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Hugh Hawkins Papers

Identifier: MA.00232

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, manuscripts, diaries, appointment books, committee records, printed materials, audiotapes, and newspaper clippings related to Hugh Hawkins. Much of the collection consists of correspondence between Hawkins, his colleagues, family, and friends. Manuscripts include fiction, poetry, plays, academic writings, lectures, and notes. Much of the material relates to Hawkins's career as a professor, historian, and activist.


  • Creation: 1914-2012
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1950-1990


Conditions Governing Access

A number of individual files in the Hugh Hawkins Papers are restricted; restrictions are noted in the finding aid at the folder level. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the Hugh Hawkins Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

Hugh Hawkins was born in Topeka, KS on September 3, 1929, and raised in El Reno, OK. He received a Bachelor's degree from DePauw University in 1950 and a Ph.D from John Hopkins University in 1954. He served in the U.S. Army, 1954-1956, and taught at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1956-1957. Hawkins began teaching History and American Studies at Amherst College in 1957. He was active in several notable social movements and causes, including academic freedom and anti-McCarthyism, the Civil Rights movement, nuclear disarmament, the anti-war movement (both the Vietnam War and the Gulf War), and LGBT rights.

In 1976 Hawkins was instrumental in designing the first-year introduction to Liberal Studies curriculum at Amherst College and helped build both the History and American Studies departments. He is a distinguished scholar of American higher education, the American South, and of cultural and intellectual history, and in particular is the author of several notable publications on the history of higher education in the United States. These include The Emerging University and Industrial America (1972); Between Harvard and America: The Educational Leadership of Charles W. Eliot (1972); Banding Together: The Rise of National Associations in American Higher Education, 1887-1950 (1992); and Pioneer: A History of the Johns Hopkins University, 1874-1889 (1960 and 2002). In 2006 he published Railwayman's Son: a Plains Family Memoir. Upon his retirement from the faculty in 2000 after a teaching career of forty-three years at Amherst, Hawkins was the Anson D. Morse Professor of History and American Studies.


9 Linear feet (8 records storage boxes, 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials



Personal and professional papers of an Amherst College professor of History and American Studies. The collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, diaries, committee records, course materials, general printed matter, and audiotapes.


This collection is organized into five series:

  1. Series 1: Correspondence
  2. Series 2: Writings
  3. Series 3: Course Materials
  4. Series 4: Printed Material
  5. Series 5: Oversized Material

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated to the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections by Hugh Hawkins in increments between 1996 and 2012.

Related Materials

  1. American Studies Department Records
  2. Amherst College Curriculum Reports Collection
  3. Amherst College Committee Records, 1826-2010
  4. Hugh D. Hawkins, interviewed by Douglas C. Wilson. Friends of the Amherst College Library Oral History Project, 2009
  5. Non-Alumni Biographical Files -- Hawkins, Hugh

Processing Information

Processed Oct-Nov 2012 by Colleen O'Connor (AC 2011)

Colleen O'Connor (AC 2011), Archives and Special Collections Assistant
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299