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As a writer on art and literature, Spielmann contributed articles to leading newspapers, magazines and reviews for nearly fifty years. He was also editor of The Magazine of Art.
The archive reflects two aspects of Spielmann's life and career. The first relates to his extended campaign for reform of the Royal Academy and his more general interst in the activities of that institution. The second centres on his life-long friendship with Sir Alfred Gilbert.
The papers were generated by M.H. Spielmann but rearranged by his son, Dr. P.E. Spielmann who intended to write a biography of his father.
The papers were donated by the executors of Dr. P.E. Spielmann in 1964.
The papers were roughly sorted divided into subject files by the time they arrived at the Royal Academy, it is likely that this treatment had been handed to them by Dr. P.E. Spielmann during his attempts to write his father's biography. This arrangement was extensively revised by the cataloguing archivist, Jean Agnew, prior to her compilation of the first archival finding aid of August 1973.
The original finding aid was written by Jean Agnew, in 1973, for inclusion in the National Register of Archives.