Correspondence and other files of University of Michigan Secretary Shirley W. Smith and of Controller and Assistant Secretary John C. Christensen. The files document university operations, relations with the state legislature, business and financial matters, buildings and grounds, and such university events as the graduation commencement. The files also relate to the university's struggles during the Depression to maintain its facilities and to provide employment for deserving students as seen in its relations with the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and the National Youth Administration. There are also earlier collected files of treasurers George S. Baker and James H. Wade.
The records of the University of Michigan Secretary, although including earlier materials from the mid-nineteenth century, are in fact the files of secretary Shirley Wheeler Smith and of controller and assistant secretary John C. Christensen and date primarily from 1908 to 1944.
The secretary was the official who performed much of the detail work involved in the administration of the university. The files of the secretary and of those individuals who worked under him pertain to matters of operations, relations with the state legislature, business and financial dealings, building and grounds, and management of university-wide events (particularly commencements). Within these files, the researcher will also find documentation of the university's struggles during the depression to maintain its facilities and to provide financial aid through employment to deserving students. This information will be found in a topical files series under the headings Federal Emergency Relief Administration and National Youth Administration.
The miscellaneous folders in this record group that fall before the period when Smith was secretary consist of collected materials accumulated by the university's treasurer and pertain to financial dealings of the university (land transactions, bequests, etc.)