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Ullstein Family Papers

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1556 WL 1361
Held at: Wiener Library
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Full title: Ullstein Family Papers
Date(s): 1856-1998
Level of description: Collection level (fonds)
Extent: 10 boxes
Name of creator(s): Ullstein family


Administrative/Biographical history:

Frederick (Fritz) Ullstein was the son of Hermann Ullstein, the youngest of the 5 Ullstein brothers, responsible for building up the Ullstein publishing House to become the largest in Europe, prior to compulsory purchase by the Nazis in 1934, on account of the family's Jewish origins. Frederick came to Great Britain in the 1930s, became a farmer, served in the British army during the war and married into the Guiness family. After the war he was involved in claiming back for the Ullstein family what was rightfully theirs. Once the business was back in the hands of members of the Ullstein family, it became evident that for a number of reasons, they were not able to recreate the success, which the firm enjoyed before the Nazi seizure of power. Sustained interest by Axel Springer eventually resulted in the latter's company taking over the firm. Frederick Ullstein became an employee of Aldus Books, based in London.

.Aldus Books, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Doubleday and Co. Inc. of New York, USA Division was run by Wolfgang Foges, who came to Great Britain from Austria to get married in 1936. In Vienna he had edited a fashion magazine. He founded Adprint in Great Britain in 1937. This company created and produced illustrated books, the best known of which were the 120 volumes of the Britain in Pictures series, published in England by Collins, and translated into several languages by the Ministry of Information.

In 1941, Foges had been granted British citizenship for important services to the war effort and soon after his naturalisation he was appointed an honorary advisor to the Colonial Office on books and publications.

In the early 1950s, under the imprint of Rathbone Books, a series of books called The Wonderful World was published in association with Doubleday and Co. Inc. New York. This was the start of many further series of internationally co-produced educational and general knowledge books, written by distinguished British authors. In 1960 Aldus Books was founded.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of the Ullstein family, 1856-1998, comprising papers from a number of separate deposits from members of Frederick Ullstein's family. It contains both personal and family papers arranged by individual family members (1361/1-9) and material relating to the pre and post war Ullstein publishing business (1361/10-28). The latter contains correspondence regarding the take over of Ullstein by the Axel Springer Verlag (1361/17; 1361/22-23). In addition there is a quantity of material which Frederick Ullstein appears to have inherited from his former employer, Wolfgang Foges, managing director of Aldus Books (1361/29-85).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English and German

System of arrangement:

The material is arranged by Ullstein Family member (1361/1-9); by the Ullstein Verlag (1361/10-28); by material relating to Wolfgang Foges and the various businesses with which he was involved (1361/29-85).

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Finding aids:

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Ullstein family

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
February 2008

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