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Walter Hines Page School of International Relations records

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-08-010

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The records of the Walter Hines Page School of International Relations range in date from 1923 to 1955 and are subdivided as follows:

Subgroup 1: Establishment of Page School, 1923-1929
Subgroup 2: Administrative Records, 1924-1955
Series 1: Advisory Board Minutes, 1924-1933
Series 2: J.V.A. MacMurray, Director, 1930-1933
Series 3: F.S. Dunn, Executive Secretary, 1930-1938
Series 4: Owen Lattimore, Director, 1931-1955
Subseries 1: Administrative and Financial, 1931-1953
Subseries 2: Subject Files, 1945-1953
Subseries 3: Correspondence, 1943-1952
Subseries 4: Curricular Files, 1940-1955
Subgroup 3: Owen Lattimore, Personal Materials, 1950-1953


  • Creation: 1923-1955


Use Restrictions

Education records in subgroup 2 (series 4, subseries 2 and 4), as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, are restricted. For details, see Regulations Governing Access to Restricted Records, at the front of each binder.


The Walter Hines Page School of International Relations was formed through the actions of George L. Radcliffe (President of the Alumni Association) as a memorial to Walter Hines Page (Fellow in Greek, 1876-1878), one of the first Johns Hopkins Fellows and a successful career diplomat. A luncheon held in New York, in April 1924, launched plans to form the school and raise an endowment. Owen D. Young served as chairman of the fundraising board, and secured an initial gift from Edward W. Bok to allow the school to open immediately. Despite the poor performance of fundraising activities, John Van Antwerp MacMurray was selected as the first director and took office in February 1930, with the school officially opening in October of the same year. The school was established to support research in foreign relations and policy, granting degrees only in conjunction with the Social Sciences or Humanities groups of the Faculty of Philosophy.

Frederick Sherwood Dunn took over the directorship as executive secretary in 1933 when MacMurray took a leave of absence to re-enter the diplomatic corps. Dunn served in this capacity past 1936, when MacMurray resigned, to 1938, when Owen Lattimore was appointed director. Lattimore himself was on leave from 1941 to 1944 to serve as an advisor to Chiang-kai-Shek and the United States Government, again leaving Dunn to fill in. Lattimore returned to the School in 1944 and worked vigorously to develop its programs.

In 1947, John DeFrancis was appointed assistant professor, and in conjunction with the History, Geography, Political Science, and Political Economy departments, the school increased its activities, centering on Lattimore's area of specialty, the Far East, China and Mongolia. During the next few years the school was successful and productive, only to be cut short in 1951 by Senator Joseph McCarthy's accusation that Lattimore was the "top Soviet agent in this country," and by the investigations of Senator Tydings' Foreign Relations Subcommittee and Senator McCarran's Internal Security Subcommittee. When a federal grand jury indicted Lattimore on seven counts of perjury in December 1952, the Trustees granted him leave of absence with pay. Hopkins was severely criticized in some quarters for not firing Lattimore outright, prior to any guilty verdict; see the records of the Office of the President, series 1, file number 902, for correspondence on this matter.

While Lattimore was officially on leave of absence, the University acquired the School of Advanced International Studies, an independent institution located in Washington, DC. On April 16, 1953, President Detlev W. Bronk announced a reorganization of the University, "to simplify Johns Hopkins' academic structure;" this simplification included disbanding the Page School, which had suffered a decrease in contributions due to its close association with Lattimore.

The charges against him dropped, Owen Lattimore returned in 1955 to teach in the Department of History until 1963, when he left the University to set up a new Department of Chinese Studies at Leeds University in England.

French, John C. A History of the University Founded by Johns Hopkins. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1946, pp. 240-243.
Rohr, Charles J. "The Walter Hines Page School of International Relations," The Johns Hopkins Alumni Magazine 20 (November 1931):23-31.


3.47 Cubic Feet (7 letter size document boxes, 3 letter half-size document boxes, 1 legal half-size document box)

Language of Materials



Most of the records in subgroups 1, 2 (series 2, 3, 4) and 3 were deposited in the University Library by the Page School and later transferred to the Archives. Owen D. Young's financial commitment (subgroup 1) was transferred by the Office of the Treasurer. Subgroup 2 (series 1) was transferred by the Department of Special Collections of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library.

Accession Number

77.1, 77.38, 81.44

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Charles Russell, James Stimpert, and Aravinda Pillalamarri.

Walter Hines Page School of International Relations records
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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