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Richard Hofstadter papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 30-3-1377

Scope and Contents

Collection includes manuscripts, notes, correspondence, clippings, and photographs of Richard Hofstadter and Beatrice K. Hofstadter. Also includes biographical essays written by other authors about Richard Hofstadter and his impact on the study of American history.


  • circa 1918-2006


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The Richard Hofstadter Papers are open for research.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Note

Richard Hofstadter was born in Buffalo, New York, on August 6, 1916. He attended Buffalo public schools and received his B.A. from the University of Buffalo in 1937. He went on to Columbia to study law but changed course and received his M.A. and Ph.D. in History in 1938 and 1942 respectively. He taught at the University of Maryland from 1942 to 1946 when he joined the History faculty at Columbia. He was promoted to full professor in 1952 and in 1959 was named De Witt Clinton Professor of History.

He was known nationally and internationally as an "extraordinarily creative historian" and was "probably the most influential American historian of the 1950s and 1960s."¹

In 1956 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Age of Reform and in 1964 for Anti-Intellectualism in American Life.

In 1936 Richard Hofstadter married Felice Swados whom he had met at the University at Buffalo. They had a son, Dan. Felice died of cancer in 1945. In 1947, he married Beatrice Kevitt who was also from Buffalo. They had a daughter, Sarah. Richard Hofstadter died from leukemia on October 24, 1970.

Readers are referred to the numerous biographical and bibliographical essays in folder 1.3 for more detailed information.

¹ Fass, Paula S., "Richard Hofstadter" in Dictionary of Literary Biography: Twentieth Century American Historians (1983) at p.217


.63 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box, 1 half manuscript box)


Collection includes manuscripts, notes, correspondence, clippings, and photographs of Richard Hofstadter and Beatrice K. Hofstadter.


This collection is arranged in original order as created by the donor.

Acquisition Information

Papers were donated by Beatrice K. Hofstadter in May 2010.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources in the University Archives

  1. MS 167, Beatrice K. Hofstadter Book Collection
  2. MS 03, Richard Hofstadter Book Manuscript, Anti-Intellectualism in America, Collection

Processing Information

Processed by Karen Spencer, December 2010.

Finding Aid for the Richard Hofstadter papers
Finding aid prepared by Karen Spencer.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
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