A Finding Aid to the
Merle Judith Marcus Papers
Manuscript Collection No. 483
1929-1966 1.2 Linear ft.
ACCESS AND PROVENANCE
The MERLE JUDITH MARCUS PAPERS were donated to the American Jewish Archives by her father, Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus, after Ms. Marcus' death in 1965. Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus, by the act of donating the MERLE JUDITH MARCUS PAPERS to the American Jewish Archives, assigned property rights to the Archives. All literary rights to the materials are held by the individual authors or his/her heirs. Questions concerning literary or copyrights should be addressed to the Director of the American Jewish Archives. The MERLE JUDITH MARCUS PAPERS are open to all users. The original manuscript collection is available in the reading room of the American Jewish Archives.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH top
Merle Judith Marcus was the only child of Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus and Antoinette Brody Marcus. She was born in Cincinnati in 1929 and attended public schools and the Isaac M. Wise Temple Religious School. She also attended the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music and Columbia University. In 1952, She received a B.A. from Barnard College in New York City. Ms. Marcus acted and sang in light opera and stage musicals. She also performed in night clubs and on television, and attempted a career as an actress. When she realized that acting was not her forte, she began selling shows and eventually was in sales for various hotel corporations in the Washington, DC Area and in Los Angeles. At the time of her death she was the district sales manager for the Sheraton Hotels in Los Angeles. In the early morning of February 11, 1965 she died in a fire in her apartment in Los Angeles. She was preceded in death by her mother in 1953.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE top
The MERLE JUDITH MARCUS PAPERS (1929-1966) consist of correspondence, performance programs, school papers, personal items, probate records, and photographs. Of special interest in the collection is the correspondence between Merle Marcus and her father, Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus. The bulk of the collection spans the years 1950-1965 and is divided into four series as follows: SERIES A: CORRESPONDENCE SERIES B: PERSONAL SERIES C: PHOTOGRAPHS SERIES D: ORGANIZATIONS Series A, Correspondence consists of personal letters with friends and family. Of significance is the correspondence between Merle Marcus and her father, Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus, well-known rabbi and historian and the founder of the American Jewish Archives. In the early 1960's, Dr. Marcus often wrote his daughter describing the work he was doing and his daily activities, but from 1963 until her death in 1965, he wrote more regularly, usually once a week. The letters contain details about his activities and interests. Span dates for the correspondence series are 1940-1965. The materials in Series B, Personal, consist of Ms. Marcus' school papers, poetry she wrote, sketches for her comedy nightclub and stage acts, programs from various productions in which she appeared, her senior yearbook from Walnut Hills High School, and probate and funeral records connected with her untimely death. There is also a copy of a commemorative booklet about her life published by her father in 1965. Span dates for Series B are 1929-1965. Series C, Photographs, consists mainly of snapshots of the Marcus family at home and on vacation during the late 1930's through the 1940's. There are also several portraits of both Merle Marcus and Dr. Marcus. The organizational records in Series D consist of a file of minutes, bulletins and nearprint from two Jewish organizations that Merle Marcus belonged to in the late 1940's, Young Judea and the Zionist Youth Organization. Span dates for this series are 1945-1947.
BOX AND FOLDER LISTING top
Box Folder Contents SERIES A: CORRESPONDENCE 1 1 Personal correspondence 1940-1949 2 Personal correspondence 1950-1962 3 Merle Marcus to Jacob Marcus 1957-1964 4 Jacob Marcus to Merle Marcus 1950-1965 SERIES B: PERSONAL 2 1 Misc. personal papers 1929-1965 2 School papers 1943-1947 3 Walnut Hills High School Yearbook 1947 4 Stage and comedy materials 1950's - 1960's 5 Contracts and business papers 1957-1963 3 1 Accident 1964 2 Probate records 1965-1966 3 Funeral service registration book 1965 4 Commemorative booklet 1965 SERIES C: PHOTOGRAPHS 5 Family photographs and snapshots 1930's-1940's SERIES D: ORGANIZATIONS 6 Young Judea 1945-1947 7 Zionist Youth Organization 1947