Guide to the Austrian Nationality Room Committee Collection, 1977-2002 UA.40.21

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Austrian Nationality Room Committee Collection
Creator
University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program. Austrian Nationality Room Committee.
Collection Number
UA.40.21
Date
1977-2002
Extent
3.5 linear feet  (4 boxes)
Abstract
The Austrian Room Committee began construction of the Baroque-style Austrian Classroom in the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh in 1987, completing it in 1995. The collection of the Austrian Room Committee contains correspondence, financial information, news clippings, architectural drawings, programs, and publications.

Preferred Citation

Austrian Nationality Room Committee Collection, 1977-2002, UA.40.21, University Archives, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

The first idea for an Austrian Classroom in the Cathedral of Learning came about in 1950 via Walter Sobotka who was a professor in the University’s Graduate School of Retailing. The idea never took hold for reasons unknown. It was not until the Austrian American Cultural Society, formed in 1978 by Dr. Ivo Fischer, accepted a formal invitation from the University of Pittsburgh’s Chancellor, Wesley Posvar, to build an Austrian classroom within the Cathedral of Learning. The Society formed an Austrian Room Committee, joined the Nationality Rooms Council in November of 1987 and began planning for the room. The Society and the Committee made large fundraising efforts to raise the necessary $250,000 required to build this baroque-style classroom, receiving donations from individuals and corporations both in the United States and in Austria. From its inception, the Austrian American Cultural Society dedicated itself to the celebration and dissemination of information about Austrian culture and history. The Society sponsored its first Austrian Ball in 1986 and it has become an annual tradition.

The Austrian Room Committee was formed to undertake the project of designing, funding, and building the Austrian Nationality Room. Through much effort, the Chair of the Austrian Room Committee, Joseph Pandl, and Co-Chairs, Dr. Joseph Novak and Dolores Stehr, worked to create networks among native Austrians, Austrian-Americans, Austrian businessmen and corporations, and local foundations. They succeeded in securing many grants and donations of both funds and materials. In addition, two architects, Franz Gerhard Schnögass of Vienna and Günther Kaier of Pittsburgh, donated their time and effort to design the room. Construction of the room was carried out by the firm John DeKlewa & Sons, Inc. Furnishings for the room were made and shipped from Austria.

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Scope and Content Notes

The records of the Austrian Room Committee contain documents relating to all aspects of the Austrian Nationality Room, from its design and inception to the fundraising required to finance the room to its dedication. There are also records relating to the Austrian-American Cultural Society: its formation, its cultural activities, and its involvement with the creation of the Austrian Nationality Room. These documents include personal and business correspondence, form letters, meeting minutes, programs, flyers, memorandums, newspaper clippings, photographs, architectural drawings, and small publications. The records of the Austrian Room Committee are arranged into nine series.

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Arrangement

This collection is arranged into nine series:

Series I. Austrian-American Cultural Society Series II. Preliminary Research and Background Information

Series III. Austrian Classroom

Series IV. Austrian Room Design and Decoration

Series V. Publications

Series VI. Special Assistance

Series VII. University Involvement

Series VIII. Fundraising

Series IX. Other Activities of the Committee

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, September 2012

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

The University of Pittsburgh holds the property rights to the material in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by the original creator/author. Researchers are therefore advised to follow the regulations set forth in the U.S. Copyright Code when publishing, quoting, or reproducing material from this collection without the consent of the creator/author or that go beyond what is allowed by fair use.

Acquisition Information

Transferred to the University Archives by E. Maxine Bruhns in January 2006.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Crystal Hanna and Jessica Phillips in March 2006 then revised and updated by Marianne Kasica in April of 2007.

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Related Materials

Related Material

The Austrian Classroom is one of 26 Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning. Records for some of the other nationality rooms are housed in the University Archives.

Separated Material

Oversized architectural drawings and other related drawings are being stored in a map drawer titled “University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning Nationality Rooms.” Folders 62 and 63 (Narration and Bid Manual) are missing.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Austrian American Cultural Society (Pittsburgh, Pa.).
  • Austrian Classroom (Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, Pa.).
  • Nationality Rooms (Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, Pa.).
  • University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program. Austrian Nationality Room Committee.
  • University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program.

Genre(s)

  • Architectural drawings (Visual works)
  • Correspondence
  • Financial records
  • Press releases

Personal Name(s)

  • Fischer, Ivo Fruhjof
  • Kaier, Günther
  • Schnögass, Franz Gerhard

Subject(s)

  • Austrian Americans -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Classrooms -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Universities and colleges -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • University of Pittsburgh

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Previous Citation

Austrian Nationality Room Committee Collection, 1977-2002, UA.40.21, University Archives, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Austrian-American Cultural Society 

Scope and Content Notes

These documents report the involvement the Austrian-American Cultural Society had in the creation of the Austrian Room as well as activities sponsored by the Society, such as the annual Austrian Ball, summer concerts, and Christmas parties. These folders contain correspondence, meeting minutes, membership directories, programs, and flyers in addition to information about some of the key people who proposed the creation of the Austrian Nationality Room.

  BoxFolder
General Information, 1987-1996 11
  Folder
Foundation, 1996 2
  Folder
Articles of Incorporation, October 27, 1986 3
  Folder
Invitations to construct Austrian Nationality Room, February 24, 1987 4
  Folder
Membership to Directors, 1988-1996 5
  Folder
Austrian Ball – Announcements, Invitations, Programs, 1988-2000 6
  Folder
Cultural Activities, 1983-1996 7
  Folder
Joseph Fischer, 1992-1995 8
  Folder
Hans Fleischner, 1987-1993 9
  Folder
Joseph Novak, 1988-2000 10
  Folder
Activities, 1997-1999 11

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Series  II. Preliminary Research and Background Information 

Scope and Content Notes

Most of the materials in this series are documents about the research conducted on Austria before the creation of the room. The remaining folders contain materials on the planning, design, architects, and construction of the Austrian Nationality Room. Documents include correspondence, memoranda, newspaper clippings, photocopies of Austrian art and symbols, and plans for the room’s design and layout.

  Folder
Austrian Room Survey, 1986 12
  Folder
Clothing 13
  Folder
Government, Economics, Politics, Products and Tourism 14
  Folder
Austrian History 15
  Folder
Provinces – Shields 16
  Folder
Provinces – Burgenland, Karnten, Niederösterreich, Oberösterreich, Sclizburgh, Steiermark, Tyrol, Voranberg, Wien, 1991-1995 17
  Folder
Prominent Austrians, 1987-1992 18
  Folder
Publicity, 1985-1998 19-20
  Folder
Cost Estimates, 1989 21
  Folder
Architect 22-24

Architect, Search, 1991-1999 Franz Gerhard Schnögass, 1987-1995 Architect of Record, Gunther Kaier, 1977-1995

  Folder
Austrian Room Design, Final 25
  Folder
University of Pittsburgh Facilites Management, 1983-1994 26
  Folder
Concept and Design, Proposal for CL 314 and for CL 326, 27-28
  Folder
Building Fund, 1988-1992 29
  Folder
Construction Meetings, 1993-1996 30

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Series  III. Austrian Classroom 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains correspondence and information provided by the Austrian Room Committee. It contains pictures of the nationality room prior to renovation as well as the finished product and information about decorations used during the Christmas season. The press releases and dedication materials are about the completion of the room and the grand opening of the room in 1996.

  Folder
Planning and implementation activities, 1978-1995 31-36

These are files that document the progress of the room, arranged by year. It also includes a file on the original idea of an Austrian Classroom by Walter Sobotka in 1950-1952.

  BoxFolder
Dedication, 1996 237
  Folder
Activities of the Committee, 1996 - 2002 38-45
  Folder
History, 1987 46
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1978-1997 47
  Folder
Press Releases, 1996 48
  Folder
Press Releases, 1996 49

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Series  IV. Austrian Room Design and Decoration 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains materials related to the planning and design of the Austrian Nationality Room as well as to the significance of various design choices.

  BoxFolder
Inspirations and Models, 1986-1955 250
  Folder
Eisenstadt, Esterhazy, Hofbang and Hoftaft, 1985-1995 51
  Folder
Compilation of Information on the Proposed Austrian Room prepared by Joseph E. Pandl 52
  Folder
Austrian Eagle, 1995-1996 53
  Folder
Ceiling 54-55

Search for an Artist and the Candidates, 1984-1996; Carpoforo Tencalla – Biography and Interpretation of Paintings, 1994

  Folder
Composers’ Memorial, 1996 56
  Folder
Chandeliers, 1989-1996 57
  Folder
Furnishings (Friedrich Otto Schmidt), 1989-1996 58
  Folder
Kachelofen including Catalogues, 1986-1996 59-60
  Folder
Austrian Map, 61
  Folder
Narration 62
  Folder
Bid Manual 63
  Folder
Construction, John DeKlewa & Sons, Inc., 1995 64
  Folder
Construction drawings, fabric and correspondence with Maxine Bruhns 65
  Folder
Construction, 1992-1996 66
  Map-case
Architectural Drawings 8-18, 8-20

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Series  V. Publications 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains multiple serial publications, pamphlets, bulletins and a photocopied book entitled Vienna.

  Folder
Vienna by Frederic V. Grunfeld, 1981 67
  Folder
Small publications, 68
  Folder
Small publications, 68-69

Maps, issues of Wein und die Wiener 1947-1947; and others

  BoxFolder
Austrian Information, 1993-2002 370
  Folder
Austria Kultur, 1996-2001 71

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Series  VI. Special Assistance 

Scope and Content Notes

These documents relate to aid given by high-ranking Austrians in support of creating the Austrian Nationality Room in the Cathedral of Learning.

  File
Austrian Trade Commission, 1990-1993 72
  Folder
Ambassador Thomas Klestil, 1987 73
  Folder
Ambassador Dr. Friedrich Hoess, 1987-1992 74
  Folder
Ambassador Dr. Helmut Türk, 1993-1995 75
  Folder
Consul General Walter Greinert, 1993-1997 76
  Folder
Consul General Walter Kaltheis, 1995-1996 77
  Folder
Cultural attaché Dr. Denise von Quistorp-Rejc, 1993 78
  Folder
Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder, 1987 79
  Folder
Other Consuls, 1987-1993 80

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Series  VII. University Involvement 

Scope and Content Notes

This series documents the University of Pittsburgh’s hand in aiding the Austrian Room Committee in their development efforts.

  Folder
Catherine Brennan, 1993 81
  Folder
Heinz Chapel Choir, 1992 82
  Folder
Heinz Chapel Choir, 1992 83
  Folder
Bernard Koperek, 1990-1994 84
  Folder
Dr. Gerald J. Massey, 1990 85
  Folder
Nationality Rooms Council, 1989 86
  Folder
Dr. Dennison Rusinow, 1990-1991 87
  Folder
Dr. Peter Safar, 1988-1994 88

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Series  VIII. Fundraising 

Scope and Content Notes

These documents contain information regarding the financial endeavors involved in the creation of the Austrian Nationality Room. Many of the documents are letters from Joseph E. Pandl requesting donations from corporations and individuals with Austrian connections as well as from Pittsburgh area businesses.

  Folder
Potential Donors, Sample Appeal letters. 89-90
  Folder
Fundraising, 1987-1993 91-95
  Folder
American Honda Foundation, 1985-1987 96
  Folder
Austrian-American Federation, 1991-1997 97
  Folder
Austrian Banks and Companies, 1991-1993 98-99
  Folder
Bayer – Mobay Foundation and Miles Foundation, 1988-1992 100
  Folder
Dr. and Mrs. Belcsak, 1994-1997 101
  Folder
Ebner Furnaces, Inc., 1990-1992 102
  Folder
Emco Maier Corporation, 1990-1992 103
  Folder
Exxon, 1989 104
  Folder
The Henry L. Hillman Foundation, 1989-1997 105
  Folder
The Hunt Foundation, 1987-1993 106
  Folder
Ilbau, Inc., 1984-1989 107
  Folder
The Laurel Foundation, 1989-1993 108
  Folder
The Laurel Foundation, 1989-1993 109
  Folder
May Department Stores Company Foundation, 1989 110
  Folder
The John K. McCune Charitable Foundation, 1991-1992 111
  Folder
Richard King Mellon Foundation, 1982-1997 112
  BoxFolder
Pittsburgh National Bank, 1987-1992 4113
  Folder
Pittsburgh Opera Auxiliary, 1987 114
  Folder
Trombino Piano Gallerie, 1988-1992 115
  Folder
The UPS Foundation, 1989-1991 116
  Folder
Voest-Alpine Industries, Inc., 1990-1993 117
  Folder
Westinghouse, 1988-1990 118
  Folder
Wiener Frendenverkehrsverband, 1990 119
  Folder
Willie’s Ski Shop, 1990-1991 120
  Folder
Christopher’s Restaurant, 1992-1993 121
  Folder
Dr. Ivo Fischer, 1978-1999 122-123
  File
Individual Donations, 1991-1994  124
  Folder
Prominent Austrians, 125-127

Arnold Schwarzenegger; Robert and Einzi Stolz,

  Folder
Biographical Inserts for Fundraising Letters, 1989-1992 128

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Series  IX. Other Activities of the Committee 

Scope and Content Notes

These records contain some activities of the Austrian Room Committee after the opening of the room, including the scholarships to study in Austria as well as some correspondence files with German societies.

  BoxFolder
Scholarship committee 3129-130
  Folder
Austrian American Counsel 131
  Folder
Weltbund der Oesterreichen in Ausland 132
  Folder
Alliance of German Societies in Pittsburgh 133
  Folder
Association of German Societies 134

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