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Lilia Sofer Skala Student Portfolio, 1915-1928, 2003 (Ms2003-015)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms2003-015


  • 1915-1928, 2003, n.d.



Material is in German with some items translated into English.

The translation was performed by Andrew Creamer.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Lilia Sofer Skala Student Portfolio must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Biographical/Historical Information

Lilia Sofer Skala was born in Vienna, Austria in 1896. She earned a degree in architecture from the University of Dresden and became the first female member of the Austrian Association of Engineers and Architects, practicing architecture.

Skala became a successful stage and film actress in Europe before fleeing the Nazis with her husband and two sons. Among the personal belongings with which she escaped was her portfolio of student work from the University of Dresden.

Skala immigrated to the United States in 1939 and eventually found success as an actress on Broadway and in television and film. She was nominated for an Academy Award in 1963 for her role as Mother Maria in Lilies of the Field .

Skala passed away in 1994.

Acquisition Information

The Lilia Sofer Skala Student Portfolio was donated to the International Archive of Women in Architecture in 2002. Additional materials were donated in 2004 and 2013.

General Physical Description note

3.0 cu. ft.; 9 folders and 11 oversize folders


Student portfolio of Lilia Sofer Skala, who studied architecture at the University of Dresden from 1915 to 1920. Consists of her work as a student, including architectural drawings, sketches, photographs, and watercolor paintings, copies of her academic records, and other printed material.


The collection primarily consists of Lilia Sofer Skala's work as a student of architecture at the University of Dresden from 1915 to 1920. The student work includes architectural drawings, ink and charcoal sketches, and watercolor paintings. The collection also consists of biographical information including copies of Skala's academic records, printed material about the architectural program at the University of Dresden at the turn of the century, articles by and about Skala, and press material for LiLiA! , a play about Skala written and performed by her grandaughter, Libby Skala.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Lilia Sofer Skala Student Portfolio took place from March to July 2004. The finding aid was updated March 2011to reflect the addition of the translated articles. The finding aid was updated July 2013 to include Acc2013-062.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US