University of Michigan professor of political science, special advisor to the U.S. Military Government in Germany after World War II, participant in numerous government commissions; papers include correspondence, working files, speeches, course materials, and visual and sound materials.
The James K. Pollock papers represent an accumulation of files from a lifetime of academic teaching and research and an extraordinary number of public service responsibilities to both his state and his nation. The files within the collection fall into two categories: types of document (such as correspondence, speeches and writings, visual materials, etc.) and files resulting from a specific activity or position (such as his work as delegate to the Michigan Constitutional Convention or his service with the Office of the Military Government in Germany after World War II).
The collection is large and of a complicated arrangement because of Pollock's many activities. When received in 1969, the files were maintained as received; very little processing was done to the collection so that an inventory to the papers could be quickly prepared. The order of material is that devised by James K. Pollock and his secretarial staff in the U-M Department of Political Science. Recognizing the anomalies within the order of the collection, the library made the decision to list the contents to the collection while at the same time preparing a detailed card file index (by box and folder number, i.e. 16-8) to significant correspondents and subjects. While there was much to be said for this method of preparing a finding aid expeditiously, it also covered up some problems in arrangement. Thus series and subseries of materials are not always grouped together as they were created by Pollock. Files on the Hoover Commission and the Michigan Constitutional Convention, for example, come before Pollock's work in Germany after the war. In 1999, effort was made to resolve some of the inconsistencies and obvious misfilings of the first inventory but because of the numbering system used in 1969 and the card index prepared for the files, there are still some problems. Researchers should be alert to these difficulties and take time to examine different parts of the collection for material on a similar topic.