklets (5), 1894-1915
2 30 Miscellaneous: Clippings, 1914; 1925
2 31 Miscellaneous: Condolence notes on death of Fannie Zeisler, 1927
2 32 Miscellaneous: Documents and correspondence regarding Fannie Zeisler
2 33 Miscellaneous: Golden Jubilee Concert 1925, telegrams/programs
2 34 Miscellaneous: Memorabilia, 1875-193?, n.d.
2 34a Miscellaneous: Music by Rafael Joseffy (printed), inscribed to Fannie Zeisler (See Oversize box), 1903
2 34b Miscellaneous: Music by Isaac Levine & Florence Barbour (mss.), inscribed to Fannie Zeisler (See Oversize box), 1911-1918
2 34c Miscellaneous: Music Magazine, with tribute to Fannie Zeisler (See Oversize box), Oct., 1927
2 35 Miscellaneous: Notebook of travel with lists and expenses, n.d.
2 36 Miscellaneous: Probate record of Fannie Zeisler's estate, 1928
2 37 Miscellaneous: Programs of concerts attended in Europe, 1926
2 38 Miscellaneous: Programs of Jubilee recitals, 1900, 1925
2 39 Miscellaneous: Telegrams, 1911-1913, n.d.

Series 3: Sigmund Zeisler Materials, 1881-1951

Correspondence unrelated to family matters, mostly incoming on the subject of Sigmund Zeisler's article "Reminiscences of the Anarchist Case," plus five letters from William Jennings Bryan. Works include essays and speeches, a photostat of a biography of Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler, and a journal kept on a trip abroad in 1923. Also, miscellaneous items, including clippings, financial and legal records, pamphlets, probate records, a will (in both English and German), a visitors' book kept at his Chicago home (1904-1936), and a photostat of a letter written to Robert Browning by William Morris regarding the Haymarket riot, 1887.
Arranged by type of material: correspondence, works, miscellaneous.

Box Folder Contents
3 40 Correspondence: Outgoing/incoming (Typescripts), 1911-1912
3 41 Correspondence: Incoming relating to Sigmund Zeisler's article, "Reminiscences of the Anarchist Case", 1926-1927
3 42 Correspondence: Letters from William Jennings Bryan (5), 1906-1915
3 43 Correspondence: Incoming miscellaneous, 1899-1932, n.d.
3 44 Correspondence: Lists of letters received, 1911-1912
3 45 Works: Article, "The Constitutionality of the Porto Rico Tariff", Apr. 27, 1900
3 46-53 Works: Biography of Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler (Photostat), n.d.
3 54 Works: Creative writing, "An Enchanted Castle", n.d.
3 55 Works: Creative writing, "The Mysterious Case of Kaspar Hauser", n.d.
4 56 Works: Diary, [1923]
4 57 Works: Diary and note/account book, 1922-1928
4 58 Works: Essay, About Nietzsche", Feb. 21, 1898
4 59 Works: Essay, "Das Wesen der Negotiorum Gestio", Nov. 13, 1881
4 60 Works: Essay, "Deutsche Arbeiten", n.d.
4 61 Works: Essay, "Reminiscences of the Anarchist Case", (printed and typescript), 1926-1927
4 62 Works: "The Prevalence of Perjury", May 14, 1894
4 63 Works: Essay, "Rights and Liabilities of the finder of chattels..." from Chicago Legal News, July 5, 1884
4 64 Works: Notes for writings, n.d.
4 65 Works: Pamphlets with articles, 1902-1914
4 66 Works: Speech delivered in St. Louis, Oct. 28, 1916
4 67 Works: Speech on the election of Alton B. Parker, n.d.
4 68 Works: Speech, "Some Witnesses", May 8, 1929
4 69 Works: Speech to the Iroquois Club on Thomas Jefferson, n.d.
4 70 Works: Speeches to the Chicago Literary Club, Oct. 5, 1896-1912
5 71 Miscellaneous: Clippings, 1901-1931
5 72 Miscellaneous: Condolence letters at Sigmund Zeisler's death
5 73 Miscellaneous: Estate litigation re Sigmund Zeisler, 1932-1951
5 74-75 Miscellaneous: Financial records, 1929-1932
5 76 Miscellaneous: Letter from William Morris to Robert Browning, regarding the Haymarket riot (Photostat), Nov. 7, 1887
5 77 Miscellaneous: Letters to President [McKinley] supporting Sigmund Zeisler for appointment as Consul-General At Berlin, 1898
5 78 Miscellaneous: Memorabilia, including passport, 1931, n.d.
5 79 Miscellaneous: Pamphlets: Chicago Literary Club, Municipal Voters' League, Sunset Club, 1891-1932
5 80 Miscellaneous: Probate Records, 1931
5 81 Miscellaneous: Visitors' Book, 1904-1936
5 82 Miscellaneous: Wills (German and English), 1930-1931

Series 4: Photographs, 1869-1930

Photographs of Fannie and Sigmund Zeisler, with a few family shots and a view of their Chicago home. Also, several portraits of celebrities including Hamlin Garland, Victor Herbert and Leopold Stokowski. Two of the images of Fannie Zeisler are on glass plate lantern slides.
Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
5 83 Bloomfield-Zeisler, Fannie, 1869-ca.1896
5 83a Bloomfield-Zeisler, Fannie - 2 lantern slides, 1875, ca.1900
5 84 Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler with others, ca. 1882-1920
5 85 Zeisler, Sigmund, ca. 1885-1930
5 86 Zeisler Family and Home, 1901-ca.1930
5 87 Garland, Hamlin, ca. 1900
5 88 Herbert, Victor, 1904
5 89 Lombard, Louis, ca. 1895
5 90 Moszkowski, Moritz, 1899
5 91 Stokowsi, Leopold, 1915

Series 5: Artifacts, 1869-1925

Nine objects relating to the Zeislers.
Arranged in two boxes, small and large.

Box
6 Three small copper halftone blocks of images of Fannie Bloomfield- Zeisler and Sigmund Zeisler, n.d.; silver clip with photo of Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler; n.d.; glass perfume bottle with stopper, n.d.; glass mug engraved FB, n.d.
7 Wristwatch inscribed "F.B.Z., Feb. 25, 1925"; locket inscribed "PBZ", 1912; medal inscribed to Paul Zeisler, 1912