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Kurt M. Stein papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Stein

Scope and Content of the Collection

Correspondence, poetry, plays and other writings, and Cliff Dwellers Club-related material.

Correspondence is from friends and admirers, and members of the Cliff Dwellers; two unpublished poetry manuscripts and several published and unpublished poems; invitations, announcements and other memorabilia from the Cliff Dwellers club; plays and songs performed at the club, and a few photographs including several of Stein at the Cliff Dwellers Club. The poems and songs are mostly light and humorous in tone.


  • Creation: 1905-1966



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Kurt M. Stein papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Kurt M. Stein 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 Kurt M. Stein

German-born Chicago-based poet, salesman, and member of the Cliff Dwellers Club.

Kurt M. Stein, also known as K. M. S., was born in Gotha, Thuringia (Germany) on May 12, 1884. His family moved to Chicago in 1895. He is known for his light verses which were initially inspired by his sisters' amusing adaptations of German and English languages as new immigrants. He published poems in the Chicago Daily News, and later appeared regularly in the "Line of Type or Two" column of the Chicago Tribune under his initials K. M. S. He was president of Leo G. Stein & Co., a leather wholesaler, and also an active member of the Cliff Dwellers club, where many of his irreverent plays, songs, and operettas were performed. He was also the author of several humorous German and English language books including Die schönste Lengevitch, Gemixte Pickles, and Limberger Lyrics.

He was married to Lois Williams, and they had no children. Stein died at the age of 82 in 1966.


0.6 Linear Feet (2 boxes)


Chicago author of German-American humor books, journalist, and active member of the Cliff Dwellers. Stein's papers include manuscript and printed works, including a substantial number of plays and sonnets for the Cliff Dwellers, and correspondence from friends and admirers.


Papers arranged by type of material.

Collection Stack Location

1 32 5


Gift, Leo A. Stern, 1990; James Stern, 2018.

Processed by

Lisa Janssen, 2007; Alison Hinderliter, 2018.


Inventory of the Kurt M. Stein papers, 1905-1966
Alison Hinderliter
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