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Howard Gillette papers

Identifier: MS0644-UA

Collection Scope and Content

Materials in this collection include correspondence, memos, fellowship applications, women's studies files, exams, publications, awards, interviews, notes, publications and research for publications, and curriculum requirements. These materials were created by Dr. Gillette during his time at GW and at Rutgers University. These materials are related to his research, teaching, and university administrative work. The records range in date from 1826-2018 with the bulk of the materials covering the mid-1980s through 2018.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1987-2018
  • Creation: 1826-2018


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

To the extent that he/she owns copyright, the donor has assigned the copyright in her works to The George Washington University; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For activities that the researcher determines fall under fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Please contact Special Collections if the copyright status of the materials you wish to reuse is unclear. Staff will provide additional information. For re-use of materials in the collection not created by the donor, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights, determining if the intended re-use falls under fair use, and obtaining approval from the copyright holder if the intended use does not fall under fair use. For such materials, researchers do not need anything further from The George Washington University’s Special Collections Research Center.

Historical or Biographical Note

Howard Frank Gillette, Jr. (1942- ) recently retired as Professor Emeritus of History at Rutgers University-Camden. He was a Professor of History at Rutgers University from 1999-2011. Prior to working at Rutgers University, Professor Gillette was a Professor of American Civilization and History at The George Washington University from 1970-1999. He was instrumental in helping develop and grow the American Studies Program in his time at GW. Prior to working at GW, Professor Gillette taught at the University of Pennsylvania as a lecturer in American Civilization from 1960-1970. He received his B.A. (1964) and Ph.D. (1970) degrees in American Studies from Yale University.

Professor Gillette is author of "Class Divide: Yale '64 and the Conflicted Legacy of the Sixities (Cornell University Press, 2015); "Civitas by Design: Building Better Communities from the Garden City to the New Urbanism" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010); "Camden After the Fall: Decline and Renewal in a Post-Industrial City" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005);"Between Justice and Beauty: Race, Planning, and the Failure of Urban Policy in Washington, D.C." (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995) Professor Gillette was a co-author with Fredric Miller of "Washington Seen: A Photographic History, 1875-1965," also published by Johns Hopkins in 1995. He is editor of "Southern City, National Ambition: The Growth of Early Washington," published by George Washington University in association with the American Institute of Architects in 1995 in conjunction with an exhibit of the same name. He is co-editor of the "Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia" (2009-); "The Divided Metropolis" with Willam Cutler (Greenwood Press, 1980); and "American Urbanism" with Zane Miller (Greenwood Press, 1987). His essays have appeared in a wide range of journals, including The Journal of the American Planning Association, the Journal of Urban History, American Quarterly, The Public Historian, Chicago History, Washington History, and Social Science History.

Professor Gillette was the co-director (2001-2010) of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities, a Rutgers-Temple University partnership, formed in 1999, and currently working with a NEH challenge grant to establish its endowment. He also serves as a faculty associate of the Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs at Rutgers. Professor Gillette has lectured widely in the United States and abroad. He was a founder and first director of George Washington's Center for Washington Area Studies. He served as editor of Washington History, published by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. from 1992-1994, and he is immediate past president of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History. He serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Planning History and he has served as exhibits editor for The Public Historian. He has consulted with a number of cultural organizations in the Mid-Atlantic region, including the D.C. Public Library, the Atwater-Kent Museum, The City Museum of Washington, the New-York Historical Society, and the University of Baltimore.

He is a member of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., Society for American City and Regional Planning History, Urban History Association, National Council on Public History, Historical Society of Pennsylvania Immigration, and Ethnic History Society.

Professor Gillette received the following awards: the Robert W. Kenny Prize for Innovation in Introductory Teaching, 1997; the Class of 1962 Presidential Service Award, Rutgers University, 2006; the Citation of Merit, New Jersey Historical Commission, November 2006; and the President's Award, South Jersey Walt Whitman Preservation Forum, May 2006. "Camden after the Fall" was awarded the following: Best Book North American Urban History, Urban History Association, 2006; the Richard P. McCormick Prize for Best Book in New Jersey History, 2005-2006; Honor Book, New Jersey Council for the Humanities, 2006; and Best Book, 2006, New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance Award.


35.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Papers of Howard Gillette, Jr., professor of American Studies at both George Washington Univeristy and Rutgers University, including correspondence, memos, fellowship applications, women's studies files, exams, publications, awards, interviews, research notes, and curriculum requirements. They range in date from 1826-2018 with the bulk falling from the mid 1980s through 2018.

Collection Organization

Organized into six series: Papers; DC culture, government, suburbs, community life and city programs; Correspondence, letters and notes; Scholarly papers and publications, class materials and projects; Civitas by Design; Class Divide: Yale '64 and the Conflicted Legacy of the Sixties.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the University Archives in three accessions; 1997, 1999 and 2018 September (accession 2018.034)

Related Materials

Dr Gillette donated two additional collections to GW Special Collections. These related to his work in the GW American Studies Department.

Howard Gillette Collection on the Italian American Community of Washington, D.C. (MS2072) is a collection of materials from the exhibit "Washington's Italian Community 1890-Present" developed and sponsored by the Washington Area Studies Department that was held in November 1984. The collection consists of a significant number of photographs collected from the exhibit, negatives of all materials collected, obituaries, news articles, research notes, correspondence, and other clippings, and copies of the exhibit flyer and the article Alan Kraut and Howard Gillette did for the "Journal of American Ethnic History.

Howard Gillette Metropolitan Washington Region Urban History subject files (MS2060) The collection includes materials on the history of the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The collection documents the history of DC communities, focusing on community structure, organizations, politics, events, transportation and difficulties, such as crime and includes paper articles, brochures, pamphlets and letters.

Processing Information

Prior to 2016 the material in the first series was processed as a folder list. In 2016 the University Archivist undertook the processing of the remaining materials from the first two donations. That material was divided into series 2-4. In 2018, Dr. Gillette donated materials and those were processed and added to series 2-5 as well as the addition of series 5 and 6.

Guide to the Howard Gillette Papers, 1826-2018
University Archives, Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

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

George Washington University Gelman Library
2130 H Street NW
Washington DC 20052 United States of America