Visual keepsakes of Minette Sterbcow

Minette Henrietta Dreyfus Sterbcow (1916-1999) was a daughter of Morris Dreyfus and Julia Hirsch Dreyfus of New Orleans.  She collected family photographs throughout her life, along with school and social ephemera and other meaningful papers.  In the late twentieth century, she was a widow with no children, but wished for these items to be donated to Tulane University.  Her visually and culturally rich collection is now held in LaRC as Manuscripts Collection 1068.

Her papers include handwritten and typed correspondence, greeting cards, post cards, poetry, legal documents, biographical and genealogical information, her own and her mother's New Orleans school papers, invitations, announcements, keepsakes, synagogue programs, B'nai B'rith items, numerous family photographs including matted or framed formal portraits created in New Orleans studios as well as candid amateur family photographs, negatives, Carnival and masonic items, printed color posters, advertisements, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings and other printed items. A portion of the collection is devoted to the actor Lionel Adams (d. 1952), an uncle of Minette Sterbcow's whose original name was Moise Hirsch.  The collection includes numerous photographs of Lionel Adams in performance in the New York theater.  Minette continued collecting everything about her well-known uncle’s career, including the advertisements in which he appeared as a model in his later years.  Many of the photographs are undated or uncaptioned, but the collection spans the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as a variety of styles and subjects.

Allied Jewish families or friends represented in the collection include Weil, Leopold, Abramson, Steeg, Goldfarb, Friedman, and others. New Orleans schools represented include Robert M. Lusher School, McDonogh No. 13 and 15, Isidore Newman School, Eleanor McMain High School, Francis T. Nicholls Vocational School for Girls, and L. E. Rabouin Memorial School.

This collection will be of interest to those doing historical research in Jewish studies, genealogy, photography, New Orleans education and business, New Orleans Carnival and other social activities, American theater, and advertising.

Captions: Minette with her husband Lewis Sterbcow in 1942 (Collection 1068, oversized folder 2); advertisement featuring Lionel Adams (oversized folder 3); uncaptioned Carnival festivities (box 6, folder 7); and formal studio photograph of Minette in 1930, by photographer C. Bennette Moore of New Orleans (box 2, folder 6).  Images of items in the Louisiana Research Collection may not be re-published without permission.   

Posted by Susanna Powers


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