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Philip P. Bregstone papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Bregstone

Scope and Content of the Collection

Correspondence, scrapbook albums, writings, reviews, and memorabilia of Philip P. Bregstone, together with materials of his wife, Anne Rosenberg Bregstone.

Letters and clippings concern civic activities, wartime work, literary pursuits, and condolences. Bregstone’s writings include poetry, articles, and books. The scrapbooks, one of which documents Mrs. Bregstone’s war activities, also contain copies of Bregstone’s writings. There is also a significant body of Yiddish language material by and about Bregstone, including some unpublished writings. Altogether, these papers give a good picture of the vibrant Jewish community in Chicago during the first half of the twentieth century.


  • Creation: 1889-1951
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1931-1933



Materials are in English and Yiddish.


The Philip P. Bregstone papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Philip P. Bregstone 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 at

Biography of Philip P. Bregstone

Chicago lawyer, writer, and public official who was active in Jewish affairs and Zionist causes.

Philip Pollack Bregstone was born on December 31, 1866 in Weiwery, a town across the river from Kaunas, Lithuania, where he received a general education and preliminary legal training. The family name was originally Bregshtein. He emigrated to the United States while still a boy and began his writing career at age 21 when he became a reporter for the first of a number of Chicago newspapers, both English and Yiddish. In 1897 he received a degree from Lake Forest University’s Chicago College of Law (the predecessor of the Illinois Institute of Technology/Chicago-Kent College of Law) and thereafter practiced as an attorney (practicing with the firm of Bregstone & Schoenbrod), assistant city prosecutor, assistant city attorney, and assistant judge of the Probate Court of Cook County (from 1912-1919). He also served on the faculty of two law schools.

Bregstone and his wife, Anne Rosenberg Bregstone, were active in Jewish affairs in Chicago. They were especially active in World War I war bond campaigns, and Mrs. Bregstone inaugurated “tag days” for persons who made monetary contributions. Mr. Bregstone also organized Zionist groups in the Middle West and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to promote the idea of a Palestinian homeland for Jewish peoples. Meanwhile, he wrote many articles about literature and several books— In Shturm von Leben, which was published in Yiddish in 1924; Chicago and Its Jews, which was published in English 1933; and Sins of Youth, which was never published. Bregstone received much recognition during his lifetime for his literary efforts. He died on February 9, 1934 in Chicago.


3.8 Linear Feet (2 boxes and 2 oversize boxes)


Papers of Chicago lawyer, judge, writer, and public official Philip P. Bregstone, who was active in Chicago Jewish affairs and in promoting Zionist causes in the Midwest. The bulk of the papers consist of correspondence, writings, reviews, and memorabilia by and about Bregstone and the wartime activities of his wife, Anne Rosenberg Bregstone.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1897-1951
Box 1 and Oversize Box 2
Series 2: Writings, approximately 1924-1935
Box 1 and Oversize Box 2
Series 3: Albums, 1910-1948
Box 1 and Oversize Boxes 1 and 2
Series 4: Yiddish Papers, 1889-1934
Box 2 and Oversize Box 2

Collection Stack Location

1 7 7, 1 16 3


Gift of Nancy L. Green (great granddaughter of Philip P. Bregstone), 2011.

Separated Material

Chicago and its Jews (Folder 12) and In Shturm von Leben (Folder 24) have been separated from the collection and individually cataloged in the Newberry Library collection.

Processed by

Lenore Glanz, 2011.

Inventory of the Philip P. Bregstone papers, 1889-1951, bulk 1931-1933
Finding aid prepared by Lenore Glanz
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States