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|Size||3.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 2000 items)|
|Abstract||Thomas E. Ratcliffe worked in the Loan Department of the National City Bank, New York, N.Y., 1934-1939; served in the U.S. Army in Europe in World War II; and held various positions at the Library of the University of Illinois, 1946-1971. Chiefly letters from Thomas Ratcliffe to friends and colleagues. Ratcliffe's letters comprise diary-like accounts of his experiences in New York City as a young man working at his first job at National City Bank; as a captain in World War II; traveling in Europe after the war; and as a reference librarian at the University of Illinois. The letters contain frequent references to leisure activities, including the theater, literature, television, movies, and cocktail parties. Many of the letters reflect the racial attitudes of the postwar period. Most of the letters are addressed to James R. Baird, Ruth Deane White Hill, Georgia Couch Nash, Lucille Smith, or Mary Stephens.|
|Creator||Ratcliffe, Thomas Edward, 1911-1988?|
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.
1911 Born, Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina
1929-1934 AB, American History, University of North Carolina
1933 Personnel Survey, TVA, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
1934-1939 Credit Investigator and Branch Department Head Personal Loan Department, National City Bank, New York City
1939-1940 University of Illinois, Urbana
1940-1941 Assistant Agricultural Librarian, University of Illinois, Urbana
1942-1946 U.S. Army - retired with stomach ulcer as major of field artillery
1946-1948 University of Illinois Library (Urbana), Assistant, Acquisitions Department
1949 BS in Library Science, MS
1949-1952 University of Illinois Library (Urbana), Undergraduate librarian
1952 Reference librarian and assistant professor of Library Science
1955 Associate professor
1971 Retired to Winston-Salem, North Carolina
1988? Died (will was admitted to probate in September 1988)
(Source: Who's Who in Library Science, 1966)Back to Top
This collection chiefly contains letters written by Thomas Ratcliffe to his friends and colleagues. Ratcliffe's letters compose diary-like accounts of his experiences: his life in New York City as a young man fresh from college life working at his first job; life as a World War II captain; traveling in Europe after the War; and a career as a University of Illinois reference librarian. The letters contain copious references to activities of leisure and amusement, including the theater, literature, television, movies, and cocktail parties enjoyed by Ratcliffe and his friends. Many of the letters reflect the racial attitudes of the post-war period.
Ratcliffe apparently retrieved his letters from each of his corespondents. He arranged the letters by correspondent, and this scheme has been maintained.Back to Top
James Richard Baird, an educator, was born in Jellico, Tennessee, in 1910. He reached the rank of lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserves, serving from 1943 to 1946. Baird was a post-war fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation at the University of Paris from 1948 to 1949. He earned a Ph.D. at Yale in 1947, and spent the remainder of his life as an English professor at universities in Hawaii, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Japan. This series consists of letters from Ratcliffe to Baird, chiefly documenting Ratcliffe's activities during World War II, much of which he spent in the United States as an instructor of officers.
Chiefly letters from Ratcliffe to Deane Hill. Deane Hill was acquisitions assistant at the University of Illinois-Urbana, 1949-1950 and 1952-1953; catalog assistant, 1950-1952; and bibliographer, 1953-1958. Ratcliffe corresponded with Deane Hill after she left Urbana for work in other libraries in Illinois, and their correspondence continues throughout Ratcliffe's retirement to Winston-Salem.
Georgia Couch Nash was an assistant in the Periodicals Section at UNC-CH, 1933-1934, at the same time that Ratcliffe was a student assistant in the library. About 1934, Couch became Periodicals Librarian at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she remained until her marriage to H. N. Nash. Georgia Nash encouraged Ratcliffe to pursue a career in librarianship when he became disenchanted with his job at the National City Bank in New York. Georgia Nash was a cousin to William Couch, director of the UNC Press, 1932-1945.
Unlike the other series in the collection, Series 4 contains chiefly letters written to Ratcliffe. These letters are from Lucille Smith, Ratcliffe's colleague at the University of Illinois. Her letters were written after his retirement to Winston-Salem and contain news from the library.
Stephens served variously at UNC as administrative assistant to Dean Carroll of the College of Commerce, Dr. Fink of the School of Social Work, and with the Population Center. Ratcliffe's letters to her compose diary-like documentation of his participation in World War II. Ratcliffe produced typed transcriptions of his letters to Stephens from 1942 to 1943.
Arrangement: alphabetical by correspondent, then chronological.
Ratcliffe's correspondence with several different friends and colleagues, including documentation of Ratcliffe's experiences in Europe, particularly France, following World War II.
Rogier, Evelyn, August 1947-December 1952 (letters from Ratcliffe document vacations in Washington state, British Columbia, the Black Hills; travel in France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark; and vacations to San Francisco and Hawaii. Also included are letters from Rogier in Bogota, Columbia) #04525, Series: "6. Other Correspondence, 1939-1980." Folder 99-104
Biographical information collected by Ratcliffe about correspondents in this collection. Some of the information Ratcliffe photocopied from Who's Who in America, and some information he wrote based on his own recollections.
Processed by: Lisa Tolbert, April 1989
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008Back to Top