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Alfred G. Meyer Papers, circa 1860-1998 (majority within 1930s-1970s)

3 linear feet

Professor of political science at Michigan State University and at the University of Michigan; director of the U-M Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies; specialist in communist ideology and the Soviet political system. The collection is composed of four series. The personal series consists of biographical information including autobiography detailing flight of his family from Nazi Germany, his education, and his academic career; the series also contains files relating to his education and to the history of his family; including extensive family correspondence, partially in German, primarily in the period of 1924-1945. The other, smaller, series in the collection pertain to his career and to his writings.

The Alfred G. Meyer Papers richly document both Meyer's personal and family history and his professional career, while providing considerable insight into the effects of Nazism and World War II on a German-Jewish family. The collection is arranged into four series: Personal (ca. 1860-1998); Professional (1956-1997); Writings (1952-1998); and Audio-Visual (1998).


Bechtold family papers, [ca. 1847-ca. 1907 scattered dates]

0.3 linear feet

Translations of letters, 1847-1850, of Gotthardt Bechtold describing his trip to, impressions of, and settlement in America; also diary, 1861-1865, of Frederick W. Bechtold, soldier in Co. B, 12th Missouri Volunteers during the Civil War (partially in German); typescript translations of Bechtold's diary and of his letters, 1862-1864; and miscellaneous other family letters (some in German).


Clarence Cook Little papers, 1924-1929

14 linear feet

President of the University of Michigan, 1924-1929, educational reformer, geneticist and cancer researcher, also interested in a range of reform movement including birth control, eugenics, international peace, and immigration. Papers include correspondence, speeches and reports concerning all phases of his career as president of the University of Michigan and his civic and reform activities.

The C.C. Little papers document a wide range to topics, events, administrative actions, policy developments during Little's tenure as president of the University of Michigan. The collection contains mainly reports and replies to letters but very little incoming correspondence. However, the researcher may use these replies as clues to other collections in the library which contain the individual correspondent's papers.

The chronological ordering of the papers makes subject access somewhat difficult. To selective indexes of correspondents and subjects found in the papers provide some assistance in using the Little papers. The following discussion of the papers follows the structure of the subject index.

The growth of the university which had begun at the close of World War I continued to be felt during President Little's tenure. New buildings completed earlier were handling classroom and laboratory needs, so attention now turned to living accommodations and the athletic department's needs (Sec. II). The period of the 1920s was one of increased interest in theories of progressive education. President's Little's primary interest was in educational policy arising from such theories. Thus, academic and departmental proposals and reorganizations (Sec. III of the subject index) form a major part of his papers. He made fewer administrative changes (Sec. I of the subject index). The twenties are also remembered as a time of social ferment in the country and this was reflected in campus life, with more attention being paid to regulating student social mores and the use of alcohol and cars (see Secs. I and IV of the subject index).

Although President Little oversaw the reorganization of some administrative offices, his attention was mainly focused on educational policy, his primary interest. This is reflected in materials on admissions policy, freshman orientation, continuing education of alumni, and the re-organization of the university into two separate units.

A few months after President Little took office, the "Day Report", so named because Edmund Day, Dean of the School of Business Administration chaired the committee which drew it up, was completed. It was the result of an exhaustive study of athletics, physical education and recreation in the university and led to changes in the Board in Control of Athletics, development of women's and intramural athletics, and gave impetus to the financing and building of the stadium (opened in 1927).

President Little's concern with developing students of good moral character resulted in regulation of the use of cars and alcohol, thought to be related twin evils, and the initiation of planning for dormitories, where all students would live under university supervision.

The major building projects that came to fruition during the Little Administration were the Stadium and the Women's League Building. Construction work at the Law School and the School of Education represented on-going projects begun in earlier administrations, while plans for a natural science museum were just beginning to take shape.

During President Little's tenure, schools and departments established earlier continued to grow, while some projects, such as the Creative Arts Fellowship, were brought to a close. The financing and governance of the Lawyers' Club presented on-going difficulties. Compensation for and the role of "outside work" in Medicine, Engineering, and Education required continued attention. The university contributed to scientific research through the Hobbs Expedition to Greenland which also showed the value of the university's fledgling radio program in maintaining communication with such distant projects.

With the appointment of Samuel Trask Dana as Dean, the School of Forestry was established in the spring of 1927. At that time the state was faced with the problems of cutover lands and the collapse of the lumbering industry. In 1927 the School of Forestry provided leadership in dealing with these problems by sponsoring two conferences which brought together owners and operators in the lumbering industry, state officials, and forestry experts to consider solutions.

The School of Education continued its growth with the addition of an elementary school building. The completion of that building in 1929 enabled the School to provide K-12 education under the supervision of its faculty. Some attention was given also to providing pre-primary education, but nothing came of this during Little's tenure.

The university and its academic life did not escape the impact of the societal upheavals of the "roaring twenties". Perhaps more so at the University of Michigan because of President Little's active role in several of those issues, as is reflected in his correspondence. He was an officer in the American Eugenics Society, a vocal proponent of both population control and the "betterment of the human race", and also served as chairman of the Michigan chapter of the League of Nations Non-partisan Association.


Danske Udvandrerarkiv (Aalborg universitetscenter) papers, 1873-1923

4 microfilms

Danes Worldwide Archives located in Aalborg, Denmark. Collection of materials, largely in Danish, concerning the immigration of Danes to the United States as reflected in letters home, journals, and family histories; also include letters of Danish pastors concerning the work of the church in Ashland, Gowen, and Manistee, Michigan.

This microfilm is a selection of letters written from individuals who had immigrated from Denmark to the United States. The letters selected were from individuals who had settled in Michigan communities, notably Ashland, Gowen, and Manistee. Other materials in the collection include journals and family histories.


Ferdinand Northrup Menefee Papers, 1913-1962

4 linear feet

Professor of engineering mechanics at the University of Michigan. Materials concerning his interest in the St. Lawrence Seaway, his work with the American Concrete Institute's investigation of precast floor systems, and his activities with the American Society of Civil Engineers' Committee on Water Diversion; also subject files on prohibition and immigration policy in the 1920's; and photographs.

The Menefee papers documents his professional career as a teacher and as a specialist in engineering mechanics. Following a single folder of Biographical Material, the collection divides into the following series: Correspondence, Speeches, Subject Files, and Photographs.


Fred E. Schwab papers, 1930-2009

2 linear feet — 1 oversize folder

Fred E. Schwab was an influential member of the plastics community in the Detroit area. A German immigrant, he opened and ran several plastic manufacturing businesses, including Schwab & Frank and Schwab Plastics, which focused on styrofoam products and later automotive parts. He was also a founding member of the Society of Plastics Engineers. The collection includes personal materials, photographs, and professional files relating to his association with various plastics firms.

The Fred E. Schwab collection has been divided into three series: PERSONAL LIFE, PLASTICS, and PHOTOGRAPHS. The collection documents Schwab's professional endeavors in the plastic community in addition to elements from his personal life.


Harry Burns Hutchins papers, 1879-1930

22 linear feet

Professor of law and president of the University of Michigan. Papers include correspondence, reports, and speeches relating to all aspects of his University activities; and visual materials.

The Harry B. Hutchins papers cover the years 1879 through 1929, and include records generated during his years as professor and dean of the law department, President of the University of Michigan, and in retirement. Boxes 1-18 are primarily comprised of correspondence. Reports of the departments, schools, and other units of the university are contained in box 19, folders 30-32, and box 20, folders 1-13. As president, Hutchins did not regularly submit annual reports to the Board of Regents. Additional materials include speeches, photographs, and biographical material.


Henry Stephen Lucas collection, 1846-1930

3 microfilms — 1 folder

Professor of history at the University of Washington. Manuscripts, pamphlets, maps, pictures, newspapers, and other materials dealing with the Dutch migration to America collected for his book Netherlanders in America.

The Lucas collection consists of manuscripts, pamphlets, maps, pictures, newspapers, and other materials dealing with the Dutch migration to America collected for his book Netherlanders in America.


International Organization of Good Templars records, 1855-1970

25.5 linear feet — 9 oversize volumes

International fraternal temperance lodge. Records of the National Grand Lodge and local lodges in Illinois, New York and Washington (including numerous Scandinavian-American lodges) containing correspondence, minute books, financial ledgers, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, proceedings, and periodicals; also photographs.

Although the record group does include some correspondence, the bulk of the records consist of minute books and financial ledgers, mainly from the 1880s up to 1920. Many of these are for lodges in Illinois and Washington State. In addition, there are published materials, such as temperance books, pamphlets, and issues of periodicals. The proceedings of annual meetings are from many more states and provide detailed information on the national importance of the organization. The photographs are mainly of various group meetings.


John Bond Trevor Papers, 1921-1951

2 linear feet

New York attorney, officer of the American Coalition of Patriotic, Civic and Fraternal Societies, 1927-1950, and activist in the movement to restrict immigration into the United States. Minutes, resolutions, and other records of the American Coalition; also correspondence of Trevor with congressman Albert Johnson of Washington state relating to immigration matters.

The papers of John B. Trevor relate primarily to his association with the American Coalition of Patriotic Societies (beginning in 1929) and his association with Albert Johnson, chairman of the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization of the US House of Representatives. The collection is an important resource for the study of various immigration restriction legislation in the 1920s.


John D. Dingell Papers, 1932-1956

4 linear feet

Democratic congressman from Michigan's 15th District, 1933-1955, Dingell served on Ways and Means Committee beginning in his second term and was an ardent supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and New Deal policies. He played a significant role in passage of the Social Security Act. Papers include correspondence, clippings, press releases, speeches and interviews.

The papers of John Dingell span the years 1932-1955. The papers appear to represent a portion of his congressional office file. The collection consists of correspondence (both incoming and outgoing) and clippings relating to many of the bills which Dingell introduced, and copies of press statements, speeches, and interviews. There is no personal material. There are no documents relating to his committee work or to legislation introduced by other members of the House. Nor do the files of his own bills seem complete (for instance, Dingell's anti-pollution bill is missing). By and large the correspondence is fairly routine or for public consumption. Some of the correspondence is from constituents, some from special interest groups, and some (though not much) from colleagues.


John Tanton Papers, 1960-2007

25 linear feet — 1 oversize folder

Environmental, population control, and immigration reform advocate; organization and litigation files relating to his various interests and activities; includes correspondence, legal documents, memos, topical files, and miscellaneous photographs.

The papers of Dr. John Tanton consist of materials documenting his work as a political and environmental activist from 1960 through the 2000s. The portion of the collection open without restriction is divided into the following series: Personal/Biographical; Population and Immigration Organizations and Issues; Conservation Organizations and Issues; Topical Files and Activities; Correspondence; Politics and Government; and Social Issues. The portion of the collection closed to research until 2035 includes the continuation of several series: Correspondence; Personal/Biographical; Population and Immigration Organizations and Issues; Conservation Organizations and Issues; and one new series, Public Interest Organizations and Issues.


Louis C. Cramton Papers, circa 1865-1966 (majority within 1916-1965)

8 linear feet — 2 oversize volumes — 1 oversize folder

State Representative from Lapeer, Michigan; U.S. Congressman, 1913-1931, and special attorney to the Secretary of the Interior, 1931-1932; correspondence, speeches, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, campaign materials, and other items relating to his advocacy of the national park system, the concept of historic preservation, fair employment practices legislation, increased support for Howard University and all other aspects of his career.

The Louis C. Cramton papers came to the Bentley Historical Library in three separate accessions (1948-1950; 1971; 1987). The collection has been arranged into six series: Correspondence, Miscellaneous Papers, Topical Files, Newspaper clippings/Scrapbooks, Photographs, and Louis Kay Cramton Papers.


Moses M. Frohlich papers, 1980-1995

0.1 linear feet

Moses M. Frohlich (1902-1995) was a professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan. Consists of reminiscences of his life and work, some transcribed and edited by his son Michael Frohlich.

The Moses M. Frohlich papers consists of reminiscences of his life and work, some transcribed and edited by his son Michael Frohlich.


Natural Resources of Michigan Web Archive, 2010-2014

14 archived websites (online; multiple captures)

Web collection of websites created by various organizations whose service is to natural resources of the State of Michigan, archived by the Bentley Historical Library using the California Digital Library Web Archiving Service crawler from 2010-2015 and the Archive-It web archiving service beginning in 2015.

The Web Archive of Michigan's Natural Resources collection contains archived websites created by various organizations and movements concerned with preservation of natural resources in the State of Michigan. The websites have been archived by the Bentley Historical Library, using the California Digital Library Web Archiving Service crawler from 2010-2015 and the Archive-It web archiving service beginning in 2015. Access to all websites archived by the Bentley Historical Library is available at:

Web Archives include websites of conservation groups, environmental organizations and nature associations who call the state of Michigan home. The collection is especially strong in documenting conservation initiatives and environmental protection in Michigan.

The year that appears next to the website title in the contents list indicates the date that the website was first archived. Archived versions of the site from later dates may also be available.


Satakunta Region immigrant letters, 1880-1964

25 microfilms (positive)

The Institute of General History at the University of Turku, Finland (Turun Yliopisto. Yleisen Historian Laitos) microfilmed thousands of letters from Satakunta region in 1964. The letters were written by Finnish emigrants to their families and friends in Finland.

There are about 6000 letters in this collection. Most of the letters have been written by emigrants who used to live in Satakunta but there are also some from persons who lived in other provinces before emigrating. There are also post cards, diaries and passports in the collection. The letters were written to residents of Satakunta from 1880 to 1964. Although most of the letters were sent from the United States and Canada, there were a few letters from South America, Australia, New Zealand and Soviet Union.

The collection was arranged by towns (also known as parishes or municipalities). Within each town series the letters of each recipient were kept together. The owners of the letters are in chronological order according to the emigrating year of their correspondents.

Every collector of letters filled out a questionnaire for each writer. The questionnaire is at the beginning of the sender's letters. In the upper right corner of the questionnaire there is a code that includes the abbreviation of the town and the location of the sender.

Questionnaire used in collecting America letters:

  1. The owner of the letters (name and address)
  2. The writer of the letters (name and last address)
  3. The relationship between the owner and the writer
  4. When left for America
  5. Who were they visiting in America
  6. Why left
  7. Home town in Finland
  8. The occupation of the parents
  9. How large was the family of the parents of the emigrant
  10. Was the emigrant married when he left Finland
  11. Did the wife and children emigrate, too
  12. Did the emigrant get married in America
  13. What year
  14. The nationality of the spouse
  15. The occupation of the emigrant when emigrated
  16. Had the emigrant ever been working outside the home town before emigrating
  17. How did the emigrant go to America (route and vehicle)
  18. The first workplace in America
  19. What kind of work
  20. Where did the emigrant live the longest time in America
  21. What kind of work
  22. Other members of the group who emigrated at the same time: name, hometown, return to Finland
  23. The later life of the emigrant: did/did not return to Finland
  24. If applicable, why did the emigrant return
  25. Return route and vehicle
  26. Occupation after return
  27. The number of the letters (photos, diaries etc.) in the enclosed questionnaire envelope
  28. The owner donates the letters/loans them only for microfilming
  29. The collector of the letters (name and address)
  30. To be filled by the Institute of General History

Documents in this collection contain the following abbreviations for the names of the town or parish from an immigrant came:

  1. AHL = Ahlainen
  2. ALAS = Alastaro
  3. EURA = Eura
  4. E-KI = Eurajoki
  5. HIN = Hinnerjoki
  6. H-KI = Honkajoki
  7. H-TI = Honkilahti
  8. HUIT = Huittinen
  9. HAM = Hämeenkyrö
  10. IKA = Ikaalinen
  11. JAM = Jämijärvi
  12. KAN = Kankaanpää
  13. K-KU = Karkku
  14. KAR = Karvia
  15. KIH = Kihniö
  16. KIIK = Kiikka
  17. KNEN = Kiikoinen
  18. KOK = Kokemaki
  19. KUL = Kullaa
  20. KOY=Köyliö
  21. LAP = Lappi Tl.
  22. LAV = Lavia
  23. LOIM = Loimaa
  24. MEL = Mellilä
  25. MER = Merikarvia
  26. MET = Metsämaa
  27. MOU = Mouhijarvi
  28. NOOR = Noormarkku
  29. PAR = Parkano
  30. POM = Pomarkku
  31. PORI = City of Pori and rural parish of Pori
  32. PUN = Punkalaidun
  33. RAUM = Rauma: city and rural parish
  34. SIIK = Siikainen
  35. SUOD = Suodenniemi
  36. SAK = Säkylä
  37. TYRV = Tyrvää and Vammala
  38. VAMP = Vampula

Sligh Family Papers, 1842-2012

36 linear feet (in 41 boxes) — 31 oversize volumes — 1 oversize folder

Grand Rapids, Michigan family, involved in furniture making and other businesses, also active in local state and Republican Party politics and businessmen's associations. Papers include family papers and correspondence, business records, scrapbooks and visual materials.

The Sligh family collection consists of the personal and business papers of the four generations of Slighs mentioned in the biographical introduction: James W. Sligh, Charles R. Sligh, Charles R. Sligh, Jr., and Robert L. Sligh. Although there is some overlap, the files have been arranged into seven series, one for each of these three Slighs, one for the Sligh Furniture Company and related family businesses, and one each for Newspaper clippings and Scrapbooks, and Visual Materials.


Suomi College Finnish-American collection, 1880-1972

100 microfilms

The Finnish Collection consists of 100 reels of microfilm concerning Finnish-American Churches, Labor Societies, Temperance Organizations, and other materials from the United States and Canada. The collection is the result of a joint project between the Bentley Library, Suomi College (now Finlandia University), and the University of Turku, Finland, coordinated in 1974-75.

The Suomi College Finnish-American Collection is comprised of 100 reels of microfilm containing records from 151 separate organizations (68 of which are located in Michigan). These organizations are comprised of the following kinds of records:

  1. Church materials: 62 record groups (32 from Michigan)
  2. Labor societies: 9 record groups (0 from Michigan)
  3. Temperance materials: 61 record groups (26 from Michigan

Other organizations, including educational, relief, musical, athletic, national, historical societies, publishing companies, and some personal: 19 record groups (10 from Michigan)

Because the materials have been filmed in a random order, an index at the end of the container listing has been prepared to guide the researcher to specific kinds of records: church, temperance, etc.