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Finding Aid to the Leon Josiah Richardson papers, 1872-1964
BANC MSS C-B 1001  
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Leon Josiah Richardson papers
    Date (inclusive): 1872-1964
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 1001
    Creator: Richardson, Leon Josiah, 1868-1964
    Extent: 6 cartons, 1 box, 1 oversize folder (ca. 8 linear ft.) circa 8.75 linear feet
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The papers of Leon Josiah Richardson, Professor of Latin and Director of the University Extension at the University of California, Berkeley, contain correspondence, drafts and notes for articles, poems, and speeches, as well as material relating to his teaching of Latin and to his courses on Adult Education.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers

    Access Information

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html .

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Leon Josiah Richardson papers, BANC MSS C-B 1001, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Related Material

    Records of the University of California Military Bureau, CU-389
    University Extension, University of California records, CU-18
    Berkeley culture, University of California highlights, and University extension: oral history transcript, BANC MSS C-D 4048
    Warring Wilkinson papers, BANC MSS C-B 815
    Florence Richardson Wyckoff papers, BANC MSS 78/55 c

    Removed or Separated Material

    Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library:
    Photographs relating to the Leon J. Richardson and W.W. Wilkinson families, BANC PIC 1983.140—AX
    BANC PIC Richardson, Leon Josiah--POR
    BANC PIC Richardson, Maud Wilkinson--POR

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
    Richardson, Leon Josiah,1868-1964--Archives
    University of California (1868-1952)-- Adult Education
    University of California (1868-1952)-- Dept. of Latin
    University of California (1868-1952)-- Extension Division
    Manuscripts for publication

    Administrative Information

    The Leon Josiah Richardson papers were given to The Bancroft Library in February of 1966 through the Gift Division of the General Library (Doe Library), University of California, Berkeley. Additions were made in January and April of 2001 by Bruce Richardson on behalf of the Florence R. Wyckoff estate.
    No additions are expected.

    Processing/Project Information

    Preliminary processing by Bancroft Library staff in 1997. Additions processed by Iris Donovan in 2005.

    Biography/Organization History

    From In Memoriam, 1966


    Professor of Latin, Emeritus

    Director of University Extension, Emeritus
    Leon Josiah Richardson was born February 22, 1868, in Keene, New Hampshire, and died December 4, 1964, at the age of 96, in Watsonville, California, where he had lived for four years with one of his daughters, Mrs. Florence Wyckoff.
    He was the son of Josiah Crosby Richardson and Isabel Jane Chamberlain (both of Puritan families long settled in New England), but the family moved west and Leon received the A.B. degree from the University of Michigan, in 1890. After a year of teaching Greek and English in the Jackson (Michigan) high school, Leon came to California and for four years was at this University, first as a Fellow and Assistant in Latin, than as an Instructor. The years 1895-97 he spent abroad, mostly as a student at the University of Berlin, but for part of 1897 he was in Rome and Naples as a student of the American School of Classical Studies (now the American Academy) in Rome. He received the LL.D. from the University of California in 1939. In 1900 he had married Maud Wilkinson in Berkeley and by her had three children, Florence, Jane, and John Alden; after Maud's death he married Ruth Loring, who also predeceased him.
    After returning from Europe in 1897, Richardson resumed his long career at the University of California, and for one year was again an Instructor in Latin, then successively Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. In the same year in which he became professor (1919) he became also Director of the Extension Division (now University Extension), after having been acting director briefly. He was several times also Dean or Acting Dean of the Summer Session, and for three years (1934-37) Chairman of the Department of Latin. In 1938 he became Professor Emeritus and Director Emeritus.
    Richardson's interests and publications can be roughly put into two periods, divided by his appointment to direct the Extension Division. Before then, from 1897 on, his activity was mostly in the field of Latin poetry (especially its metrical techniques), but from about 1920 mostly in higher adult education, in which he was a pioneer.
    His earlier work included two small books, a translation of some English poems into Latin (San Francisco, 1899) and Helps to Reading Classical Latin Poetry (Boston, 1907), besides a collection of the Songs of the University of California (1905), about 20 articles on such subjects as Vergil's Georgics, Horace's meters, and "Digital Reckoning among the Ancients" ( Amer. Math. Monthly, 1916), and a few reviews. His later work, though it included the article on Martin Kellogg (formerly Professor of Latin and President of the University) for the Dictionary of American Biography (1933), two popular accounts of Horace in connection with the poet's bimillennary celebration in 1935, a paper on walking ( Jour. of Health and Phys. Educ. 1937), and a constant addiction to verse writing (we would mention his book of poems, Cronies, of 1934, and the Christmas-card verse sent to friends for many years), was mostly inspired by his direction of the Extension Division--numerous essays, addresses, and editorials on "lifelong learning" (his own phrase) in this country and Europe. Even long after his formal retirement, he continued his connection with University Extension, reading or writing correspondence courses on the "Principles of Adult Education" and "Retirement and How to Take Advantage of It."
    He was a member of half a dozen professional (classical and educational) associations, being president of the Philological Association of the Pacific Coast in 1912-13 and of the National University Extension Association about 1925; a member also of the Berkeley Club. For many years (1901-22) he was a trustee of the Berkeley Public Library, being president of the board for most of this period (1905-22).
    Quite apart from the impact and influence exerted by his numerous publications, Richardson's personality was strong and forceful. As a teacher he loved to read Latin aloud and could, when he felt the urge, talk to a class at length in Latin; his last classes, after he began to direct the Extension Division, were on Vergil's Georgics, Ovid's Fasti, Quintilian Book 10, and Latin Verse Composition. He had a loud, clear, penetrating voice, which he used with great skill: having once heard it, one could never forget it. At the same time his manner was remarkably deliberate and calm; he never seemed disturbed or hurried, always self-possessed. He was a splendid teller of anecdotes; we recall a particular one that he used to tell about some experience in Germany: his handling of the long German compounds was something worth hearing. The even tenor of his life seems not to have been broken until he was in his early nineties, when the ruin by fire of his apartment in San Francisco made him, we heard, uncertain what to do and where to live. One must suppose that his almost unfailing equanimity had much to do with his excellent health and long life.
    At the memorial services, held on December 8 in the First Congregational Church, Berkeley, the speakers included Joseph Fontenrose, Professor of Classics (who spoke as a former student), Paul H. Sheats, Dean of University Extension (who spoke as a former administrative colleague), Mrs. Julia Altrocchi, widow of a former Professor of Italian (who read from Richardson's poetry), and Joel H. Hildebrand, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry (who spoke as a former academic colleague).
    A. E. Gordon
    Joseph Fontenrose
    H. R. W. Smith

    Scope and Content Note

    The papers of Leon Josiah Richardson, Professor of Latin and Director of the University Extension at the University of California, Berkeley, contain correspondence, drafts and notes for articles, poems, and speeches, as well as material relating to his teaching of Latin and to his courses on Adult Education.
    Programs and financial records are also present. The bulk of the collection comprises Richardson’s ‘commonplace books’, which he used also as diaries. They are filed in the collection as Diary-Scrapbooks. Most of the clippings relate to poetry and philosophy. There is also a folder of poetry by Richardson’s wife Maud Wilkinson Richardson.
    The second series holds meeting minutes and historical materials relating to the Berkeley Club for 1934-1948.