Archive Inventory

Estates and Collections

The inventory of the Social Science Archive Konstanz consists of the estates of numerous authors as well as a digital documentation for the German Sociological Association (DGS).

Max Ascoli (25 June 1898 - 1 January 1978)

Born in Ferarra, he studied law in Ferarra and philosophy in Rome. There he received his doctorate in both law and philosophy. In 1921 he began his professorship in philosophy of law at various Italian universities until 1931. After immigrating to the US at the beginning of October 1931, he lived in New York and was a Professor of political philosophy at the New School for Social Research from 1933. Ascoli mainly worked in the field of philosophy of law, political philosophy and the dogmata history of political theories. He died in New York in 1978. A selection of his academic correspondence from 1934 – 1948, mainly with members of the graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York, can be found in the Archive. The letters are available as photocopies. An index is available.


Hans Paul Bahrdt (3 December 1918 - 16 Jun 1994)

Born in Dresden, he studied philosophy and sociology in Heidelberg and Göttingen from 1945. In 1952 he completed his dissertation on Herder with Helmuth Plessner. From 1952 to 1962 he worked as a research assistant in the Social Research Centre in Dortmund. In the same year he began his promotion to professor at the University of Mainz. He worked as an adjunct professor from 1959 – 1962 at the Technical University Hannover. In 1962 he was appointed to the Helmuth Plessner Professorship, which he occupied until he received his emeritus status in 1982. Bahrdt’s research foci covered the areas of sociology of industry and engineering (“The Worker’s Concept of Society”, 1957, “Engineering and Industry Work”, 1964 (both in collaboration with Heinrich Popitz and Ernst-August Jueres, Hanno Kesting), “Between the Lathe and the Computer. The Changing Face of Industrial Work”, 1970 (in collaboration with Horst Kern and Martin Osterland)), urban and regional sociology (“The Modern City. Sociological Thoughts on Urban Development”, 1961, “Humane Urban Development. Thoughts on Housing Policy and City Planning for the Near Future”, 1968), sociology of science (“Sociology of Science – ad hoc”, 1971) and phenomenologically oriented sociology (“Basic Forms of Social Situations. A Small Grammar of Everyday Life”, 1996; “Heavenly Planning Errors. Essays on Culture and Society”, 1999.)
The full estate can be found in its original form in the Social Science Archive.


Hans Heinrich Gerth (24 April 1908 - 29 December 1978)

Born in Kassel, he studied in Heidelberg with Karl Jaspers, Emil Lederer, Alfred Weber and Karl Mannheim in particular; in London and Frankfurt am Main with Paul Tillich and Adolph Loewe. He worked as an assistant at the University of Kiel after his promotion in 1933. From 1934 to 1935 he worked as a journalist at the Berliner Tagblatt, as the Berlin Correspondent for the Chicago Daily News and as a freelancer for the Berliner Tagblatt and the Frankfurter Zeitung from 1936-37. In 1938 he immigrated to the US via England. There he taught sociology at the University of Illinois and subsequently at the University of Wisconsin until 1940. He was especially dedicated to translating the works of Max Weber and worked with C. Wright Mills. In the meantime he held visiting professorships at various American universities as well as in Frankfurt am Main and Tokyo. He returned to Germany in 1971 and worked as a professor for sociology in Frankfurt am Main until 1975. The collection of source material in the Archive consists of copies, the originals of which are in possession of Mrs Gerth. It consists of notes and assignments from Gerth’s years of study, taken from Mannheim’s “Liberalism Seminar” amongst others. A collection of Gerth’s newspaper articles is also available. The organisation of these materials was supported by research funds of the University of Konstanz. An index is available.

Aron Gurwitsch (17 January 1901 - 25 June 1973)

Born in Wilna, he studied psychology, philosophy, mathematics and physics in Berlin, Frankfurt am Main and Göttingen. In 1928 he completed his doctorate in Göttingen on “Phenmenology of Subject Matter”, an examination of the theory of perception and its evolvement in the theory of coherent perception(Gestalttheorie) and phenomenology.  He failed his postdoctoral qualification presumably due to political reasons. The study of his postdoctoral thesis “Encounters with Fellow Humans in the Milieu World” was finally published in 1976. From 1929 – 1933 he worked as a research assistant at the Prussian Ministry of Science. In 1933, he immigrated to Paris, where he taught philosophy at Sorbonne. In 1940, he immigrated to the USA. There he taught philosophy, physics and mathematics at John Hopkins University and Harvard University amongst others. From 1948 he also taught at Brandeis University. In 1959 he had the reputation of Alfred Schütz’s successor at the New School for Social Research. He was also the director of the Husserl Archive and held a position as a visiting professor in Puerto Rico and Mainz as well as in other places. Gurwitsch’s work was dedicated to the further development of phenomenological constitution analysis and has had a great impact on the phenomenological scientific theory in particular. Copies of his complete scientific correspondence with Alfred Schütz can be found in the Archive. A commented account of this exchange is also available. The correspondence begins in exile in Paris 1938, continues in the USA and ends with the death of Schütz in 1959. It contains detailed discussions of the complete problem area of “phenomenology and social science”. The biggest part was published by Richard Grathoff in 1985. The estate also consists of excerpts, manuscripts and typo scripts from Gurwitsch’s academic career. An index of the estate copies is available.


Paul Honigsheim (28 March 1885 - 22 January 1963)

Born in Düsseldorf, he studied history, law, political science and philosophy in Bonn, Berlin and lastly in Heidelberg. There, greatly influenced by Max Weber, he earned his doctorate in 1914. During the war he worked as a translator in German prisoner camps. From 1919 he was active in the University of Cologne’s Institute of Sociology . After completing his promotion to professor in 1920, he also held his first professorship there. At the same time, Honigsheim was also the director of the adult education centre of Cologne. In 1933, he immigrated to France. From 1936 to 1938 he taught as a professor of philosophy, sociology and ethnology at the University of Panama. He relocated to the USA in 1938, where he worked as a professor of sociology and anthropology at Michigan State University until 1950.  His areas of study included sociology of education, sociology of culture and anthropology, as well as studies in the history of ideas and sociology. Hectographed manuscripts of numerous lecture notes from his time in Michigan as well as lectures he composed for the RIAS station (Broadcasting in the American Sector) after the war can be found in the Archive. An index is available.


Felix Kaufmann (4 July 1895 - 23 December 1949)

Born in Vienna where he also studied philosophy, law and political science. During his time in Vienna he was connected to the Vienna Circle, but was primarily interested in connecting with Husserl’s phenomenology. He was already closely connected to Alfred Schütz. The wide range of his work includes writings on philosophy of law, mathematics and logic, as well as research on the methodology of sociology. In 1920 he was awarded his Doctorate of Law, in 1926 his Doctorate of Philosophy, and in 1927 he began working as an associate professor at the University of Vienna. He supported himself with a job as a manager of the Austrian branch of an international oil firm. After the annexation of Austria in 1938, Kaufmann immigrated to the USA via Paris and London. There he accepted a position at the New School for Social Research in New York. Kaufmann’s complete academic estate, including correspondence on microfilm, is available in the Archive. The originals are kept in the Centre for Advanced Research in Phenomenology at the Wilfried Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. An estate index is available. The organization and indexing of the estate was made possible by the sponsorship of the Fritz-Thyssen-Foundation.


Paul Felix Lazarsfeld (13 February 1901 - 30 August 1976)

Born in Vienna where he also studied mathematics, physics and later psychology. In addition to his political activities in various socialist organisations, he soon turned his attention to the problem of acquiring and processing empirical sociological data, an area in which he performed ground-breaking work. Toward the end of the 1920s, with the help of the “Business Psychology Research Centre”, he launched the first institute for empirical social research in Vienna. This institute was the first to gain means of implementing academic projects by commercially oriented research. In 1932 he published the classic study on “The Unemployed of Marienthal” with Marie Jahoda and Hans Zeisel. After participating in a visiting research fellowship in the USA, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, from 1933 to 1935, he decided to stay in the USA after the annexation of Austria in March 1938. After several way stations, he was made director of the “Office of Radio Research” at Princeton University in 1937. From 1939 this office operated under the name of “Bureau of Applied Social Research” at Columbia University in New York and was continued under his direction until 1949. From 1941 to 1971 he taught and directed at Columbia University, as well as teaching as a visiting professor at Sorbonne in Paris. After his retirement in 1971, he was conferred emeritus status and taught as a professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania until 1976. Lazarsfeld dealt with the general problems of applied social research, especially the effect of mass media and empirical psephology. Parts of his academic estate as well as parts of his correspondence are available in the Archive on microfilm. The originals are owned by Columbia University, New York. An index is available. The organization and indexing of the estate was made possible by the sponsorship of the Fritz-Thyssen-Foundation.


Adolph Lowe (4 March 1893 - 3 May 1995)

Geboren in Stuttgart. Sein Studium in München, Berlin und Tübingen schloß er 1918 mit einer juristischen Promotion ab. Zwischen 1918 und 1926 war Lowe als hoher Regierungsbeamter in verschiedenen Reichsministerien tätig und wurde u.a. mit der Entwicklung von Plänen für die Wiedereingliederung des demobilisierten Heeres beauftragt. 1926-1930 Professor für Ökonomie und Soziologie in Kiel, wo er gleichzeitig am Institut für Weltwirtschaft die Abteilung für Konjunkturforschung begründete. Von 1931 bis 1933 Ordinarius für politische Ökonomie an der Universität Frankfurt/M. beschäftigt, dort Zusammenarbeit mit Karl Mannheim, Paul Tillich und dem Institut für Sozialforschung. 1933 Emigration über die Schweiz nach England, wo er an der University of Manchester lehrte. 1940 Übersiedlung in die USA, in New York seit 1941 Professor für Ökonomie an der New School for Social Research. Daneben 1943-1951 Direktor des Institute of World Affairs und seit 1953 Gastprofessor an der Hebräischen Universität in Jerusalem. 1983 kehrte er nach Deutschland zurück. Sein politisches Engagement als Sozialdemokrat spiegelte sich auch in seiner ökonomischen Theorie, in der er bewußt von sozialpolitischen Zielvorgaben ausging. In »The Price of Liberty« thematisierte er die Balance von Selbstbestimmung und sozialer Ordnung als Voraussetzung eines freiheitlichen politischen Systems. Im Archiv wird eine Kollektion der Kopien seiner wissenschaftlichen Korrespondenz aufbewahrt, die zwischen 1947 und 1961 geführt wurde, vorwiegend jedoch aus der Zeit seiner Tätigkeit als Direktor des Institute of World Affairs stammt. Ein Verzeichnis der Briefe liegt vor.


Benita Luckmann (22 December 1925 - 3 December 1987)

Born and raised in Riga, she lived her last years in the Latvian capital under the hardship of the Soviet and then the German occupation. In the winter of 1944 she fled and proceeded to work as a nurse in military hospitals in Vienna and Salzburg. After the end of the war she started her studies at the Faculty of Theology Salzburg, and later at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Innsbruck. At the same time, she was involved in refugee work at World’s YM/YWCA. In 1950, shortly before immigrating to the USA, she married Thomas Luckmann. Until 1956 she studied at the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science in the New School for Social Research. She then taught at Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y. until 1961. With the help of the DAAD she studied at the University of Freiburg for a year (with Arnolf Bergstraesser and Eugen Fink in particular) and earned her doctorates degree there in 1962, with a thesis on Russia as a developing country. After that she taught at Rutgers University in New Brunswick (N.J.) und occasionally at the University of Freiburg. When her husband was offered a chair at the University of Frankfurt am Main in 1965, they moved to Germany. In 1971, when he was offered a chair at the University of Konstanz, they moved to Switzerland. She theoretically approached the issue of “small life worlds” and increasingly concerned herself with exile research, in particular with the University in Exile which was later to become the Graduate Faculty of the New School in New York. In line with this work she and her husband went to the USA for research purposes, however they did not succeed in publishing the final summary of this work. In 1987 she died of a severe illness. The majority of materials Benita Luckmann acquired throughout her studies can be found in the Archive. An index is available.

Thomas Luckmann (14 October 1927 - 10 May 2016)

Thomas Luckmann was born on the 14th of October 1927 in Jesenice (today’s Slovenia). He studied philosophy, German, romance linguistics and literature, comparative linguistics and psychology at the Univerities of Vienna and Innsbruck, as well as the New School for Social Research in New York. Carl Meyer, Albert Salomon and Alfred Schütz were amongst his teachers. In 1955 he gained his Master’s degree in philosophy and in the same year he became a university lecturer in the Graduate Faculty at the New School. In 1956 he completed his doctorate in sociology, and was employed in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Hobart College, New York. From 1960 to 1965 he started off as an Assistant and then became Associate Professor at the sociological faculty of the New School. In 1965 he returned to Europe to accept a professorship of sociology at the University of Frankfurt. Five years later he went to the University of Konstanz where he was offered a chair. There, he worked as a professor of sociology from 1970 until his retirement in 1994. His most important publications are: “The Social Construction of Reality” (1966; with Peter L. Berger), “The Invisible Religion” (1967), “Structures of the Life-World” (1973; based on Alfred Schütz’s notebooks). As a Sociologist, Luckmann placed himself in the tradition of Max Weber’s interpretive Sociology. In addition to this, Luckmann’s socio-theoretical approach was strongly influenced by Alfred Schütz’s social phenomenology. In an interview he named Alexandre de Tocqueville and Wilhelm von Humboldt as his academic role models. Luckmann was mainly noted for his restatement of classic sociology of knowledge which went back to Max Scheler and Karl Mannheim. By resetting their philosophical orientation, he was able to further develop their ideas to fruition in empirical research. This was accomplished with Peter L. Berger and in doing this, they became the founders of a modern, hermeneutic sociology of knowledge.  By developing central aspects of his teacher Alfred Schütz’s theory, Luckmann coined the term “proto-sociology” – a phenomenologically oriented “fundamental discipline” of social sciences. This discipline attempts to establish universal structures of human world orientation. Luckmann also published significant articles on sociology of religion, sociology of moral and time as well as on the question of identity.


Karl Mannheim (27 March 1893 - 9 January 1947)

Mannheim, one of the pioneers of sociology of knowledge, was born in Budapest. He studied in Budapest, Berlin, Freiburg and Heidelberg. Heidelberg was most likely the place that influenced him most during his studies. There he addressed the works of Max Weber. The ideas of Rickert, Lask and Lukács which greatly affected the Heidelberger Milieu as well as the ideas of Husserl, Scheler and Marx, were ground-breaking for his theoretical thought. After receiving his doctorate in Budapest in 1918, he qualified as a professor in 1926 in Heidelberg where he was employed as an associate professor for four years. Then he was offered a chair as full professor for sociology, replacing Franz Oppenheimer in Frankfurt am Main. After he was given notice in 1933, due to the the national socialist Civil Service Law, he taught for a short while at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. In the same year, he immigrated to England where he first taught at the London School of Economics and Political Science. From 1941 he was employed as an associate professor and from 1945 until his death, he was the director of the Institute of Education at London University. The copies of two original extensive manuscripts from the early days of his academic work can be found in the Archive. They were put in the Archive by the editors, Nico Stehr and Volker Meja. The materials collected and photo-copied for the research project “Karl Mannheim in Exile 1933 – 1947”, financed by the Volkswagenwerk Foundation, have been sorted and catalogued. These materials mainly consist of documents from Mannheim’s work in England, and materials from his collaboration work in the MOOT Kreis amongst others. An index is available.


Carl Mayer (18 July 1902 - 13 May 1974)

Born in Pforzheim, Mayer studied social science and political science in Heidelberg with Alfred Weber, Eduard Heimann and Karl Jaspers. In 1929 he gained his doctorate with a thesis on Max Weber’s sociology of religion (“Church and Sect”), a work which he associated himself with for the rest of his life. At first he taught in Frankfurt am Main at the trade union college, The Academy of Work. After the academy was closed in 1933, he immigrated to New York and was offered a chair at the New School for Social Research. After the war, he directed an extensive project exploring religious life in Germany. As professor emeritus, relocated in Switzerland, he occasionally taught in Frankfurt am Main and Konstanz. His academic interest was mainly in the areas of sociology of religion and the theory of social behaviour. Carl Mayer’s complete original estate is available in the Archive. An index is available.

George Herbert Mead (27 February 1863 - 26 April 1931)

Mead was born in South Hedley, Massachusetts. After studies at Oberlin College, Ohio he worked as a geodesist for many years. From 1887 he continued his studies in psychology and philosophy in Harvard, Leipzig and Berlin. In 1891 he returned to the USA, where he first taught at the University of Michigan and then at the University of Chicago from 1984. Almost all of his works were edited from the estate after his death. Mead’s estate in the Archive represents one of the most important contributions to the theory of social behaviour in sociology which it owes to the establishment of so-called “symbolic interactionism”. The complete estate is available on microfilm in the Archive. The originals can be found in the Regenstein Library of the University of Chicago, Department of Special Collections. The copies were acquired with the help of Anselm Strauss and financed by the Fritz-Thyssen-Foundation. An index is available.


Franz Pariser (21 July 1895 - May 1974)

Born in Berlin, Franz Pariser first worked in his father’s textiles factory which he also took over after his father’s death. As a self-educated man, he began performing research in the area of cultural anthropology, in particular, examining clothing conventions as a means of human self-design in its symbolic and interaction related functions. In 1932 he immigrated to Switzerland and in 1939 to England. After the war he returned to Switzerland, passing through Italy and the USA. He spent his whole life collecting materials for his project and prepared the analysis of these. The collection encompasses documents from every written-heritage civilisation. The original estate is available in the Archive. The acquisition and organisation was financed by the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation and research funds from the University of Konstanz. An index is available.

Helmuth Plessner (4 September 1892 - 12 June 1985)

Born in Wiesbaden, Plessner initially studied zoology and philosophy under Hans Driesch in Heidelberg and from 1914 under Husserl in Göttingen. After extensive Kant studies, he gained his doctorate in 1916 with a thesis titled “Crisis of Transcendental Truth in its Origin”. In 1920 he was promoted to professor of philosophy in Cologne and taught there as an associate professor until 1933. During this time his classic works were published: “The Entity of Senses” (1923), “The Limits to Community” (1924), “Levels of Organic Being” (1928) and “Power and Human Nature” (1931). In 1933 he immigrated via Turkey to the Netherlands in 1934. There he taught at the University of Groningen until 1951. In Groningen he developed his analysis of the political happenings in Germany in 1935: “The Fate of the German Spirit at the End of its Civil Epoch”. This became famous when it was reissued as “The Belated Nation” in 1959. In 1941 the study of extreme situations of human behaviour “Laughing and Weeping” was published. In 1952 he returned to Germany and assumed a chair for philosophy at the University of Göttingen. After retiring he lived near Zürich but moved back to Göttingen in later years where he then died in 1985. The Archive has copies of selected materials which were collected in relation to a research project on the intellectual biography of Helmuth Plessner by Walter Sprondel (Tuebingen). An index is available.


Heinrich Popitz (14 May 1925 - 1 April 2002)

Born in Berlin, Popitz studied philosophy, history and economics in Heidelberg, Göttingen and Oxford. In 1949 he wrote his dissertation on “Young Marx’ Critique of Time and the Philosophy of History” under Karl Jaspers at the philosophical seminar in Basel. Afterwards, he assisted Helmut Schelsky in an industrial sociological research project at the University of Münster. The now classic studies “Technology and Industrial Work” and “The Worker’s Concept of Society” (both published in 1957) emerged from this. In 1957 he gained his doctorate in the Faculty of Law and Political Science at the University of Freiburg and then worked as a private lecturer. In 1959 he gained his professor title at the chair of Sociology at the University of Basel. In 1964 he took over the chair of Sociology at the University of Freiburg which he kept until gaining emeritus status in 1992 – interrupted only by work as a professor at the New School for Social Research in 1971/72. During this time he wrote anthropologically oriented, classic studies on topics such as the history of technology (“Epochs of the History of Technology”, 1989), social norms (“The Normative Construction of Society”, 1980), the social concept of role (“The Concept of the Social Role as an Element of Sociological Theory”, 1967), and on power (“Processes of Power Cultivation”, 1968; “Phenomena of Power”, 1986/1992). The complete estate is available in the Archive.

Index of Heinrich Popitz's estate


Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902 - 17 September 1994)

Born and bred in Vienna, he also studied there. After completing his teaching diploma in 1927, he gained a Dr.phil. title a year later. During this time he gave private lessons and worked in Vienna as a teacher and social worker. He was involved in youth organisations such as the Jung-Wandervögel, and later as a supervisor of delinquent youths and as a day-care educator. In 1937 he immigrated to New Zealand where he taught philosophy at the Canterbury University in Christchurch. In 1946 he moved to England and worked at the London School of Economics. There he worked as a professor of logic and scientific methods. During this time, he spent many years teaching as a visiting professor in Vienna and especially at various universities in the USA. Following the philosophy of the Vienna Circle and the liberal school of thought of Austria’s economy, Popper composed works on the philosophy of science as well as highly regarded publications on the history of philosophy and political philosophy which were influential for this school of thought. A copy of his dissertation manuscript “The Question of Method in Cognitive Psychology” which he submitted in the summer semester of 1928 in Vienna, is available in the Archive.


George Psathas (22 February 1929 - 15 November 2018)

Born in 1929 in New Haven, Connecticut. B.A. 1950 at Yale University, M.A. 1951 at the University of Michigan, Ph.D. 1956 in Yale. 1963 to 1968 Associate Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, 1968 until retirement 1997 professor of Sociology at Boston University. As part of his academic activities, George Psathas has made a special contribution to the promotion of phenomenological sociology and ethnomethodology. One focus of his theoretical interests is the works of Alfred Schütz and Harold Garfinkel.
The archive has been owned by George Psathas since 2011. An index is available.


Albert Salomon (8 December 1891 - 18 December 1966)

Born in Berlin, he studied theology, philosophy and sociology in Berlin (under Georg Simmel) as well as in Freiburg and Heidelberg. There Salomon belonged to a circle of friends which included Georg Lukács and Karl Mannheim. After gaining his doctor title in 1921, he worked at a bank in Berlin and in his father’s company. From 1926 he taught at the German Academy for Politics in Berlin as a professor of political sociology. At the same time he worked with Rudolf Hilferding as a publisher of “Gesellschaft”, the discussion platform of the Social Democratic Party. From 1930 he worked as a professor of sociology at the Institute for Vocational Education and Training in Cologne. After his dismissal in 1933, he immigrated to the USA and taught sociology and social philosophy at the New School in New York from 1935. Some of the central topics of his work include research in the sociology of intellectuals, of revolution movements, of literature and the forming of sociological thought in 18th and 19th century France. The predominant part of the academic estate is available in the original form in the Archive. Smaller parts, especially correspondence, are kept in the Leo Baeck Institute in New York. The acquisition, organisation and cataloguing of the estate was aided by the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation and the German Research Foundation.


Joseph A. Schumpeter (8 February 1883 - 8 January 1950)

Born in Trest (Maehren), he studied law and economics in Vienna. After gaining is Doctor of Law in 1907, he went to Egypt amongst other places. In Egypt he worked as the layer and financial advisor of a princess. In 1909 he gained his professor title in Vienna, after which he was offered a professorship in national economy in Czernowitz at first, and then in Graz from 1911 to 1921. In 1913 he taught as a visiting professor at Columbia University, New York. After participating in discussions regarding separate peace for Austria, his political actions led him to the administrative office of the Austrian Minister of Finance in 1919. From 1922 to 1932 he was the president of the Biedermannbank, after the collapse of which, Schumpeter went bankrupt. From 1925 to 1932 he worked at the chair of economics in Bonn. In 1932 he immigrated to the USA, where he taught as a professor of economy at Harvard University until his death in 1950. His works in the field of econometrics were equally as ground-breaking as his analyses of economic cycles. In this field he linked economic approaches with sociological approaches. Schumpeter is the author of fundamental works on the history of economic theories. Copies of selected parts of his estate are available in the Archive. The material primarily deals with the sociological aspects of his work. The original versions of the estate are kept in the archive of Harvard University. An estate index is available. The acquisition of these materials was made possible with the help of the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation.


Alfred Schütz (13 April 1899 - 20 May 1959)

Born in Vienna where he also studied law and political economics under Hans Kelsen, Ludwig von Mises, Max Adler and later Felix Kaufmann, amongst others. In 1920 he also simultaneously attended the Vienna Academy of International Trade. After gaining his doctor title, he worked as a financial attorney for various Viennese banks from 1921, and continued to participate in the intellectual life of Vienna. In 1938 he immigrated to the USA via Paris. From 1939 onwards, he continued working in the banking industry in New York and spent his free time dedicating himself to his academic studies, as he had done in Vienna. From 1943 he also worked as a lecturer at the New School for Social Research and from 1946, as a visiting professor of sociology. In 1952 he began his professorship in sociology and later in philosophy as well. In 1956 he abandoned his ‘double life’ and concentrated on teaching and research. These activities were then greatly hindered by his developing illness. Schütz’s academic interest was directed at the foundation and continuation of a social science based on Max Weber’s interpretive sociology. He strived towards this under the influence of Henri Bergson at first, and then later more in the style of Husserl. His work established the fundamentals of one of the most effective theory of action approaches in sociology today: so called “phenomenological sociology”. Copies and originals of Schütz’s complete academic estate are available on microfilm in the Archive. In addition to this, the Archive is in possession of Schütz’s working library of approximately 3000 volumes as well as his periodical collection. The original estate is in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. The organisation and duplication of the estate was aided by the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation. The University Society of Konstanz provided the funds for the acquisition of the periodical collection and the German Research Foundation provided the funds for the acquisition of the library. All instructions, manuscripts and notes Alfred Schütz left as a draft for the completion of his planned conclusive main body of work on “Structures of the Lifeworld” and which served Thomas Luckmann as foundation for composition of the text, are kept in a special department.  They are organized in such a way that the structure of the two thus emerging volumes of “Structures of the Lifeworld” is documented based on Schütz’s material.


Digital catalogue of Alfred-Schütz (UB-Konstanz)

Index Alfred-Schütz (PDF)


Ilse Schütz (10 February 1902 - 7 June 1990)

Born in Vienna where she also studied art history and history. In 1926 she married Alfred Schütz. After his death, she supervised the countless translations of his work and arranged editing work. Because of this, worldwide reception of the Schütz school of thought is inseparably linked to her name. Her estate contains correspondence with people connected with the New School and the broader social and academic network of the Schütz family from emigration circles, as well as correspondence with several generations of the “phenomenological movement” in philosophy and sociology since the 1960s. It also contains received manuscripts and publishing correspondence as well as materials on the reception of Schütz’s work. Both originals and copies of the estate are available. An index is also available.

Alfred Vierkandt (4 June 1867 - 24 April 1953)

Born in Hamburg, he studied physics, mathematics, geography and philosophy in Leipzig. There he completed his doctorate in 1892. In 1894 he started work on his professor title in geography, but changed to ethnology in Berlin in 1900. He was one of the co-founders of the German Sociological Association in 1910. From 1913 he taught as a professor in Berlin, where he also received his professorship of sociology in 1921. The first German-language “Concise Dictionary of Sociology” was released in 1931 under his direction. In 1934 he was forced to retire by the National Socialists but he resumed teaching at the Humboldt University in Berlin in 1946. Based on his ethnological knowledge, Vierkandt’s choice of a research focal point in sociology lay in the field of sociology of culture and behaviour theory. This tendency has been further reinforced by the imitation of Husserl’s phenomenology since the mid 20’s. There are a number of annotated volumes of his works from his reference library, proofs from his essay on “The Developmental Psychological Theory of Magic” from 1937 with hand-written corrections, as well as the unpublished manuscript “Instinctual Life and Culture” (typescript with hand-written amendments) available in the Archive.


Helmut R. Wagner (5 August 1904 - 22 April 1989)

Wagner was born in Dresden. After training at a technical school, he was employed as a teacher in adult education from 1925 to 1932. In 1934 he was forced to leave Germany when he was denationalized following his criticism of the Nazi regime. While living in exile in Switzerland, he occupied himself with socio-scientific studies and worked as a technician in the Swiss Army. After immigrating to the USA in 1941, he initially worked as an instrument mechanic and then began his studies in sociology at the New School for Social Research in 1951. He was especially shaped by Alfred Schütz as well as Carl Mayer and he participated in Mayer’s project “Religion in Germany Today”. After completing his doctorate in 1955, he taught for a short time at the New School and then taught as a professor of sociology at Bucknell University, Pennsylvania from 1956 to 1964. Until 1985, he directed the Department for Anthropology and Sociology at Hobart & William Smith Colleges, New York and after that he held a position as a visiting professor at Boston University. Based on the interpretive sociology of Weber und later under the influence of Alfred Schütz, he was one of the leading representatives of “phenomenological sociology” in America. And finally, as a biographer and editor, he strived to contribute to the understanding, the critical evaluation and the further development of Schütz’s work. A copy of the original, unpublished version of his biography of Alfred Schütz containing around 2500 typescript pages is available in the Archive. In addition to this, large parts of his academic estate are available on microfilm.

Max Weber (21 April 1864 - 14 June 1920)

Born in Erfurt, he studied in Heidelberg, Strassburg, Göttingen and Berlin. In 1889 he completed his doctorate on a legal-historical topic in Berlin. After his habilitation on “Roman Agrarian History: In Its Relation to Roman Public and Civil Law” (1891), he worked as an associate professor in Berlin and from 1894 as a professor of macroeconomics in Freiburg. In 1896 he obtained the Heidelberg chair of macroeconomics, as the successor of Karl Knies. In the same year he was an active participant in public and political life, as a leading member of the Verein fuer Socialpolitik and with contributions to discussions in the Christian social movement amongst others. Due to health reasons he was released from his teaching obligations in 1903. In 1904 he took over the editorial office of the Archive for Social Science and Social Policy. He was a founding member of the German Sociological Association in 1909. In 1918 he worked as a professor of macroeconomics at the University of Vienna. In 1919 he was offered a chair in Munich where he then moved. There he died after a short illness in 1920. Copies of parts of Weber’s far-flung academic correspondence are available in the Archive. An index of the letters is available. The acquisition of the copies was partially enabled by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.


Kurt Heinrich Wolff (20 May 1912 - 14 September 2003)

Born and raised in Darmstadt, he mainly studied sociology, philosophy and history under Karl Mannheim at the University of Frankfurt am Main from 1930 to 1933. In October 1933 he initially immigrated to Italy where he continued his studies at the University of Florence from 1934 to 1935, and completed his doctorate with a thesis in Sociology of Knowledge in 1935 while working as a private teacher at the same time. After several years of private and institutional teaching work, Wolff immigrated a second time in 1939: via London and New York to Texas. After several academic postings at the Southern Methodist University (Dallas) as a research assistant in the Department of Sociology from 1939 to 1943, at the University of Chicago (within a Social Science Research Council Fellowship), at Earlham College (Richmond, IN) and at Ohio State University from 1945 to 1959, he became a member of the Department of Sociology of Brandeis University (Waltham, MA). He taught there until he retired and was conferred emeritus status in 1982. He lived in Newton, near Boston, until his death in 2003. He returned to Germany several times after the war, as a visiting scholar (at the Institute of Social Research in Frankfurt am Main in 1952 and 1953 amongst others) and as a visiting professor (at the University of Freiburg in 1966 and the University of Frankfurt am Main in 1966/67). Wolff last visited the University of Konstanz during the course of a conference on immigration research, organised by the Social Science Archive in 1984. The focal points of Wolff’s work and research are in the field sociological theory, sociology of knowledge and social philosophy. Wolff’s complete academic materials as well as large parts of original correspondence are available in the Archive. An index is currently being prepared. The acquisition and organization of the materials was made possible with help of the DFG and the University of Konstanz.

Digital Documentation for the German Sociological Association (DGS)

This inventory encompasses a large part of German Sociological Association files. The documents are available in digitalised form. The originals are mainly located in the Federal Archives in Koblenz (Holding 320, German Sociological Association). A smaller part is available in the Schleswig-Holstein regional library in Kiel (SHLB), Holding Cb 54 (Ferdinand Tönnies estate). These materials  mainly originated from the respective chair people, secretaries, secretariats and offices of the German Sociological Association.

Link to the Digital Archive