Edward C. Weber Papers, 1949-2006
Using These Materials
- The collection is open for research.
- Weber, Edward Charles, 1922-2006
- Edward C. Weber (1922-2006) was long-time curator of the University of Michigan Special Collection's Joseph A. Labadie Collection of radical history. Under his stewardship, the Labadie Collection grew into one of the premier and most forward-thinking holdings of materials relating to radical and protest groups from the United States and around the world. The Edward C. Weber Papers are made up of the subject's correspondence and biographical materials, written from 1949 to 2006. The bulk of the collection, the correspondence is mostly comprised of Weber's letters soliciting materials on behalf of the Labadie Collection or fielding reference questions from researchers, as well as personal correspondence from the his family and friends. The collection's materials are comprised of letters (typed and handwritten), printed out emails, postcards, greeting cards, news clippings, photographs, printed biographical materials, framed commendations, and other miscellaneous paper materials.
- 28.0 Linear feet (54 manuscript boxes, 1 oversized box.)
- Finding aid prepared by Gavin Strassel, Jerry Marshall
- Scope and Content:
The Edward C. Weber Papers consists of Weber's correspondence with organizations, publishers, researchers, associates, family, and friends, along with biographical materials created for his retirement and memorial services. The collection provides a snapshot of the Joseph A. Labadie Collection and his work there for a 40 year period (1960-2000), as well as a portrait of his personal relationships with friends and family from 1949 to 2005.
The Biographical Materials series contains materials from Weber's retirement celebration and memorial service. The first folder contains past articles and correspondence on paper stock, reprinted for Weber's memorial service in 2006. The second set of items relate to Weber's retirement in 2000. This includes a flyer for his retirement celebration, articles about his retirement, and copied certificates of commendation. In addition, two framed items of commendation are housed in an oversized box.
The Correspondence series makes up the majority of the collection and is comprised of 27 linear feet of paper material housed in 54 manuscript boxes, foldered alphabetically by correspondent or corresponding organization. Individual letters, cards, photographs and other types of written communication are arranged chronologically within each subject's folder(s). The majority of folders are dedicated to outreach by Weber to various radical groups and individuals soliciting material donations to contribute to the Labadie Collection. His written responses to reference inquiries for items within the Labadie Collection make up another significant segment of the series. Most of these materials are typewritten letters officially sent on behalf of the Labadie Collection and University of Michigan Special Collections. Some later letters were written by Labadie Collection assistants during Weber's time there and with his knowledge. Since Weber never used email, his letters sent on behalf of the Labadie Collection were typed on a manual or electric typewriter. There are occasional handwritten notations on some of these letters and a few emails printed out so he could read them. Other folders in the series contain personal correspondence from friends, family, and other associates. These items are made up mostly of handwritten notes, postcards, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, printouts of emails, occasional photographs, and other miscellaneous items. Many of the folders were removed from the general Labadie correspondence files in 2008 and a listing was made of them at that time. The rest of the series is made up of personal correspondence Weber stored in his home.
Within the series are several notable, lengthy correspondence partners including Theodore Adams (1950-2004, 21 folders), James Q. Belden (1952-2000, 11 folders), George Nick (1949-1991, 12 folders), Curtis and Clarice Rodgers (1961-2005, 18 folders), and Henry Van Dyke (1950-2004, 12 folders). The series also includes correspondence from notable individuals such as civil rights activist Malcolm X, graphic novelist Harvey Pekar, former Secretary of State Eliot Abrams, the White Panther Party, among many others.
LC=Labadie Collection ECW=Edward C. Weber
- Biographical / Historical:
Longtime curator of the Joseph A. Labadie Collection within the University of Michigan's Special Collections, Edward C. Weber (1922-2006) was a critical figure within the University's library system and an active supporter of various marginalized communities.
Born September 14, 1922 in Rochester, NY, he earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester followed by a master's degree in American literature from Columbia University. He made his way to the Ann Arbor area to attend the University of Michigan's library school in 1952. While a student, he began working part-time as a reference librarian at the university's Social Science Library. He continued working within the library system after completing his education and became head of the Labadie Collection in 1960 (Daub, 2006).
A prominent resource within the University of Michigan's Special Collections, the Labadie Collection is the oldest publicly-accessible collection for radical history, containing items from a diverse array of social protest and radical movements that date from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries. Under Weber's guidance and persistent outreach, the Labadie Collection developed rich holdings for the Sixtie's anti-war, modern anarchism, gay liberation, radical feminism, pacifism, and ecology movements. By actively providing representation to these marginalized communities within the library's holdings, the Labadie Collection was for a period one of the few significant scholarly resources for gay, feminist, and anti-war studies. By the time Weber retired in 2000, the Labadie Collection had grown six-fold and was firmly entrenched as a primary resource for scholarship of the history of radicalism ("History").
Besides managing the Labadie Collection, Weber was critical for developing collections regarding Latin American studies, theater, and minority literature for the university's library system (Daub, 2006). In addition to his work within the library, Weber was a proud member of the local Ann Arbor community, participating as manager of the Cinema Guild for 37 years and actively supporting the University Musical Society (Retzloff, 2006).
Edward Weber passed away at the age of 83 on April 11, 2006.
"History". MLibrary. http://www.lib.umich.edu/labadie-collection/history [Accessed 3/21/2013]
"Joseph Labadie Anarchy Collection. (December 24, 1998). C-SPAN School Bus. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/117475-1 [Accessed 3/21/2013]
Retzloff, Tim. (April 20, 2006). "Edward Weber, retired Labadie Collection curator at U of M, dies at 83". Pride Source: Between the Lines News. http://www.pridesource.com/article.html?article=18419 [Accessed 3/21/2013]
- Acquisition Information:
- Acquired from Edward Weber and his associates. In addition, folders containing Weber's solicitations on behalf of the Special Collections were taken directly from the Joseph A. Labadie Collection in 2008.
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Using These Materials
The collection is open for research.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
Copyright has not been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan. Permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s).
- PREFERRED CITATION:
Edward C. Weber Papers, University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Library)