von Baiersdorf, Reif family fonds
Fonds / Archival Collection
Title NoteTitle based on the contents of the collection.
Extent & Medium2.7 cm of textual records
1 title : 48 x 32 cm
25 photographs : black and white
1 album : 26 x 20 cm
2 death books : 25 x 17 cm
1 family chronicle : 32 x 20.5 cm
1 autograph book : 14 x 21.5 cm
2 ledgers : 30.5 x 23 cm; 21 x 14.5 cm
6 published books
1 chocolate box : 21 x 21 cm
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 Erdos (1822–1890), a wood industrialist; his son Carl Adolf von Baiersdorf von Erdos (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 Erdos 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 Erdos (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 Erdos) 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 interred in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, then later in the Buchenwald concentration camp. After World War II, 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 Erdos) 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 record keeping, marriages, Otto Reif’s assistance to a displaced person, Erna von Engel-Baiersdorf’s work as a museum curator and artist; the deaths of Clara Baiersdorf Erdos and Elise Reif and the family’s religious and liturgical life.
Records include correspondence; an illuminated document conferring a noble title on the Baiersdorf family from the nineteenth century; personal photographs; two death books; an autograph book; two ledgers; a small collection of rare published books—including a nineteenth-century German-language Bible illustrated by Gustav Dore—and several ephemeral items including post cards and newspaper clippings. Fonds is arranged into the following series: 1884 title (1884); Correspondence (1884–[196-?]); Photographs (1884–[196-?]) and Publications and Ephemera ([189-]–194-]).
Archival HistoryRecords were in the possession of an anonymous donor prior to donation to the VHEC in accessions in 2009 and 2014.
Immediate Source of Acquisition or Transfer 2009.010
AccrualsRecords were donated anonymously in three accessions, one in 2009 and two in 2014. Accruals were processed together. No further accruals are expected.
LanguageGerman, Hungarian, English, Hebrew
System of ArrangementAs there was no discernable original order, fonds has been arranged into four series based primarily on record type and thematic divisions. Loose photographs have been placed into enclosures for preservation purposes.
RightsMaterials available for research and education purposes only. Permission to publish, copy or otherwise use these materials must be obtained from the VHEC.
Rules or ConventionsISAD-G, informed by RAD with Dublin Core elements
Archivist's NoteThe fonds was arranged by Jennifer Zilm between July 2016 and April 2017.
Date of Description2017