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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.


Donald E. Heagle Flying collection, 1919-1946, and undated

1.25 cubic foot (in 2 boxes)

Collection includes clippings, photographs, brochures, information about famous pilots, planes, flights, plane manufacturers, airlines, general aviation history, Grand Rapids Art Fair and airport information, Heagle's pilot log book and lessons from the Furniture Capital Air School of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The collection includes clippings from newspapers and magazines, photographs, brochures, and other memorabilia on Dr. Hugo, Eckener, Charles Lindberg and his flight to Paris, Admiral Byrd’s flight to the South Pole, women pilots, zeppelins, plane crashes, various companies that manufactured planes or plane parts, including Buhl Aircraft Company, Forker (GM.), Ford Motor Company, Kohler Corporation, and airlines including Detroit–Grand Rapids Airline, Furniture Capital Air Service, and Stout Air Service, Inc., and materials related to the Grand Rapids Air Fair, 1927, and airport, as well as the history of aviation, in general.

Also included are Heagle’s pilot log book, 1927-1931, and lessons from the Furniture Capital Air School, undated.


John G. Claybourn Papers, 1908-1966

5.5 linear feet (in 7 boxes) — 1 oversize folder

Civil engineer, consultant on marine development and dredging, and superintendent of the dredging division of the Panama canal. Topical files relating to the maintenance and development of the Panama Canal and dredging problems in Burma, Colombia, and other Latin American countries; scrapbook relating to the Spanish-American War; and photographs.

The collection documents the professional life of John G. Claybourn, superintendent of the Dredging Division of the Panama Canal from 1921 to 1948 and a consultant on matters of river and harbor improvement. In addition to the Panama Canal, the collection illustrates the role of the United States in infrastructure development in the Third World.

The papers include materials created and collected by Claybourn in his work on the Panama Canal, materials relating to personal business activities away from his primary work, materials relating to consulting jobs and to Claybourn's activities in professional engineering societies, and personal correspondence, much of it with some business connection.

The collection is not clearly divided by topic: papers relating to a particular topic may be divided among topical files, files arranged by correspondent or company, and the general personal correspondence file. Some of the topics of interest include the following:

Burma: The papers document Claybourn's consulting work in the early 1950s, on contract with the U.S. government, to rebuild commerce on the Irrawaddy River destroyed during World War II and to develop the Dalla Dockyards near Rangoon.

Claybourn, Elsie Greiser: A scrapbook documents her activities as a long-distance swimmer and canoeist. Her retirement years are described in detail in the personal correspondence file.

Claybourn, Leslie W.: Claybourn's correspondence with his brother, an inventor and printing industry executive, provides some documentation of the development of that industry.

Colombia: In the 1920s Claybourn was involved in the development of the Dique de Cartagena, a ship canal serving that city. The papers document his relations with the Colombian government.

Florida: Claybourn was a consultant in the early 1930s for a projected canal across Florida. The collection includes surveys and other papers relating to this project.

Panama Canal: The papers reflect both Claybourn's work on the Canal and his interest in the history of its construction. Most papers on this topic have been drawn together in processing, but many are found under the names of correspondents and in the general correspondence file. The topics documented in the greatest detail are maintenance of the canal, especially clearing of landslides, and planning for additional locks and later for a sea-level canal. Information about dredges used on the canal is also included. A collection of photographs, most of them from official sources, parallels these strengths.

The papers also document Claybourn's moonlighting on private dredging operations during the 1920s. This material is found under the names of companies and projects.

Retirement: Claybourn's retirement years were spent in Ann Arbor. The personal correspondence describes in great detail his and his wife's retirement activities.

Rumania: Correspondence with Bill Arthur includes a copy of Arthur's diary of events during a 1940 rebellion in that country.

World War II: In addition to the Rumanian material described above, the collection contains much relating to defensive activities on the Panama Canal. The Burma project described above includes information about war damage to transportation in that country.

Other consulting activities: Consulting projects in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Venezuela are documented less fully than those described above.


LeRoy Barnett Collection, 1880-2022, and undated

46.5 cubic feet (in 75 boxes, 20 Oversized folders)

Collection of research materials on Michigan topics, mostly photocopies, notes, drafts of articles, and correspondence.

The collection consists mostly of photocopies of newspaper articles, magazine articles, information from websites, the Congressional Record, and chapters from reference and other books, on topics of interest to Barnett. Also included are his correspondence and email to various institutions and people asking for information and material, his notes, and typed articles he wrote on various topics. Topics documented in depth include: Ash, Center Line, John Farmer, Upper Peninsula railroads, Magnet Truck, Michigan railroads, the Mackinac Bridge, music and singers who sang songs about Michigan and or cars, the longstanding oleo versus margarine debates and laws, Michigan Central Railroad Co. Head Lights (a publication), Michigan jazz, traffic lights, with biographical materials on W.L. Potts, and Detroit, Mackinac and Marquette Railroad Co. maps (oversized transparencies). The materials (photocopies)on Headlights or Headlight Flashes includes: an advertising publication of the Company, which describes the comfort of traveling via the Company's trains and provides city histories with biographies of important families and individuals, as well as photographs of those people, expensive homes, businesses, public buildings, and pastoral scenes. Towns described include: Michigan City (Ind.), 1894; and the Mich. cities of: Albion, 1895; Pontiac, 1897; Benton Harbor and Flint, 1896; and Saint Joseph, 1898. Also included are microfilmed newspaper articles (photocopies), in which the Headlights of various cities were advertised, 1895-1896 and 1941, and 1997-2000 typed transcripts of other similar newspaper advertisements, 1895-1898. Additional subjects include: Agricultural Demonstration Trains of Michigan State University, 1906-1937; buying Michigan, 1795-1796; counties, name changes/considered creation of new counties; the history of county names; dandelions [as an emergency source of post-World War II rubber]; highway lighthouses [precursors to traffic lights]; lynchings; prisoners building Michigan roads during the 1920s; reflectors (roadside); roadside parks [Michigan had the first]; stagecoaches; broadcasting; homestead lands; Hollywood; the Port Huron and Milwaukee Railroad; Sabbath blue laws; Ludington (Mich.); swamp lands; centroids; Iron Range and Huron Bay Rialroad; ferries; population centers; Oldsmar, Florida; David Ward, Deward (Mich.); the Detroit and Charlevoix Railroad Company; Cigar Industry in Detroit, including strikes, unions, and women employees; Cigar Store Indians; crops of Flax and Gingseng and flax industries in Michigan prisons; Michigan Indians mentioned in county histories; Michigan Road Construction Train; Michigan World War I fruit and olive pit gathering campaign to create gas masks; Ragweed and hay fever and the Northern Hay Fever Resort Association, Topinabee, and the Western Hay Fever Association of the U.S., headquartered in Petoskey; General Philip H. Sheridan 's warhorse Rienzi; St. Mary's Falls Ship Canal Company and its subsidiary units, the Canal Mineral Land Company and the Michigan Pine Land Association; and Windmills in Detroit. Also included is a draft of a book by Graydon M. Meints on lumber baron David Ward that Barnett reviewed. The major topics found in 2021 Addition, Boxes 63-75, include: American Tract Society, Bloomers, Colporteur, Graphite Mining in Michigan, Medical Quacks, Michigan Iron and Land Company, Samuel Geil Maps of Michigan, and Whipping (Military corporal punishment). The 2022 Addition, Boxes 76-79, includes the major topics of Vigilance Committees against German Americans during World War I and Ski Trains. Other topics include: Buffalo Bill Train Accident, Carbon Works in Detroit, Detroit’s Streetlight Towers, Grand Duke Alexis A Romanov Visits Detroit, ‘Hello Girls’ [U.S. Army Signal Corps, World War I], Lindbergh in Michigan, Michigan World War II Veterans Bonus, Wetzel (Antrim County, MI, village), Bomb Mackinaw (which were 1925 practice maneuver plans to prevent enemies from crossing into the straits by dropping bombs from airplanes), and Crawfish. The collection is ongoing.

Processing Note: Abbreviations used by Barnett on folder labels were used and copied by Clarke processors exactly. Acidic materials were copied in 2014.


Royal S. Copeland Papers, 1892-1938

37 linear feet — 45 oversize volumes — 1 oversize folder — 33 digital audiovisual files

Professor of homoeopathic medicine at University of Michigan, mayor of Ann Arbor, Michigan, dean of the New York Homeopathic Medical College and director of Flower Hospital, New York City Commissioner of Public Health, and Democratic U. S. Senator from New York, 1923-1938. Personal and medical correspondence, speeches, scrapbooks containing food and health articles, photographs, and other papers concerning his medical and political interests. Correspondents include: Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Alfred E. Smith.

The Royal Copeland collection, consisting primarily of correspondence, speeches and writings, scrapbooks, and articles, relates primarily to Copeland's medical career as professor of homeopathic medicine at the University of Michigan, dean of the New York Homeopathic Medical College and Flower Hospital, and New York City Commissioner of Public Health, and as United States Senator.


William Herbert Hobbs papers, 1880-1955 (majority within 1905-1951)

13 linear feet (in 15 boxes) — 13 scrapbooks (in 7 boxes)

Professor of Geology at the University of Michigan, also chairman of the Ann Arbor Branch of the National Security League during World War I. His papers contain correspondence and other materials concerning his activities with the National Security League, a dispute over the political views of Charles Lindbergh, polar expeditions, and his work in the fields of geology, seismology, and meteorology. The collection also includes manuscripts of published and unpublished books and articles, biographical material, scrapbooks and notebooks detailing the University of Michigan expeditions to the Pacific and Greenland, and travel notes of trips to the Near East, Spain, the West Indies, Switzerland, and Russia.

The William Herbert Hobbs papers, 1880-1955, is comprised of correspondence, scrapbooks, manuscripts, printed material, and photographs documenting Hobbs' professional, political, and personal activities. Correspondence and other materials concern his activities with the National Security League, a dispute over the political views of Charles Lindbergh, opinions and reviews of his writings and those of other scientists, communications with newspapers and colleagues regarding various expeditions, and his work in the fields of geology, polar exploration, seismology, and meteorology. The collection also includes manuscripts of published and unpublished books and articles, biographical material, scrapbooks and notebooks detailing the University of Michigan expeditions to the Pacific and Greenland, and travel notes of trips to the Near East, Spain, the West Indies, Switzerland, and Russia.