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Guide to the Robin M. Williams, Jr. Papers MS.F.039
MS.F.039  
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  • Access
  • Biography
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary

  • Title: Robin M. Williams, Jr. papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.F.039
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 4.0 Linear feet (4 boxes)
    Date: 1937-2005 and undated
    Abstract: This collection is comprised of the professional papers of sociologist and UCI faculty member Robin M. Williams, Jr. (1914-2006). Contents include draft manuscripts, conference papers, clippings and ephemera, research notes, reprints and photocopies of academic articles, correspondence, and the transcript of an oral history interview conducted with Williams in 1969 by Cornell University Libraries. Materials date from the early years of his career in the late 1930s and early 1940s to his final years in the mid 2000s.
    Creator: Williams, Robin M., Jr., 1914-2006

    Access

    The collection is unprocessed. It may contain restricted materials. Please contact the Department of Special Collections and Archives in advance to request access.

    Biography

    The following is adapted and excerpted from an obituary written by Williams' daughter, Nancy Elizabeth O’Connor, and UCI colleague Calvin Morrill, Department of Sociology, 2006:
    "Robin Murphy Williams was born on October 11, 1914 in Hillsborough, NC, son of Robin M., Sr. (a farmer) and Mabel (a homemaker). He received his B.S. in 1933 from North Carolina State College; his M.S. in 1935 from N.C. State and the University of North Carolina; his M.A. in 1939 from Harvard University; and his Ph.D. in 1943 from Harvard University.
    Williams' career spanned much of the 20th century, beginning in 1946 with his appointment as a member of the Sociology Department at Cornell University in 1946. He served as chair of that department from 1956 through 1961, and was appointed the Henry Scarborough Professor of Social Science in 1967. After becoming professor emeritus in 1985, Dr. Williams continued to teach at both Cornell University and the University of California, Irvine. Beginning in 1991, he split his time between Ithaca and Irvine, but only taught at Irvine. At Irvine, he became a key supporter for the expansion of the Sociology Department, regularly meeting with upper administrators in the early days of the Department to extol the importance of both the field and the promise of the Irvine Sociology Department. He remained a staunch benefactor of the department until his death.
    Williams' research fostered understanding of some of the most difficult problems of American society. He devoted much of his career and writing to studies of intergroup tensions, race relations, war and peace, ethnic conflict, and altruism and cooperation. His best-known works include The American Soldier (Vols. 1-11, 1949); Schools in Transition (1954); What College Students Think (1960); The Reduction of Intergroup Tensions (1947); Strangers Next Door (1964), American Society: A Sociological Interpretation (1st edition, 1951; 2nd edition, 1960; 3rd edition, 1970); Mutual Accommodation: Ethnic Conflict and Cooperation (1977); and most recently, The Wars Within: Peoples and States in Conflict (2003). He was also a co-editor of A Common Destiny: Blacks and American Society (1989). He was the author, as well, of some hundred and fifty articles, monographs, and chapters in edited volumes that contributed to research and policy. As an Army researcher on the frontlines during World War II, he was a contributor to the classic work, The American Soldier. He was also key contributor to the amici briefs that supported the 1954 Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education. His last article – which charted the past, present, and future of American sociology – appeared in the prestigious Annual Review of Sociology three months after his death.
    Williams was a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the National Research Council, and the Pacific Sociological Association, among others. He was a Past-President of the American Sociological Association, Past-President of the Eastern Sociological Association, Founding Editor of Sociological Forum, and the Co-Chair of the Committee on the Status of Black Americans.
    Williams died on June 3, 2006 at Irvine Regional Hospital in Irvine, California."

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    This collection is comprised of the professional papers of sociologist and UCI faculty member Robin M. Williams, Jr. (1914-2006). Contents include draft manuscripts, conference papers, clippings and ephemera, research notes, reprints and photocopies of academic articles, correspondence, and the transcript of an oral history interview conducted with Williams in 1969 by Cornell University Libraries. Materials date from the early years of his career in the late 1930s and early 1940s to his final years in the mid 2000s.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    University of California, Irvine -- Archives.
    University of California, Irvine -- Faculty -- Archives.