History of the University of Rochester, 1850-1962, by Professor Arthur J. May

Upon his retirement in 1964 after almost 40 years of teaching European history at the University of Rochester, Professor Arthur J. May was appointed University Historian to write a history of the University.

He and his two research assistants had nearly completed the first draft at the time of his sudden and unexpected death in June 1968. The assistants finished researching and writing two more chapters before the office closed the next year.

The manuscript draft, thorough and detailed, was too long to publish as a single volume. But to make it more immediately useful, Karl S. Kabelac of the library staff was employed in 1971 to create an index to it. This index has greatly added to its usefulness, and can be accessed below.

Several years later, Lawrence E. Klein, UR 1971, was employed to abridge the manuscript to book length. This abridged version was then published in 1977. Copies of the book are available in the University of Rochester library collections.

The volume as published does not contain the footnotes. Thus the original manuscript draft has continued to be useful, both for the fact that it contains much information not in the published volume, and the fact that it has the footnotes. These footnotes are invaluable for anyone wishing to research more deeply into many aspects of the University's history.

A researcher using the footnotes, though, has to be aware that Dr. May did not footnote individual facts, but rather footnoted one or more paragraphs at a time. Thus in using the manuscript, one sometimes has to study a footnote to decide which of the several citations in the footnote relates to the particular fact one is interested in pursuing.

Finally, today's readers of this history are urged to remember that Professor May -- born in 1899 -- was a man of his times, and he sometimes expressed a different view of the role of women at the University, and other subjects, than we are accustomed to.

Introductory Note