SCOPE AND CONTENT
Located in Subgroup I, the A. Hunter Dupree papers mostly include correspondence, writings, talks, research materials, and committee files. While Dupree’s professional and scholarly activity spans from his undergraduate education at Oberlin College in the late 1930s well into his retirement in the early 2000s, the bulk of the historical material dates from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. The most comprehensive files are his writings, talks, and presentations, especially in relation to his research on Asa Gray, science policy in the federal government, measurement, and sociobiology. There is very little material directly related to his experiences on the campus of University of California, Berkeley in the early 1960s, and almost no documentation of his involvement on the NASA Historical Advisory Committee.
Before pursuing a lengthy career in academia, Dupree was a lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve during World War II, mostly documented through his orders and correspondence (1942-1946) in Series 8. Detailed descriptions of his experiences as a radar watch officer and fighter director during the Iwo Jima and Okinawa operations in 1945 are recounted in “The History of Naval Gunfire Control,” and in a detailed letter to shipmate Don Byerly (OC ’40). Both are unpublished writings in Series 11.
The files documenting Dupree’s academic career contain materials from Texas Technological College (1950-1952), UC Berkeley (1956-1968), Brown University (1968-1981), and other appointments. Located in Series 1, these files include course materials, program proposals, and a list of students for whom he was an advisor. A sampling of student files comprises the bulk of the series, highlighting Dupree’s influence as a mentor to many future scholars. Unfortunately, except for a collection of clippings, there is little documentation of his time at Berkeley during the political and social unrest of the 1960s. While some of Dupree’s published articles address this topic, accounts of his experiences and involvement on campus are mostly discussed in letters to his parents, located in Subgroup II.
Other professional appointments include Dupree’s involvement on numerous government committees. As a member of the Library of Congress Advisory Committee (1959-1962) he helped develop The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections. He contributed to the National Academy of Science’s report, Federal Support of Basic Research in Institutions of Higher Learning, in 1964. On the Atomic Energy Historical Advisory Committee (1967-1973) he assisted in documenting the history of the AEC, activities of which are referenced in the Charles Mosher Congressional Papers (RG 30/226 - Oberlin College Archives). Some of the most richly detailed committee files are from the House Panel on Science and Technology (1969-1973), which illustrate Dupree’s critique of national science policy within the Nixon administration. Series 1 also documents his participation as an advisor, fellow, or trustee for many other professional organizations including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Society for the History of Technology.
The writings files are extensive, thoroughly documenting Dupree’s writing process and critical exploration of religion, science, and technology as elements of human culture. Recurrent themes include science policy, the relation of biological and social theories, and the history of measurement. Located in Series 11, these files contain drafts and research materials for his two major works: Science in the Federal Government, A History of Policies and Activities to 1940; and the biography of Asa Gray, an influential botanist who was one of Darwin’s strongest advocates in America. Gray, a colleague of Oberlinian George Frederick Wright, played an important role in arguing for the reconciliation of science and theology in evolutionary theory. The series includes almost all of Dupree’s published articles and book reviews from 1950 to 2003 from scholarly journals such as Daedalus, Isis, and Science; as well as from the local newsletter on Squirrel Island, Maine where his family kept a summer home. The many unpublished writings include personal narratives, detailed memos, and even some short fiction. The bulk of his talks and presentations, located in Series 10, exist in tandem with his writings and explore the same topics as his published articles. Some files are more specific to particular events, including statements made before government panels, and personal tributes to colleagues such as Glenn Seaborg, Carl Bridenbaugh, and Paul Mangelsdorf.
Extensive research in the areas of sociobiology and measurement are located in Series 9. Related to many of his writings, the files detail the social history of measurement from John Quincy Adams to the atomic clock, and include resources related to the metric system debate in the U.S. in the 1970s. The field of sociobiology, which applies evolutionary theory to social behavior, grew in popularity in the mid-1970s. The research files on sociobiology date from this period and mostly include materials from conferences and workshops, many of which are directly related to the work of Talcott Parsons and E.O. Wilson.
Extensive correspondence in Series 5 includes the professional and personal letters received by Dupree from colleagues, friends, former students, and professional organizations between 1941 and 2009. The correspondence is wide ranging, providing a chronological account of the scholarly activities, professional relationships, and research interests that embodied his career. Notable and frequent correspondents include Gunther Barth, Les Fishel (OC ‘43), Paul Forman, Brooke Hindle, and Walter Massey. The bulk of the correspondence dates from 1968 to 1979. Many files from 1962 to 1967 are notably missing.
Of interest to the Oberlin community are the education files (1939-1942) from when Dupree was a student at Oberlin College. These materials, including mostly notes and exams, document the influence of professors Frederick B. Artz and Robert Fletcher during Dupree’s formative years. Materials documenting his lifelong connection to Oberlin College are evidenced by the sample of charitable contributions in Series 2 and in his letters as class president to the Oberlin Class of 1942 in Series 5. There is also correspondence from Oberlin Presidents Ernest H. Wilkins and Robert Carr. His presentation file for the first Oscar E. Anderson Memorial Lecture in 1978 is in series 10, and unpublished articles on professors Oscar Jaszi and George Frederick Wright are in Series 11.
General biographical information on A. Hunter Dupree is in Series 2. Of interest to those researching his life and career is a 1982 interview with former student and colleague Ron Numbers, and narratives of Dupree’s career by both Paul Forman and John Arrison.
Located in Subgroup II, the family papers mostly consist of detailed correspondence, as well as diaries, clippings, and genealogical materials related to the Dupree and Arnold families. There are also some materials referencing Hunter and Betty’s maternal lineages, the Hunters and the Molherins, respectively. Family photographs, including a few documenting Hunter’s professional career, are located at the end of Subgroup II. The papers are incomplete and compiled from existing documents. As a result, there are many gaps in the documentary record. Materials related to George and Sarah Dupree are mostly from the years 1912 to 1915 and 1945 to 1973, with almost no documentation between these two time periods. Betty’s papers mostly date from the 1930s and 1940s before her marriage to Hunter.
The family correspondence is the richest part of this subgroup and includes two sets of courtship letters. The letters exchanged between Betty and Hunter while he was serving in the Navy, 1944-1946, are more philosophical than romantic. They document a decidedly intellectual courtship that included reflections on the war, along with thought provoking discussions on literature, religion, and history. The other set, between George and Sarah Dupree, date from 1914 to 1915. These letters mostly tell the story of George’s struggle to find work in rural Texas, and discussions of the young couple’s plans after marriage.
Of interest to those studying Hunter’s professional career are the letters he sent to his parents between 1954 and 1973, located in Series 3. Since Hunter did not keep a diary, this correspondence serves as a journal, providing an informal narrative of his life and career. This also applies to letters he received from his children in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which oftentimes include copies of letters he sent in response. A narrative of the everyday lives of Betty, George, and Sarah Dupree, as well members of the Arnold family are also documented within the family correspondence throughout Subgroup II.
Series 2 contains journals, diaries, and a sampling of Betty’s educational materials from the University of Washington from 1936 to 1940. There are also many documents from Frederick and Nelson Department Store in Seattle where she worked between 1940 and 1945. Though there is some documentation of Betty’s interests and activities later in life, most of the materials date from 1931 to 1946.
The materials related to George Dupree in Series 3 mostly focus on the latter part of his life. These include clippings detailing his celebrated law career in Texas and certificates noting his many personal and professional achievements.
Sarah Dupree attended Oberlin College between 1910 and 1912 where she kept a scrapbook consisting of programs, ticket stubs, postcards, and personal mementos from her school days. This is located in Series 4 along with some of her college notebooks.
Series 5 includes documents of other family members including Betty’s parents, George Wright and Marguerite Arnold, who were both born in Cleveland and have family roots in northern Ohio. This series also includes materials related to Betty’s grandfather, Eugene H. Arnold, former city engineer of Rocky River. Additional genealogical materials in this series are useful in determining family relationships.
The A. Hunter Dupree Papers are arranged in the following subgroups, series, and subseries:
Subgroup I. A. Hunter Dupree Papers
Series 1. Academic Appointments
Subseries 1. Texas Tech
Subseries 2. UC Berkeley
Subseries 3. Brown University
Subseries 4. Other Institutions
Series 2. Biographical Files
Series 3. Committee and Advisory Post Files
Series 4. Conference Files
Series 5. Correspondence
Series 6. Daybooks and Journals
Series 7. Education
Subseries 2. Oberlin College
Series 8. Navy Files
Series 9. Special Topics
Subseries 1. Measurement
Subseries 2. Oklahoma City Bombing
Subseries 3. Sociobiology
Series 10. Talks and Presentation Files
Series 11. Writings Files
Subseries 1. Asa Gray and Darwiniana
Subseries 2. Book Reviews
Subseries 3. Published Articles
Subseries 4. Science in the Federal Government
Subseries 5. Unpublished Articles and Other Writings
Subgroup II. Family Papers
Series 1. A. Hunter Dupree
Series 2. Betty Dupree
Series 3. George W. Dupree
Series 4. Sarah Hunter Dupree
Series 5. Other Family Members
Series 6. Photographs
Subgroup I. A. Hunter Dupree Papers
Series 1. Academic Appointments, 1950-1952, 1959-1984, n.d. (.7 l.f.)
Subseries 1. Texas Tech, 1950-1952
This subseries contains course materials for five history classes Dupree taught at Texas Tech from 1950 to 1952.
Subseries 2. UC Berkeley, 1959-1976, 1982, n.d.
Advisee files for students such as Donald Swain, Pierce Mullen, and Carroll Pursell make up the bulk of this subseries. Though no documents provide evidence of Dupree’s direct involvement in the Free Speech Movement, a collection of clippings and circulars from 1964 to 1969 details the political crisis that existed on campus while he was a professor and administrator.
Subseries 3. Brown University, 1969-1983, n.d.
These files contain a sampling of Dupree’s course materials from 1969 to 1978 when he was George L. Littlefield Professor of American History. Also included is an additional sampling of course, program, and project proposals related to curriculum development.
Subseries 4. Other Institutions, 1979, 1983-1984
This subseries documents Dupree’s appointments as scholar in residence at Southern Oregon State in 1983 and visiting professor at the University of Minnesota in 1984, as well as his contribution to “Connections-- Course by Newspaper” in 1979.
Series 2. Biographical Files, 1927-1938, 1946-2005, n.d. (.3 l.f.)
These files contain general biographical materials including clippings, curricula vitae, bio-bibliographic documents, and the transcript of a detailed autobiographical interview from 1982. Also included are evidence of awards, charitable contributions, and professional memberships.
Series 3. Committee and Advisory Post Files, 1953-1989 (1.6 l.f.)
This series contains files for many of the committees Dupree served on as an advisor, consultant, or trustee between 1953 and 1989. These include appointments within the federal government and professional organizations in the science and history fields, and appointments on museum and library boards. Unfortunately, there is no documentation from Dupree’s service on the NASA Historical Advisory Committee from 1963 to 1972.
Series 4. Conference Files, c. 1961-1979, 1986 (.3 l.f.)
Consists of files for conferences where Dupree participated as a panel member, session chair, or commentator. Specific talks or papers that were presented at conferences are filed in Series 10. Talks and Presentation Files.
Series 5. Correspondence, 1941-2001, 2003-2009, n.d. (5.4 l.f.)
The largest series in the collection, these files comprise the professional and personal correspondence received by Dupree throughout his career, with the exception of many files missing between 1962 and 1967. In some cases, copies of letters sent by Dupree are also included. In respecting the original filing scheme, many name files were retained. However, these files oftentimes do not document the entirety of correspondence from these individuals, which may also exist in the chronological files. Family correspondence sent and received by Dupree is filed in Subgroup II.
Series 6. Daybooks and Journals, 1948, 1971-1987, 1991-2000, 2010 (.5 l.f.)
The richest item in this series is Dupree’s “morning notebook,” spanning from 1971 to 1987, in which he recorded ideas for potential research topics and reflections on current reading. His journals mostly contain research notes from vacations, including a cruise to the Galapagos Islands in 1979. Though they provide relatively little detail, also included is a sampling of daybooks documenting aspects of Dupree’s academic career.
Series 7. Education, 1939-1942, 1946-1950, n.d. (1.4 l.f.)
Subseries 1. Harvard University, 1946-1950, n.d.
Includes notes and essays related to Dupree’s graduate study at Harvard between 1946 and 1950, mostly focusing on his coursework as an M.A. candidate under the guidance of Professor Arthur M. Schlesinger, Sr. Materials related to his doctoral dissertation on Asa Gray are filed in Series 11.
Subseries 2. Oberlin College, 1939-1942, n.d.
Contains blue books, notes, and term papers from Dupree’s undergraduate study at Oberlin between 1939 and 1942. These files document his coursework as a history major under such professors as Frederick B. Artz, Howard Robinson, and Robert S. Fletcher.
Series 8. Navy Files, 1942-1946 (.2 l.f.)
The files documenting Dupree’s service in the Navy include official orders and correspondence; course materials from classes in navigation, seamanship, and tactical radar; and materials from the USS Tennessee, including memos and publications related to Japan’s surrender in 1945.
Series 9. Special Topics, 1948(1969-1977) - 2011, n.d. (1.7 l.f.)
Subseries 1. Measurement, 1959(1968-1975) - 2011, n.d.
A topic Dupree became interested in as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, 1967-1968, these files contain resources on topics such as metrication, the plan of St. Gall, and John Quincy Adams. Also included are correspondence and responses to Dupree’s writings by colleagues Walter Horn, Frank Huddle, and Melvin Kranzberg. Specific talks and writings related to measurement are filed in Series 10 and 11, respectively.
Subseries 2. Oklahoma City Bombing, 1994-2000, 2004
Mike Thompson, Dupree’s cousin, was killed in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. These files document his reaction to the event. In correspondence with Mike’s brother, journalist Toby Thompson, Dupree offers suggestions and guidance on the establishment of a “living memorial,” which evolved into the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism.
Subseries 3. Sociobiology, 1948(1971-1977) - 2011, n.d.
These files contain resources on the relation of biological and social theories, including documentation of collaborations with sociologist Talcott Parsons. The documents include many writings by others and files from conferences focusing on the subject. Additional talks and writings related to sociobiology are filed in Series 10 and 11, respectively.
Series 10. Talks and Presentation Files, 1951 (1957-1980)-1998, 2006 (1 l.f.)
Dupree was a frequent presenter at conferences and guest lecturer at a variety of institutions. The files in this series contain copies of talks, speeches, presentations, statements, and Congressional testimonies, along with documentation and correspondence related to these many speaking engagements.
Series 11. Writings Files, 1830-1885, 1939, 1951-2004, n.d. (9.1 l.f.)
Subseries 1. Asa Gray and Darwiniana, 1830-1885, 1939(1958-1963)-1994, n.d.
In addition to writing a biography of Asa Gray, published in 1959, Dupree edited the 1963 publication of Darwiniana, Gray’s collection of essays and reviews pertaining to Darwinism. These files contain drafts, reviews, and research materials related to these two publications, including Dupree’s full transcriptions of correspondence between Gray, Darwin, and others.
Subseries 2. Book Reviews, 1950-1995, 1999
Contains about 60 published and unpublished book reviews mostly focusing on the history of science and technology from 1950 to 1999.
Subseries 3. Published Articles, 1951-1994, 2002-2003
Arranged chronologically, these files include drafts and final copies of nearly all of Dupree’s published articles from 1951 to 2003. A complete list of these articles is located in the appendix.
Subseries 4. Science in the Federal Government, 1953-1957, 1984-1987, 1992, n.d.
This subseries contains the advisory committee files, research materials, and drafts related to Science in the Federal Government, which was funded by a 1953 National Science Foundation grant and published in 1957. Also included are writings and reviews by other individuals, and files related to the 1986 reprint.
Subseries 5. Unpublished Articles and Other Writings, c. 1959-2004, n.d.
Included in this subseries are encyclopedia entries, editorials, and a few volumes Dupree edited. However, the unpublished writings in this subseries are the most rich and include memorandums, reports, and articles, many of which relate directly to his scholarly interests. While some of the articles were not accepted for publication, many are informal and were never intended for wider distribution. The bulk of the articles date from after Dupree’s retirement and address topics such as the Persian Gulf War and science policy in the Bush and Clinton administrations of the 1990s. There are a few unpublished articles of an autobiographical nature, as well as writings about his colleagues, family members, and professional influences.
Subgroup II. Family Papers
Series 1. A. Hunter Dupree, 1942(1944-1965)-2004, n.d. (2 l.f.)
With the exception of his baby book, this series mostly contains family correspondence received from Hunter’s wife, parents, and children. Family letters addressed to both Hunter and Betty are filed in this series. Also included is a scrapbook constructed out of a 1945 daily calendar that Betty sent to Hunter during the war.
Series 2. Betty Dupree, 1931-2002, n.d. (2.6 l.f.)
The bulk of this series contains correspondence from Betty’s parents, close friends, and husband, Hunter. Also included are journals, daybooks, wedding clippings, and materials related to her education and childhood. A sampling of watercolor paintings and membership cards shows evidence of her hobbies and personal interests.
Series 3. George W. Dupree, 1914-1916, 1926-1934, 1940-1973, n.d. (2.6 l.f.)
This series contains correspondence, genealogical documents, awards, and clippings. A biographical file contains documentation of George’s life and public service, including stories related to criminal cases in which he served as a defense attorney. There are no files from his law firm.
Series 4. Sarah Hunter Dupree, 1900(1910-1915)-1976, 1984, 1994, n.d. (2.2 l.f.)
A scrapbook and educational materials from Oberlin College and the University of Texas constitute the bulk of this series. Correspondence, diaries, daybooks, memory books, and genealogical documents also feature prominently. A collection of transcribed notes from a lecture on child psychology includes a narrative and introduction by A. Hunter Dupree.
Series 5. Other Family Members, 1876(1944-1950)-2007, n.d. (1.6 l.f.)
Focusing heavily on documentation of the Arnold family, this series mostly contains correspondence, including letters sent by Betty Dupree to her parents. Files on the Arnold, Dupree, and Hunter families contain informal genealogies and collect documents related to various family members bearing these surnames. George Dupree, Jr.’s baby book also features genealogy notes related to the Dupree family.
Series 6. Photographs, 1907, c. 1943-2006, n.d. (.3 l.f.)
The photographic series mostly consists of family photographs and includes visual documentation of Dupree, Arnold, Hunter, and Molherin family members and events. A few photographs are linked to Hunter’s professional career, including images related to the U.S. Navy, conferences, and committee appointments.