J. Raleigh Nelson papers: 1893-1957
Summary Information
Title: J. Raleigh Nelson papers
Creator: Nelson, J. Raleigh (Joseph Raleigh)
Dates: 1893-1957
Extent: 4.5 linear feet, 1 oversize folder
Location: Portions located in offsite storage; prior notification required for access.
Abstract:
Professor of engineering English, counselor to foreign students, and founder of the International Center of the University of Michigan; correspondence, subject files, writings, photographs, and family letters.
Call number: 852058 Aa 2; UAm
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Michigan Historical Collections staff

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was the gift of Mrs. Nelson (donor no. 2874) and came to the library in 1961.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, J. Raleigh Nelson papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Biography

J. Raleigh Nelson was born in Bement, Illinois on May 8, 1873. He later moved with his family to Ann Arbor, Michigan. He received his B.A. degree in 1894 from the University of Michigan and then moved to Chicago where he taught English and Latin for six years at John Marshall High School and for eight years at the Lewis Institute. In the meantime, he had received his M.A. degree in 1903 from the University of Michigan.

In 1908, Nelson returned to the U-M in 1908 to assist in an experimental program in the teaching of English to engineering students. He eventually became chairman of the Department of English in the College of Engineering and adviser to foreign engineering students.

In 1933, Nelson was appointed university counselor to foreign students. This led in 1938 to the founding of the International Center where he was director until his retirement in 1943.

In addition to his university responsibilities, Nelson was author of a volume of poetry Lady Unafraid, a biography of his mother Rebecca Jewel Francis Nelson, as well as professional writings.

Throughout his career, Nelson was also involved in various community organizations, including the Starr Commonwealth for Boys and the Ann Arbor Community Fund. He died January 1, 1961.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The J. Raleigh Nelson collection is comprised of the following series: Family papers; Correspondence, Subject files, Miscellaneous, and Photographs. The correspondence and subject files concern the University of Michigan School of Engineering, his work with foreign students, particularly those from Latin America, student dramatic productions for which Nelson was director, the proposed University College, the activities and affairs of class of 1894, and his work as chairman of Tappan Reunion Committee which attempted to bring alumni from the years of the Tappan Presidency to University for a reunion in June 1930. The collection also includes manuscripts of his writings, photographs, and letters received from his mother.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • Ironton (Mich.)
  • Theater -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Students, Foreign -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Clifton (Mich.)
  • Clifton (Mich.) -- Mining.
  • Mining -- Michigan -- Clifton.
  • Students, Foreign -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Nelson, J. Raleigh (Joseph Raleigh)
  • Tappan, Henry Philip, 1805-1881.
  • University of Michigan -- Alumni and alumnae.
  • University of Michigan. Class of 1894.
  • University of Michigan. College of Engineering.
  • University of Michigan -- Dramatics.
  • University of Michigan -- Students.
  • University of Michigan. International Center.
  • University of Michigan. University College.
  • Nelson, J. Raleigh (Joseph Raleigh)
  • University of Michigan. Class of 1894.
  • University of Michigan -- Dramatics.
  • University of Michigan -- Students.
  • University of Michigan. International Center.
  • University of Michigan. Gilbert and Sullivan Society.
  • Gilbert, W. S. (William Schwenck), 1836-1911 -- Performances -- Michigan.
  • Sullivan, Arthur, Sir, 1842-1900 -- Performances -- Michigan.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Family papers [series]
Box   5  
Letters from mother, Rebecca Jewell Nelson 1901-1904
 
Correspondence 1898-1957 [series]
Box   1  
1898-1919
Box   1  
1920-1929

(including report of Committee on University Theatre, 1924)

Box   1  
1930-1934
Box   1  
1935-1936
Box   1  
1937-1939
Box   1  
1940
Box   1  
1941
Box   1  
1942 (3 folders)
Box   1  
1943 (3 folders)
Box   1  
1947-1949
Box   1  
1950-1957
 
Subject files [series]
Box   1  
Biographical material
Box   1  
Letters of condolence received after the death of Nelson's mother 1916 (2 folders)
Box   1  
Rotary Club papers 1933-1938
Box   1  
Starr Commonwealth for Boys papers 1934-1939
Box   1  
European trip correspondence 1923
Box   1  
Mexican trip correspondence 1943
Box   1  
Proposed University College papers 1927 (2 folders)
Box   1  
"Combination" courses papers 1927
Box   1  
Tappan Reunion correspondence 1930 (2 folders)
Box   2  
University of Michigan Class of 1894 (largely alumni material) 1894-1939 (4 folders)
 
Latin-American students (concerning)
Box   2  
Undated (2 folders)
Box   2  
1933-1940
Box   2  
1941
Box   2  
1942
Box   2  
1943
Box   2  
Teaching of English to foreign students 1941 (2 folders)
 
University of Michigan School of Engineering (concerning)
Box   2  
Undated (2 folders)
Box   2  
1916-1919
Box   2  
1920-1925
Box   2  
1926-1929
Box   2  
1930-1936
Box   2  
Engineering English courses undated (2 folders)
 
Miscellaneous [series]
Box   2  
Reading lists, undated, for Nelson's courses
Box   2  
Papers , concerning miscellaneous subjects undated
Box   2  
Notebooks concerning miscellaneous subjects 1895-1925
Box   3  
Miscellaneous articles, poetry and manuscripts of books, including manuscript of Lady Unafraid
Box   4  
Papers concerning plays directed by Nelson
Box   4  
Account books of Sweet Briar Farm, Ironton 1913-1928
 
Photographs [series]
Box   4  
Class of 1894
Box   4  
Cliff Mine
Box   4  
International Center
Box   4  
Portraits
Oversize Folder   1  
Gilbert and Sullivan Society
Oversize Folder   1  
International Center