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Jerry Nedwick papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Nedwick

Scope and Content of the Collection

Mainly correspondence to Rhoda (Katz) Nedwick from Jerrold Nedwick on the topic of his life and times while she was away at sanatoriums. It also includes photographs of the couple and items related to their wedding and Nedwick’s Book Store, which Jerrold owned. This collection involves their personal friends as well as more well-known cultural figures Carl Sandburg and Cleveland Rockwell. Places such as the Dill Pickle Club and the Sherman House are present.


  • Creation: 1918-1928
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1924 - 1928



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Jerry Nedwick 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.

Biography of Jerry and Rhoda Katz Nedwick

Jerrold (Jerry) Nedwick (1895?-1966) was a Chicago bookseller who owned Nedwick’s Book Store. Not much is known about his early life, but he did serve in the army during World War I and passed through St. Augustine during that time. Nedwick also made at least one long journey doing a ‘hobo trip’ across America before returning to Chicago. He learned how to run a book store under the tutelage of Ben Abramson and opened his own store in the early 1920s. Both Nedwick’s residence and Nedwick’s Book Store changed often, with his last home on Prairie Avenue.

Rhoda Nedwick (nee Katz) was born in 1900 and passed away some time before Jerry. Despite a newspaper article which circulated after their wedding in 1925 stating she was from Australia, she was born in Illinois. She was confined to a sanitarium twice in her life for tuberculosis, once in the Winfield Sanatorium in Illinois (1924-1925), and again at the National Jewish Hospital at Denver in Colorado (1927-1928). She assisted Jerry in managing and running Nedwick’s book store, and also participated often in the B’nai B’rith International service organization.

Nedwick’s Book Store ran for over forty years, counting among its clientele locals, literature aficionados, and others in the industry such as Carl Sandburg. Jerry and Rhoda Nedwick often socialized at Chicago institutions such as the Sherman House and the Dill Pickle Club. Jerry’s possession of Petronius’ The Satyricon led to his arrest in 1930, which stirred outrage in the intellectual community but the case was dismissed by a judge. Upon Jerry’s death, the University of Louisville purchased his 60,000 volumes for their library collection.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 box)


Jerrold (Jerry) Nedwick (1895?-1966) was a Chicago native who owned and operated Nedwick’s Book Store for over forty years. He married Rhoda Katz in 1925 and wrote to her almost daily during her two extended stays at sanatoriums, one in Winfield, Illinois, the other in Denver, Colorado. Both Jerry and Rhoda were originally from Illinois and active in the Chicago Jewish and literary communities. This collection is mostly his letters to her about his life while she was away, and contains no letters from her. It mentions popular locations such as the Palace Hotel, the Sherman House, and the Dill Pickle Club, as well as their personal friends and family affairs.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1924-1928
Box 1
Series 2: Personal Papers, undated
Box 1

Collection Stack Location

1 26 5


Gift of David Ranney and Donna Russell, 2018.

Processed by

Niki Herd (processing plan), 2018; Jessica Xi, 2019.

Inventory of Jerry Nedwick papers, 1918-1928, bulk 1924-1928
Emily Richardson
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