Max Ehrmann Pamphlets
Dates: 1911-1934
Accession Number: 881115B
Description: Six envelopes in one flat storage box


Max Ehrmann was born in Terre Haute, Indiana on September 26, 1872. He was the fifth and last child of Maximilian Ehrmann, Sr. and Margaret Barbara Lutz Ehrmann, both of whom emigrated to the United States in the late 1840s from Bavaria, Germany.

Ehrmann received his early education from the Terre Haute Fourth District School and the German Methodist Church. Between 1890-94 he attended De Pauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. While at De Pauw, Ehrmann became editor of the school newspaper, Depauw Weekly.

Upon graduation, Ehrmann studied law and philosophy at Harvard and edited The Rainbow, a national college fraternity magazine. While at Harvard, he also published his first book, A Farrago, in 1898.

Returning to Terre Haute in 1898, Ehrmann practiced law as Deputy States Attorney for two years. He then worked for a number of years as credit manager and attorney for his brother's manufacturing business.

At the age of 40, Ehrmann left the family business and returned to writing full-time. Throughout his career, he wrote more than 20 books and pamphlets and many essays and poems that were published separately in newspapers and magazines. His most acclaimed work was "Desiderata" originally published in 1927. This prose-poem brought Ehrmann national attention because of its identification with Adelai Stevenson and because of the confusion regarding its copyright and authorship. (See the Community Affairs File for more information.) "Desiderata" has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers, and anthologies and was produced as a single record by Warner Brothers in 1971.

Max Ehrmann died September 9, 1945.

Content and Scope of Collection

This collection was generated from miscellaneous materials found in Special Collections. It contains 17 pamphlets of the writings of Max Ehrmann dating from 1911-1934. Arrangement of material is chronological within the pamphlet series.

Most of Max Ehrmann's original manuscripts, letters, and memorabilia were donated to De Pauw University by his widow, Bertha Pratt King Ehrmann. A catalog of their holdings is available in VCPL Special Collections.

Related materials include a cataloged collection of Ehrmann's works (G.C. SpC 811.E and SpC 812.4) in Special Collections, Max Ehrmann information in the Community Affairs File and the Max Ehrmann Collection in the Community Archives (Accession Number 771220).

Flat Storage






Envelope 1

The Caxton, no. 4, vol. 11

Includes one article about Ehrmann and four poems by him:

"Max Ehrmann--Poet" by George Bicknell,
pp. 35-39

Poems by Ehrmann:

"The Greater Heroism," p. 39

"The House of Fortune," p. 39

"Love Some One," p. 40

"An Artist's Prayer," p. 40

Jan. 1911




Envelope 2

Scarlet Women Series:

A Virgin's Dream His Beautiful Wife
(2 copies)

The Gay Life
(2 copies--one copy signed)







Envelope 3

Scarlet Women Series:

A Goose With a Rose in Her Mouth

Scarlet Sketches (2 copies)






Envelope 4

Be Quiet I'm Talking (3 copies)
--one copy signed "Ehrman"





Envelope 5


The Bank Robbery/The Plumber (3 copies)
--one copy signed "M. Ehrmann"





Envelope 6

Little Blue Book

No. 1113, Love From Many Angles

No. 1735, Worldly Wisdom (3 copies)






Envelope 7

Paul Dresser (5 copies)