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Bentley Historical Library records, 1919 - 2023 (majority within 1970 - 2013)

79 linear feet — 2 oversize boxes — 1 oversize folder — 3 drawers — 33.5 GB (online)

The Bentley Historical Library houses the Michigan Historical collections, which documents the history of Michigan; and the University Archives and Records Program, which maintains the historical record of the University of Michigan. Founded in 1935 as the Michigan Historical Collections, directors of the library include Lewis G. Vander Velde, F. Clever Bald, Robert M. Warner, Francis X. Blouin, Jr., and Terrence J. McDonald. The records include administrative files, correspondence, meeting materials, files on exhibits, archived websites, images, audio-visual media, and documentation of special projects such as the Vatican Archives project.

The records of the Bentley Historical Library were received in six main accessions 1991, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2014. Together the records comprise 79 linear feet, plus two oversize boxes, and oversize folder, three flat file drawers, and more than 16 GB of data spanning the years 1935-2014. The researcher should consult the summary box list on page vii for a quick overview of the materials in the collection.


Exhibition photograph collection, 1988

2 linear feet — 1 oversize folder

Exhibition photographs and captions used in the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the Rackham Building, 1988. Also includes related correspondence. Mainly photographs of distinguished Rackham Ph.D. holders.

The majority of the collection is comprised of folders on individual participants. They are arranged by academic division (I: Biological and Health Sciences, II: Physical Sciences and Engineering, III: Social Sciences and Education, IV: Humanities and the Arts) and within division, alphabetically by last name of participant. The materials include incoming and outgoing correspondence between the individual and Bentley Library archivists; the negative image, from which the exhibit photograph was made; and a copy of the caption used in the exhibit. When the positive image, from which the negative was made, was a copyrighted one, credit to the photographer was given at the bottom of the caption and the folder includes correspondence between the library and the photographer regarding permission to use the photograph in the exhibit. The researcher who is interested in reproducing images of exhibit participants is urged to review the respective folder materials carefully to insure proper compliance with copyright laws.

The remaining folders in the collection include materials from individuals who sent information after the exhibit deadline and therefore could not be included in it, and those who either declined or were unable to participate. The researcher will also find the nominations submitted by schools and departments, and the text which introduced the exhibit.


Financial Operations (University of Michigan) records, 1837-2004 (majority within 1915-1990)

35 linear feet — 52 oversize volumes — 1 oversize folder

Records generated by administrators and offices charged with the financial activities of the University, including Secretary and Vice-President Shirley W. Smith and Controller and Assistant Secretary John C. Christensen; include general University financial records; records of land; trust fund records; proposed development and construction projects; operating records of buildings, divisions and other units.

The records of Financial Operations date from 1837 to 1982, primarily after 1910. The 27 linear feet of manuscript material, 52 oversized volumes and one reel of microfilm reflect not only the financial records normally associated with an accounting office, but also the broad range of subjects which became a concern under the leadership of Shirley Smith. What would eventually become Financial Operations may have served as a records storage office for many of the other units under Smith's control. In any event, Financial Operations became the guardian of a wide variety of records, documenting the University in a number of ways not normally expected of an accounting service.

Of particular note, the collection contains a variety of different record formats. Bound materials, in the form of books, are included in the boxes and when numbering more than one, are listed in the finding aid as multiple volumes. The collection also contains oversized volumes, in the form of large accounting books. These oversized volumes are numbered and stored separately. They are listed in the finding aid where intellectually appropriate, and designated by volume number. Enclosed in this finding aid is an index of the oversized volumes, organized by number, and their contents.

The collection is divided into six series: General University Financial Records; Trust Fund Records; Records of Land, Proposed Development and Construction; Operating Records of Buildings, Divisions and other Units; Miscellaneous Reports, Studies and Volumes; and Accounting Office Records.


Horace H. Rackham and Mary A. Rackham Fund Records, 1929-1950 (majority within 1934-1940)

14 linear feet — 1 oversize volume

The last will and testament of Horace H. Rackham provided for the establishment of a trust fund to provide for the health and welfare of individuals, particularly the sick, aged, the young, the poor, and other underprivileged. Much of the trust money went to the University of Michigan to be used for a building for the graduate school and an endowment to be used for different kinds of research. The Fund also awarded grants to agencies involved in child welfare, community culture, education, health, philanthropy, and science. The Fund distributed money from 1934 until about 1941. The series in this record group consist of administrative and executive files, and project applications and grant files.

The records of the Horace H. Rackham and Mary A. Rackham Fund document the continuing generosity of Horace Rackham and Mary Rackham to numerous charitable, educational, and scientific organizations and causes. The records contain the files of the Fund's trustees and directors and provide insight and information about such topics as the administration of a philanthropic fund-giving organization during the mid-1930s, the kinds of gifts made, the relationship among the Fund's trustees and officers, and the relationship between the Fund and the grant recipients. Because of the size of the gift, most of the documentation within the record group details the close ties between the Fund and the University of Michigan. These files concern not only the establishment of the Rackham endowment to the University, but also the different scientific and educational grants made. Additionally, these files detail the construction of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies building in Ann Arbor and the Rackham Educational Memorial building in Detroit.

The records of the Fund cover the period of 1929-1950 though they bulk largest for the period of the Fund's greatest activity, 1934-1940. The record group has been separated into two series: Combined Administrative and Executive Office Files and Project applications/grants.


Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies (University of Michigan) Announcements, Bulletins, and Handbooks series, 1883-2010

3.5 linear feet

Graduate School of the University of Michigan. Includes Bulletins and Announcements of courses and degree requirements, graduate student hand books and other information for graduate students.

The Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies Announcements, Bulletins and Handbooks series consists of publications directly related to graduate school policies and procedures and includes information on degree program requirements and curriculum.

Academic degree program requirements are defined in what is called the university "bulletin" or general catalog. For example, program requirements outline how many credits and what subjects a student needs to complete in order to receive a degree in an academic program within a specific school or college. At the University of Michigan, the degree program requirements are positioned as a contract between the university and the student with regard to the definition and program requirements.

Included in this series are the Announcement (or Bulletin), Graduate Student Handbook and Information for Graduate Students. Some publications (or their successors) may no longer be available in print but are available on the school s website.

Note that other publications produced by the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, such as Rackham Reports, are separately cataloged.


Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies (University of Michigan) records, 1892-2014

242 linear feet — 4 microfilms (positive and negative) — 2.44 GB (online)

Graduate School of the University of Michigan. Records include dean's topical files, 1892-1996; files of associate deans; minutes of the executive board; project and grant files detailing faculty and student research; lists of degrees granted; records of fellowships and awards granted by the graduate school and university; and files relating to academic departments and programs, including reviews of degree programs.

The records of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies document the administration of the school, its academic programs and research projects and fellowships funded by the school and outside sources. The records include Dean's Files, minutes of the Executive Board and Administrative Council, Academic Unit and Program Evaluation files, and grants administration records.

Records of the Graduate School have been received by the library in numerous accessions, some large others quite small. Some accessions represent continuations or complements to previously received materials. This finding attempts to intellectually integrate continuing or similar record series received in multiple accessions.

The records are organized into a number of series. Among the more significant are:

  1. Deans' Topical File
  2. Research Records
  3. University Units
  4. Program Evaluations
  5. Faculty Research Grants
  6. Degree Lists
  7. Faculty Fellowships, Grants and Awards
  8. Graduate School Executive Board and Administrative Council

In 2008, the Rackham School of Graduate Studies announced that it would become a 'paperless' office and that future accessions to the Bentley Library would be electronic. The materials from 1990 to 2003 were thus digitized by Rackham staff (from the original paper records) and saved as PDF (Portable Document Format) files. As of 2012, these digital accessions comprise two subseries within the Graduate School Executive Board and Administrative Council series and Program Evaluation series.


Library Extension Service (University of Michigan) records, 1916-1980

2 linear feet

University of Michigan unit established to coordinate loan of library materials to high schools and various local organizations, and to supplement the program of the Extension Service. Administrative files, including historical material, annual and monthly reports, and subject files; and published material consisting of bulletins, and printed reading lists and bibliographies.

The Library Extension Services' collection dates from 1916 to 1980. It is divided into two series, an administrative file and unit publications. The administrative file (1916-1980) is arranged alphabetically, one exception being historical material that has been grouped together at the beginning of the series. Included in the series is a nearly complete run of annual reports and information regarding branch libraries. Information regarding the Detroit branch is particularly extensive, and includes a number of annual reports (1959-1980). There is information regarding a cooperative project sponsored by the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Western Michigan University in the Saginaw area (ca. 1967). The series also contains several folders of information regarding a Special Committee re Cooperative Services of the Michigan Library Association (1960-1967).

The Publications series (1919-1979), has been supplemented by material collected previously by the Bentley Library and represents all of the publications of LES available at the Bentley. Included are the LES Bulletin of Information (1919-1920 to 1952), recommended books for secondary school libraries (1931-1952), alumni reading lists (1931-1948), and bibliographies on selected subjects (ca. 1975-ca. 1979).

The Photographs series includes images showing staff, exhibitions and other activities of the Library Extension Service and views of the library facilities.


Marjorie Cahn Brazer papers, 1955-1992

2 linear feet

Secretary of the Ann Arbor (Mich.) Transportation Authority (AATA). Minutes, 1969-1973, financial statements, reports, and photographs of the AATA largely concerning the problems of mass transportation and the development of the "Dial-a-Ride" system; also papers concerning the development of streets and automobile parking facilities in the city.

The Marjorie C. Brazer Papers covers the period of 1955 to 1983 and has been arranged mainly by the name of organization in which Brazer participated. The largest portion of the collection - Ann Arbor Transportation Authority - consists of minutes, policy and long-range planning documents, and subject files detailing the process by which the bus service for Ann Arbor was established, and the beginning of the Dial-a-Ride program. Other smaller organization files in the collection pertain to the Citizen's Association for Area Planning, the Detroit Committee for Neighborhood Conservation and Improved Housing, the Huron High Bi-Racial Committee, the League of Women Voters (Detroit), the League of Women Voters (Ann Arbor), and the Washtenaw County Citizens Committee for Economic Opportunity. One file - Washtenaw County Political Campaigns - concerns Lloyd Ives' 1959 Ann Arbor mayoral campaign and Brazer's own 1968 campaign for county supervisor.

Of interest is the documentation of an oral history project undertaken by Brazer in 1983 and pertaining to the establishment and operation of the Rackham endowment to the University of Michigan. This materials is arranged into the Rackham Endowment Oral History Project series. The series includes oral history audiocassettes and administrative files for the project. Brazer's work on this project resulted in her Biography of an Endowment, published in 1985 by the Bentley Historical Library.

The collection also contains family school yearbooks.


Marvin Lemmon Niehuss papers, 1923-1972 (majority within 1941-1968)

28.5 linear feet

University of Michigan professor of law, 1936-1944 and 1968-1972, vice president for university relations, 1944-1951, vice president and dean of faculties, 1951-1962, and executive vice president, 1962-1967. Papers include correspondence and reports concerning University affairs and some course materials from Niehuss' law classes. Included here are files relating to Niehuss' involvement in the University decision to fire three professors investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee, and in the review of the University's compliance to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Marvin Niehuss Papers document his career as Law School faculty member and university administrator. The papers include correspondence and reports concerning University affairs and some course materials from Niehuss' law classes. Included here are files relating to Niehuss' involvement in the University decision to fire three professors investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee, and in the review of the University's compliance to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Niehuss papers have arrived in three separate accessions. Researchers should be aware that there is significant overlap within the three accessions. Specific topics can be tracked across the various accessions. The papers are organized into two series: a small Miscellaneous File, 1945-1951, and Topical Files, 1923-1972.


Peter Olaus Okkelberg papers, 1910-1950

3 linear feet

Professor of biology and dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies; contain correspondence and other papers concerning his professional activities; and biographical sketch.

The Okkelberg collection is comprised of correspondence dating from 1910 to 1950, the approximate dates of his tenure at the University of Michigan. The correspondence is arranged chronologically and relates primarily to his career as a professor of zoology and to his work as an University of Michigan assistant and associate dean of the graduate school. Okkelberg corresponded with colleagues and administrators, within and outside the University of Michigan community. Correspondents include: Marion L. Burton, Oct. 1920, Robert M. Lovett, Sept. 1926, Jacob E. Reighard, July 1913, and Alexander G. Ruthven, June 1914 and April 1918.