Albin Schram

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Albin Schram (1926–2005) was one of the greatest collectors of autograph letters by shapers of world history. He was born in Prague to Austrian parents. He studied law at Vienna University and worked in Vienna, Germany and Switzerland. After the annexation of Czechoslovakia, he was conscripted into the Wehrmacht in 1943.

Schram was a voracious collector of letters, owning manuscripts written by literary, historical, musical, political and scientific figures across 500 years. He was a wealthy Austrian banker who pursued his hobby from his mansion in Lausanne, Switzerland. The letters were kept in a filing cabinet adjoining the laundry in the basement of the house.

He is said to have collected some 1000 letters, written by royals, scientists, writers and philosophers. They date between the 15th and 20th Centuries, and represent a broad range of countries and languages.

A list of known authors of letters in the collection

Napoleon, Elizabeth I, John Donne, Charlotte Brontë, Ludvig van Beethoven, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Frederick the Great, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Darwin, Lewis Carroll, Voltaire, Alexander Pushkin, Claude Monet, Winston Churchill (aged 16), Mahatma Gandhi, Daniel Defoe, Tchaikovsky, Dostoevsky, Ezra Pound, Garcia Lorca, Oliver Cromwell, T. S. Eliot, Lord Byron, Sigmund Freud, Charles Dickens, Peter the Great, John Calvin, William Bligh, Oscar Wilde, Joséphine de Beauharnais.

Writers[edit]

Joseph Addison, Henri Alban-Fournier, Bettina von Arnim, W. H. Auden, Honoré de Balzac, Charles Baudelaire, Pierre Beaumarchais, Jorge Luis Borges, James Boswell, Johann Jakob Breitinger, Bertholt Brecht, André Breton, Charlotte Brontë, Patrick Brontë, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Fanny Burney, Robert Burns, Lord Byron, Lewis Carroll, Giacomo Casanova, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Nicolas Chamfort, Anton Chekhov, Joseph Chénier, Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Paul Claudel, Matthias Claudius, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, William Congreve, Joseph Conrad, Édouard Corbière, Marquis de Custine, Thomas de Quincey, Daniel Defoe, Charles Dickens, John Donne, Dostoevsky, Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff, George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), T. S. Eliot, John Evelyn, Edward Gibbon, Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim, William Godwin, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Carlo Goldoni, Oliver Goldsmith, Johann Joseph von Görres, Thomas Gray, Graham Greene, Franz Grillparzer, Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, Francesco Guicciardini, William Hazlitt, Johann Peter Hebel, Heinrich Heine, Ernest Hemingway, Johann Gottfried Herder, Henriette Herz, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Washington Irving, Henry James, Francis Jammes, Samuel Johnson, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Gottfried Keller, Rudyard Kipling, Heinrich von Kleist, Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, Jean de La Fontaine, Jules Laforgue, Walter Savage Landor, Valery Larbaud, Johann Kaspar Lavater, Nikolaus Lenau, Giacomo Leopardi, Mikhail Lermontov, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Friedrich, Freiherr von Logau, Jack London, Garcia Lorca, François de Malherbe, James Macpherson, André Malraux, Thomas Mann, Alessandro Manzoni, Francois de Maucroix, Guy de Maupassant, Metastasio, Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, Henry Miller, Eduard Mörike, Pablo Neruda, Gérard de Nerval, Johann Nestroy, Pierre Nicole, Novalis, Seán O'Casey, Boris Pasternak, Leo Perutz, August von Platen-Hallermünde, Ezra Pound, Marcel Proust, Jeanne Clemence Proust, Alexander Pushkin, Wilhelm Raabe, Francesco Redi, Samuel Richardson, Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Rainer Maria Rilke, Arthur Rimbaud, Antoine de Rivarol, Ludwig Robert, Joseph Roth, Saint-John Perse, George Sand, Friedrich Schiller, Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel, Johanna Schopenhauer, Johann Gottfried Seume, Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, Marquise de Sévigné, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Georges Simenon, Tobias Smollett, Sir Richard Steele, Anne Louise Germaine de Staël, Stendhal, Laurence Sterne, Christian zu Stolberg-Stolberg, Theodor Storm, August Strindberg, Madame Swetchine, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Jonathan Swift, John Millington Synge, Torquato Tasso, William Makepeace Thackeray, Gerhard Tersteegen, Dylan Thomas, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ludwig Tieck, Leo Tolstoy, Friedrich Torberg, Ivan Turgenev, Georg Trakl, Paul Valéry, Paul Verlaine, Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, Evelyn Waugh, Franz Werfel, Christoph Martin Wieland, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Wordsworth, William Wordsworth, W. B. Yeats.

Artists[edit]

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Ernst Barlach, Le Corbusier, Gustave Courbet, Richard Dadd, Jacques-Louis David, Edgar Degas, Otto Dix, Cristoforo Foppa (possibly Ambrogio Foppa), Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Paul Gauguin, Francisco Goya, Jules Hardouin Mansart, Wassily Kandinsky, Angelica Kauffman, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, Mikhail Larionov, René Magritte, Kazimir Malevich, Henri Matisse, Anton Raphael Mengs, Adolph Menzel, Piet Mondrian, Claude Monet, William Morris, Edvard Munch, Nadar (photographer), Emil Nolde, Camille Pissarro, Odilon Redon, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Salvator Rosa, Egon Schiele, Charles Perrault, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Tristan Tzara, Giorgio Vasari, Paolo Veronese, John Butler Yeats.

Theatre and Music[edit]

George Balanchine, Ludvig van Beethoven, Alban Berg, Sarah Bernhardt, Johannes Brahms, Charles Burney, Claude Debussy, Sergei Diaghilev, Eleonora Duse, David Garrick, Glenn Gould, August Wilhelm Iffland, Leoš Janáček, Boris Kochno, Franz Liszt, Maria Malibran, Léonide Massine, Niccolò Paganini, Sergei Prokofiev, Max Reinhardt (theatre director), Arnold Schoenberg, Robert Schumann, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Bedřich Smetana, Igor Stravinsky, Giuseppe Tartini, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Georg Philipp Telemann, Richard Wagner.

Nobles and Statesmen[edit]

Julie d'Angennes, Anne of Brittany, Anne, Queen of Great Britain, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, François-Noël Babeuf, Paul François Jean Nicolas, vicomte de Barras, Saint Robert Bellarmine, Götz von Berlichingen, Theodore Beza, Otto von Bismarck, Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Elizabeth I, Elisabeth of Bohemia, Princess Palatine, François Bonivard, Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Carlo Buonaparte, Edmund Burke, Pierre Cambronne, Catherine de' Medici, Catherine the Great, Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, Christina of Sweden, Winston Churchill (aged 16), Henri Coiffier de Ruzé, Marquis of Cinq-Mars, Carl von Clausewitz, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Georges Clemenceau, Gaspard de Coligny, Ramboldo, Count of Collalto, Georges Couthon, Oliver Cromwell, Camille Desmoulins, Benjamin Disraeli, Marie Duplessis, T'hami El Glaoui, Elisabeth of Valois, Elizabeth of Bohemia, Borso d'Este, Isabella d'Este, Prince Eugene of Savoy, Joseph Fouché, Francis de Sales, Frederick the Great, Frederick V, Elector Palatine, Frederick William I of Prussia, Ferdinando Galiani, Matthias Gallas, Mahatma Gandhi, Gaspar de Guzmán, Count-Duke of Olivares, Gaston, Duke of Orléans, Charles de Gaulle, Warren Hastings, Henry III of France, Henry IV of France, Theodor Herzl, Andreas Hofer, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, Frowin von Hutten, Jean II of Albret, John, Elector of Saxony, John of Austria, Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor, Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, Joséphine de Beauharnais, Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, Marie-Madeleine Pioche de la Vergne, comtesse de la Fayette, Joseph Lakanal, Giovanni Lanfredini, Dominique Jean Larrey, Pere Michel le Tellier, Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold II of Belgium, Anne Long (c.1681-1711), Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine, Henry II, Duke of Lorraine, Louis XIII of France, Françoise d'Aubigné, Marquise de Maintenon, Hortense Mancini, Peter Ernst I von Mansfeld-Vorderort, Marguerite de Valois, Maria Theresa of Austria, Increase Mather, Jan Masaryk, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, Cardinal Mazarin, Giuseppe Mazzini, Leopoldo de' Medici, Philipp Melanchthon, François Mitterrand, Carl Joseph Anton Mittermaier, Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, Raimondo Montecuccoli, Benito Mussolini, Napoleon, Jacques Necker, Max Nordau Charles I de Valois, Duke of Orléans, Nicolas IV de Neufville, Siegneur de Villeroy, Pasquale Paoli, Peter the Great, Samuel Pepys, Johann Patkul, Jeanne Françoise Julie Adélaïde Récamier (as Juliette Recamier), René I of Naples, Cardinal Richelieu, Maximilien Robespierre, Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, François de La Rochefoucauld, Madame Roland, Henri de Schomberg, Sebastian of Portugal, Heinrich Friedrich Karl Reichsfreiherr vom und zum Stein, Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Albrecht von Wallenstein, Chaim Weizmann, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.

Religious figures[edit]

John Calvin, Jan Hus, Martin Luther, Pope Pius XI, Teresa of Ávila.

Scientists & philosophers[edit]

Theodor W. Adorno, Amedeo Avogadro, Pierre Bayle, Johann Bernoulli, Claude Louis Berthollet, Herman Boerhaave, Ludwig Boltzmann, François-Joseph-Victor Broussais, Martin Buber, Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, Francisco José de Caldas, Jean de Carro, Jean-François Champollion, Jean-Antoine Chaptal, Comenius, Marquis de Condorcet, Charles Darwin, Denis Diderot, Albert Einstein, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, August Hermann Francke, Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Hugo Grotius, Otto von Guericke, Fritz Haber, Samuel Hahnemann, Stephen Hales, Johann Georg Hamann, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Thomas Hobbes, Johann Heinrich Hottinger, Alexander von Humboldt, David Hume, Cornelius Jansen, Carl Jung, Immanuel Kant, René Laennec, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Gottfried Leibniz, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Carolus Linnaeus, John Locke, Nicolas Malebranche, Dmitri Mendeleev, Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Adam Müller, Isaac Newton, Friedrich Nietzsche, Alfred Nobel, Louis Pasteur, Guy Patin, François Gigot de la Peyronie, Max Planck, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Jan Evangelista Purkyně, Frank P. Ramsey, René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, Francesco Redi, Hermann Rorschach, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Friedrich Carl von Savigny, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, Arthur Schopenhauer, Philipp Jakob Spener, George Stephenson, Dominique Villars, Voltaire, Max Weber, Johann Joachim Winckelmann, Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Others[edit]

William Bligh, Jacob Burckhardt, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi.

References[edit]

Sources[edit]