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Guide to the Henry and Ida Schuman Papers, 1920-1997 and undated

Abstract

Antiquarian book dealers based in New York City with close ties to Duke University physician and rare manuscripts and book collector Josiah Trent.

Collection consists chiefly of card indexes representing the medical history rare book and manuscript inventory that Henry and his wife Ida Schuman assembled and managed as part of their antiquarian book business. The cards were very likely used to assemble the dealer catalogs published by the Schumans. Many of the cards record purchases and other transactions, and which institution acquired the item. The larger card file consists of 14 boxes and are alphabetically organized by author or title. Smaller cardfiles exist for mathematical works and other unidentified divisions. There are also several boxes of the Schumans' business and professional papers, including several folders of correspondence between the Schumans and their clients, including Dr. Josiah Trent of Duke University, and bills of sale for rare books and manuscripts. After her husband's death in 1962, Ida Schuman carried on with the business until her death in 1977. Acquired as part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Schuman, Henry.
Title
Henry and Ida Schuman papers, 1920-1997 and undated
Language of Material
English
Extent
9.2 Linear Feet, Approx. 6915 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The Henry and Ida Schuman Papers consist chiefly of the card index inventory representing the history of medicine-related rare book and manuscript collection that Henry and his wife Ida Schuman assembled and managed as part of their well-known antiquarian book and manuscript business. The cards were very likely used to assemble the dealer catalogs published by the Schumans, whose business was first based in Detroit, then for the longer duration in New York City. Many of the cards document purchases and other transactions, and which institution or individual acquired the item. The larger card file consists of 15 boxes and is alphabetically organized by author or title. Smaller card files exist for mathematical works and other unidentified indexes. There are also several boxes of the Schumans' business and professional papers, including several folders of correspondence between the Schumans and their clients and friends, including Josiah Trent, and bills of sale for rare books and manuscripts. The collection also includes papers related to the Schumans' Life of Science Library publishing series. Acquired as part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Large bibliographic index maintained by Henry and Ida Schuman as a catalog of their inventory of rare books and manuscripts related to the history of medicine. Beyond the usual bibliographic information there are also detailed dealer descriptions of the items and their artifactual, bibliographic, or research value. Many of the cards also contain handwritten annotations indicating buyer information and dates of sale. The main card file extends to 15 boxes, with smaller index files in other boxes for mathematical works and other miscellaneous groups. There are roughly 360 cards per box, arranged in alphabetical order by author or in some cases by title.

Main index file
Box 1-15
Mathematics
Box 15
Miscellaneous
Box 16
"List 'AA'," A-L (includes a microfilm of entire AA list)
Box 17
"List 'AA'," M-Z
Box 18
"Whittaker Collection"
Box 19

Primarily contains professional correspondence concerning the daily operations of the Schumans' antiquarian books business and the Schumans' publishing company, Henry Schuman, Inc., Publishers, between 1940 and 1965. Includes communications of both a professional and personal nature between Henry and Ida Schuman and Mary and Josiah Trent of Durham, North Carolina, correspondence between the Schumans and other clients and associates, and intra-office communications between Henry Schuman, Ida Schuman, and their assistant, Martha Alexander. Much of the correspondence from Henry and Ida Schuman to clients includes documentation of balances due as well as invoices. Arranged in chronological order.

Correspondence, 1947-1965 and undated
(3 folders)
Box 20

Chiefly contains guides written by Henry Schuman for writers of biographies, to be used for essays submitted for inclusion in the Life of Science Library published by Henry Schuman, Inc., Publishers in 1948. Other writings include a mission statement for the Life of Science Library, a chronology of important collections, expositions, and museum of medicine and public health, and a draft of a manuscript by an unknown author possibly edited by Schuman, titled "The Medical Man of 18th Century Virginia as Revealed in the Life of Hugh Mercer." Arranged alphabetically by title.

Life of Science Library writings
Box 20
Other writings
Box 20

Contains printed materials including a pamphlet advertising a book, a facsimile of an article about Henry Schuman, and a small addition to the bibliographic card index kept by the Schuman's to catalog their inventory of rare books.

Other Materials
(2 folders)
Box 20

Historical Note

Henry and Ida Schuman began their antiquarian book business in Detroit in the 1930s, and soon moved to New York City where they established their well-known business on 20 East 70th Street and later at 2211 Broadway Street. They have been described as the first history of medicine rare book dealers in the United States. They enjoyed close ties with their clients, most notably to Duke University physician and collector Dr. Josiah Trent, whose collection of rare books and medical artifacts comprise the majority of the items in Duke University's History of Medicine Collections. Henry Schuman died in 1962 at the age of 63. After his death, Ida Schuman carried on with the business until her passing in 1977.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Trent Manuscripts Collection (artificial collection assembled chiefly by Dr. Josiah Trent) (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Henry and Ida Schuman Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Henry and Ida Schuman Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift.

Processing Information

Processed by Nathalie Baudrand and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, March 2012.

Encoded by Nathalie Baudrand and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, March 2012.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.