Skip to main content

Otto L. Heinle (1901-1977) Papers

Identifier: 55/14

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Otto Ludwig Heinle Papers, which fill twenty-one and one-half boxes, consist of biographical materials, personal correspondence, materials relating to Hienle's education and materials pertaining to his teaching career. The current arrangement of the papers reflects the meticulous care which Heinle took in saving and organizing his own papers.

The biographical materials include a copy of his obituary, his wife's death certificate, family church records, programs for recitals which featured his musical compositions, music manuscripts, curriculum vitae and his review of a German grammar text.

Personal correspondence is arranged in two categories. The first category (Boxes 1-6), corresondence with family and friends, is arranged chronologically (1925-1977). Most of these letters are written in English, but many are in German. At the beginning of this category are ten folders of letters from Hienle's parents and his sister spanning the years 1925 to 1965. (Note that Heinle's mother and sister were both named Luise.) These letters are all handwritten in German; some, especially from his mother, are in old German script. Heinle's responses to these letters are likewise in German, and carbons of these typewritten letters may be found in the main body of the correspondence. The abundance and frequency of letters from his family show a particular closeness between family members. Along with details of life in Germany during the volatile forty years between 1925 and 1965, the letters show the family's interest in musical activities and travel, for the family sent recital programs and reviews of concerts as well as news of Heinle's former teachers in addition to postcards and travel brochures.

For nearly every year between 1966 and 1977 there is a folder of letters to friends and family and a separate folder of letters to Mary Irene Couroy Holey ("Renee"), a close personal friend of Heinle's during his later years and a director of volunteers at Passavant Hospital in Chicago.

The second category of personal correspondence (Boxes 7-13) consists of incoming letters. The correspondence includes greeting cards from friends and family in the United States and materials chronicling Heinle's social activities with colleagues from Northwestern and the Chicago Public Schools. Some of the letters from fellow teachers of German are written in German.

The materials relating to Heinle's education include grade transcripts, correspondence with members of his doctoral committee, his thesis, his dissertation, notes taken in preparation for the dissertation, and class notes. Although the thesis and dissertation are in English many of Heinle's notes are in German; some are handwritten, and some typewritten.

Materials relating to Heinle's teaching career include correspondence regarding his employment (1922-1964); letters of recommendation for Heinle's pupils; exams for courses he taught, and his records as a member and officer of the American Association of Teachers of German (1940-1964).

The addition to the papers of Otto L. Heinle date from 1919 through 1975 and consist of one box. The materials within this box comprise Heinle's personal collection of sheet music, the majority of which were written by him. The music manuscripts written by Heinle are arranged by title when one is provided and by date otherwise. They are also separated into groups of fragments, finished pieces, and photostats. Lastly, there is a small amount of works written by other composers which Heinle kept among his files. Most of these are transcribed by Heinle and are handwritten on manuscript paper, while a few are photostats of the printed music.


  • 1918-1977


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


23.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



The papers of accountant and German instructor Otto Ludwig Heinle consist of biographical materials, personal correspondence, and materials relating to Heinle's education, teaching career, and musical interests.


Outgoing personal correspondence with members of his family is arranged by recipient, and then by date; other outgoing correspondence is arranged by date. Incoming correspondence is arranged by correspondent.

Method of Acquisition

The Otto Ludwig Heinle Papers were donated to the Northwestern University Archives by Heinle's nephew, Martin C. Steelhammer in August of 1977 (Acc.#77-17).

Sigrid Perry transferred these records from Special Collections to the Northwestern University Archives on October 14, 2009 (Acc.#09-241).

Separated Materials

Five boxes of bibliographies, index cards, and rough drafts of Heinle's dissertations were discarded.

Processing Information

Kenneth Williams and Mary Ann Webber; July, 1986. Benn Joseph and Nicholas Cizek; November, 2009. Yvonne Spura; December, 2011.

Guide to the Otto L. Heinle (1901-1977) Papers
Kenneth Williams and Mary Ann Webber; Benn Joseph and Nicholas Cizek; Yvonne Spura
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US