Bettmann, Otto.

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Rare books librarian, historian, teacher.

Otto Ludwig Bettman was born in 1903 in Leipzig, Germany. In 1918 he became a master piano student of Fraulein Schutze, excelling in Bach. In 1923, he received his Ph. D. from the University of Leipzig and began working for the music publishing house, C.F. Peters, in Leipzig. In 1932 he received a diploma in library science from the University of Leipzig, and became a rare books curator at the State Art Library in Berlin.

In 1933 he was "removed in a Nazi purge of Jewish state employees. In 1935 he arrived in New York City, and in founded the Bettmann Archive in a one-room apartment in New York. In 1938 he married Anne Gray. During the 1960s the Bettmann Archive became the world's largest commercial repository of rare illustrations and photographs. From 1952 to 1995, Bettmann authored and co-authored books heavily illustrated with pictures from the Archive.

In 1981 he sold the Bettmann Archive and retired to Florida. In 1988 his wife died. In 1992 he became curator of rare books at Florida Atlantic University. In 1997 he organized new archives entitled, "Women in Art." On May 1, 1998, Otto Bettmann died in Boca Raton, Florida.

From the description of Papers, 1974-1999. (Florida Atlantic University). WorldCat record id: 50617045

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Bettmann, Otto. Papers, 1974-1999. Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton Campus, S.E. Wimberly Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Florida Atlantic University. Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Gates, Bill, 1955- person
correspondedWith Laurenti, Lynn Klein person
correspondedWith Miller, William person
correspondedWith Snyder, Adelaide person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Florida--Miami Beach
Florida--Boca Raton
Boca Raton (Fla.)
Palm Beach--12099
Authors, American
Lectures and lecturing
Oral history


Active 1974

Active 1999

Related Descriptions


Ark ID: w60p1dbj

SNAC ID: 5694401