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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administration Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Separated Materials

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Hahn (Harlan) Collection
    Dates: 1823-2006
    Dates: 1945-2006
    Collection Number: Consult repository.
    Creator: Hahn (Harlan), 1938-2008.
    Extent: 93 Boxes [45 linear ft]
    Repository: California State University, Dominguez Hills Archives and Special Collections
    Archives and Special Collection
    University Library, Room G-145
    1000 E. Victoria Street
    Carson, California 90747
    Phone: (310) 243-3895
    URL: http://www4.csudh.edu/libarchives/index
    Abstract: This collection contains materials related to Harlan Hahn (1939-2008), his family, his battle with polio in the 1940s, and his professional career focusing mostly on society’s view of disabilities. Hahn was a professor of political science, psychiatry, and behavioral science at the University of Southern California. The collection concentrates on his writings and research on American and urban politics, and health and disability politics and policy. Included in the collection are published books, manuscripts, research notes and materials, correspondence, articles, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, syllabi, photographs, scrapbooks, yearbooks, bills, small physical objects, and digital materials.
    Language: Collection material is in English

    Administration Information


    There are no access restrictions on this collection.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Title of item],Harlan Hahn Collection, Courtesy of the Department of Archives and Special Collections. University Library. California State University, Dominguez Hills

    Acquisition Information

    Collection donated to CSUDH Archives by Harlan Hahn.

    Processing Information

    This collection was processed by June Kim, Madeline Morehouse, Greg Williams and Kendall Hinesley 2014-2015.


    Harlan Hahn was a professor of political science, psychiatry and behavioral science, as well as a prolific author writing books and articles on American and urban politics, and disability issues and rights. Harlan was born on July 9th, 1939 in Osage, Iowa to Ada Tollefson Hahn a teacher, and Harold E. Hahn a teacher and insurance representative. At the age of six Harlan was stricken with paralytic polio. In and out of hospitals for several years he was left without the full use of his legs and was dependent on braces, crutches, or a wheel chair for the rest of his life.
    As a young person Harlan was determined not to let the school he missed and his disability keep him behind. He was active in school and the boy scouts. After high school Harlan earned multiple degrees: A bachelors from St. Olaf College, Minnesota in History and Political Science in 1960; Masters and Ph. D. from Harvard in Political Science in 1964; and two more masters from CSULA in 1982 in Rehabilitation Counseling, and UCLA in 2004 in Public Health. Furthermore, he had multiple fellowships and was a clerk for U.S. Senator Eugene J. McCarthy.
    Harlan began his teaching career as Assistant Professor at The University of Michigan in 1964. He also taught at the University of California Riverside for several years before settling in at The University of Southern California in 1972, where he remained for thirty five years. There he was a Professor of Political Science until 2006, and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science in the Keck School of Medicine from 1994-2007. In addition to teaching Harlan wrote twelve books, dozens of articles, held several scholarly editorial positions, and presented at numerous conferences. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Ghetto Revolts, and Urban-Rural Conflict was awarded Outstanding Academic Book by CHOICE an American Library Association publication.
    Throughout his career Hahn advocated for civil rights for persons with disabilities. He supported the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities act of 1990. Harlan was also instrumental in improving physical access for persons with disabilities at the University of Southern California. He brought a lawsuit against the University in 1998 to remove the physical barriers that inhibited the mobility of disabled persons on campus. The suit was settled in 2001 with the University agreeing to set aside a substantial amount of money each year for barrier removal.
    Harlan was married to Jeanne Kay Sappivgtow [spelling uncertain] from 1963 to 1967 and Roxanna Winston from 1976 to 1979. According to his obituaries he had one daughter named Emily Hahn. He died at the age of 68 when he suffered at heart attack April 3rd, 2008. At the time of this death he was living in Santa Monica, California.

    Scope and Content

    The Harlan Hahn collection consists of published books (including several vintage books in unknown language (probably Norwegian), manuscripts, research notes, correspondence, books reviews, book prospectus, articles, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, bibliographies, newsletters, syllabi, research papers and reports, photographs, baby books, scrapbooks, yearbooks, autograph books, greeting cards, bills, milk caps and other small physical objects, and digital materials (physical formats: floppy disk, compact disk, and thumb drive).
    The collection focuses on Harlan Hahn’s life and career, and includes biographical materials on Harlan as well as his parents and grandparents. Materials concerning the family include family histories, obituaries, records, diaries, real-estate documents, correspondence of the Hahns and the Tollefsons, family photos, and family books such as the bible. Family correspondence is primarily between Ada Hahn (Harlan’s mother), Harold Hahn (Harlan’s father), Nellie Tollefson (Harlan’s maternal grandmother), and Luther Tollefson (Ada’s brother). The bulk of the correspondence comes from around 1945 while the family was traveling for Harlan’s treatment to Des Moines Iowa, Hot Springs Arkansas, and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Letters generally concern treatment, family matters, daily life, and struggles the family faced during this time.
    Materials concerning Harlan span his entire life from his childhood, battle with polio, schooling, to career. Materials relating to childhood include baby books and scrapbooks. Materials relating to Harlan’s battle with polio consist of newspaper clippings detailing Harlan’s battle with polio, community support, and other families struggles to support their children with so called “window visits”; correspondence with friends and family members while Harlan was in the hospital; get well cards, bills from hospitals including the Mayo Clinic and leg brace manufacturers; treatment plans including the “Kenny technique”, pool treatments, physical therapy, home treatments, medications, and others; correspondence with doctors and leg brace manufacturers; Ada Hahn’s notes of Harlan’s disease; and other materials the family kept regarding polio cases, treatment, products, and informational pamphlets (1946-1952). Also included are over 1000 milk bottle caps Harlan collected while recuperating from polio in the 1940s. Materials covering Harlan’s education and career include school year books, writings, letters of recommendation, autobiographies, Curriculum Vitae, awards, and transcripts.
    The bulk of the collection concentrates on Hahn’s writings during his graduate education and tenure as a professor, as well as research materials for those writings. Formats include published monographs, complete manuscripts, drafts, articles, book reviews, correspondence, research notes, bibliographies, and newsletters. Writings focus on health politics and policy, urban problems and politics, and American politics. Monograph books cover minority rights, police society/community relations, political corruption, U.S. citizens and politics, politics and everyday life, Hahn’s autobiography, and sexuality and disability. Article topics include: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), anti discrimination laws, aging and disability, American Disabled for Access Power Today (ADAPT), attitudes toward disability, African American politics, book reviews, civil disobedience and riots, civil rights for disabled persons, physical rehabilitation, the social aspects of disability, political aspects of disability, disability access, employment for persons with disabilities, a wide range of other topics on disabilities, police, urban and minority politics, American politics, urban violence, public policy, and the Terri Schivo case.


    Arranged in 3 series:
    • Series I. Writings,1964- 2006; boxes 1-32
    • Series II. Subject Files, c.1960s-2000s; boxes 33-76
    • Series III. Personal/Family, 1823- 2007; boxes 77-93

    Indexing Terms


    Disability studies--United States
    People with disabilities.
    People with disabilities--Civil rights--United States
    United States. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
    United States--Politics and government
    Public policy (Law)--United States.
    Health policy--United States
    Urban policy--United States
    Poliomyelitis--Patients--United States--Biography
    Police-community relations
    Gender issues
    Civil disobedience
    University of Southern California

    Personal Names

    Hahn, Harlan, 1939-2008

    Corporate Names

    Mayo Clinic

    Geographic Areas

    Los Angeles (Calif.)
    Osage (Iowa)
    Hot Springs (Ark)

    Separated Materials

    Anton Christian Bang. Hans Nielfen Hange og Hans Samid En Monografie… Jacob Dnbmab, 1874. Inscription by Assor Groth. Text and inscription in Norwegian. Beecher. Life of Jesus the Christ. J.B. Ford and Co. c.1871.
    Bibelhistorie for Born [Bible story for children]. Chrisftiania, 1863. Inscription from Groth 1867. Text in Norwegain.
    The Holy Bible. Phinney and Co. 1853.
    Julebog for Barn. [Christmans for Children] Augburg Publishing House, Minneapolis. Inscription from Bestomor[Grandmother] Groth. Text and inscription in Norwegian.
    Lars Bjeldafer, comp. Brefterne i Ual. Defterheimen, 1899.
    Marcus C Volquartz. Gjelens Luth, Brude Gfammel, og Liig Baare. Bergen, 1846. Inscription from 185? Text in Norwegain.
    U Fane. Reformatinshistorie. Stauanger, 1867. Inscription Asfor H. Groth, 1876. Text and inscription in Norwegian.