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Willie Lee Rose papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0905

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Content Description

The collection documents Willie Lee Rose's professional career and personal life from her time as a student at Mary Washington College in the 1940s through her academic career at the University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins University to her later life as a Professor Emerita at Hopkins in the 1980s-2000s. It is divided into two series.

Series 1: Correspondence contains both professional and personal correspondence dating from 1946 to 2014, with the majority dating from the 1950s-1980s. This includes correspondence with her friends, professional colleagues, students, and teachers such as C. Vann Woodward, Jane Turner Censer, Bertram Wyatt-Brown, and many others. The correspondence also documents the reaction (not always favorable) of some academics and historians to the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s toward equality for marginalized people, particularly Black people. Because several of her friends were colleagues and fellow historians, many letters deal with both personal and professional topics. A significant amount of correspondence documents Rose's friends and colleagues' response to her stroke in August of 1978. There are also a number of letters from Rose's mother, Willie Nichols.

Series 2: Working files and personal papers dates from 1944-2010 and documents research, teaching, and writing by Willie Lee Rose from her undergraduate days through her career as a professional historian. It includes different stages of drafts of several different writing projects, including chapter drafts for Rehearsal for Reconstruction. It also includes photographs, fellowship applications, syllabi, course information, and documents from Dr. Rose's time as a visiting professor at the University of Oxford. Of particular interest is a speech that Dr. Rose appears to have given in Charlottesville, VA upon the assasination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in April 1968. In addition to documentation of Dr. Rose's professional life, there is also material of a personal nature, such as yearbooks, a certificate from Trinity Church in Portland, CT recognizing Dr. Rose and her husband for teaching children, and rehabilitation exercises from the years after her stroke in 1978.

Dates

  • Creation: 1944-2014

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.

This collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical / Historical

Willie Lee Rose was born Willie Lee Nichols in Moneta, Virginia in 1927. She attended Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA while it was the women's college of the University of Virginia, and she received a BA in history in 1947. After earning her undergraduate degree, Rose taught at Elkridge High School in Elkridge, MD. She married William G. Rose in 1949, and was married to him until his death in 1985.

Dr. Rose entered graduate school at Johns Hopkins University in 1955, where she was a student of historian C. Vann Woodward, and she earned her PhD in American history in 1962. She turned her PhD dissertation into a book, "Rehearsal for Reconstruction," that examined the experience of formerly enslaved people and the communities around them in Port Royal, South Carolina during the American Civil War. The book was published in 1964 and, as noted by William B. Crawley, Jr., "sparked the beginning of a markedly different interpretation of [Reconstruction], a view that prevails to this day" ("Willie Lee Rose, 1927-2018: An Appreciation.")

Dr. Rose was a member of the history faculty at the University of Virginia beginning in 1964. In 1973, she returned to Johns Hopkins as a professor in the history department from which she graduated over a decade earlier. During her time at UVA, she led a report for the American Historical Association (AHA) on the status of women in the historical profession, which was published in 1970 and became known as the "Rose Report." At their 1990 annual meeting, the AHA awarded Dr. Rose the Troyer Steele Anderson prize and hailed the significance of the Rose report in a citation read by Susan M. Socolow, which can be found in the 1990 Annual Meeting Highlights: https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/february-1991/1990-annual-meeting-highlights.

In 1977-1978, Dr. Rose spent the academic year as the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth visiting professor of American history at Oxford University. In August of 1978, she had a stroke that severely limited her ability to teach, research, and write for the rest of her career. Dr. Rose passed away in Baltimore at the age of 91 in 2018.

Bibliography

AHA Staff. "1990 Annual Meeting Highlights" Perspectives on History: the newsmagazine of the American Historical Association February 1, 1991. Accessed July 29, 2022. https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/february-1991/1990-annual-meeting-highlights

Crawley, Jr., William B. "Willie Lee Rose, 1927-2018: An Appreciation." University of Mary Washington Magazine. Fall/Winter 2018. Accessed July 29, 2022. https://magazine.umw.edu/fallwinter2018/departments/willie-lee-rose-1927-2018-an-appreciation/

Hub staff report. "Renowned Johns Hopkins slavery scholar Willie Lee Rose dies at 91." HUB. June 25, 2018. Accessed July 29, 2022. https://hub.jhu.edu/2018/06/25/willie-lee-rose-obituary/

Smith, Harrison. "Willie Lee Rose, influential historian of slavery and Reconstruction, dies at 91." The Washington Post. June 27, 2018. Accessed July 29, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/willie-lee-rose-influential-historian-of-slavery-and-reconstruction-dies-at-91/2018/06/26/056db41c-794a-11e8-aeee-4d04c8ac6158_story.html.

Extent

7.5 Cubic Feet (6 record center cartons)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Professional and personal papers of Willie Lee Rose, a historian of the Civil War and the Reconstruction era and faculty member in the history department at Johns Hopkins University.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into three series: Series 1 - Correspondence and Series 2 - Working files and personal papers. Folders in Series 1 are arranged alphabetically by last name of correspondent. After the alphabetical correspondence, folders that contain correspondence from multiple correspondents are organized chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Pat Case, 2018.

Bibliography

AHA Staff. "1990 Annual Meeting Highlights" Perspectives on History: the newsmagazine of the American Historical Association. February 1, 1991. Accessed July 29, 2022. https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/february-1991/1990-annual-meeting-highlights

Crawley, Jr., William B. "Willie Lee Rose, 1927-2018: An Appreciation." University of Mary Washington Magazine. Fall/Winter 2018. Accessed July 29, 2022. https://magazine.umw.edu/fallwinter2018/departments/willie-lee-rose-1927-2018-an-appreciation/

Hub staff report. "Renowned Johns Hopkins slavery scholar Willie Lee Rose dies at 91." HUB. June 25, 2018. Accessed July 29, 2022. https://hub.jhu.edu/2018/06/25/willie-lee-rose-obituary/

Smith, Harrison. "Willie Lee Rose, influential historian of slavery and Reconstruction, dies at 91." The Washington Post. June 27, 2018. Accessed July 29, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/willie-lee-rose-influential-historian-of-slavery-and-reconstruction-dies-at-91/2018/06/26/056db41c-794a-11e8-aeee-4d04c8ac6158_story.html.

Processing Information

Processed by Elizabeth Beckman in July 2022. Two folders in Series I: Correspondence, one for Sylvia D. Hoffert and John E. Scott Jr., were empty and were removed from the papers.

Title
Guide to the Willie Lee Rose papers
Author
Liz Beckman
Date
2022 August
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA