Robert Cooley Angell Papers: 1923-1971
Summary Information
Title: Robert Cooley Angell Papers
Creator: Angell, Robert Cooley, 1899-
Inclusive dates: 1923-1971
Extent: 3.5 linear feet
Extent: 1 oversize volume
Professor of sociology, University of Michigan; correspondence and other papers concerning Angell's work with UNESCO, American Sociological Society, and International Sociological Association; papers concerning published books and articles; unpublished manuscripts of writings.
Call number: 85849 Aa 2
Language: The materials are in English.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
Home Page:
Finding aid prepared by: Bentley Historical Library staff

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was the gift of Robert C. Angell (donor no. 485) and came to the library in 1972. Scattered materials came later from Professor Angell and members of his family.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for 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:


Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

item, folder title, box no., Robert Cooley Angell Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Robert C. Angell, sociologist, was born April 29, 1899, in Detroit, Michigan. He was educated at the University of Michigan receiving his Ph. D. degree in 1924. His thesis on the student mind was later published under the title The Campus. He was appointed instructor in 1922 and assistant professor of sociology in 1924. At the time sociology was still taught within the department of economics and Angell's teacher and mentor was his uncle Charles Horton Cooley. Sociology gained departmental status in 1930 and Angell became associate professor that same year. In 1935, he became full professor. He served as chairman of the department from 1940 to 1952 and was instrumental in bringing to the department such individuals as Theodore Newcomb and Ronald Freedman, as well as the groups that formed the Survey Research Center and the Research Center for Group Dynamics.

Outside the department, Angell championed the importance of undergraduate instruction and helped to form the honors college, which he chaired from 1957 to 1961. With Kenneth Boulding, he helped to found the Journal for Conflict Resolution in 1954 and the Center for Research on Conflict Resolution in 1959.

Within his profession, Angell edited the American Sociological Review from 1946 to 1948 and was elected president of the American Sociological Association in 1951. He served abroad as director of UNESCO's Social Science Department in Paris from 1949 to 1950 and headed a project on world tensions. Partly as result of this work, Angell was instrumental in founding the International Sociological Association. He also served as this organization's second president. From 1950 to 1956 Angell was member of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.

Angell retired from the university in 1969 but continued to teach for a number of years. He died May 12, 1984.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Angell papers document the life and professional activities of a renowned sociologist and university teacher. The collection dates from 1923 to 1984 though the bulk of the papers fall within the period of the 1940s through the 1960s. The collection has been arranged into five series: Biographical information/autobiographical essays; Correspondence; Books, articles, and other writings; Organizational Affiliations; and Topical Files.

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.

  • Sociology.
  • Diaries.
  • Videotapes.
  • American Sociological Association.
  • Angell, Robert Cooley, 1899-1984.
  • International Sociological Association.
  • University of Michigan -- Faculty.
  • University of Michigan. Dept. of Sociology.
  • Angell, Robert Cooley, 1899-1984.
  • Angell, James Rowland, 1869-1949.
  • Boulding, Kenneth E. (Kenneth Ewart), 1910-1993.
  • Cooley, Charles Horton, 1864-1929.
  • Day, Edmund Ezra, 1883-1951.
  • Douglas, William O. (William Orville), 1898-1980.
  • Ford, Edsel, 1893-1943.
  • Group for Academic Freedom.
  • Hoover, J. Edgar (John Edgar), 1895-1972.
  • Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978.
  • Jacobs, Albert Charles, 1900-1976.
  • Little, Clarence C. (Clarence Cook), 1888-
  • Llewellyn, Karl N. (Karl Nickerson), 1893-1962.
  • Lyons, Eugene, 1898-1985.
  • MacIver, Robert M. (Robert Morrison), 1882-1970.
  • McKenzie, Roderick Duncan, 1885-1940.
  • McLaughlin, Andrew Cunningham, 1861-1947.
  • Merton, Robert King, 1910-
  • Moody, Blair, 1902-1954.
  • Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990.
  • Murphy, Frank, 1890-1949.
  • National Citizens' Commission (U.S.)
  • Parsons, Talcott, 1902-1979.
  • Piaget, Jean, 1896-1980.
  • Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962.
  • Tobin, Richard L. (Richard Lardner), 1910-
  • Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Biographical information/autobiographical essays [series]

The Biographical information/autobiographical essays series is of most interest for the various inspective essays that Angell wrote about his life and career.

Box   1  
Vita and other biographical information
Box   1  
Autobiographical essays (3 folders)
Box   1  
Appointment notifications, etc
Box   1  
Videotape interview of RCA conducted by Nancy Tucker 1976 (U-matic; 20 min.)
Oversize Volume   1  

(maintained by different members of the Angell family relating to their lives and activities, includes clippings, correspondence, and memorabilia)

Box   1  
Loose items from scrapbook
Correspondence [series]

The Correspondence series dates from 1921 to 1979 and illuminates Angell's professional relations with University of Michigan colleagues and with other sociologists. A selective inventory of Angell correspondents has been prepared and is appended to this finding aid. Correspondents include Kenneth Boulding, Charles Horton Cooley, Clarence Cook Little, Robert M. MacIver, Robert K. Merton, and Lewis Mumford.

Box   1  
1921-1979 (22 folders)
Books, articles, and other writings [series]

The Books, articles, and other writings series consists of correspondence and other materials pertaining to his writings. There are also copies of unpublished papers.

Box   1  
The Campus-correspondence and clippings 1927-1928
Box   2  
A study in undergraduate adjustment-Letter 1929
Box   2  
Introductory sociology-Correspondence 1933-1946
Box   2  
The family encounters the depression-Correspondence 1931-1966
Box   2  
The integration of American Society-Correspondence 1940-1964
Box   2  
A critical review of the development of the personal document method in sociology, 1920-1940-Correspondence 1941-1947
Box   2  
The moral integration of American cities-Correspondence 1940-1967
Box   2  
Free society and moral crisis-Correspondence 1956-1960
Box   2  
Social values and foreign policy attitudes of Soviet and American elites-Correspondence 1959-1967
Peace on the March
Box   2  
Book outlines 1962
Box   2  
Research correspondence 1963-1967 (2 folders)
Box   2  
Publisher's correspondence 1964-1971
Box   2  
General correspondence 1968-1971
Unpublished manuscripts
Box   2  
A Nazi primer for Americans
Box   2  
Moral choice in the Metropolis
Box   2  
The sociology of international relations
Box   2  
Educational essays (untitled)
Box   2  
Miscellaneous articles and addresses (5 folders)
Box   2  
WUOM radio broadcasts on topic of "Education for Unity," 1946-1947
Box   2  
Outline of talks
Organizational Affiliations [series]

Organizational Affiliations is the series of files accumulated by Angell in connection with his activities with various professional organizations. These organizations include the American Sociological Association, the International Sociological Association, and UNESCO.

UNESCO [subseries]
Box   2  
Correspondence 1950-1952
Box   2  
Correspondence 1953-1968
Box   2  
Talks about the organization
Box   2  
American Sociological Association Committee on UNESCO
Box   2  
Newspaper controversy with Malcom Bingay 1950
American Sociological Association [subseries]
Box   2  
General 1950-1952
Box   2  
General 1953-1969
Box   2  
Committee on Professional Ethics 1963-1969
Box   2  
Sociological Resources for the Social Studies Project 1962-1971
International Sociological Association [subseries]
Box   2  
General 1950-1953 (1 folder)
Box   3  
General 1954-1959 (4 folders)
Box   3  
American Organizing Committee 1960-1962
Box   3  
VI World Congress of Sociology 1964-1967
Topical File [series]

Files on various topics or activities have been brought together in the Topical Files series. There are multiple folders in this series of Angell course syllabi, files on his participation in the sesquicentennial celebration of the University of Michigan in 1967, and material on different research projects. Of interest are Angell's diaries while serving in World War II. Missing from this series are those records from Angell's service on university committees. Angell noted that he transferred his papers to his successor when his service was completed.

Box   3  
Association for a World Language 1965
Box   3  
Children's International Summer Villages, Inc.
Course Material
Box   3  
Sociology 452
Box   3  
Sociology 505
Box   3  
Sociology 205
Box   3  
Sociology 363
Box   3  
Sociology 151
Box   3  
Cranbrook Academy of Art 1951, 1969
Box   3  
Intercollegiate athletics, trend toward the professionalization of 1961-1965
Box   3  
Key Reporter 1957-1962

(RCA was writer of review notes on books in the field of sociology and social anthropology)

Military/classified research
Box   3  
Institute for Defense Analyses and military research 1962-1963
Box   3  
Effort to outlaw classified research at the university 1966-1971
Military service, World War II
Box   3  
Orders, etc
Box   3  
Diaries of activities (3 volumes)
Box   3  
Pennsylvania (University of), evaluation of sociology department 1955-1956
Box   3  
President's Advisory Committee concerning means of reducing university's budget 1933
Research material
Box   3  
Social Welfare Laws Project 1929
Box   3  
Program of research on moral integration 1946
Box   3  
Social Science Research Council-Summer Seminar 1951
Box   3  
International sociological research
Box   3  
Transnational Experiences and Congressional Foreign Policy Attitudes 1966
Box   3  
Miscellaneous research notes
Box   3  
Ruthven, Alexander G. (interview with Peter E. Van de Water regarding his administration) 1970
Sesquicentennial Celebration of the University of Michigan
Box   4  
General 1966-1967 (2 folders)
Box   4  
Committee on Major Ceremony IV 1964-1967 (3 folders)
Box   4  
Miscellanea 1967
Box   4  
European travel journal 1932
Box   4  
European travel journal 1935
Box   4  
Trip to Soviet Union 1959-1961
Box   4  
UN University (proposed) 1962-1970
Additional Descriptive Data
Selective Index of Correspondents
Angell, James Rowland
  • 1930, 1931, 1935, 1938, 1939, 1945
Boulding, Kenneth Eward, 1910-
  • 1954, 1955, 1966, 1968
Cooley, Charles Horton, 1864-1929.
  • Aug. 16, 1922, 1928, 1929
Day, Edmund Ezra, 1883-1951.
  • 1923, 1924
Douglas, William O. (William Orville), 1898-
  • 1933, 1948
Ford, Edsel, 1893-1943.
  • 1937
Group for Academic Freedom
  • 1950
Hoover, J. Edgar (John Edgar), 1895-1972.
  • 1947
Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978.
  • 1966
Jacobs, Albert Charles, 1900-1976.
  • 1928
Little, Clarence C. (Clarence Cook), b. 1888.
  • 1927, 1928, 1929
Llewellyn, Karl N. (Karl Nickerson), 1893-1962.
  • 1930-1935
Lyons, Eugene, 1898-
  • 1938
MacIver, Robert M. (Robert Morrison), 1882-1970.
  • 1938, 1939
McKenzie, Roderick Duncan, 1885-1940.
  • 1930, 1932, 1938, 1939
McLaughlin, Andrew Cunningham, 1861-1947.
  • 1941
Merton, Robert King, 1910-
  • 1955, 1961
Moody, Blair, 1902-1954.
  • March 6, 1952
Mumford, Lewis, 1895-
  • 1933, 1934, 1946, 1956, 1961
Murphy, Frank, 1890-1949.
  • 1937
National Citizens' Commission (U.S.)
  • 1965
Parsons, Talcott, 1902-
  • 1955
Piaget, Jean, 1896-
  • Jan. 12, 1928
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962.
  • 1958
Tobin, Richard L. (Richard Lardner), 1910-
  • 1954
Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform
  • 1934, 1935