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Guide to the George Harmon Knoles Papers
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Collection Details
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  • Overview
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Access Terms

  • Overview

    Call Number: SC0328
    Creator: Knoles, George Harmon
    Title: George Harmon Knoles papers
    Dates: 1920-1994
    Physical Description: 15 Linear feet
    Summary: Professional and personal papers of Stanford University professor of American history.
    Language(s): The materials are in English.
    Repository: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Green Library
    557 Escondido Mall
    Stanford, CA 94305-6064
    Email: specialcollections@stanford.edu
    Phone: (650) 725-1022
    URL: http://library.stanford.edu/spc

    Administrative Information


    Gift of George H. Knoles, 1986, 1993, 1998, 2002.

    Information about Access

    Letters of recommendation from accessions 1985-097 and 1986-022 are restricted; contact the University Archivist for more information. Otherwise the collection is open for research. Materials must be requested at least 24 hours in advance of intended use.

    Ownership & Copyright

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Cite As

    George Harmon Knoles Papers (SC0328). Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


    George Knoles was a distinguished professor of History at Stanford University. Dr. Knoles received two degrees from (then) College of the Pacific, an A.B. in 1928 and an M.A. in 1930. He joined Stanford as an instructor in history in 1937 and received his Ph.D. in history from Stanford in 1939. During World War II he was a Lieutenant in the Navy serving with the Pacific Fleet and in preparing Naval history after the War. In 1946 he rejoined Stanford rising to become Chairman of the History Department and the Margaret Bryrne Professor of American History before his retirement in 1972. Professor Knoles' field was American history. He has written extensively on American political, intellectual and cultural history, His major publications include The Presidential Campaign and Election of 1892, The Jazz Age Revisited, and The New United States: A History Since 1896. With fellow Professor Rixford Snyder he co-wrote Readings in Western Civilization, which was widely used in American universities in the study of western civilization. During 1950-52 and 1956, Professor Knoles went to Japan with a small group of Stanford professors to teach American history. In the years following he maintained many personal and professional relationships with Japanese scholars. He was a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Japan in 1971. He was a popular teacher and established strong relationships with his students. These relationships with students continued after they left Stanford. Two of the many ways he served the University was as a speaker at alumni functions and as a field judge for Stanford Track Meets.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Collection contains correspondence, memoranda, minutes, lecture notes, syllabi, manuscripts, photographs, and other papers pertaining to Knoles' academic career at Stanford, Stanford's overseas campuses, particularly those in Japan, the Institute of American History, his publications, and his work with the Associates of the Stanford University Libraries. There is extensive correspondence with other historians and students. Correspondents include Harold W. Bradley, Rixford K. Snyder, Thomas A. Bailey, John Foster Dulles, Frank Friedel, John F. Kennedy, Michio Murayama, Allan Nevins, E. E. Robinson, Arnold Toynbee, Gordon Wright, William and Eleanor Bark, John Gange, J. E. W. Sterling, and Max Savelle. Also included are several files on student unrest at Stanford in the 1970s and an audiotape of John Dewey speaking on philosophy at Cooper Union, New York, December 7, 1941. The personal papers within the collection include extensive correspondence, 1920s-1994, his Naval logs and records, 1942-45, and his World War II letters, 1944-46.

    Access Terms

    Bradley, Harold Whitman.
    Dewey, John, 1859-1952.
    Gange, John.
    Robinson, Edgar Eugene, 1887-1977
    Savelle, Max, 1896-
    Snyder, Rixford K., (Rixford Kinney), 1908-
    Stanford University. Department of History.
    Stanford University. Institute of American History
    Stanford University. Libraries. Associates
    Stanford-Tokyo University Seminars.
    United States--History--Study and teaching.