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Paul Langdon Ward (AC 1933) Papers

 Collection — Box: 1-12
Identifier: MA.00327

Scope and Contents

The collection contains Paul Ward’s personal papers, including copies of speeches, lecture notes, transcripts of committee meetings, professional correspondence, and meeting minutes from Ward’s work at various colleges and universities, as well as correspondence about and meeting minutes from the American Historical Association. The collection also includes extensive research notes, facsimiles, manuscript drafts, correspondence, and book reviews concerning Tudor England and constitutional monarchy. The collection contains many of Ward’s own publications, as well as five rare books (ca. 1600s) catalogued separately.

Scope and Contents

Series 1: Personal and Professional Papers - includes lecture notes, speeches, personal and professional correspondence, diaries, meeting transcripts, and records of Ward’s academic and administrative activities. The papers are arranged chronologically (from 1926 to 1998) and are grouped by institution.

Series 2: English History Research Materials - consists of two boxes of Ward’s research on English government generally and William Lambarde, one of the first historians of early modern Europe, in particular. One box contains Ward’s notes, transcriptions, and publications and another contains the microfilm and negatives collected for his research.

Series 3: Publications - includes copies of Ward’s many publications on English legal history, higher education, the importance of history as a discipline, and the disarmament movement. This series also includes many of Ward’s book reviews, and the correspondence regarding such reviews.


  • Creation: 1926-1998


Conditions Governing Access

There is no restriction on access to the Paul Langdon Ward (AC 1933) Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the Paul Langdon Ward (AC 1933) 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

Born to medical missionary parents Edwin and Charlotte Ward in Turkey in 1911, Paul Langdon Ward spent much of his childhood in the Middle East. He moved to the United States in 1926 and finished his secondary education at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College in 1933 and his Doctorate in History from Harvard University in 1940.

Ward taught briefly at Russell Sage College (1941-42) followed by a four-year position as a researcher at the United States Department of State. In 1946, Ward moved to China to teach History at Huachung University. Due to increasing hostility toward foreigners in China following the Communist takeover, Ward and his family left the country in 1950.

After returning to the United States, Ward taught History at Colby College in Maine (1951-53) and then chaired the History Department at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pennsylvania from 1953-60. From 1960-65, he served as President of Sarah Lawrence College in New York.

From 1965 until 1974, Ward was Executive Secretary of the American Historical Association. He chaired various committees whose aim was to improve history instruction in secondary schools and make higher education more accessible to minority students.

After retiring in 1974, Ward became actively involved in the Joint Commission on Peace, an Episcopalian group designed to protest the Arms Race during the Cold War era. He returned to China in the 1980s and began an oral history project to document the successes and failures of missionary activity there.

Ward died on November 13, 2005.


11.5 Linear feet (11 record storage boxes, 1 archives box)

Language of Materials



The Paul Langdon Ward (AC 1933) Papers contain primarily the professional papers of Ward during his many decades as an educator, including copies of speeches and papers he prepared as well as correspondence with colleagues. A small section of the papers relates to Ward's early life as the son of medical missionaries in the Middle East as well as his school years in the United States.


The collection is organized in 3 series:

  1. Series 1: Personal and Professional Papers
  2. Series 2: English History Research Materials
  3. Series 3: Publications

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of John Chapman Ward (AC 1966)

Related Materials

  1. Alumni Biographical File -- Ward, Paul L. (AC 1933)
  2. Edwin St. John Ward (AC 1900) Papers
  3. William Earl Dodge Ward (AC 1906) Papers
  4. Mark Hopkins Ward (AC 1906) Papers
  5. Dora Judd Mattoon Ward Papers
  6. Journals of Edwin and Isabella Bliss
  7. Ruth Ward Beach Family Papers
  8. Biographical files for Ward alumni

Separated Materials

Includes five books on English legal and political history that Ward used in his historical research. These books are catalogued separately from the rest of the Papers, and can be found by using the catalogue. The books are:

1. Sir Thomas Elyot, The Boke Named the Governor (London: 1557). 2. Jean Bodin, Les six livres de la république (Paris: Chez Iacques du Puys, 1576). 3. William Lambard, Eirenarcha or the Office of the Justices of peace (with) The Duties of Constables, Borsholders, Tythingmen, and such other Lowe and Lay Ministers of the Peace (London: 1614).

4. Sir Thomas Smith, The Commonwealth of England (London: Printed by Will. Stansby for J. Smethwicke, 1635 ).

5. William Lambarde, A Perambulation of Kent, Conteining the Description, Hystorie, and Customes of that Shyre (Chatham: W. Burrill, 1826).

Aaron Aruck, Student Assistant John Emil Vincent, Intern, Simmons College GSLIS Margaret R. Dakin, Archives and Special Collections Specialist
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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