James Read (1908-1985) was a Quaker whose work emphasized international programs and higher education.
The bulk of the collection documents James Read's work as a consultant after 1974. His diaries date from his association with Wilmington College. Areas of particular interest include the establishment of Soviet-American dialogue and the Dartmouth and Soviet-American Writers Conferences, U.S./Canadian relations and the Lester B. Pearson Conference, the American Friends Service Committee, and the U.N. (non-governmental organizations).
Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.
Biographical / Historical
James Morgan Read (1908-1985) was a Quaker and president of Wilmington College, Ohio, from 1960-69. He also served as the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner from 1951-60, and was a vice president of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation from 1969 until his retirement in 1974.
1922-1976Born in Camden, New Jersey, the son of a Methodist Minister, Read graduated from Dickinson College (1929) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, earned a D. Phil. from Marburg University (1932) in Germany, and received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1940). He taught History at Lycoming College from 1932-34 and served as Associate Professor of History and then Chairman of the Social Sciences Department at the University of Louisville from 1935-43. In 1940, he married Henrietta Morton; they raised three children, Austine (Bonnie), James III, and Edward. In 1949, Read joined the Society of Friends as a member of the Gwynedd, Pennsylvania Monthly Meeting. Two years after Henrietta Read's sudden death from cancer in 1976, James Read married Theresa K. Dintenfass.
1943-1945, 1947-1949From 1943-45, Read was employed in Civilian Public Service. He then took a job as Associate Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation in Washington and focused his efforts on legislation for displaced persons. He continued that concern as Secretary in the Foreign Service Section of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) from 1947 to 1949, overseeing that organization's relief work in the immediate postwar period.
1950-1960, 1960-1969In 1950, James Read was named Chief of the Division of Education and Cultural Relations of the United States High Commissioner for Germany (State Department). From 1951 to 1960 he served as the United Nations (UN) Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, and was appointed Acting High Commissioner for a few months in 1956. He returned to the academic world as President of Wilmington College in Ohio from 1960 to 1969.
1969-1981Read stepped down as President of Wilmington College in 1969 to take a job as Vice-President of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation. Five years later, when he reached the mandatory retirement age, Read chose to continue his association with Kettering, serving as Senior Consultant in International Affairs. In that capacity he was involved in three of the Dartmouth Conferences--XII, XIII, and XIV--which were administered and co-sponsored by Kettering, and acted as Rapporteur for the third Soviet-American Writers Conference in the USSR in 1979. Read also wrote a report for Kettering on the Council on Foreign Relation's fifth Conference on the US-Canada Relationship in 1981.
to 1983James Read maintained his involvement with the American Friends Service Committee, serving on the AFSC Board of Directors as member and Chair of the AFSC Information and Interpretation Committee. He was also Clerk of the Quaker United Nations Committee in New York and did a study of the Special Committee of the UN General Assembly Banning the Use of Force. His experience with the UN also led to involvement with the US Committee for the UN Institute for Training and Research. In 1983, he acted as a Consultant to Crosscurrents to study the possibility of establishing an office for Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung.
James Morgan Read (1908-1985) was a Quaker and president of Wilmington College from 1960-69. He also served as the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner from 1951-60, and was a vice president of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation from 1969 until his retirement in 1974. The bulk of the collection documents James Read's work as a consultant after 1974. His diaries date from his association with Wilmington College. Areas of particular interest include the establishment of Soviet-American dialogue and the Dartmouth and Soviet-American Writers Conferences, U.S./Canadian relations and the Lester B. Pearson Conference, the American Friends Service Committee, and the U.N. (non-governmental organizations).
The collection is divided in nine series:
Speeches and seminar presentations, 1960-84
Published articles, 1950-85
Kettering Foundation, 1969-82
Other activities, 1976-85
For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library
[Indicate the cited item or series here], James Morgan Read Papers, RG 5/128, Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College http://archives.tricolib.brynmawr.edu/repositories/7/resources/2231 Accessed November 18, 2019.