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Edith Potter Papers

Identifier: D-Mss-2022

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

The Edith Potter Papers include Potter's manuscripts, typed and handwritten notes, academic literature, correspondence, photos, awards, and microfilm. The first box contains personal files documenting Potter’s life including her birth certificate, school transcripts, letters of recommendation, curricula vitae, and newspaper clippings. The second contains photocopied primary and secondary academic sources collected by Potter. Box 3 contains Potter’s research on Weimar Classicist writer Caroline von Wolzogen for her essay, “Caroline von Wolzogen und ihre Freunde” (“Caroline von Wolzogen and her Friends”), which was published in the book "Caroline von Wolzogen 1763-1847" in 1998.


  • Majority of material found in 1949-2000

Biographical / Historical

Edith Geyler Potter was born April 24, 1920 in Berlin, Germany and passed away July 17, 1999 in Claremont, California. She received her B.A. (1956) and M.A. in German (1959), along with a Ph.D. in German Literature and Germanic Languages (1965) from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she also served as a teaching assistant and associate from 1956 to 1963. Potter was a faculty member at Sonoma State College (1965-1967) and at the NDEA-Institute in Munich, Germany (1966) before moving to Scripps College, where she taught German from 1967 until her retirement in 1990. Potter specialized in German literature after 1880, the age of Goethe, and Faust themes in European literature.

After the end of World War II, Potter worked as a secretary in the United States Public Relations Office in Berlin. She worked under American soldier Merle A. Potter, whom she also assisted in managing the Schornsteinfeger Club (Chimney Sweep Club), a goodwill organization that provided aid packages for German citizens and promoted German-American relations. Edith accompanied Merle Potter back to the United States where they married in 1949.

Potter was dedicated to fostering positive German-American relations and was involved with the Federation of German-American CLubs, Los Angeles/Berlin Sister Committee, and Youth Bridge program. To honor her for these endeavors she received the Verdienstkreutz (Federal Service Cross) in 1997 for her distinguished service to her home country.


0.4 Linear Feet (3 document boxes, 2 artifacts, and 1 book)

Language of Materials



Edith Potter (1920-1999) was a Professor of German at Scripps College from 1967 to 1990. The Edith Potter Papers include Potter's manuscripts, typed and handwritten notes, photocopies of academic literature, correspondence, photos, awards, and microfilm. These materials document Potter’s life in Germany before and after World War II as well as her career as a professor and distinguished scholar in the United States. Potter was beloved and honored by the Scripps community for her contribution to academic and student life on campus.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the 02 - Ella Strong Denison Library Repository

1030 Columbia Ave
Claremont 91711 United States US