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George Hoffman papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS0126-UA

Collection Scope and Content

Materials in this collection include research papers, news clippings, research reports, newsletters, government documents, research notes, memos, bibliographic cards, correspondence, maps, photographs, slides, negatives, audiotapes, videotapes, and artifacts. They range in date from 1965-90.

This grouping of materials follows Dr. Hoffman's records management system. However, contents of each series were somewhat disorganized and there were many unclassified materials. Therefore, the collection's topical and chronological classification schemes were partly devised by the processor, and not the same as those used by Dr. Hoffman.

The collection was donated to University Archives by his daughter Jeanne Hoffman Pendery in 1991. An earlier accession of photographs was donated by Dr. Hoffman in 1987.

Dates

  • 1965-1990

Creator

Restrictions on Access

Some records may be restricted.

Restrictions on Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical Note

Dr. George Walter Hoffman (1914-1990) was University Research Professor at The George Washington University, and taught at the University of Texas at Austin for over thirty years. He became Research Professor at The George Washington University in 1986, and was internationally known for his expertise in Eastern Europe, especially Central Eastern Europe and Southeastern Europe.

Dr. Hoffman was born in Vienna, Austria on June 19, 1914. He attended the University of Vienna where he completed his graduate work in 1938. While a student, he worked as an assistant editor for the Wirtschaftlicher Beobachter (Economic Observer) in Vienna from 1935 to 1938. He emigrated with his family to the United States in 1939 and was naturalized in 1943. After service in the United States Army he continued graduate study at American University, Harvard University (1946-1947), and the University of Michigan where he received his Ph.D. in Geography in 1950.

Dr. Hoffman became an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Texas at Austin in 1949. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1953 and Professor in 1961. He chaired the geography department from 1978 to 1982 and served as executive secretary of the Austin Committee for Foreign Relations from 1954 to 1975 and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Committee from 1975 to 1984. In addition to his teaching duties at the University of Texas, he lectured as a visiting professor at numerous universities in the United States and Europe. Dr. Hoffman was twice a Fulbright Professor at the University of Munich (1962) and the University of Heidelberg (1972).

Beyond his teaching activities, Dr. Hoffman held several leading positions in research organizations. He was a member of the Joint Committee for Eastern Europe of the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies from 1966 to 1972; director of the Yugoslavia Program, chairman of the Eastern Europe, chairman of the Committee on International Action, and chairman of the American-German Project of the Association of American Geographers; director of the Research and Development Committee (1972-76) and chairman of the Council (1972-76, 1980) of the American Association of Advanced Soviet Studies; a member of the Committee on the Soviet Union of the Social Science Research Council from 1971 to 1973; a member of the National Citizens Commission for International Cooperation of the Commission on Research and Development for International Institutions; a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Smithsonian Institution, from 1974 to 1977; and project director and coordinator of exchange, research and seminars on Hungary, Poland, former East Germany, Bulgaria, and Czechoslovakia at the Association of American Geographers; a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society in London, a member of Osterreichische Geographische Gesellschaft in Vienna, Sudost Europa Gesellschaft in Munich, and an honorary member of the Serbian Geographic Society; a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Alpha.

Additionally, he was a member of the National Council on Geographic Education; president (1954-55) and director (1955-58) of the Texas Council of Geography Teachers; president of the Austin Chapter of the Texas Association of College Teachers (1969-70), and secretary-treasurer of the University of Texas Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (1969-70); s member of the board of directors and executive committee of the RFE/RL, Inc.(Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty) from 1977 to 1982.

Dr. Hoffman authored and/or edited eighteen books and more than one hundred scholarly articles. He was also an editor for scholarly journals and publishers: a member of the board of editors for the East European Quarterly since 1967; an editorial advisor for Praeger Publishers from 1968 to 1972 and for Standard Educational Corp. from 1966 to 1980; co-editor for Searchlight book series of D. Van Nostrand from 1961 to 1980; a member of the editorial board for Comparative Communism, East European/Soviet series, from 1974 to 1981; and a member of the advisory board for Political Geography Quarterly.

For his remarkable achievements, Dr. Hoffman was decorated with a Verdienstkreuz 1st Class from the former Federal Republic of Germany, a Grosse Goldene Ehrenzeichen from the Republic of Austria, a Merit of the Yugoslav Flag on Necklace in 1978, and a Jiricek Gold medal from Sudosteuropa Society in Munick in 1986. Dr. Hoffman was also the recipient of numerous awards, grants, and fellowships. These included the Political Geography Contribution Award from the National Council for Geography Education in 1953 and 1958; American Philosophical Society Research Award in 1957, 1962, and 1969; International Relations Award from St. Mary's University in 1962; NSF Research Award in 1964-67 and 1967-69; American Council of Learned Societies Travel Award in 1970 and its Research Award in 1972; NSF-IREX Travel Grants in 1973; NAS Travel Award in 1976, and the Thomas Jefferson Award in 1978.

Dr. Hoffman retired from the University of Texas in 1984 and was granted the title of Professor Emeritus. He then served as the First Secretary of the East European program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institution, from 1985 to 1986. After he completed his duties as the First Secretary, Dr. Hoffman was appointed a University Research Professor at The George Washington University. He was a valuable and productive member of the Institute for Sino-Soviet Studies, now The Slavic, East European, and Asian Reading Room.

His last completed conference/publication project was "Problems of Balkan Security: Southeast Europe in the 1990s." This study was supported by the Defense Department and the United States Information Agency. The project included two scholarly conferences, one in Washington and one in Munich, and resulted in the volume of the same title published by the Wilson Center Press. He was also a consultant for the National Geographic Society, and most recently contributed ethnic information on Eastern Europe for the April 1990 issue of the Society's magazine. He died on October 27, 1990 at The George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. At the time of his death, he was planning another project on resurgent nationalism and ethnic conflicts in Eastern Europe. The collection was donated to University Archives by his daughter Jeanne Hoffman Pendery in 1991. An earlier accession of photographs was donated by Dr. Hoffman in 1987.

Extent

44 Linear Feet

Language

English

Abstract

Materials in this collection include research papers, news clippings, research reports, newsletters, government documents, research notes, memos, bibliographic cards, correspondence, maps, photographs, slides, negatives, audiotapes, videotapes, and artifacts. They range in date from 1965-90.

Collection Organization

Organized into six series: Research files; Bibliographic and research note cards; Maps and travel related materials; Slides, photographs, negatives, audiotapes and videotapes; Personal memorabilia; and Photographs.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to University Archives by his daughter Jeanne Hoffman Pendery in 1991. An earlier accession of photographs was donated by Dr. Hoffman in 1987.
Title
Preliminary Guide to the George Hoffman papers, 1965-1990
Status
Completed
Author
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Date
2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

Contact:
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Washington 20052 United States of America