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Leonore Hollander Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG5-329

Scope and Contents

The vast majority of this collection relates to Leonore Hollander's interest in and work with Native American communities, especially the Lenape.

Series I. Correspondence and Personal Files primarily consists of correspondence, mostly pertaining to Leonore's involvement with Lenape-related organizations and matters. There are also files on non-Native American topics, like the Costa Rican Quaker community of Monteverde.

Series II. Native American Topics is the largest series in the collection. It includes mailings, brochures, meeting minutes, and other records of the Lenape Land Association (see Series I. for additional Lenape Land Association correspondence); correspondence between Leonore Hollander and Nora Dean Thompson; and various materials and reference files on Native American issues, including but not limited to the Lenape.

Series III. Special Formats includes several Native American-themed artifacts/objects collected by Leonore Hollander, audiocassettes including interviews with Nora Thompson Dean and offical Touching Leave Indian Crafts tapes, and photographs, including photographs of Nora Thompson Dean, photographs of Lenape Land Association events, photographs associated with Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Indian Committee, and photographs of East Africa and South Pacific travel.

Dates

  • Creation: 1963 - 1988

Creator

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

This collection is available for research use.

Copyright and Rights Information

Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/UND/1.0/.

Biographical / Historical

Leonore Beatrice Hollander was a noted chemist who worked in cancer research and devised an early diagnostic test for mononucleosis. A member of the Society of Friends, she was active as a member of the Indian Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting for 25 years. She had a deep interest in the history and culture of the Lenape, the Native American group indigenous to the Philadelphia area. She was an associate member of the United Lenape Band, a leader of the Lenape Land Association, and a friend of Nora Thompson Dean.

Leonore was born in Missouri in 1906, the daughter of Charles S. and Elsa Hollander. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1928. While she was at Bryn Mawr she became a member of Haverford Meeting. She met Franz Koehler at the University of Illinois and the two married in Prague in 1934. They moved to Germany the following year, but he was unable to find a teaching position because Leonore had Jewish ancestry. Unable to leave, the couple lived in Darmstadt through the War but were divorced sometime before 1946 when she and her two children were able to return to the United States. She worked at the National Institute of Health in Washington DC in 1947-48 then returned to the Philadelphia area to work in a number of research facilities including Fox Chase Cancer Center. She Leonore died in California in January of 2003.

The Lenape Land Association was established in 1967 as a non-profit educational and historical society dedicated to establishing a living memorial and recreation of Lenape life prior to European invasion. In 1973, it opened a model Lenape Village within New Britain Township Park in Chalfont, Pa., and attendant interpretation center and museum. Among the organization's major events was an annual Corn Planting Festival, and activities surrounding the Tricentennial of William Penn establishing the Colony of Pennsylvania in 1981-1982. In 1982, the Lenape Land Association folded, and all artifacts were placed with the Bucks County Conservancy.

Nora Thompson Dean (1907-1984), also known as Weènchipahkihëlèxkwe or "Touching Leaves Woman" in Unami, was one of the last fluent speakers of the southern Unami dialect of the Lenape language. She was born and lived Dewey, Oklahoma (near Bartlesville, on the Delaware Tribe of Indians reservation). She was raised in a traditionalist household, speaking the Unami Lenape language at home and practicing the Xingwikaon (Big House) ceremonies. She was generous in sharing her vast knowledge of Lenape language, religious ceremonies, social functions, dances, craftwork, herbal medicines, and other traditions. She taught classes, was consulted by academics, and established a business in 1967 that offered mail-order booklets and audiocassettes under the name Touching Leaves Indian Crafts.

Extent

3 Linear Feet (3 document boxes and 1 oversized box)

Language

English

Overview

Leonore Beatrice Hollander was a noted chemist who worked in cancer research and devised an early diagnostic test for mononucleosis. A member of the Society of Friends, she was active as a member of the Indian Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting for 25 years. She had a deep interest in the history and culture of the Lenape, the Native American group indigenous to the Philadelphia area. She was an associate member of the United Lenape Band, a leader of the Lenape Land Association, and a friend of Nora Thompson Dean. The vast majority of this collection relates to Leonore Hollander's interest in and work with Native American communities, especially the Lenape.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Nan Ullrike Koehler, 2018.

Note on Word Choices

Indigenous persons' preferences for terms used to describe themselves vary not only across time but also between communities and between individuals. This finding aid uses the term "Lenape" where applicable and "Native American" for content not related to any one specific Indigenous community. Other terms (including "Delaware" and "Indian") appear in this finding aid in the names of organizations, in quotations, and in subject headings (standardized terms established by the Library of Congress). The Friends Historical Library recognizes that some of the terms that appear in this finding aid may be harmful or offensive to some readers, and apologizes for any harm caused.

The name "Nora Thompson Dean" is used throughout this finding aid, because that is the name (rather than Weènchipahkihëlèxkwe or "Touching Leaves Woman," her name in Unami) used most pervasively in the collection, and is the name she signed on letters sent to Leonore Hollander.

Author
Celia Caust-Ellenbogen
Date
2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Find It at the Library

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