Rebecca Gratz Digital Collection:

A Project in Memory of Dianne Ashton


The Rebecca Gratz Digital Collection features the correspondence of Rebecca Gratz with family and friends beginning in 1799 until her death in 1869. As a Jewish American living in Philadelphia, she observed major events as the Republic took shape, such as the War of 1812 and, towards the end of her life, as it was tested in the US Civil War. A well-educated woman, Gratz was an avid reader and writer who left a significant amount of letters that detail not only her family life and concerns, but also her philanthropic work.


The Rebecca Gratz Digital Collection is the largest and most accessible repository of the leading female philanthropist in Philadelphia during the nineteenth century. The archive features more than 800 transcribed and searchable letters to and from this important historical figure.

This digital collection was created, in part, in memory of Dr. Dianne Ashton, professor of World Religions at Rowan University, a pioneering scholar of American Jewish women and the leading biographer of Rebecca Gratz.

Using this Collection

This collection has been placed in the permanent care, custody, and control of Gratz College by the partner donors of the collection. Questions concerning rights to use or publish materials from the collection should be addressed to Donna Guerin, Director of Libraries.

  • Collection Overview
  • Scope and Content
  • Sorting and Searching
  • Citations Explainer
  • Rights and Reproductions
  • Editorial Methodology


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