Harlan Henthorne Hatcher Papers

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Harlan Henthorne Hatcher Papers

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Harlan Henthorne Hatcher Papers collection held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Harlan Henthorne Hatcher (1898-1998) was president of the University of Michigan from 1951 to 1967. The papers span the years 1837-1998 and document Dr. Hatcher's University of Michigan presidency, Ohio State University career, literary career, organizational involvement, personal life, and family history. Includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, manuscripts, speeches, yearly datebooks, oral history interview transcripts, magnetic audio tape recordings, an audiocassette recording, and photographs.

Harlan Henthorne Hatcher was best known in his roles as author, educator, and university administrator. He published over seventeen books, numerous short stories, and many essays. At Ohio State University he served as an English Instructor, Assistant Professor of English, Professor of English, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Vice-President. Hatcher served as President of the University of Michigan from 1951 to 1967.

Dr. Hatcher was born on September 9, 1898 to Robert E. Hatcher and Malinda B. (Leslie) Hatcher of Ironton, Ohio. He attended Ohio State University from 1919-1927, receiving his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in American Literature. In 1925 he completed post-doctoral work at the University of Chicago. Later, Dr. Hatcher spent a year in Italy, France, and England studying the Renaissance.

Harlan Hatcher spent much of his career at Ohio State University. He was an English instructor from 1922-1928, Assistant Professor of English from 1928 to 1932, Professor of English from 1932-1944, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1944 to 1948, and Vice-President of Ohio State University from 1948 to 1951.

In addition, Dr. Hatcher had an active professional life outside of the university. He wrote over seventeen books about the people, the history, and the geology of Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky in addition to the subject of English Literature. Several of his short stories and essays were published in journals. In 1937 and 1938 Dr. Hatcher directed the Ohio branch of the Federal Writers Project, and he was the editor of their final product, The Ohio Guide. From 1938 to 1944 he wrote a weekly book critic column in the Columbus Citizen. He was the Editorial Advisor for College English from 1938 to1948, and was guest editor for several other publications. Dr. Hatcher was also involved in the military. He was a U.S. Army Private in 1918 and a Naval Reserve Lieutenant from 1942 to 1944. He served as a V-5 Instructor at the Pre-Flight School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1944.

In 1951 Harlan Hatcher became president of the University of Michigan, a position he held until 1967. Under his leadership, enrollment more than doubled and the budget nearly quadrupled. He oversaw the development of North Campus and the regional campuses in Flint and Dearborn. He revolutionized the university's library system with the establishment of the Undergraduate Library, which was open long hours and had open-shelf access to books.

Dr. Hatcher was an active participator in organizations. His Faculty Personnel Record for the University of Michigan names membership or involvement in over eighty-five organizations through the 1960s. He dedicated his retirement to the problems of pollution and urbanization of the Great Lakes. He was president of the Developing Great Lakes Megalopolis Research Project (DGLMRP), he was on the board of directors for the Center for the Great Lakes (CFGL), and he was a trustee of the Great Lakes Foundation.

Dr. Hatcher's first wife, Frank (Dot) Wilson Colfax, predeceased him. He married Anne Gregory Vance in 1942. They had two children, Robert Leslie and Anne Linda. Harlan Hatcher died in 1998, at the age of ninety-nine.

Please note:

Has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

Access to digitized sound recordings may be limited to the reading room of the Bentley Historical Library, located on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan.

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