Scope and arrangement
The Kenneth W. Porter Papers date from 1912 to 1981. The papers consist principally of Porter's manuscripts and research materials pertaining to African-American and Native American studies. Porter's interests in socialism, poetry and literature, folklore, and general American and European history are also documented. Aspects of his personal life are represented in the papers as well.
It should be noted that the processor has followed Porter's use of ethnic terms for Negro, black and Afro-American Studies. The processor has also maintained his terms for many folder headings and index card notes.
The Kenneth W. Porter papers are arranged in three series:
The PERSONAL PAPERS series, 1912-1981 (1 lin. ft.) is composed primarily of letters Porter wrote to his family while a graduate student at Harvard University, 1927-1934. These are long, detailed letters providing much information on the process of obtaining his doctoral degree in business history. Other letters were written by his wife, Annette, and his two brothers, Keith and Russell. Some material relates to teaching at the University of Oregon.
AFRICAN-AMERICAN AND NATIVE AMERICAN MANUSCRIPTS AND RESEARCH MATERIAL, 1932-1980 (47.8 lin. ft.) is the largest and most significant series.
AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN MANUSCRIPTS AND RESEARCH MATERIAL, 1927-1981 (8 lin. ft.)
This series contains material which is not related to Porter's interests in African-American and Native American history. The material is stored off-site as it does not fall within the Schomburg Center's collection policy of documenting the black experience. Off-site records can be obtained by requesting the material at least 24 hours in advance.