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Richard Hubbard Howland papers

 Collection 0267-MDHC
Richard Hubbard Howland (b. 1910, Providence, Rhode Island) was the first president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University in 1931, a Master of Arts from Harvard in 1933, and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in Classical Archaelogy in 1946. He spent five years at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (1933-1938), before returning to the U.S., where he taught at Wellesley College in Boston. He spent ten years (1946-1956) at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was chairman and founder of the Department of Art History. After serving as President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation from 1956 to 1960, Howland went to work at the Smithsonian Institution where he was Chairman of the Department of Civil History at the Museum of History and Technology until 1967, and then Special Assistant to Secretary S. Dillon Ripley until 1985. Howland's papers contain correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports, writings and publications, research material and lecture notes, photographs, appointment books, awards and certificates, clippings, programs and brochures, and directories documenting his career primarily at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as well as activities in various cultural and social organizations.

Dates

  • 1879-2006
  • Majority of material found within 1947-2000

Use and Access to Collection

This collection contains restricted material; please check the series and folder listings for additional information.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Extent

6.25 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Papers of Richard Hubbard Howland consist of materials that document Howland's career in both the public and private sector. The collection dates from 1879 to 2006, with the bulk of the material dating between 1947 and 2000. It includes correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports, writings and publications, research material and lecture notes, photographs, appointment books, awards and certificates, clippings, programs and brochures, and directories. Howland's papers document the evolution of his career and his personal involvement in numerous cultural and social organizations. Much of Howland's research material provides information about the architectural heritage of Baltimore, Maryland. The collection also provides insight into the early years of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the interaction between the Smithsonian Institution and the White House during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and the activities of numerous national and international art, architectural, and historic preservation organizations. Prominent correspondents include Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, and author and conservationist Desmond Guinness, son of the brewer Bryan Guinness.

Biography

Richard Hubbard Howland was an architectural and art historian who, over the course of his career, worked for the appreciation and preservation of America's artistic and architectural heritage. Howland was a classical archaeologist, art history professor, author, and speaker. He served as the first president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and was a leader in numerous national and international art, architectural, and historical organizations.

Howland was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on August 23, 1910, to S. Carl Badger Howland and Cora Augusta Hubbard. His only sibling, Carl Badger Howland, Jr., was born in 1914 and was later killed during World War II. Howland graduated from Providence Classical High School at the age of 16. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Brown University in 1931, and a Master of Arts in art history from Harvard University in 1933.

In 1933 Howland was awarded the Charles Eliot Norton Fellowship and spent the academic year in Greece at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (ASCSA). He was able to extend his stay at ASCSA from 1934 to 1935 through the American School Fellowship and participated in archaeological excavations at Corinth. From 1935 to 1938, Howland served as a staff member of the Agora Excavations at Athens and founded the Society for the Preservation of Greek Antiquities. During this time, he married Caroline Marie Bullard of Chicago. The marriage ended in divorce in 1942. In 1938, the ASCSA published Howland's book, Greek Lamps and their Survivals, which became an important archaeological field guide. Howland's ties to the American School of Classical Studies at Athens remained strong throughout his life, and he served on the ASCSA Managing Committee from 1947 to 1975.

Howland returned to the United States in 1939 and taught art history, classical archaeology, and the history of architecture at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. During World War II, he served as section chief in charge of pictorial records in the Office of Strategic Services -- precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency -- in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere. In 1946, Howland received a Ph.D. in classical archeology from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He served as a professor of art history at Johns Hopkins from 1947 to 1956 and was both founder and chair of the university's Department of Art History.

In 1953, Howland co-authored The Architecture of Baltimore with art scholar Eleanor P. Spencer. A revised edition of this book was published in 2004 with a forward by Howland. Richard Hubbard Howland fully transitioned into the world of historic preservation in 1956 when he became the first president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. As president, Howland devised a plan for the future course of the National Trust, resulting in its first important endowment fund: a $1 million gift from Paul Mellon. He strengthened the organization's program areas, including professional and public education, publications, property and object preservation, maintenance and interpretation, and fund raising. Howland resigned the presidency of the National Trust in 1960 when he accepted the position of Chairman of the Smithsonian Institution's Department of Civil History at the Museum of History and Technology.

Howland served in this post at the Smithsonian Institution from 1960 to 1967. In 1967 he was appointed as the Special Assistant to Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, a position he held until his retirement in 1985. Howland was closely involved in the restoration of the original nineteenth-century Smithsonian Institution Building -- popularly known as the Castle -- and established its collection of Victorian furnishings. He inaugurated and led Smithsonian study tours abroad focusing on classical Greece and Rome. As Special Assistant to the Secretary, Howland served as the liaison between the Smithsonian Institution and White House staff and committee members associated with the historic refurnishing program. He was responsible for hiring the first Curator of the White House, supervision of the exhibition program in the White House corridors, and implementation of House Resolution 7997 that authorizes the transference of White House furnishings of historic interest to the Smithsonian Institution.

Howland's sphere of influence was also felt abroad. In 1965 he helped to found the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and served as the Secretary-Treasurer for the United States branch of ICOMOS from 1967 to 1969. In 1966 he headed a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) mission to Ethiopia to help organize an effort to preserve ancient monuments and artistic treasures; most notably he prepared an organizational plan for the Ethiopian Antiquities Administration. In 1969, on behalf of the trustees of the John D. Rockefeller III Fund, he undertook a similar mission to Nepal to begin the conservation of historic structures in the Kathmandu Valley. In 1991, Howland was made an Officer of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

Over the course of his career, Howland was actively involved in numerous preservation-related organizations on which he often served as a board or charter member. He was a trustee of the Archaeological Institute of America and a founding member of the Society of Architectural Historians. He co-founded the Preservation Round Table in Washington, D.C., and was a member of the Washington Cathedral Building Committee. He also served the Irish Georgian Society, the Victorian Society in America, and the Washington branch of the English Speaking Union. Howland was a member of prominent Washington, D.C. social organizations such as the Nineteen-Twenty-Five F Street Club, and the Cosmos Club.

Richard Hubbard Howland died at his home in Washington, DC, on October 24, 2006, at the age of 96.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged as five series.
  1. Series 1: Personal
  2. Series 2: Appointment Books
  3. Series 3: Awards and Certificates
  4. Series 4: Professional
  5. Series 5: Photographs

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Richard Hubbard Howland donated the bulk of his papers to the University of Maryland Libraries in 2004. Howland's estate donated additional materials in 2007. Material related to Howland's study tour of Dublin, Ireland, was donated in 2007 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Related Material

The Smithsonian Institution Archives holds the records of the Office of the Secretary during Howland's tenure as Special Assistant to the Secretary from 1958 to 1985. These records provide documentation of Howland's work as Head Curator and Chairman of Civil History, National Museum of American History from 1960 to 1963, as well as his appointment as Special Assistant to the Smithsonian Secretary. There is also material documenting Howland's work on the Smithsonian Associates' program of travel tours, as well as files of information on the Archaeological Institute of America and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. An addendum to the collection consists of records created by Richard H. Howland to study the feasibility of establishing a national furniture museum.

The archives of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens holds a collection of Richard Hubbard Howland's papers, including photographs of his excavations at Corinth.

The Archives and Manuscripts Department of the University of Maryland Libraries holds the papers of Frederick L. Rath, the first director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation; the papers of William J. Murtagh, the first Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places and a leader within the National Trust; the papers of Charles Hosmer, author of Preservation Comes of Age; and the papers of Charles E. Peterson, founder of the Historic American Buildings Survey. The National Trust for Historic Preservation Library Collection also includes over 100 linear feet of vertical files assembled by staff at the National Trust.

The National Archives and Records Administration is the legal repository for the organizational records of the National Trust for Historic Preservation prior to 1992.

Processing Information

The arrangement of the papers of Richard Hubbard Howland retains the original order imposed by Howland where possible. The bulk of the collection consists of material pertaining to Howland's professional activities, and this material had been well-organized by Howland. Other material was found loosely grouped according to subject or format such as appointment books, awards and certificates, curricula vitae, and correspondence. Series IV was determined by Howland's original arrangement of his professional materials, and the remaining series were created by the processing archivist to lend clarity to those documents already loosely grouped by Howland.

Photographs were separated from Series I and IV and placed in a new series. Oversize materials were housed in oversize boxes. A separation sheet marks the original location of each oversize item and separated photograph. Newsprint clippings have been photocopied onto acid-free paper and the original newsprint discarded. Rubber bands and metal fasteners have been removed and replaced with plastic clips. Howland's copy of The Architecture of Baltimore has been cataloged and added to the book collection of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Library (Folio NA735.B3 H68).
Title
Guide to the Richard Hubbard Howland papers
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Ashley Locke.
Date
2007-09-01
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742
301-405-9212