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James Morgan Read Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG5-128

Scope and Contents

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).

Dates

  • 1940-1987

Creator

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce items in this collection beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns. See http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-RUU/1.0/.

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.

James Morgan Read was born in Camden, New Jersey, the son of a Methodist Minister. He graduated from Dickinson College (1929), Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and earned a D. Phil. from Marburg University (1932) in Germany and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1940). He taught History at Lycoming College from 1932-1934 and served as Associate Professor of History and then Chairman of the Social Sciences Department at the University of Louisville from 1935-1943. 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.

From 1943-1945, 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.

In 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 Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva and was briefly appointed Acting High Commissioner in 1956. He returned to the academic world as President of Wilmington College in Ohio from 1960 to 1969.

Read 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 which were administered and co-sponsored by Kettering, and he 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.

James Read also 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 served as 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.

Extent

6 Linear Feet (12 boxes)

Language

English

Overview

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).

Arrangement

The collection is divided in nine series:
  1. Biographical material
  2. Correspondence, 1950-87
  3. Diaries, 1961-82
  4. Speeches and seminar presentations, 1960-84
  5. Published articles, 1950-85
  6. Kettering Foundation, 1969-82
  7. AFSC, 1979-84
  8. Other activities, 1976-85
  9. Miscellaneous

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Theresa K. Read, 1987
Title
An Inventory of the James Morgan Read Papers, 1951-1987
Author
FHL staff
Date
1988
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English
Sponsor
Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries

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