Ralph W. Aigler papers: 1908-1962 (bulk 1920-1940)
Summary Information
Title: Ralph W. Aigler papers
Creator: Aigler, Ralph W. (Ralph William), 1885-
Dates: 1908-1962 (Majority of material found within 1920-1940)
Extent: 17 linear feet
Abstract:
Aigler was a University of Michigan Law School professor who was heavily involved in university athletics. The collection consists primarily of extensive correspondence and Board in Control of Athletics documentation, but also includes papers written in both his legal and university capacities.
Call number: 87406 Aa 2
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 Marc Levitt, May 2008

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated by Eileen Aigler estate in April, 2008. Donor no. 10042. Added to a previous acquisition received from the Law School via Paul G. Kauper (donor no. 5383).

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 not held by the Regents of the University of Michigan. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Ralph W. Aigler papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Biography

Ralph W. Aigler (Feb. 13, 1885-May 24, 1964) was born in Bellevue, Ohio. He received his law degree from Michigan in 1907. Aigler briefly practiced law in Chicago before joining the law faculty at Michigan in 1910 as a full professor and remained at his alma mater until he retired in 1955 Aigler was a nationally renowned expert on real property law and one of the advisors to the American Law Institute in the drafting of the Restatement of the Law of Property. He also served as a visiting professor at other universities, including: Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, the University of California and the University of Southern California.

Aigler wrote extensively in the field of law, including two important volumes: "Cases on Property" and "Cases on Bankruptcy." He served as president, treasurer, and secretary of the Association of American Law Schools and various committees on the American Bar Association.

Aigler was heavily involved in athletics at Michigan and held two important posts: the University's faculty representative to the Big Ten Conference from 1917 to 1955, and representative of Michigan's Faculty Board in Control of Athletics from 1917 to 1942 (throughout his tenure he served as chairman several times). Aigler's other contributions included leading Michigan back into the Big Ten Conference, leading the effort to construct Michigan Stadium, Yost Fieldhouse and other facilities, negotiating the Big Ten's exclusive contract with the Rose Bowl starting in 1946, hiring Fritz Crisler as football coach and athletic director, and acting as a spokesman for the University and Big Ten for many years on NCAA rules and eligibility issues. He was inducted into the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor in 1982.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Aigler collection consists of six series covering his collegiate and professional life: Correspondence, Board in Control of Athletics, Writings, University of Michigan Teaching and Administration, Legal Files, and Biographical. Through correspondence and topical files, the collection documents Aigler's university life and his life-long interest in intercollegiate athletics. The collection has strong potential for research regarding early University of Michigan athletics, and general correspondence to and from Aigler. While there is some material related to Aigler's teaching career, this area is not particularly strong.

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.


  • Aigler, Ralph W. (Ralph William), 1885-
  • Big Ten Conference (U.S.)
  • University of Michigan -- Sports.
  • University of Michigan -- Board in Control of Athletics.
  • University of Michigan -- Faculty.
  • University of Michigan -- Football.
  • University of Michigan -- Law School.
  • Crisler, H. O. (Herbert Orin), 1899-1982.
  • Griffith, John L.
  • Rickey, Branch, 1881-1965.
  • Wilson, Kenneth L. (Kenneth Leon), 1896-1979.
  • Yost, Fielding Harris, 1871-1946.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Correspondence [series]

Correspondence (1908-1962; 10 linear feet) contains both letters to Aigler as well as copies of letters he wrote. The early years (prior to 1929) were originally contained in letterboxes, and generally each box contained a single year. After this time period, Aigler began filing his correspondence in vertical files that covered a batch of four to five years that would sometimes overlap with the next batch. Not every person received their own file folder, and thus each letter has a "miscellaneous" file that contains a smattering of letters. The files are organized by last name, though some organizations are filed by their title (i.e. several different authors are filled under the same organization). Most of the correspondence contains a mix of university, athletic, and legal topics, as only a small selection of strictly athletic correspondence had been separated. Several notable people are featured in the correspondence including Branch Rickey, Herbert Crisler, and Fielding Yost.

Box   1  
1908, 1913-1915
Box   1  
1916-1920 (2 folders)
Box   1  
1921 (6 folders)

(includes separate file for Branch Rickey)

Box   1  
1922 (2 folders)

(includes separate file for Branch Rickey)

Box   1  
1923 (3 folders)
Box   1  
1924 (3 folders)
Box   1  
1925 (7 folders)
Box   1  
1926
Box   2  
1927 (10 folders)

(contains separate files for Allan Aigler, John Griffith)

Box   2  
1928 (7 folders)
 
1929-1933
Box   3  
Aigler, Allan
Box   3  
Admissions Tax
Box   3  
American Law Institute
Box   3  
Athletics: Miscellaneous
Box   3  
Bates, Dean Henry
Box   3  
Bell, Margaret
Box   3  
Bennett, Robert
Box   3  
Beutel, Frederick
Box   3  
Bigelow, Harry
Box   3  
Board in Control of Athletics: Administrative-Miscellaneous
Box   3  
Board in Control of Athletics: Budget
Box   3  
Bogert, George
Box   3  
Booth, D.C.
Box   3  
Burke, George
Box   3  
Callaghan & Company
 
Griffith, John
Box   3  
1929-1930
Box   3  
1931
Box   3  
1932
Box   4  
Hahn, George
Box   4  
Harvard Law Review
Box   4  
Hibbard, John
Box   4  
Kennedy, Charles
Box   4  
Law School: Miscellaneous
Box   4  
Long, O.F.
Box   4  
Marshall, William
Box   4  
May, George
Box   4  
Miller, Justin
Box   4  
Mitchell, Elmer D.
Box   4  
Moenkhaus, W.J.
Box   4  
Murfin, James
Box   4  
Paige, James
Box   4  
Ruthven, Alexander
Box   4  
Savage, Howard
Box   4  
Smith, Shirley
Box   4  
Stone, Ralph
Box   5  
Tapping, T. Hawley
Box   5  
University of Detroit vs. UM Game (Letters opposing game and commending Board's action)
Box   5  
University of Detroit vs. UM Game (Letters in favor of game)
Box   5  
Watkins, Herbert
Box   5  
West Publishing Co.
Box   5  
Williams, C.C.
Box   5  
Woodward, Fred
Box   5  
Yost, Fielding
 
1934-1939
Box   5  
Aigler, Allan
Box   5  
Bell, Margaret
Box   5  
Eldridge, Clarence
 
Griffith, John L.
Box   6  
March 1933-April 1934
Box   6  
April 1934-January 1, 1936
Box   6  
January 1, 1936-January 1, 1937
Box   6  
January 1, 1937-August 30, 1937
Box   6  
September 1, 1937-July 1939
Box   6  
Hibbard, John
Box   6  
Mathews, Ben
Box   7  
NCAA
Box   7  
Pack, Phillip
Box   7  
Paige, James
Box   7  
Plant and Equipment Committee

(University Council)

Box   7  
Program and Policy Committee
Box   7  
Rickey, Branch
Box   7  
Ruthven, Alexander
Box   7  
Smith, Shirley
Box   7  
University Budgets
Box   7  
Ward, Willis

(Georgia Tech game and racial segregation)

Box   7  
West Publishing Co.
Box   7  
Wisconsin Case

(membership in Intercollegiate Conference)

 
1940-1945
Box   8  
Aigler, Allan
Box   8  
Aigler, Ralph
Box   8  
Big Sag Land & Livestock Co.
Box   8  
Burby, William
Box   8  
Catlett, J. Bland
Box   8  
French, Thomas
Box   8  
Griffith, John
Box   8  
Metcalf, T.N.
Box   8  
Pack, Phillip
Box   8  
Richart, Frank
Box   8  
Rickey, Branch
Box   8  
Rottschaefer, Henry
Box   8  
Rundell, Oliver
Box   8  
Ruthven, Alexander
Box   8  
Smith, Shirley
Box   8  
Titles, Act No. 200 1945

(real estate interests)

Box   8  
Watkins, Herbert
Box   8  
Wilson, K.L. (Tug)
Box   8  
Works, George
 
1946-1954
Box   9  
Aigler, Allan
Box   9  
Bates Contributions
Box   9  
Bates Fund
Box   9  
Clark, Herbert
Box   9  
Connable, Alfred
Box   9  
Group Homes Association

(annexing property to Ann Arbor)

Box   9  
Houston, Clarence
Box   10  
North Central Association
Box   10  
NCAA 4th District
Box   10  
Personal Misc. 1938-1946
Box   10  
Reed, William
Box   10  
Rottschaefer, Henry
Box   10  
West Publishing Co. 1947
 
Wilson, K.L (Tug) 1946-1954 (5 folders)
Box   10  
Miscellaneous prior to : Report: Legal Research Com., etc. 1947
Box   10  
1956

(includes Branch Rickey)

Box   10  
1960, 1962
 
Board in Control of Athletics [series]

Board in Control of Athletics (1920-1955; 4 linear feet) contains related correspondence, meeting records, and papers relating to various committees and endeavors including the building of the stadium and the Rose Bowl debates. This series also includes records of predecessor organizations and files relating to athletics in general.

 
Correspondence

(arranged alphabetically)

Box   11  
1920-1923 (6 folders)
 
1933-1936
Box   11  
Ainsworth, L.W.
Box   11  
Bell, Margaret
Box   11  
Budgets, University
Box   11  
Hibbard, John
Box   11  
Iowa State College
 
1933-1936
Box   12  
Mathews, Ben
Box   12  
Ruthven, Alexander
Box   12  
1939-1940 (3 folders)

(includes separate file for Herbert Crisler)

 
Eligibility Committee
Box   13  
1945
Box   13  
1946 (2 folders)
Box   13  
1947
Box   13  
1948
Box   13  
Officials Committee 1923-1926 (5 folders)
Box   13  
Rose Bowl 1932, 1940, 1946

(negotiations relating to Michigan's appearance in the Rose Bowl game, etc.)

Box   13  
Stadium Building Committee 1927
Box   13  
University Senate Advisory Committee 1950
 
Reports
Box   13  
1914-1921
Box   13  
1922-1928
Box   13  
1929-1930
Box   13  
1933-1939
Box   13  
1940-1948
Box   13  
1949-1955
Box   13  
Intercollegiate Conference 1929, 1952

(memos, reports, etc.)

 
Minutes (and related)
Box   14  
1916-1921
Box   14  
1922-1924
Box   14  
1925-1928
Box   14  
1930
Box   14  
1931-1933
Box   14  
1934-1936
Box   14  
1937-1939
Box   14  
1940-1942
Box   14  
1943-1944
Box   14  
1945
Box   14  
1946
Box   14  
1947
Box   14  
1948
Box   14  
1949
Box   14  
1950
Box   14  
1951
Box   14  
1952
Box   14  
1953
Box   14  
1954
Box   14  
1955
 
Writings [series]

The Writings (1 linear feet) series includes manuscripts and published items concerning various legal and athletic issues.

Box   15  
Legal (8 folders)
Box   15  
Athletics
 
University of Michigan Teaching and Administration [series]

The University of Michigan Teaching and Administration (0.25 linear feet) series contain some of his class notes (used for teaching), exams, and documents his other university administrative capacities.

Box   15  
Class Notes (8 folders)
Box   16  
Class Notes-Real Property
Box   17  
Class Exams
Box   17  
Committee on Research Projects
Box   17  
University Council
 
Legal Files [series]

The Legal Files (0.25 linear feet) series includes cases he worked on, records of the state bar, and tax records.

Box   17  
Legal Cases (5 folders)
Box   17  
State Bar of Michigan
Box   17  
Tax File

(concerns the IRS and collecting taxes based upon athletic events)

 
Biographical [series]

The Biographical (0.5 linear feet) series contains many personal papers, a small collection of the papers of his wife, and records about his retirement, obituaries, his memorial fund, and photographs of Aigler and his wife.

Box   17  
Papers

(includes references, NCAA, reunion material, etc.)

Box   17  
Politics

(correspondence regarding the Republican party, foreign policy, etc.)

Box   17  
Eileen Aigler

(correspondence to and from Mrs. Aigler)

Box   17  
Social Security Case
Box   17  
U of M Aigler Nite 1955 (2 folders)

(honoring retirement, includes seven photographs, letters from Gerald Ford Jr., Crisler, Yost)

Box   17  
Clippings

(mostly newspaper articles concerning Aigler)

Box   17  
Memorial Service
Box   17  
Memorial Prize

(recipients and foundation)

Box   17  
Photographs of Aigler and wife (21 photographs)