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Sears Family Papers

Identifier: M272


This collection contains the papers of Vera Sears (1912-2008), dance instructor at the University of Denver, and her husband Edwin Sears (1903-1964), a law professor at the University of Denver. The Sears family emigrated to the United States from Germany in the 1930s. These papers include correspondence, photographs, teaching materials, legal materials, clippings, dance notation notebooks, publications, scrapbooks, and audiovisual materials.


  • 1933-2002


Digital Repository

Sears Family Papers

Conditions Governing Use

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Biographical / Historical

Edwin was born in 1903 in Poland. He received four degrees throughout his education including a degree in Agriculture and a law degree from the University of Berlin (1927-1930). At the University of Berlin, Edwin served as personal secretary to Albery Einstein. In 1933, Edwin lost his assistant-professorship at the University of Berlin due to his Jewish heritage. He went into hiding and emigrated to the United States in 1936. His wife, Vera, followed Edwin emigrating in 1939. The Sears family settled in Denver in 1940. In May 1942, Edwin received his law degree from DU and began a position as a law professor. In 1946, Edwin served as a American lawyer in the Nuremberg Tiral starting in 1945. Edwin died in 1964.

Vera (born Vera Schulze in 1912) was a dancer in Berlin. She studied under German modern dancer founder, Mary Wigman. In 1934, Edwin and her were married and in 1939, Vera emigrated to the United States settling in Denver, Colorado. In 1947, Vera was offered a teaching position at the University of Denver in the Dance Department of the Lamont School of Music. Vera directed the Children's Dance Theater and dance in the Martha Wilcox dance group. Vera would keep in contact with Mary Wigman and he dance contacts (including Hanya Holm) throughout her life. Vera died in 2008.


14.25 Linear Feet (13 containers)


The collection is arranged in (4) series. The first two series contain files related to both Edwin and Vera Sears, Photographs and Correspondence. The third series related to Edwin Sears and his time in law and at the University of Denver. The fourth series contains materials related to Vera Sears and her dance career.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were physically brought to Special Collections and Archives by Joan Brown, president of the Friends of Carson-Brierly Dance Library in 2010, but were a gift of Andrea Sears-Van Nest to Joan Brown, the daughter of Vera Sears, a former director of the Children's Dance Theatre at the University of Denver Lamont School of Music Dance Department. A letter received with the accession, dated 2002, indicates that Vera Sears organized the materials with the intent of donating them to the Carson-Brierly Dance Library.


Further accruals are expected.

Related Materials

Additional information about Vera Sears can be found in the following collections in this repository: Friends of The Dance Archive "Legends of Dance" Oral History Project Records (D009.03.0005.00004) and the Marshall and Carolyn Durand Brooks Photography and Dance Collection (D025).
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428