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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Related Material

  • Title: Gustave O. Arlt papers
    Collection number: 1825
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 5.2 linear ft. (13 document boxes)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1960-1979
    Date (inclusive): 1913-1986
    Abstract: Gustave O. Arlt served as a professor of Germanic Languages and Dean of the Graduate Division at UCLA prior to becoming the founding president of the Council of Graduate Schools. Even after his retirement in 1970, Arlt continued to be active in the development of graduate education, as well as in a number of committees and organizations. This collection contains items from his personal and professional life including manuscripts of his speeches, professional correspondence, and photos.
    Language of Materials: Materials are primarily in English, some materials in German.
    Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Gustav O. Arlt Papers (Collection 1825). Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 7575808 

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Acquired from American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming, in August, 2008.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Mary Priest in 2014 in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Jillian Cuellar. Processing of this collection was generously supported by the Constantine and Perina Panunzio Endowment for University Archives.


    Gustave O. Arlt was born in Lock Haven Pennsylvania on May 17, 1895 to German emigrant parents. As a child, Arlt was extensively educated in classics studies by his father which helped to shape some of his future career interests including Germanic languages, folklore, literature, and translations. Arlt was working on his graduate education in Chicago when WWI broke out, leading Arlt to serve in the United States Army as a First Sergeant in the 302nd Battalion, Tank Corps from 1913-1923. After the war, Arlt returned to his studies and received a PhD in Germanic Languages and Literature from the University of Chicago in 1931.
    Arlt was working as an associate professor at Indiana University when he was asked to join UCLA’s German Department in 1935. While at UCLA, Arlt held positions as Chairman of the Germanic Languages Department, Chairman of the Foreign Language Group, Associate Dean (1950-1957) and Dean of the Graduate Division (1958-1962). During his time at UCLA, Arlt also helped to build the German studies holdings in Powell Library, was instrumental in establishing the Department of Theater Arts, and served in various committees and societies including the Historical Society of Southern California, the Modern Language Association, California Folklore Society, and California’s Literary Centennial, among others.
    In 1962 Arlt left UCLA and moved to Washington, D.C. to become the founding president of the Council of Graduate Schools. In this role, Arlt worked with numerous schools to develop and structure graduate programs across the country. Working with the African-American Institute and the Council of Graduate Schools, Arlt was key in establishing the AFGRAD Fellowship program in 1962. While in Washington, Arlt also helped shape the beginnings of the National Endowment for the Humanities and was appointed as a member in 1966 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Although Arlt retired from his role as president of the Council of Graduate Schools in 1970, he continued to be active in graduate studies throughout his life, giving speeches, publishing papers, and heading committees. Arlt was awarded the UCLA Service Award for his exceptional contributions to UCLA in early 1986. Gustave O. Arlt died on September 18, 1986 at age 91.

    Scope and Content

    Items in this collection, created between 1913 and 1986, serve to document the professional and personal life of Dr. Gustave O. Arlt. Professional materials make up the bulk of the collection and are arranged alphabetically by subject. The professional items primarily relate to Arlt’s development of graduate education across the United States and in Africa. Items include manuscripts of Arlt’s speeches delivered between 1962 and 1974, his correspondence and trip planning relating to the AFGRAD program, ephemera and minutes from operations of the Council of Graduate Schools operations, and materials from Arlt’s involvement with Folklore groups. The professional materials also include photos from Los Angeles' annual birthday celebration in the 1950s, the California Literary Centennial in 1950. Materials revealing glimpses of Arlt’s personal life are also part of this collection, including family photos and correspondence relating to birthdays, retirement, and awards.

    Organization and Arrangement

    This collection has been arranged in the following series:
    • Series 1: Professional Career, 1935-1986
    • Series 2: Personal Life, 1913-1986
    This collection has been arranged in two series, separating Arlt’s personal and professional life. Within each series, items have been organized to the folder level and are arranged alphabetically by subject. Where applicable, items are organized chronologically within a subject. Much of the original order within the files has been maintained and most of the original file names were preserved.

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