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Adler-Hamburger photograph collection

Identifier: PP 0100


This collection contains photographs collected by Selma Hamburger Adler, chiefly portraits of Adler and Hamburger family members.


  • 1870-1945

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to public research.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

Selma Van Leer Hamburger Adler (1898-1991) was born in Baltimore to parents Jeannie Van Leer Hamburger (1868-1942) and Benjamin Hamburger (1864-1929), both born in Baltimore and married there in 1891. Jeannie was the daughter of Solomon Van Leer (1823-1898), born at Gorredijk in the Netherlands, and Hannah Hirsh Van Leer (1833-1912), born in Briedenbach, Germany. Both arrived in the United States via New York in 1854, and married in 1855 in Baltimore. Benjamin Hamburger was secretary/treasurer and later president of the H.J. McGrath Company, an oyster and canning concern, and president of the Clover Club from 1917-1926. The family lived at 1222 West North Avenue in 1900, moving to 2221 Linden Avenue by 1920. Selma Adler’s sister Florette Van Leer Hamburger was born in 1891.

Selma was educated at Western High School, then studied Romance Languages at Goucher College, being graduated and elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1920, and attended Columbia University in New York. After serving as Goucher’s assistant registrar in the 1920s, Selma was assistant to the director of the Maryland War Commission, researching, compiling, and editing the Commission’s 1933 publication Maryland in the World War 1917-1919: Military and Service Records. She was also an information desk supervisor at the Maryland Historical Society.

Selma Hamburger married Leon Adler (1885-1980) in Baltimore in 1927. Leon was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he studied and began to practice law. He served in the army in World Wars I and II, commissioned as an ordinance officer in World War II before being transferred to the Judge Advocate General Corps, and serving as Post Judge Advocate at Fort Meade. After World War II, he was a lawyer for the Veterans Administration. Leon was also an accomplished musician who played with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in the 1920s and 1930s while establishing his law practice in Baltimore. Selma and Leon lived in the Reservoir Hill neighborhood during the 1920s to 1940s, moved temporarily to Washington, D.C. during World War II, and lived on University Parkway by the 1960s.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 full Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



The photographs are arranged according to PP catalog numbers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Selma H. Adler, 1984.

Related Materials

MS 2645, Adler papers, 1875-1918

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of one box with five folders containing 26 photoprints. Subjects are portraits of Adler and Hamburger family members, from circa 1870-1945, including an 1870 portrait of Manes Hamburger and his wife. There are photographs of Camp Hancock (Georgia) and Camp Meade (Maryland).

The collection includes one folder of memorabilia including diplomas, military identification cards and certificates, family songs and poems, wedding invitations and menus, and other printed ephemera. There is also a circa 1913 Eastman Kodak Camera.

Guide to the Adler-Hamburger photograph collection
Under Revision
Katherine Cowan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2020-01-28: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States