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Schamp-Levin Collection


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Schamp-Levin Collection, ca. 1923-1998 | Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


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Collection Overview

Title: Schamp-Levin Collection, ca. 1923-1998Add to your cart.

ID: 01/01/MSS00057

Primary Creator: Levin, Eli (1938-)

Extent: 1.5 Cubic Feet


This small collection consists of five sections:

1. Notebooks (Box 1; Box 3)

2. Documents (Box 1)

3. Correspondence (Box 1)

4. Manuscripts (Box 1; Box 2)

5. Photographs (Box 2)

Subjects: Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939, Spanish Civil War Collections (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library)

Languages: English, Spanish;Castilian

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This small collection is comprised of papers relating to Mable Schamp and her second husband, Meyer Levin. Box 1 contains Mable's journals, documents pertaining to Mable and Meyer's time spent in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, copied newspapers on Levin's Anne Frank playscript, correspondence, and manuscripts. Box 2 includes biographical manuscripts and photographs, including images from a nudist camp where Mable lived in ca. 1940s and a signed card from African American actor, activist, and musician, Canada Lee. Box 3 contains Mable's "School Memories" scrapbook from her high school graduation in 1926-1927, which includes her girl scout buttons, newspaper clippings, report cards, photographs, and other memorabilia from her time at El Paso High School.

Collection Historical Note

Dr. Mable Hall Schamp (1912-1951) was born in Mathis, Texas to Harvey and Belle (McAlpine) Schamp. When her mother died of sleeping sickness in 1923, Mable helped her widowed father raise her younger brothers, but intellect and perseverance made her the youngest graduate of El Paso High School in 1927, when she was 15. While in high school, Schamp played on the basketball team, learned piano, and served as the managing editor of The Tatler, a school paper. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chicago in 1931 and a Ph.D. in 1936. She married Murray Foy in December 1932, a fellow student who died of typhoid fever shortly after the marriage. Remarrying to Jewish activist and author Meyer Levin in 1935, Mable relocated to Spain and assisted the Loyalist cause during the Spanish Civil War. Mable served with the International Brigades, and she was placed in charge of a hospital laboratory to care for wounded soldiers. Returning to the United States, Mable remarried Irving Jacoby in 1944. She continued working in chemistry in both the District of Columbia and Honolulu and briefly oversaw the development of male contraceptives. Mable was the first woman appointed to the faculty of the Chemistry Department at the City College of New York, teaching there as an instructor from 1947-1948 and in 1950. After Mable was diagnosed with schizophrenia, she underwent treatment, but she died of an overdose November 5, 1951. Jo Basiste's memories of his mother are located in the memoir "Mable," Box 2 Folder 1.

Meyer Levin (1905-1981) was an American journalist and novelist who wrote for the Chicago Daily News and, from 1933-1939, Esquire. Born in Chicago, Levin developed an interest in Jewish history and literature, and much of his novels reflect this passion. Levin acted as a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Books include My Father's House (1947), a story about Jews driven from Poland. He later directed a film adaptation of this book, the first Palestinian feature film, in 1945. Other works include Compulsion (1956), which recounts the Leopold-Loeb murder case, and a much-contested stage adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank from a Jewish perspective. Levin died in Jerusalem in 1981.

Subject/Index Terms

Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939
Spanish Civil War Collections (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library)

Administrative Information

Repository: Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Access Restrictions: Open to researchers.

Use Restrictions:

The RBML reproductions policies can be found here:


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study scholarship or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgement, fulfillment of the order would damage materials or involve violation of copyright law.

Acquisition Source: Jo Basiste

Processing Information: https://wiki.cites.uiuc.edu/wiki/display/librare/Home

PDF Box/Folder List

URL: https://files.archon.library.illinois.edu/rbmlsfa/MSS00057%20_Schamp_Levin_Collection.pdf

PDF finding aid for Schamp-Levin Collection (01/01/MSS00057)

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