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Collection Number: 04525

Collection Title: Thomas Edward Ratcliffe Papers, 1934-1987

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


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Size 3.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 2000 items)
Abstract Thomas E. Ratcliffe worked in the Loan Department of the National City Bank, New York, N.Y., 1934-1939; served in the U.S. Army in Europe in World War II; and held various positions at the Library of the University of Illinois, 1946-1971. Chiefly letters from Thomas Ratcliffe to friends and colleagues. Ratcliffe's letters comprise diary-like accounts of his experiences in New York City as a young man working at his first job at National City Bank; as a captain in World War II; traveling in Europe after the war; and as a reference librarian at the University of Illinois. The letters contain frequent references to leisure activities, including the theater, literature, television, movies, and cocktail parties. Many of the letters reflect the racial attitudes of the postwar period. Most of the letters are addressed to James R. Baird, Ruth Deane White Hill, Georgia Couch Nash, Lucille Smith, or Mary Stephens.
Creator Ratcliffe, Thomas Edward, 1911-1988?
Language English
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Thomas Edward Ratcliffe papers #4525, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from the estate of Thomas Edward Ratcliffe in November 1988.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

1911 Born, Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina

1929-1934 AB, American History, University of North Carolina

1933 Personnel Survey, TVA, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

1934-1939 Credit Investigator and Branch Department Head Personal Loan Department, National City Bank, New York City

1939-1940 University of Illinois, Urbana

1940-1941 Assistant Agricultural Librarian, University of Illinois, Urbana

1942-1946 U.S. Army - retired with stomach ulcer as major of field artillery

1946-1948 University of Illinois Library (Urbana), Assistant, Acquisitions Department

1949 BS in Library Science, MS

1949-1952 University of Illinois Library (Urbana), Undergraduate librarian

1952 Reference librarian and assistant professor of Library Science

1955 Associate professor

1965 Professor

1971 Retired to Winston-Salem, North Carolina

1988? Died (will was admitted to probate in September 1988)

(Source: Who's Who in Library Science, 1966)

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

This collection chiefly contains letters written by Thomas Ratcliffe to his friends and colleagues. Ratcliffe's letters compose diary-like accounts of his experiences: his life in New York City as a young man fresh from college life working at his first job; life as a World War II captain; traveling in Europe after the War; and a career as a University of Illinois reference librarian. The letters contain copious references to activities of leisure and amusement, including the theater, literature, television, movies, and cocktail parties enjoyed by Ratcliffe and his friends. Many of the letters reflect the racial attitudes of the post-war period.

Ratcliffe apparently retrieved his letters from each of his corespondents. He arranged the letters by correspondent, and this scheme has been maintained.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Baird, James R., 1942-1946 and 1978.

About 150 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

James Richard Baird, an educator, was born in Jellico, Tennessee, in 1910. He reached the rank of lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserves, serving from 1943 to 1946. Baird was a post-war fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation at the University of Paris from 1948 to 1949. He earned a Ph.D. at Yale in 1947, and spent the remainder of his life as an English professor at universities in Hawaii, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Japan. This series consists of letters from Ratcliffe to Baird, chiefly documenting Ratcliffe's activities during World War II, much of which he spent in the United States as an instructor of officers.

Folder 1

1942 January-June #04525, Series: "1. Baird, James R., 1942-1946 and 1978." Folder 1

Folder 2

1942 July-December #04525, Series: "1. Baird, James R., 1942-1946 and 1978." Folder 2

Folder 3

1943 January-June #04525, Series: "1. Baird, James R., 1942-1946 and 1978." Folder 3

Folder 4

1943 July-December #04525, Series: "1. Baird, James R., 1942-1946 and 1978." Folder 4

Folder 5

1944 January-June #04525, Series: "1. Baird, James R., 1942-1946 and 1978." Folder 5

Folder 6

1944 July-December #04525, Series: "1. Baird, James R., 1942-1946 and 1978." Folder 6

Folder 7

1945 January-July #04525, Series: "1. Baird, James R., 1942-1946 and 1978." Folder 7

Folder 8

1945 August-December #04525, Series: "1. Baird, James R., 1942-1946 and 1978." Folder 8

Folder 9

1946-1978 #04525, Series: "1. Baird, James R., 1942-1946 and 1978." Folder 9

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987.

About 600 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Chiefly letters from Ratcliffe to Deane Hill. Deane Hill was acquisitions assistant at the University of Illinois-Urbana, 1949-1950 and 1952-1953; catalog assistant, 1950-1952; and bibliographer, 1953-1958. Ratcliffe corresponded with Deane Hill after she left Urbana for work in other libraries in Illinois, and their correspondence continues throughout Ratcliffe's retirement to Winston-Salem.

Folder 10

1969 #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 10

Folder 11

1970 January-May #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 11

Folder 12

1970 June-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 12

Folder 13

1971 January-June #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 13

Folder 14

1971 July-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 14

Folder 15

1972 January-April #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 15

Folder 16

1972 May-August #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 16

Folder 17

1972 September-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 17

Folder 18

1973 January-July #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 18

Folder 19

1973 August-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 19

Folder 20

1974 January-June #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 20

Folder 21

1974 July-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 21

Folder 22

1975 January-July #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 22

Folder 23

1975 August-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 23

Folder 24

1976 January-June #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 24

Folder 25

1976 July-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 25

Folder 26

1977 January-April #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 26

Folder 27

1977 May-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 27

Folder 28

1978 #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 28

Folder 29

1979 January-June #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 29

Folder 30

1979 July-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 30

Folder 31

1980 January-June #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 31

Folder 32

1980 July-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 32

Folder 33

1981 January-June #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 33

Folder 34

1981 July-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34

Folder 34a

1982 January-March #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34a

Folder 34b

1982 April-June #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34b

Folder 34c

1982 July-August #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34c

Folder 34d

1982 September-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34d

Folder 34e

1983 January-February #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34e

Folder 34f

1983 March-May #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34f

Folder 34g

1983 June-September #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34g

Folder 34h

1983 October-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34h

Folder 34i

1984 January-March #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34i

Folder 34j

1984 April-June #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34j

Folder 34k

1984 July-September #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34k

Folder 34l

1984 October-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34l

Folder 34m

1985 January-March #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34m

Folder 34n

1985 April-July #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34n

Folder 34o

1985 August-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 34o

Folder 35

1986 January-June #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 35

Folder 36

1986 July-December #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 36

Folder 37

1987 #04525, Series: "2. Hill, Ruth Deane White, 1969-1987." Folder 37

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Nash, Georgia Couch, 1934-1986.

About 200 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Georgia Couch Nash was an assistant in the Periodicals Section at UNC-CH, 1933-1934, at the same time that Ratcliffe was a student assistant in the library. About 1934, Couch became Periodicals Librarian at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she remained until her marriage to H. N. Nash. Georgia Nash encouraged Ratcliffe to pursue a career in librarianship when he became disenchanted with his job at the National City Bank in New York. Georgia Nash was a cousin to William Couch, director of the UNC Press, 1932-1945.

Folder 38

1934-1936 #04525, Series: "3. Nash, Georgia Couch, 1934-1986. " Folder 38

Folder 39

1937-1944 #04525, Series: "3. Nash, Georgia Couch, 1934-1986. " Folder 39

Folder 40

1945-1973 #04525, Series: "3. Nash, Georgia Couch, 1934-1986. " Folder 40

Folder 41

1974-1977 #04525, Series: "3. Nash, Georgia Couch, 1934-1986. " Folder 41

Folder 42

1978-1979 #04525, Series: "3. Nash, Georgia Couch, 1934-1986. " Folder 42

Folder 43

1980 #04525, Series: "3. Nash, Georgia Couch, 1934-1986. " Folder 43

Folder 44

1981 #04525, Series: "3. Nash, Georgia Couch, 1934-1986. " Folder 44

Folder 45

1982 #04525, Series: "3. Nash, Georgia Couch, 1934-1986. " Folder 45

Folder 46

1983-1987 #04525, Series: "3. Nash, Georgia Couch, 1934-1986. " Folder 46

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Smith, Lucille, 1979-1983.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946.

About 600 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Stephens served variously at UNC as administrative assistant to Dean Carroll of the College of Commerce, Dr. Fink of the School of Social Work, and with the Population Center. Ratcliffe's letters to her compose diary-like documentation of his participation in World War II. Ratcliffe produced typed transcriptions of his letters to Stephens from 1942 to 1943.

Folder 56

1942 January-April #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 56

Folder 57

1942 May-June #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 57

Folder 58

1942 July-August #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 58

Folder 59

1942 September-October #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 59

Folder 60

1942 November-December #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 60

Folder 61

1943 January-February #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 61

Folder 62

1943 March-May #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 62

Folder 63

1943 June-July #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 63

Folder 64

1943 August-October #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 64

Folder 65

1943 November-December #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 65

Folder 66

1944 January-February #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 66

Folder 67

1944 March-April #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 67

Folder 68

1944 May-June #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 68

Folder 69

1944 July-August #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 69

Folder 70

1944 September #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 70

Folder 71

1944 October #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 71

Folder 72

1944 November-December #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 72

Folder 73

1945 January #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 73

Folder 74

1945 February-March #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 74

Folder 75

1945 April-May #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 75

Folder 76

1945 June-July #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 76

Folder 77

1945 August, 1-12 #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 77

Folder 78

1945 August, 13-31 #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 78

Folder 79

1945 September #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 79

Folder 80

1945 October #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 80

Folder 81

1945 November #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 81

Folder 82

1945 December #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 82

Folder 83

1946 January-February #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 83

Folder 84

1946 March-April #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 84

Folder 85

1951 April #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 85

Folder 86

Selected typescripts, 1942 21 January-16 April #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 86

Folder 87

Selected typescripts, 1942 24 April-10 July #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 87

Folder 88

Selected typescripts, 1942 19 July-13 October #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 88

Folder 89

Selected typescripts, 1942 18 October-21 December #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 89

Folder 90

Selected typescripts, 1943 29 December-16 March #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 90

Folder 91

Selected typescripts, 1943 30 March-2 June #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 91

Folder 92

Selected typescripts, 1943 7 June-22 July #04525, Series: "5. Stephens, Mary (Mrs. W. Bruce), 1942-1946." Folder 92

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 6. Other Correspondence, 1939-1980.

About 200 items.

Arrangement: alphabetical by correspondent, then chronological.

Ratcliffe's correspondence with several different friends and colleagues, including documentation of Ratcliffe's experiences in Europe, particularly France, following World War II.

Folder 93

Bell, Mary Lois, July-August 1960 (letters from Ratcliffe in Spain and Greece) #04525, Series: "6. Other Correspondence, 1939-1980." Folder 93

Folder 94

Frash, Robert M., September 1948-April 1949 (letters from Ratcliffe in France) #04525, Series: "6. Other Correspondence, 1939-1980." Folder 94

Folder 95-96

Folder 95

Folder 96

Marinelli, Anne Vera, January 1948-May 1949, 20 April 1974 and undated (letters from Ratcliffe in France) #04525, Series: "6. Other Correspondence, 1939-1980." Folder 95-96

Folder 97

O'Brien, Lt. R. E., August 1945-October 1949 #04525, Series: "6. Other Correspondence, 1939-1980." Folder 97

Folder 98

Robertson, Donald C. and Midge, July-August 1960 (letters from Ratcliffe in Spain; also includes some typed transcriptions of handwritten originals) #04525, Series: "6. Other Correspondence, 1939-1980." Folder 98

Folder 99-104

Folder 99

Folder 100

Folder 101

Folder 102

Folder 103

Folder 104

Rogier, Evelyn, August 1947-December 1952 (letters from Ratcliffe document vacations in Washington state, British Columbia, the Black Hills; travel in France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark; and vacations to San Francisco and Hawaii. Also included are letters from Rogier in Bogota, Columbia) #04525, Series: "6. Other Correspondence, 1939-1980." Folder 99-104

Folder 105

Weddington, Ellis, January 1945-July 1946 (letters written to Ratcliffe from the B.V.D. Corporation, Empire State Building, New York) #04525, Series: "6. Other Correspondence, 1939-1980." Folder 105

Folder 106

Miscellaneous (July 1939-February 1980) #04525, Series: "6. Other Correspondence, 1939-1980." Folder 106

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 7. Biographical Information.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 8. Pictures.

Image P-1

Jack[ie?] and John Harmon, Christmas Day 1944, Anniston, Alabama. John in uniform. Black & white, bust length. #04525, Series: "8. Pictures." P-1

Image P-2

Jackie Harmon, October 1945, Anniston Alabama. "Blouse by Court Cutter. Skirt by Peck & Peck. Shoes by J. J. Slater." Seated on grass. Black & white. #04525, Series: "8. Pictures." P-2

Image P-3

Jackie and John Harmon, October 1945, Anniston, Alabama. Both seated on grass. Black & white. #04525, Series: "8. Pictures." P-3

Image P-4

Man in uniform with inscription: "To: Thomas E., you are one of the greatest men it has been my good fortune to meet - and I sincerely hope we shall always be close and real friends. Anon! Marty. February 1946." Black & white, bust length. #04525, Series: "8. Pictures." P-4

Image P-5

Man in uniform with inscription: "To: Thomas E., All the best and for always!!!! Sincerely, Martin. February 1946." Black & white, bust length. #04525, Series: "8. Pictures." P-5

Image P-6-8

Evelyn Rogier and Edward Ratcliffe, circa August 1947. Seated in front of fireplace. #04525, Series: "8. Pictures." P-6-8

Image P-9

Five men and one woman standing in front of car. Black and white. #04525, Series: "8. Pictures." P-9

Image P-10

Six men (including Ratcliffe) and one dog standing beside car in front of two-car garage. Black & white. #04525, Series: "8. Pictures." P-10

Image P-11

Three men and four women with car in background. #04525, Series: "8. Pictures." P-11

Image P-12-16

Women (including Evelyn Rogier) and men standing in garden. #04525, Series: "8. Pictures." P-12-16

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Processing Information

Processed by: Lisa Tolbert, April 1989

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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