University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department


George Herbert Ryden
Correspondence

1927 - 1941

(bulk dates 1936 - 1939)

Manuscript Collection Number: 115
Accessioned:
Extent: 1 linear ft.
Content: Letters
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: June 1993 by Rhonda R. Newton

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or contact:

Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
(302) 831-2229


Table of Contents


Biographical Note

George Herbert Ryden (1884-1941), a history professor at the University of Delaware and Delaware State Archivist, was born in Kansas City, Missouri. After working as a clerk at the Kansas City Southern Railway Company for three years, he attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. He received a degree in history and economics in 1909, and then attended Yale University where he earned a master's degree in European and American History in 1911. Ryden served as an assistant in the history departement at Yale until 1918.

From January through June 1918, Ryden lectured on the diplomatic background of World War I to soldiers. He continued his lectures and other military activities in Italy and Paris beginning in July 1918. Transferred as a major to the American Red Cross, Ryden worked on post-war civilian relief in Russia.

After teaching a citizenship class at Dartmouth, Ryden joined the University of Delaware's faculty in 1922. Through President Walter Hullihen's new sabbatical system, Ryden returned to Yale for 1926-1927 to complete his doctorate. His expanded thesis, "The Foreign Policy of the United States in Relation to Samoa," was published as a book by Yale University Press in 1933.

Ryden was named head of Delaware's Department of History and Political Science in 1928. He also taught at the University of Kansas during the summers of 1930 and 1936, as well as at the University of Minnesota in the summer of 1932.

George Ryden was appointed State Archivist of Delaware in 1930. He also served on the Historic Markers Commission, the Delaware Swedish Tercentenary Commission, the Delaware Dutch Tercentenary Committee, and the Delaware Statues Commission.

Ryden was president of the University of Delaware chapter of the American Association of University Professors from 1929 to 1931. He later was a regional coordinator for an AAUP membership campaign and ultimately served as National Chairman of the AAUP's Committee on Organization and Conduct of Local Chapters.

Ryden was a founding member and served as the first president of the Delaware History and Social Science Club in 1933. It was affiliated with the Middle States Association of Teachers (which later became the Middle States Council for the Social Studies), of which Ryden later served as president.

The child of Scandinavian immigrants, Ryden held several positions in the Swedish-American Historical Foundation and its Philadelphia museum. These positions included both corresponding and recording secretary of the museum's Board of Trustees. Ryden died in October 1941 in Chicago's Augustana Hospital.

Source:

"Ryden, U. of D. Staff Member, Dies in Chicago." October 13, 1941. Journal Every Evening. Wilmington, DE.


Scope and Content Note

The George Herbert Ryden collection consists of correspondence files from 1927 to 1941, with the bulk of the letters from 1936 to 1939. It includes carbon copies and some originals of Ryden's outgoing letters as well as letters he received in the conduct of his affairs. However, at least a third to a half of the collection are carbons of others’ correspondence copied to Ryden because of his positions with the AAUP or Swedish-American Historical Foundation and Museum.

The correspondence is arranged chronologically; however the subjects of the letters cluster around the group in which Ryden was most active at the time. Most of the letters from 1929 through 1937 deal with the AAUP. Earlier letters include those between Ryden and Winifred Robinson, Dean of the Women's College, written while Ryden was completing his PhD at Yale; and then notes about the opening of the University's academic year. Mixed in with early letters are copies of several final examinations Ryden gave at Delaware and Women's Colleges.

Letters from 1933-1934 heavily concentrate on the formation of the Delaware History and Social Science Club. Many of the spring 1936 letters deal with the Middle States Association meeting held in April 1936 in Wilmington and Newark.

By late 1938, the letters concentrate on the Swedish-American Historical Foundation and the Museum. They deal mostly with the normal governance of the Museum, but in 1940 and 1941 a number deal with problems between the Board of Trustees and the Museum's curator.

Throughout the collection are letters from people inquiring about teaching positions at the University. Interesting single letters include March and May 1941 letters, from the Wabash Railway Company and Trans-World Airlines respectively, asking for the names of people attending the Swedish-American Historical Foundation Convention in Philadelphia, in order to procure business.

In 1940-1941, the Swedish-American Historical Museum tried to arrange a lecture by Carl Sandburg. In addition to typed copies of correspondence relating to the proposed lecture, there is a typed letter signed by Sandburg dated June 28, 1941.

The letters are arranged chronologically.

Related Collections:

MS 168 Middle States Coucil for the Social Studies

Leon deValinger, Jr. Papers (unprocessed)


Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents


          Correspondence
1    F1   September 8, 1927 - September 28, 1929
     F2   November 1, 1929 - February 18, 1930
     F3   March 17, 1930 - May 30, 1930
     F4   June 2, 1930 - November 28, 1930
     F5   December 16, 1930 - October 30, 1933
     F6   November 2, 1933 - January 29, 1934
     F7   February 1, 1934 - July 12, 1934
     F8   October 6, 1934 - October 30, 1934
     F9   November 4, 1935 - November 30, 1935
     F10  December 2, 1935 - December 26, 1935
     F11  January 5, 1936 - January 29, 1936
     F12  February 10, 1936 - February 29, 1936
     F13  March 1, 1936 - March 10, 1936
     F14  March 11, 1936 - March 19, 1936
     F15  March 20, 1936 - March 30, 1936
     F16  April 1, 1936 - April 17, 1936


2    F17  April 18, 1936 - April 30, 1936
     F18  May 1, 1936 - May 14, 1936
     F19  May 15, 1936 - June 13, 1936
     F20  June 16, 1936 - September 22, 1936
     F21  September 24, 1936 - September 20, 1936
     F22  October 1, 1936 - October 15, 1936
     F23  October 16, 1936 - November 16, 1936
     F24  November 18, 1936 - December 23, 1936
     F25  January 4, 1937 - January 27, 1937
     F26  February 2, 1937 - February 27, 1937
     F27  March 1, 1937 - March 29, 1937
     F28  April 1, 1937 - March 29, 1937
     F29  May 5, 1937 - May 28, 1938
     F30  June 2, 1937 - February 28, 1938
     F31  March 4, 1938 - September 29, 1938


3    F32  October 3, 1938 - November 30, 1938
     F33  December 7, 1938 - January 30, 1939
     F34  February 2, 1939 - April 29, 1939
     F35  May 3, 1939 - May 29, 1939
     F36  June 2, 1939 - July 22, 1939
     F37  September 8, 1939 - November 29, 1939
     F38  December 2, 1939 - April 25, 1940
     F39  May 2, 1940 - July 25, 1940
     F40  September 26, 1940 - February 26, 1941
     F41  March 4, 1941 - March 29, 1941
     F42  April 2, 1941 - April 30, 1941
     F43  May 1, 1941 - May 29, 1941
     F44  June 2, 1941 - October 13, 1941

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