von Baiersdorf, Reif family fonds
Fonds / Archival Collection
Title NoteTitle based on the contents of the fonds.
Extent & Medium4.7 cm of textual records
22 photographs : black and white
1 album (96 photographs, 1 postcard, and 1 print) ; 26 x 20 cm
1 album (84 photographs, 6 drawings, 1 advertisement) ; 19.6 x 28.5 cm
2 death books
1 family chronicle
1 autograph book
6 published books
Administrative/Biographical HistoryThe von Baiersdorf, Reif family were a noble family in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, primarily based in Vienna. Members of the family include Adolf von Baiersdorf von Erdős (1822–1890), a wood industrialist; his son Carl Adolf von Baiersdorf von Erdős (1857–1915), a wood industrialist; and his wife Clara (née Redlich) (1868–1927); their daughter Erna von Engel-Baiersdorf (1889–1970), a noted anthropologist and sculptor; their daughter Margit Reif (1894–1965) and her husband Otto Reif ([188-?]–1955), as well as Otto Reif’s mother Elise Reif (1845–1926).
Adolf von Baiersdorf von Erdős was born on May 1, 1826, in Nové Mesto nad Váhom in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and died in Vienna on February 24, 1890. He was ennobled by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1885. His wife Helene Baiersdorf von Erdős (née Biach) was born on November 1, 1832 in Pressburg and died June 15, 1892, in Vienna. Carl Adolf von Baiersdorf von Erdos was born on July 10, 1857, in Pressburg and died September 15, 1938, in Vienna. He was an official in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His wife Clara von Baiersdorf (née Redlich) was born in Goding on August 15, 1868, and died on February 16, 1927, in Vienna.
Erna Clara von Engel-Baiersdorf (née Baiersdorf von Erdős) was born on September 24, 1889, in Vienna and died July 30, 1970, in Vancouver. She worked as an anthropologist at the National History Museum of Budapest and Vienna and was curator at the National History Museum in Pecs, Hungary. In 1944, she was interned in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, then later in the Buchenwald concentration camp. After the Second World War, she immigrated to Canada, where she was Director of Anthropology and Palaeontology at the Museum of Vancouver. She was particularly noted for her work reconstructing a Neanderthal skeleton.
Margit Reif (née von Baiersdorf von Erdős) was born on June 3, 1894, in Vienna and died in 1965 in Vancouver. Otto Reif was born approximately 1894 and died around 1955. Margit and Otto Reif left Austria for England after the Nazi invasion of Austria and immigrated to Canada in 1939.
Scope & ContentFonds consists of records relating to the ennobling of the von Baiersdorf family in 1884, the family’s personal financial recordkeeping, marriages, Otto Reif’s assistance to a displaced person, Erna von Engel-Baiersdorf’s work as a museum curator and sculptor, the deaths of Clara Baiersdorf Erdős and Elise Reif and other personal items.
Records include photographs, correspondence, an illuminated document conferring a noble title on the von Baiersdorf family, books and ephemeral items including postcards and newspaper clippings. Fonds is arranged into the following series: 1884 title (1884); Correspondence (1884–[196-?]); Photographs (1884–[196-?]) and Books, writings and ephemera ([189-]–1954).
AccrualsRecords were donated anonymously in three accessions, one in 2009 and two in 2014. Accruals were processed together. A further accrual was donated in 2021 by Paul Graeme Rosen, who found materials related to Erna von Engel-Baiersdorf amidst his father’s papers. No further accruals are expected.
LanguageGerman, Hungarian, English, Hebrew, Latin
NoteSelect items only have been digitized and described at the item level. Other items have been digitized and used as media representations for fonds and series-level descriptions. Consult the archivist for more information and access.
System of ArrangementAs there was no discernible original order, fonds has been arranged into four series based primarily on record type.
RightsDonor relinquished rights to materials in fonds upon their donation to the VHEC but the fonds contains third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Researchers are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.
Rules or ConventionsISAD-G, informed by RAD with Dublin Core elements
Archivist's NoteFonds was arranged by Jennifer Zilm between July 2016 and April 2017. Updated in 2021 with description of accession by Chase Nelson.
Date of Description2017