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Theodore F. Welch (1933- ) Papers

Identifier: 9/3/2

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Scope and Contents

The Theodore F. Welch Papers fill two boxes and span the years 1967 to 1983. The bulk of the papers consist of correspondence, which documents Welch's work at Northwestern and other library activities in the U.S., his strong connections with Japan and especially with Japanese libraries and librarians, his tenure working for the UN, and some of his personal relationships. The other materials in the series round out the information found in the correspondence. The records are divided into five subseries: Biographical Materials, Correspondence, Trips and Conferences, Publications and Subject Files.

Biographical Materials, spanning the years 1969 to 1983, describe Welch's education and work before coming to Northwestern, as well as documenting the positions he held at Northwestern. Included are curriculum vitae and faculty biographical records from various years, as well as articles and news releases announcing Welch's appointments both at Northwestern and in Japan.

Correspondence constitutes the majority of the series and covers the period 1967 to 1983. Welch's correspondence centers around his two main interests, Japan and libraries, and demonstrates how he frequently combined the two. However, correspondence that relates specifically to the daily activities of the Northwestern University Library departments he worked in is relatively scarce. Topics covered in the letters include planning for bi-national conferences on libraries, Japanese visitors to Northwestern, trips to Japan, research questions and resources, the editing and publication of Welch's book on Japanese libraries, and Welch's work with the United Nations in Japan. Correspondence of a more personal nature reveals that Welch's work and his friendships were also frequently blended.

Trips and Conferences files span the years 1972 to 1983, and are divided into two categories: American Library Association (ALA) and General. The ALA category includes a report from a 1972 bi-national conference, as well as correspondence relating to regular ALA meetings and Welch's chairing of the jury which judged applicants for the 1983 Gale Award. In the General category is correspondence relating to a 1978 trip to Japan and an Institute offered at Rosary College (now Dominican University) in River Forest, Illinois, as well as undated travel itineraries.

Publications span the years 1971 to 1980 and include articles by Welch and reviews of two books Welch published. The articles deal with Japanese topics and with libraries both in the U.S. and Japan. Welch's book Toshokan: Libraries in Japanese Society is reviewed along with the proceedings of a conference which Welch helped to edit.

Subject Files date from 1977 to 1982. Topics include recommendations of former students, a collection of business cards, requisition forms and other financial documents, and a proposal for a fellowship that Welch applied for.


  • 1967-1983


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


2.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



The papers of Theodore F. Welch Papers (Assistant University Librarian at Northwestern University) fill two boxes, and span the years 1967 to 1983. The bulk of the papers consist of correspondence documenting Welch's work at Northwestern and elsewhere in the United States, his strong connections with Japan and especially with Japanese libraries and librarians, his tenure working for the United Nations, and some of his personal relationships.


Correspondence is divided into folders by year and arranged chronologically within the folders. Folders within the two conferences categories are arranged alphabetically by title. Subject files are arranged alphabetically by title. Documents in Japanese are found in folders throughout the series, and are included at the end of the folder with the undated documents.

Method of Acquisition

The bulk of the Theodore Welch Papers were separated from Series 8/2/16, the Records of the Center for the Study of US-Japan Relations. Additional materials were incorporated from the University Archives' Faculty Biographical Files.

Related Materials

See also the Records of the Center for the Study of U.S.-Japan Relations, 1976-1983, Series 8/2/16.

Separated Materials

Photographs, mostly of Welch with Japanese colleagues, were separated and added to the Archives' Photographic Files.

Processing Information

Emma Maack, Summer 2005.

Guide to the Theodore F. Welch (1933- ) Papers
Emma Maack
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US