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W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library Manuscript Collections

Guide to the Greenfield Family Letters MSS.3358


University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266

May 2011


This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2011-05-20T16:04-0500

Language Usage:


Description Rules:

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Collection Title:

Greenfield Family Letters

Unit ID:



University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama


0.05 Linear feet (14 letters, 14 envelopes)


Bulk, 1943-1944




Fourteen letters sent to Robert W. Greenfield and his family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Most of the letters were sent by his mother Ida, who worked as a costumer for several Hollywood films during the 1930s and 40s.

Access Restrictions:


Acquisition Information:

Gift of Wade Hall, 2006

Preferred Citation:

Greenfield Family Letters, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Processing Information:

Processing Information note

Processed by Kendal Spires, 2011

Biographical/Historical note

Robert W. Greenfield was born in Pennsylvania in 1907 to Maurice D. and Ida S. Greenfield. He was a lawyer who lived in Philadelphia and was married to Bunny; they had a daughter, Maxine. Maurice Greenfield was an optometrist who lived in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, while Ida worked as a costumer in the movie industry in Los Angeles on such films as The Adventures of Robin Hood and Night and Day. Maurice and Ida were likely divorced or separated. Ida and her family were Jewish.

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains fourteen letters sent to Robert (Bob) W. Greenfield. Two letters were sent from his wife Bunny in 1941; she and their daughter Maxine were visiting Bob's mother Ida in Los Angeles while Maxine recovered from an illness.

Nine letters were from Ida to Bob, Bunny, and Maxine. She kept them updated with latest news on family members in Los Angeles, her sometimes ill health, and her job as a costumer in Hollywood. Ida told of receiving Christmas presents from Olivia de Haviland and Alexis Smith, wrote a letter in Joan Leslie's dressing room, and dressed Alexis Smith for her wedding to Craig Stevens. She also wrote of working on the films The Horn Blows at Midnight and Hollywood Canteen. One of Ida's letters also talked of the hate spread by Nazi Germany against Jewish people and the "undercurrent" of negativity she felt even in the studio.

Three letters were from Bob's father Maurice D. Greenfield. He wrote of insurance and mortgage matters, a visit from Aunt Dora, and an upcoming visit by Bob, Bunny, and Maxine.

The collection also contains a newspaper clipping from Bunny's letters and a photograph from one of Maurice's letters.

Greenfield letters Box SC0065 Folder 3358.01