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Philip D. Curtin papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0364
Philip D. Curtin (1922-2009) was a historian and author. The collection of author and historian, Philip D. Curtin, consists of materials related to his teaching and writing career dating from 1955 to 1993.

Dates

  • 1955-1993

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Parts of this collection are not processed and therefore have not been prepared for research use; some restricted material is known to exist in the collection and has not been fully identified. Please contact Special Collections for more information. One file in this collection contains student records, which are further subject to FERPA restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Extent

39.42 Cubic Feet (28 record center cartons, 2 letter size document boxes, 3 legal size document boxes, 1 legal half-size document box, 2 flat boxes (14 x 10.5 x 4.25 inches), 3 cardfile boxes (12.5 x 9.5 x 6.25 inches))

Biographical / Historical

Philip D. Curtin (1922-2009) was a historian and author born in Philadelphia, May 22, 1922. Dr. Curtin's undergraduate work was interrupted through service with the Merchant Marines during the Second World War. He later graduated from Swarthmore in 1948 and completed his graduate studies in history at Harvard University where he received the Ph.D in 1953. Dr. Curtin's special interests are in the fields of African and Caribbean history.

Dr. Curtin's teaching career began at Swarthmore in 1953 followed by an appointment to the History Department, University of Wisconsin in 1956. Through his teaching and published writings during tenure at Wisconsin, Dr. Curtin's reputation as an Africanist was established. Between 1960 and 1970, he served alternately as Chairman of the African Studies Program and Chairman of the Department of African Languages and Literature. He held administrative offices with the African Studies Association, the International Congress of Africanists, the American Historical Association, and he participated in the United States-South Africa Leader Exchange Program Fellowship, 1962-1963.

Dr. Curtin was the author of several important articles and texts describing the history and cultures of Africa. In 1966, he was awarded the Robert Livingston Schuyler Prize from the American Historical Association for The Image of Africa.

In 1975, Dr. Curtin joined the faculty of The Johns Hopkins University where he held the Herbert Baxter Adams chair in the history department. Philip Curtin's contributions to teaching and scholarship were further recognized in 1983 when he was awarded a Prize Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Scope and Contents

The collection of author and historian, Philip D. Curtin, consists of materials related to his teaching and writing career dating from 1955 to 1993. A few lecture notes are from classes taught at Swarthmore, 1955- 1956. Dr. Curtin's career at the University of Wisconsin is well represented in the collection.

Additions to the collection in 1995 included course materials, correspondence, and professional materials from Dr. Curtin's appointment at Hopkins. No personal papers are included.

In the collection are lecture notes; syllabi; notes related to committee meetings and department reorganization; grant and fellowship materials; clippings; correspondence with colleagues; and some research notes and correspondence related to Dr. Curtin's published volumes.

Some material is restricted. Restricted material filed in Box 4 includes grade sheets, referrals for graduate students, and discussions of candidates for university positions.

Course material reflects Dr. Curtin's specialized areas in history: West African History, Comparative Tropical History and an Advanced Africa Seminar. There are also extensive notes related to research and lectures on Africa, Jamaica, and the expansion of the British Colonial Empire. Also in the collection are financial reports, and illustratative material pertaining to Dr. Curtin's published articles and books.

Dr. Curtin's lecture notes and some departmental administrative notes are filed in Box 1. Course material reflects Dr. Curtin's specialized areas in history: West African History, Comparative Tropical History and an Advanced Africa Seminar. In Boxes 7, 8, and 9 are extensive notes related to researches and lectures on Africa, Jamaica, and the expansion of the British Colonial Empire. Correspondence, financial reports, and illustratative material pertaining to Dr. Curtin's published articles and books are filed in Box 4.

Other Finding Aids

A legacy online finding aid for this collection is available: https://wayback.archive-it.org/org-626/20170711180903/http://ead.library.jhu.edu/ms.364-finding-aid.pdf

Custodial History

Fourteen record center boxes of papers were removed from Dr. Curtin’s office at the time of his retirement in May 1998.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was a gift to the University from Philip D. Curtin in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998.

The initial gift of papers from Dr. Philip Curtin was received in Special Collections in 1994, and first processing was done at that time. Since then, Dr. Curtin has sent additional materials. Processing has therefore been segmented, and the papers are not separated into clearly defined series.

Fourteen record center boxes of papers were removed from Dr. Curtin’s office at the time of his retirement in May 1998. The material is not fully processed and forms Boxes 21 to 34 of this collection.

Accruals

The papers were given to the University by Philip D. Curtin, June 1994. The Accession Number is 93.94-51.

Dr. Curtin gave additional material in January and February 1995. The Accession Number is 94-95.15.

Dr. Curtin's diaries were added in 1996. The Accession number is 95-96.4

Two disks containing correspondence in 1996. The Accession Number is 95-96.23. Lecture tapes were added in 1996. The Accession Number is 96-97.1.

At the time of Dr. Curtin’s retirement from Hopkins in May 1998, additional materials were added to the collection. The Accession Numbers is 97-98.22.

Three disks added (correspondence 1991-1993) July 1998. Accession Number 95-96.2.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Joan Grattan on August 1994, January, February 1995, 1997, June 1998. Subject headings assigned to the files by Dr. Curtin have been retained, but some re-arrangement of folders was necessary.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA