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Marie Munk papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00111

Scope and Contents

The Marie Munk papers consist 4 linear feet of correspondence, writings, printed material and memorabilia. There is documentation of Munk's early career in articles from the U.S. and Germany, and in personal and business correspondence. Although there are some letters from her brother (1914-1915), most correspondence dates from 1934. Of particular interest are letters from musicologist Sophie Drinker (1952-66). There are numerous publications by Munk, as well as manuscripts in both German and English, including material on domestic relations, marriage and marriage counseling, juvenile delinquency, and women's rights. Of special interest are manuscripts on the position of women before and after World War I, written for the International Federation of Business and Professional Women; Munk's reminiscences of her experiences as a judge in pre-Hitler Germany (1945); and a proposal by Munk to reunify East and West Berlin (1948).

Dates of Materials

  • 1901-1976


Language of Materials

English and German

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

Marie Munk was born in Berlin (then Prussia) on July 4, 1885. She graduated from Kaiserin Augusta Gymnasium and received her Doctor of Laws degree from Heidelberg University in 1911. Having passed the two necessary bar exams in 1920 and 1924, Munk began work with the Prussian Ministry of Justice. In 1925 she became the first woman admitted to practice law in Berlin and was appointed District Court Judge in 1929. Because she was of Jewish descent, by Nazi law she was dismissed in 1933. Munk first visited the United States in 1933 at the invitation of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women as a delegate to the International Congress of Women in Chicago. She returned in 1934, having secured a position at the New York School for Delinquent Girls. In 1943 Munk was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar. She went on to work as a marriage counselor for the Court of Common Pleas in Toledo, Ohio, then settled permanently in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1945. Marie Munk died in January, 1978.


5.188 linear feet (14 containers)


Lawyer, judge, and marriage counselor. The Marie Munk papers include correspondence, writings, and memorabilia. The collection documents her work on domestic relations, marriage counseling, juvenile delinquency, and women's rights. Of special interest are manuscripts, written in both English and German, on the position of women before and after World War I; her experiences as a judge in pre-Hitler Germany; and an oral history conducted at Smith College in 1971.


This collection is organized into five series:

  1. I. Biographical Material
  2. II. Correspondence
  3. III. Writings
  4. IV. Subjects
  5. V. Organizations

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Marie Munk Papers were originally bequeathed to the Sophia Smith Collection and the Schlesinger Library. It was determined that the entire collection was more appropriate to the Sophia Smith Collection due to the substantial content on Germany, and the Schlesinger Library transferred their portion of the papers to the SSC in 1979.

Processing Information

Processed by Burd Schlessinger, 2000.

Marie Munk papers
Finding Aid
Burd Schlessinger
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2005-09-23: mnsss53 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:21-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063