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Guide to the Gordon and Anna Watkins papers
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Biography
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Gordon and Anna Watkins papers
    Date (inclusive): 1903-1971, undated
    Date (bulk): 1956-1968
    Collection Number: 081
    Creator: Watkins, Anna, 1884-1970
    Creator: Watkins, Gordon S, b. 1889
    Extent: 5.75 linear feet (5 document boxes, 2 flat storage boxes, 1 map case folder)
    Repository: Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
    Riverside, CA 92517-5900
    Abstract: This collection is comprised of manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, documents, certificates, and other material regarding Gordon and Anna Watkins from 1903-1971. Includes both personal and university related items. Material reflecting the Watkins' interest in the field of economics and his tenure as UCR's first Provost is evidenced through the various publications and press clippings present in the collection. Memorandums, correspondence, and sound recordings documenting the Watkins' accomplishments and time at UCR are also included such as items regarding the establishment and construction of UCR as well as Watkins House.
    Languages: The collection is in English.

    Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the University of California, Riverside Libraries, Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Regents of the University of California as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item]. Gordon and Anna Watkins papers, Collection 081. University of California, Riverside Libraries, Special Collections & Archives, University of California, Riverside.

    Acquisition Information

    Information unavailable.

    Processing History

    Processed by Melissa Huntington, 2010. Revised by Chuck Wilson, 2012.

    Biography

    Gordon Samuel Watkins was born on March 9, 1889 in Brynmawr, Wales. Watkins worked with his father in the coal mines from a young age and began saving his money to better his situation. In 1906, at the age of seventeen, he paid thirty-five dollars for a steam ship ticket to the United States. Once in the States, he worked at numerous places including a railroad machine shop which enabled him to pay his way through preparatory school at Fargo College Academy in Fargo, North Dakota and Wheaton College Academy in Wheaton, Illinois. Watkins later moved to and worked as a lumberjack in Montana which helped pay his way through the University of Montana where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree and met Anna Davis. Anna was born on December 22, 1884 in Mount Etna, Iowa and like her husband she completed her undergraduate work at the University of Montana earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. The couple was married in 1917 after Gordon received his Masters of Arts degree from the University of Illinois. Gordon later went on to earn his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.
    Gordon Watkins began his career as an educator when his alma mater, the University of Illinois, hired him as an economics professor. In 1925, he joined the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) staff as a Professor of Economics, a position he held from 1925-1949. Gordon authored and co-authored over a dozen books on labor economics and became a leading figure in the field. Anna, who also had a background in economics, assisted on many of Gordon's books, articles, and speeches. Watkins academic and literary contributions on labor economics led both Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman to summon his assistance with fact finding and labor arbitration during the disputes both men faced with the railroads.
    In 1949, Gordon was named the first provost of the University of California, Riverside (UCR) and was instrumental in establishing the College of Letters and Sciences. He spent months traversing the country to locate the best building plans, curriculum, and faculty for the campus which opened its doors on February 15, 1954. Gordon retired in 1956 after seven years of involvement with the campus. Anna was also deeply involved with the formation of UCR as she worked alongside her husband, assisting him with campus planning activities and events. She was an active member of the Citizen’s University Committee, Campus Club, and the interdenominational religious center that Gordon helped establish. A devout Congregationalist, Gordon reached out to the academic, religious, and local communities to support his vision of a religious center at UCR. In 1966 his vision was finally realized with the opening of Watkins House on campus.
    Gordon Watkins died on May 5, 1970 in Santa Barbara, California and was survived by his wife Anna, until her death later that year in August.

    Chronology

    1884: Anna Davis was born in Mount Etna, Iowa on December 22nd.
    1889: Gordon S. Watkins was born in Brynmawr, Wales on March 9th.
    1906: Gordon Watkins came to the United States.
    1914: Gordon Watkins earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Montana.
    1915: Gordon Watkins earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of Illinois.
    1917: Gordon Watkins married Anna Davis.
    1918: Gordon Watkins earned a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.
    1925-1949: Gordon Watkins was a Professor of Economics at UCLA.
    1949: Gordon Watkins was named the first provost at UCR.
    1956: Gordon Watkins retired.
    1966: Watkins House opened at UCR in honor of Gordon and Anna Watkins.
    1970: Gordon Watkins died in Santa Barbara, California on May 5th.
    1970: Anna Watkins died in Santa Barbara, California on August 7th.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    This collection is comprised of manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, documents, certificates, and other material regarding Gordon and Anna Watkins from 1903-1971. Includes both personal and university related items. Material reflecting the Watkins' interest in the field of economics is evidenced through the various publications and press clippings present in the collection. Memorandums, correspondence, and sound recordings documenting the Watkins' accomplishments and time at UCR are also included such as items regarding the establishment and construction of UCR as well as Watkins House.

    Collection Arrangement

    This collection is arranged into two series. The series arrangement is as follows:
    • Series 1. Personal papers, 1903-1970, undated.
    • Series 2. Professional papers, 1920-1971, undated.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    College buildings.
    University of California, Riverside.
    Watkins, Anna, 1884-1970
    Watkins, Gordon S, b. 1889

    Genres and Forms of Materials

    Clippings (information artifacts).
    Correspondence.
    Manuscripts.
    Photographs.