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Guide to the Papers of Sara Hoexter Blumenthal
1907-1971
  MS 963

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Megan Hahn Fraser

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on April 09, 2014
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

 
Title: Sarah Hoexter Blumenthal Papers
Dates: 1907-1971
Abstract: The diaries in the Sara Hoexter Blumenthal collection detail the daily life of a woman living in Long Island and New York City in the twentieth century. Her dairies mainly reflect her relationships with her husband and children and social events with friends and family. There is almost no mention of current events in her diaries.
Quantity: 2.0 Linear feet (4 boxes and 2 oversize items)
Location note: Manuscript cage
Call Phrase: MS 963

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Biographical Note

June 25, 1895 Sarah Hoexter born to David and Julia Hoexter, New York City.
1911 Graduated from Morris High School, Bronx.
1914 Graduated from Hunter College.
April 29, 1917 Married Meyer Blumenthal, one of the founders of Blumenthal Brothers, a chocolate manufacturing company based in Philadelphia.
1918 Son Myron born.
1920 Son J. Robert born.
1922 Daughter Berenice Blanche born.
1930's Blumenthal and her husband separate.
1943-1976 Lives at the Hotel Salisbury, New York.
February 7, 1979 Blumenthal dies in a nursing home, Newton, Massachusetts.

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Scope and Content Note

Sara Hoexter Blumenthal's (SHB) diaries detail the life of a woman of Long Island and New York City in the first half of the twentieth century. She wrote regular, almost daily entries focused on what most affected her: her relationships with her husband and children, and social events with friends and family. There is almost no mention of current events in her diaries.

In the first several diaries SHB writes about school, outings with friends, her singing lessons, her boyfriends and proposals of marriage. Once married, she writes of domestic issues such as decorating her new house in Woodmere, Long Island, dealing with servants, entertaining guests and caring for her children. She often went to Manhattan to see movies and plays, and commented on the performances. In her diaries from the 1920's, SHB writes about the frequent times she sang at social events and the many compliments she receives. Her comments on her evenings out often include detailed descriptions of her clothing and jewelry.

The most prevalent theme in SHB's diaries is her feelings about her marriage. She often writes of her despair over the way her husband deals with her, and, in her earlier diaries, just as often writes about how they reconcile. Her later diaries reveal that reconciliations became less frequent. The couple separated in the early 1930's (the exact date is not clear from her diaries), and her entries from that time focus on their bitter divorce. She hired private detectives to watch her husband and she writes about the detectives' reports of Meyer seeing other women. SHB was especially concerned that her ex-husband would poison her children's feelings for her. Following the demise of her marriage, she moved to New York City in 1943 and her entries indicate that she was trying to forge a new life for herself, dating frequently, especially a man named Eugene Spitz, and pondering marriage proposals from her new suitors.

SHB's diaries from the 1950's have many items, such as ticket stubs and invitations, inserted between pages. Her diaries from the 1960's and early 1970's detail her daily activities such as playing cards, shopping, and going to temple. Although she continues to emphasize the attention she receives from her peers, particularly men, she also writes about her loneliness and her estrangement from her children and family.

Excerpts from SHB's diaries were compiled and edited in August 2002 by her son, Myron "Mike" Blumenthal, and are available in the repository. See Manuscript Department staff for access.

The collection also includes a small group of other items housed in one box: tickets, programs, a map of the 1964-1965 World's Fair in Queens, invitations, postcards and two photographs, one of SHB dated 1937, and one showing her in her New York City Motor Corps uniform dated by the donor to either 1944 or 1945.

Her certificate of confirmation in Congregation Montefiore, Sivan 6, 5667 /1907, and her certificate upon completion of elementary school, February 5, 1908, are housed in the oversized storage files under the call phrase Y-1907/1908.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged by type of material. All of the diaries in this collection are in a chronological sequence followed by the photographs and the ephemera.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Blumenthal, Berenice Blanche
  • Blumenthal, Meyer, 1889?-1951
  • Blumenthal, Mike, 1918-

Document Type

  • Diaries
  • Invitations
  • Postcards
  • Programs
  • Tickets

Subject Organizations

  • Hunter College
  • Morris High School

Subject Topics

  • Divorce--New York (State)
  • Divorced women--New York (State)--New York
  • Marital conflict
  • Marriage--New York (State)

Subject Places

  • New York (N.Y.)--Social life and customs--20th century
  • Woodmere (N.Y.)--Social life and customs--20th century

Occupation(s)

  • Housewives

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Administrative Information

Provenance

Donation by Mike Blumenthal (son of Sarah Hoexter Blumenthal), 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008.

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

The collection has been microfilmed and will be brought to the researcher in that format.

Researchers on site may print out unlimited copies from microfilm reader-printer machines at per-exposure rates. See guidelines in Reading room for details.

Use Restrictions

Permission to quote from this collection in a publication must be requested and granted in writing. Send permission requests, citing the name of the collection from which you wish to quote, to

Manuscripts Curator
The New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as the Sarah Hoexter Blumenthal Papers, the New-York Historical Society.

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Container List


Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Autograph Book
1907-1908
Box: 1 Autograph Book
1907-1912
Box: 1 Diary
1908, 1909, 1913
Box: 1 Diary
1910-1912
Box: 1 Diary
1911
Box: 1 Diary
1912-1913
Box: 1 Diary
1913
Box: 1 Diary
1914
Box: 1 Diary
1915
Box: 1 Diary
1915
Box: 1 Diary
1916
Box: 1 Diary
1917
Box: 1 Diary
1918
Box: 1 Diary
1919
Box: 1 Diary
1922
Box: 1 Diary
1923
Box: 1 Diary
1924
Box: 1 Diary
1925
Box: 1 Diary
1926
Box: 1 Diary
1927
Box: 2 Diary
1928
Box: 2 Diary
1929-1933
Box: 2 Diary
1934-1938
Box: 2 Diary
circa 1935
Box: 2 Diary
1939
Box: 2 Diary
1940-1941
Box: 2 Diary
1941
Box: 2 Diary
1942
Box: 2 Diary
1943
Box: 2 Diary
1944
Box: 2 Diary
1945
Box: 2 Diary
1946
Box: 2 Diary
1947
Box: 2 Diary
1948
Box: 3 Diary
1949
Box: 3 Diary
1950
Box: 3 Diary
1951
Box: 3 Diary
1952
Box: 3 Diary
1953
Box: 3 Diary
1954
Box: 3 Diary
1955
Box: 3 Diary
1956
Box: 3 Diary
1957
Box: 3 Diary
1958
Box: 3 Diary
1959
Box: 3 Diary
1960
Box: 3 Diary
1961
Box: 3 Diary
1962
Box: 3 Diary
1963
Box: 3 Diary
1964
Box: 3 Diary
1965
Box: 3 Diary
1968
Box: 3 Diary
1970
Box: 3 Diary
1971
Box: 4 Folder : 1 Correspondence
1917-1958
Box: 4 Folder : 2 Photographs
1937-1945, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Tickets and Programs
1912-1966
Box: 4 Folder : 4 Postcards
1914-1916, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 5 Medal, Ribbon, and Pennant
1909, 1914, undated
Box: OS Folder : 1 Certificates (Y-1907/1908)
1907-1908

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