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Finding Aid for the Joseph E. Spencer Papers, 1924-1985
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Joseph E. Spencer Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1924-1985
    Collection number: 1543
    Creator: Spencer, J.E. (Joseph Earle), 1907-
    Extent: 19 boxes (9.5 linear ft.) 6 oversize boxes
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Abstract: Joseph E. Spencer (1907-1984) was a professor of geography at UCLA. His fields of expertise were East and Southeast Asia and cultural geography. The collection consists of manuscripts, course notes, syllabi, correspondence, publications, research files, and printed materials related to Spencer's life and career.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of 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.

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Advance notice required for access.

    Additional Physical Form Available

    A copy of the original version of this online finding aid is available at the UCLA Department of Special Collections for in-house consultation and may be obtained for a fee. Please contact:
    • Public Services Division
    • UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections
    • Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
    • Box 951575
    • Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
    • Telephone: 310/825-4988 (10:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Pacific Time)
    • Email: spec-coll@library.ucla.edu

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Kathryn Smith, 1987.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Joseph E. Spencer Papers (Collection 1543). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 3222226 


    Spencer was born near Bolivar, Missouri, on September 11, 1907; grew up in the San Fernando Valley, California, and graduated from Burbank High School; BA, geography, UCLA, 1929; Ph.D, geography, University of California at Berkeley, 1936; worked for the Salt Revenue Administration Ministry of Finance, China, 1932-40; instructor in Geography, UCLA, 1940-42; served in World War II and afterwards returned to UCLA as an assistant professor; became professor of Geography (1953-75) and professor emeritus (1975-84); his fields of expertise were East and Southeast Asia and cultural geography; recipient of UCLA Teaching Award, 1966; received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Association of American Geographers in 1968; retired in 1975; died on May 23, 1984.

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists of manuscripts, course notes, syllabi, correspondence, publications, research files, and printed materials related to the life and career of UCLA geography professor Joseph E. Spencer. Includes annual reports of the UCLA Department of Geography, announcements and minutes of department and committee meetings, and various newsletters.

    Expanded Scope and Content

    The papers of Joseph E. Spencer span the years 1924-1985. Biographical and autobiographical material includes curriculum vitae and memorial tributes. Activities of the UCLA Department of Geography are richly documented by annual reports to the University president, announcements and minutes of department and committee meetings, memoranda to staff; and a handful of student, alumni and department newsletters. Spencer's teaching duties are represented by course notes, syllabi, and examinations for nearly two dozen different classes, as well as preliminary and comprehensive examination questions administered across two decades. Correspondence with friends, colleagues and publishers in some cases spans more than two decades. Photographs include Spencer's family and research photographs which supported publications on Utah, Chungking (China), India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and numerous locations throughout southeastern Asia. Manuscript material includes drafts of articles and correspondence pertaining to a handful of papers as well as twenty years' worth of Spencer's reviews. Spencer's publications include offprints and reprints of many of his articles and book reviews. Research files supporting publications or class use include extensive field and reading notes on the cultural and economic geography of Asia.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. Biographical and autobiographical material (1976-85).
    2. UCLA Dept. of Geography (1924-83).
    3. Teaching (1942-84).
    4. Correspondence (1941-84).
    5. Photographs (1930-52).
    6. Manuscripts (1941-78).
    7. Publications (1931-84).
    8. Research files (1933-83).

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Spencer, J.E. (Joseph Earle), 1907- --Archives.
    University of California, Los Angeles--Faculty--Archival resources.
    Geographers--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources.