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Personal Papers of William J. Griffith

 Collection
Call Number: PP 422

Overview

Dr. Griffith joined the faculty at the University of Kansas as the Director of the Center of Latin American Studies from 1970 to 1975 and retired in 1977. Throughout his career and travels, Dr. Griffith collected publications and primary research material regarding Central America with a particular focus on Guatemala. Griffith died in 2003. The William J. Griffith Personal Papers Collection contains correspondence from 1950-1995, research notes and notecards, class notes and lectures, committee and conference information, as well as over 2500 slides from his travels into Central America and Europe.

Dates

  • 1939 - 2002

Creator

Language of Materials

English and Spanish

Conditions Governing Access

None

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of William J. Griffith

William Joyce Griffith was born December 20, 1908 in Kanopolis, Kansas. He received his bachelor's degree from Southwestern College in 1930 and his master's degree from Wichita State University in 1937, where he titled his thesis "A History of the Schools of Butler County, Kansas."

In 1942 Griffith received his doctorate in Latin American history from University of California at Berkeley. This same year he entered government service as head of the Division of Education, Office of Inter-American Affairs.

From 1944 to 1947, Dr. Griffith was a special representative of this office in Guatemala, where he helped expand education among its indigenous people and was awarded a Medal of Merit from the Guatemalan government. He then joined the faculty at Tulane University, where he served as the Chairman of Latin American studies from 1950 to 1970.

Griffith joined the faculty at the University of Kansas as the Director of the Center of Latin American Studies from 1970 to 1975, retiring from KU in 1977. During his career, Griffith served on numerous committees dedicated to Latin American studies. He was a fellow at the Social Sciences Research Council, vice chairman of the Latin American Research Board, and he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Conference of Latin American Historians, which he also served as Chairman.

Throughout his career and travels, Griffith collected publications and primary research material regarding Central America, with a particular focus on Guatemala. William J. Griffith died in 2003.

Extent

13 Linear Feet (15 boxes + 1 oversize box)

Physical Location

PP 422

Physical Location

PP 472

Physical Location

PP 491

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of William J. Griffith, 2001 and 2003

Related Materials

Acquired by the Spencer Research Library's Special Collections Department in 1982, the William J. Griffith Collection on Central America is the fruit of some forty years of collecting by the KU Professor Emeritus of Central American history. Remarkably comprehensive, including books, newspapers, broadsheets, printed ephemera and manuscripts, the collection is focused on Guatemala with particular emphasis on the period from the late 18th century to about 1920.

Although all aspects of Guatemalan history and society are treated, there is particular wealth in the printed ephemera (hundreds of broadsides), regional Guatemalan newspapers, and the history of education. The collection also includes substantial material on the Central American Republic.

Griffith, William J.(William Joyce), 1908- William J. Griffith Collection on Central America Special Collections, MS 187
Title
Guide to the William J. Griffith Collection
Subtitle
Personal Papers of William J. Griffith
Author
Finding aid prepared by kn, 2001; revised by skt, 2011. Finding aid encoded by ad, 2005; revised by skt, 2011. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2018.
Date
2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Finding aid permalink
http://hdl.handle.net/10407/6860068296
Preferred citation
William J. Griffith Collection , University Archives, PP 422/PP 472, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

Contact:
1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States
785-864-4334