© 2013 University of Chicago Library
Harlan, Robert and Lois. Papers
5.75 linear feet (6 boxes)
Special Collections Research Center
Robert and Lois Harlan were alumni of the University of Chicago. Robert Harlan was an exchange student in Marburg, Germany in 1938-1939 at the dawn of the Second World War and experienced the Kristallnacht. He served as Consul General of the United States in Frankfurt, Germany during 1971-1975. The collection contains official and personal correspondence, notes, manuscripts and typescripts, newspaper clippings and copies, scrapbooks, and photographs dating between 1922 and 2009. The bulk of the material dates between 1935 and 1940 and 1971-1975. The papers primarily document Robert Harlan's student years, his exchange in Germany, and his consulship in Frankfurt.
The collection is open to research without restriction.
When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Harlan, Robert and Lois. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.
Robert H. Harlan (b. 1917 and d. 1998) was born in Chicago and raised in Freeport, Illinois. He attended the University of Chicago in 1935 and acquired his A.B. in 1940 and J.D. in 1942. He met his wife Lois Harlan at the University. He was drafted to the U.S. Military in 1942 and discharged in 1946. He joined the Foreign Service afterwards and served as Consul General of the United States in Frankfurt, West Germany from 1971 to 1975 when he left for another position in Paris.
Lois Harlan (b. 1920 and d. 2011) also attended the University of Chicago and graduated with an A.B. in 1941 and A.M. in 1942.
In 1938-1939 Robert Harlan was an exchange student at Philipps-Universitat in Marburg, Germany. Following the Kristallnacht he helped his new acquaintance Dr. Bruno Stern and his family escape to the United States. The summer after he returned home, Robert Harlan wrote an account of this experience. After Robert Harlan passed away, Lois Harlan edited Robert's account and worked towards its final publication in 2005 as Two of a Kind.
The Robert and Lois Harlan Papers are organized into sex series: Series I: Personal; Series II: Correspondence; Series III: Professional; Series IV: Writings; Series V: Audio-Visual; and Series VI: Oversize. The collection contains official and personal correspondence, notes, manuscripts and typescripts, newspaper clippings and copies, scrapbooks, and photographs dating between 1922 and 2009. The bulk of the material dates between 1935 and 1940 and 1971-1975. The papers primarily document Robert Harlan's life at the University of Chicago, as an exchange student in Germany at the dawn of the Second World War, and as Consul General of the United States in Frankfurt, Germany. Some material documents the activities of Lois Harlan after Robert Harlan's death.
Series I, Personal, contains material primarily related to Robert Harlan's education at the University of Chicago, including brochures and programs documenting his student years at the University and those documenting his activities as an alumnus, as well as some of his grade reports.
Series II, Correspondence, mainly contains Robert Harlan's outgoing mail when he was a student at the University of Chicago. They include letters sent to his family from his earliest years at the University, official documents and correspondence related to the preparation for his student exchange in Germany, and letters sent to his family during his exchange at Philipps-Universitat in Marburg, Germany in 1938-1939.
Series III, Professional, consists of material related to Robert Harlan's career as a Foreign Service Officer. It includes official correspondence and bulletins documenting his first attempt to join the Foreign Service in 1941-1942, scrapbooks documenting each year of service as Consul General in Frankfurt, Germany (1971-1975), and correspondence from the final weeks of his consulship.
Series IV, Writings, consists of material related to Robert Harlan's essay "Two of a Kind," an account of his personal experience of Kristallnacht when he was an exchange student in Germany in 1938-1939. It contains the original typescript draft of the essay from the summer of 1939, as well as some later transcriptions with editions and annotations possibly by Lois Harlan. It also includes correspondence of Robert and Lois Harlan regarding the essay and its subsequent publication in 2005.
Series V, Audio-Visual, contains photographs of Robert and Lois Harlan from the early 1940s at the University of Chicago and from later in their lives.
Series VI, Oversize, consists of newspaper clippings; spanning from 1940 to 2005, all relating to Robert Harlan's experience in Germany as an exchange student.
The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:
The Diary of Robert H. Harlan written between 1938 and 1939 in which he gave his impressions of the Kristallnacht is held at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:
Series I: Personal
Except for Folder 1, Box 1, all materials in this series are related to the University of Chicago.
|Box 1 Folder 1|
Earlier Writings and Scribbling, circa 1922-1934
|Box 1 Folder 2|
University of Chicago Brochure, circa 1934
|Box 1 Folder 3|
Brochure of Residence Halls for Men, circa 1935
|Box 1 Folder 4|
Certificate of Admission to the College, 1935
|Box 1 Folder 5|
"Mirror" Publications, 1936 and 1938
|Box 1 Folder 6|
"Black Friars" Programs, 1936-1938
|Box 1 Folder 7|
Alpha Delta Phi Brochures, Programs, and Publications, 1936-1941
|Box 1 Folder 8|
Grade Reports, 1936-1938
|Box 1 Folder 9|
Harvard v. Chicago Football Game Program, 1939
|Box 1 Folder 10|
Alumni Bulletin, 1940
|Box 1 Folder 11|
Annual Dinner of the University of Chicago Bar Association, 1941
|Box 1 Folder 12|
In Memoriam: William Winslow Crosskey, Program, 1967
Series II: Correspondence
|Box 1 Folder 13|
Correspondence – University of Chicago, 1935-1939
|Box 1 Folder 14|
Correspondence, Brochure, and Telegraphs – Trip to Germany, 1938-1939
|Box 1 Folder 15|
Correspondence – Germany, September 1938-February 1939 [1/2]
|Box 1 Folder 16|
Correspondence – Germany, March-May 1939 [2/2]
Series III: Professional
|Box 1 Folder 17|
Foreign Service – Correspondence and Bulletins
|Box 1 Folder 18|
Consul General in Frankfurt, Germany – Correspondence, May-June 1975
|Box 2 Folder 1|
Consul General in Frankfurt, Germany – Scrapbook, 1971
|Box 2 Folder 2|
Consul General in Frankfurt, Germany – Scrapbook, 1972
|Box 3 Folder 1|
Consul General in Frankfurt, Germany – Scrapbook, 1973
|Box 3 Folder 2|
Consul General in Frankfurt, Germany – Scrapbook, 1974
|Box 4 Folder 1|
Consul General in Frankfurt, Germany – Scrapbook, 1975
Series IV: Writings
|Box 5 Folder 1|
"Two of a Kind" by Robert Harlan – Drafts, 1939-2005
|Box 5 Folder 2|
"Two of a Kind" – Correspondence, 1957-2009
Series V: Audio-Visual
|Box 5 Folder 3|
Photographs – University of Chicago, circa 1935-1942
|Box 5 Folder 4|
Photographs, circa 1950-1970
Series VI: Oversize
|Box 6 Folder 1|
German Newspaper Clippings, 1938-1939
|Box 6 Folder 2|
The Daily Maroon and Chicago Herald-American, 1940-1941
|Box 6 Folder 3|
Newspaper Clippings collected by Lois Harlan, 2005-2008