Scope and arrangement
The Robert Clifton Weaver Papers, 1869, 1923-1970, document the varied career of a major figure in the field of urban affairs. The collection primarily concerns Weaver's professional activities and development from his entry into the federal service in 1933 until his return to the government under the Kennedy administration in 1961. Material prior to 1933 relates largely to the Weaver family. The documentation of Weaver's years as administrator of the U.S. Housing and Home Finance Agency and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is less complete than that for the earlier period. The collection itself has been arranged in the following series: PERSONAL FILE, CORRESPONDENCE, WRITINGS AND SPEECHES, PRINTED MATERIAL, PHOTOGRAPHS, SCRAPBOOKS AND ALBUMS, and HONORARY DEGREES AND CERTIFICATES.
The Robert C. Weaver papers are arranged in seven series:
- 1869, 1925-1959
The PERSONAL FILE,1869, 1925-1959, contains a wide variety of material on Weaver and various members of his family, arranged in chronological order. Included in this folder are Weaver's resume [1959?], his federal government service rating notices, selective service reclassification notices and book contracts as well as transcripts and recommendations for his brother, Mortimer Grover Weaver. Of particular interest is the 1869 diary of Weaver's grandfather, Robert T. Freeman, the first black in the United States to earn a doctoral degree in dentistry.
CORRESPONDENCE,1933-1960, consists of a single sequence of incoming and outgoing letters arranged alphabetically by correspondent's last name, with certain exceptions. Copies of letters neither to nor from Weaver are filed by the author's name, unless they are enclosures, in which case they have been retained with their covering letters. Within each name, the letters are filed chronologically. Memoranda and press releases of the Democratic Advisory Committee have been included with the correspondence.
The letters are substantive, describing policy development and program implementation in great detail. Weaver's letters elaborate his theories on urban development as well as the effects of economic legislation on minority groups, i.e., the Baker-Metcalf Law of 1955 prohibiting discrimination in housing built or altered with the aid of government insured mortgage loans (see Finletter, Thomas K.). Extensive correspondence with Walter White, Executive Secretary of the N.A.A.C.P. elaborates N.A.A.C.P. policy on specific issues. There is also a series of letters between Weaver and his publisher, Harcourt, Brace and Company (see Davis, Lambert).
Weaver corresponded with a wide range of notable figures in the government and other related fields including Mary MCLeod Bethune, Ralph Bunche, John P. Davis, John Kenneth Galbraith, William H. Hastie, T. Arnold Hill, Frank Horne, Davis McEntire, Henry Lee Moon, Alonzo Moron, Constance Baker Motley, Lawrence D. Reddick, Walter White and Carter G. Woodson. Although the correspondence represents a business file, Weaver maintained personal friendships with many of these individuals, which is evident in the letters.
An extensive series of WRITINGS AND SPEECHES,1925, 1933-1970, n.d., has been divided into two files; those by Weaver and those by other authors. Weaver's writings and speeches include reprints of his articles as well as typescript drafts, ranging from scholarly articles and commencement addresses to official reports. These writings have been arranged in a chronological sequence followed by a typescript draft of The Negro Ghetto.
PRINTED MATERIAL,1923-1968, consists of programs, transcripts, housing reports, memoranda, bulletins and newspaper clippings on such topics as housing, urban development and slum clearance. Some of the organizations represented in this series include the American Federation of Labor, Slum Clearance Advisory Committee, Democratic Advisory Council and the Conference on the Scope and Powers of the Committee on Fair Employment Practice. A number of commencement and conference programs from black educational institutions and associations can also be found in this series. The Newspaper Clippings relate largely to Weaver. The Printed Material is arranged in chronological order with the Newspaper Clippings following in a separate chronological sequence.
The PHOTOGRAPHS,1953-1970 mainly concern particular events in which Weaver participated, ranging from college commencement exercises to visits to housing projects in the United States and Puerto Rico. The Photographs have been arranged in chronological order.
SCRAPBOOKS AND ALBUMS,1925-1963, mainly concern particular events in which Weaver participated, ranging from college commencement exercises to visits to housing projects in the United States and Puerto Rico. The scrapbooks also contain newspaper clippings and memorabilia relating to Weaver's family, and the albums include printed material connected to the specific event covered in the album. The creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the erection of the Department's new building are most fully documented in this series. The Scrapbooks and Albums have been arranged in chronological order, although material within individual scrapbooks and albums often ranges widely in date.
HONORARY DEGREES AND CERTIFICATES,1925, 1927, 1950-1970, consists mainly of diplomas from honorary degrees conferred on Weaver by colleges and universities, arranged alphabetically by the name of the institution. Occasionally citations lauding Weaver's accomplishments are included with the diplomas. In addition, certificates from various civic and municipal organizations, praising Weaver's contributions to the field of housing and urban affairs are included, arranged chronologically following the honorary degrees. Mortimer Weaver's diplomas from Williams College and Harvard University can also be found in this series.