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Identifier: R-MC 132

Gerald Grob Papers


  • 1952-1988

Scope and Content Note

Two series of correspondence comprise the materials covered in this finding aid. The first series spans the years 1952 to 1970, the second, the years 1971 to 1988, with gaps for the years 1983 and 1986. Most of the material consists of original handwritten or typed letters and carbon copies of letters; there are carbon copies, onionskins, and photocopies of memoranda, reports, meeting minutes, and applications, various news clippings, placards, postcards, and a six-leaf booklet. All are written in English. Some of the documents exhibit notable paper defects, including yellowing, spots, and deckled edges.

One aspect of these series (more numerous in the second) that might be of particular research interest is Grob's correspondence with, or one-oft letters to, U.S. government officials, including senators, congressmen, the President (Eisenhower), and several New Jersey governors. These underscore Grob's political activism as they relate to topics such as U.S. foreign policy in the mid and far-east, government spending and inflation, guaranteed student loans, medical library research collections, and gas lines.

Grob's correspondence with Karl Menninger, a noted psychiatrist, might also be of particular interest to researchers as well as his correspondence with Rutgers University President Edward J. Bloustein and Provost Kenneth Wheeler which illustrate the administrative, organizational, and ideological issues affecting the University at the time. The most consistent correspondence throughout both series is manifest in handwritten letters from a "George" at Clark University, whom it seems likely to be George A. Billias, a longtime friend of Grob's and a collaborator on many of his publications.

Correspondence with librarians and additional university staff relate to Grob's research on Edward Jarvis, oft-referred to in relation to a tentative project coined the "Jarvis Report." This seems noteworthy as several of Grob's major publications refer to Edward Jarvis in their titles. There is also routine correspondence with various publishers regarding the status of Grob's manuscripts or editing work, as well as solicitations to complete professional reviews and evaluations of manuscripts. Such correspondence is more prevalent within the second series than the first. In addition to correspondence with publishers, there are also routine solicitations from individuals seeking Grob as a referent.

The second series is significantly more extensive than the first series, with the bulk of the material spanning the years 1971 through 1980. Arranged in chronological order, the second series provides a more intuitive "timeline" of events, while the first series, arranged alphabetically (and in reverse chronological order), provides a more practical "index" of personal and corporate names.


2.5 Cubic Feet (3 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of correspondence related to Gerald N. Grob. The bulk of the correspondence covers Grob's career as a professor, author, editor and historian at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts and Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Most of the documents are typed or handwritten letters, including both originals and copies, as well as memoranda. Additional items include newspaper clippings, reports, telegrams, placards, application and contract forms, postcards and newsletters.

<emph render="bold">Biographical Sketch</emph>

Gerald N. Grob, a Rutgers University professor emeritus, was born April 25, 1931 in New York, NY. Grob worked at the New York Public Library as a technical assistant between 1945 and 1952, coinciding with his attainment of a bachelor's degree from the City University of NY in 1951 and a master's degree from Columbia University in 1952. Between 1955 and 1957, Grob completed military service and in 1958, received a PhD in history from Northwestern University.

Grob began his teaching career at Clark University in Worcester, MA in 1957 and rose to the rank of professor of American history and department chair by 1966. In 1969, Rutgers University in New Brunswick hired Grob as both the chairman of and a professor in the history department at Livingston College. From Livingston College, Grob transferred to Douglass College and from there to the Institute of Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research at the Rutgers University College Avenue campus. In 1990, Grob was appointed the Henry E. Sigerist Professor of the History of Medicine and soon thereafter earned the status of professor emeritus.

A prolific author and editor, Grob published works relating both to the history of American psychiatry and social policy regarding mental health spanning the19th and 20th centuries as well as to the labor movement with an emphasis on immigrants and minorities. His works include The State and the Mentally Ill, awarded the American Association of State and Local History annual prize for 1965 and a three volume series on mental health policy history, in addition to numerous published articles and essays.

Throughout his tenure at Rutgers University, Grob served on a multitude of university committees and contributed to a variety of academic improvements. Grob participated in the formative development of Cook College, in the reorganization of the New Brunswick campus, in fostering greater cohesion among academic departments, in developing a more focused history department and in emphasizing high standards and multiculturalism in faculty appointments. He served on several history committees, the Graduate Dean Search Committee, the Promotion and Review Committee, the search committee for the position of Dean of Arts and Sciences, and the Livingston College Appointment and Promotions Committee.

Grob has received numerous awards, including the Welch Medal, and grants from organizations such as the National Institute for Mental Health and the National Library of Medicine. Grob served as a Guggenheim fellow, a National Endowment for the Humanities senior fellow, and a fellow for the American Council of Learned Societies.

Grob married Lila E. Kronick and together they have three children.

<emph render="bold">Arrangement Note</emph>

This two-series collection of Gerald Grob correspondence is approximately one-half of a larger collection. This collection is housed in sixty-eight folders in two Hollinger boxes and a smaller Paige box to minimize the size. While the arrangement reflects the original sequential order of the collection, the folders in which the materials have been placed employ a new labeling schema. Some highly confidential materials containing social security numbers were placed in a separate acid-free folder and are kept isolated from the rest of the collection. A second isolated folder stores a few duplicates, news clippings, and delicate or eroding items. Photocopies of these items were made and left in place of the originals in the accessible folders.

Additional unprocessed material, covering 1992-2002 was added to the collection in November, 2014.

The first two series of the Gerald Grob Papers are represented in this finding aid:

  1. I. Correspondence A-Z, 1952-1970
  2. II. Correspondence, 1971-1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988
Guide to the Gerald Grob Papers, 1952-1988 R-MC 132
Edited Full Draft
Jay Oliver
April 2009
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Part of the Rutgers University Archives Repository

Rutgers University Libraries
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
169 College Avenue
New Brunswick NJ 08901-1163
732-932-7012 (Fax)