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Alexander G. Ruthven Papers, 1901-1961 (majority within 1906-1951)

65.4 linear feet — 1 oversize folder

Zoologist, college professor, president of University of Michigan, 1929-1951. Professional files relating to his career with the University Museum and as a professor of zoology, and presidential files containing correspondence, reports, speeches, and other University materials, including budget and legislative files, material relating to changes in University administration, his relationship with faculty, students and alumni, and photographs.

The Alexander Ruthven papers consists of two series of records. The first is the papers of Ruthven as president of the University of Michigan, 1929 to 1951. The second, and smaller, series is the files maintained by Ruthven as a zoologist with the University Museum and as professor of zoology. This latter series dates largely from 1908 to 1929 but also includes collected earlier files from the 1870s.


Alexander J. Rice papers, 1847-1851

31 items

The papers of Alexander J. Rice consist of letters written by Rice while service as a medical officer in the United States Navy during the Mexican War.

The papers of Alexander J. Rice consist of 31 letters, all but one of which were written by Rice to members of his family, and nearly all of which were written during his service in the Mexican War. These letters, addressed to his father, John (a cashier at the Bank of New Hampshire), sisters Lizzie (d. 1850) and Augusta, and a brother (who was eventually disowned as a wastrel) form a small, but nearly complete record of a little known facet of the war, the naval operations off the Gulf Coast, and they make for captivating reading. Rice's intelligence, his fascination with the country and people, and his aptitude for close description and a good story make the collection a particularly rich resource for study of the activities of an average naval ship in a distant theater, and for American attitudes toward the war, Mexico, and Mexicans.

Other than a constant concern for the unhealthy climate, the prevalence of chills, fevers, and pestering insects, there is very little specific information on Rice's duties as a medical officer. The group of 13 letters written from the Coatzacoalco River include fascinating discussions of the hardship of being the only medical officer aboard ship, and document Rice's frustration in attempting to get the Navy to alleviate the poor sanitary conditions aboard ship, and the problems with the ship's officers, poor provisions, and inadequate medical supplies. The letter of July 22-26, 1847, is a particularly long and extraordinary account of the effect of the harsh conditions and poor sanitation in tropical waters and its effects upon the crew. These letters, too, document the frustration and inactivity of blockade duty in a stagnant backwater, but at the same time, Rice's continuing fascination with the country and people.

A series of seven letters written from Ciudad del Carmen (Camp.), Campeche (Camp.) and Sisal (Yuc.) document Rice's experiences as witness to the Caste War in Yucatán. Before being sent to Campeche to protect white refugees, Rice's sympathies clearly lay with the white population, but he and his shipmates came to sympathize with the Indians, arguing that not only had the whites provoked the crisis, but they were lazy, selfish, and ungrateful even for the protection the Navy afforded. Rice's opinions were strengthened upon receiving news of atrocities committed by whites upon the Indian population, the first when an armed force slaughtered a group of women and children, the second when Indians were killed by poisoned food left in deserted villages.


James C. Hathaway papers, 1952-2015

32.3 linear feet

Leading authority on international refugee law and related aspects of human rights and public international law. The collection includes materials related to his research on refugee law and other aspects of human rights.

The James C. Hathaway papers consists of 32.3 linear feet of materials related to his research on refugee law and other aspects of human rights spanning the years 1952 to 2015.


Richard H. Solomon papers, Circa 1962-1972 (majority within 1965-1967)

7.3 linear feet (in 8 boxes)

Richard Solomon was a professor of political science at the Univerity of Michigan, a White House staffer who worked on "ping-pong diplomacy" under Henry Kissinger during the Nixon administration, and a scholar of Chinese history and politics. This collection consists primarily of interviews with Chinese refugees and subsequent computer data printouts and analysis of these interviews.

This collection is organized into two series: Interview Materials and Professional Materials, and primarily documents interviews conducted by Solomon and his associates, likely for Solomon's dissertation on Chinese political culture. The majority of the materials are written in Chinese, although there are some interview transcriptions, interview analyses, and reports written in English.

The Interview Materials series is divided into two subseries: (1) Interviews; and (2) Data and Analysis. The Interviews subseries is comprised of interview responses and transcripts; various tests, evaluations, and score sheets; and handwritten materials. The Data and Analysis subseries is comprised primarily of computer data printouts, although it also contains some reports authored by Solomon on changing Chinese culture, as well as a magnetic data tape.

Researchers may find the folder "Interview Materials, General," located in Box 3 of the Interviews subseries, helpful in understanding some of the abbreviations used throughout the papers, the reasoning behind the interviews, and how the interviews were written up. Some commonly used acronyms are: "RT," which stands for Rorschach Test; a T or H preceding a number stands for either Taiwan or Hong Kong; "Trad-Mod" stands for "Traditionality - modernity," which was an attitude scale used by Solomon to quantitatively measure degrees "of modernity."

The Professional Materials series is comprised of a single folder titled "Ping Pong" that contains handwritten notes and various newspaper clippings related to the Chinese ping pong team's visit to the United States in 1972.


Wilfrid de St. Aubin Papers, 1938-1980

7 linear feet — 1 oversize folder

Executive with the American Red Cross. Correspondence, diaries, reports, memoranda, and other materials relating to relief and refugee work during World War II in Italy, France, and Germany (Buchenwald), his work in re-establishing Red Cross societies in Austria, Hungary, and the Middle East after the war, and his survey of humanitarian problems resulting from the Palestinian conflict, 1948.

The Wilfrid de St. Aubin collection consists of seven feet of correspondence, reports, memoranda, and other official papers covering his Red Cross work during World War II and the immediate postwar period. Of special interest is a letter and report written by St. Aubin containing his impression and observations of the Buchenwald concentration camp. St. Aubin was one of the first to come to the camp after its liberation. There are also diaries which provide added background and detail of St. Aubin's varied career.