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Ira De Augustine Reid papers


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Ira De Augustine Reid was born on July 2, 1901, in Clifton Forge, Virginia. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1922 and received his master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1925. Reid received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1939.

Reid was the industrial secretary of the New York Urban League from 1924 to 1928 and its research director from 1928 to 1934. From 1934 to 1946, he served as professor of sociology at Atlanta University. Early in his career, Reid also taught at Columbia University, the Pennsylvania State University, Harvard University, and at universities in Nigeria and Japan. Reid joined the faculty of Haverford College in 1946, becoming the College's first Black tenured professor. He became chair of the Departments of Sociology and Anthropology in 1947, a position he held until his retirement in 1966.

Reid served as the president of the Eastern Sociological Society and served on the boards of the National Child Labor Commission, the National Urban League, the Planned Parenthood Foundation, the American Friends Service Committee, the American Cancer Society, and the Community Chest of Philadelphia.

Ira De Augustine Reid married twice, first to Gladys Russell Scott, who died in 1956, and then to Anna "Anne" Margaret Cooke in 1958. Reid died in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania on August 15, 1968.

These papers consist primarily of correspondence between Haverford College Professor of Sociology Dr. Ira De Augustine Reid and various individuals regarding the forced surrender of his passport by the U.S. Department of State in 1952 due to Reid's suspected affiliation with the Communist Party. The papers include a 1949 publication by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities entitled "Review of the Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace," consisting of lists of organizations identified as subversive and individuals affiliated with supposed Communist-front organizations. Reid's name is on several lists in the publication.

Much of the collection consists of Reid's attestations that he was not a member of the Communist Party as well as his responses to Louis Budenz, who accused him before the House Committee on the Investigation of Tax-Exempt Foundations. The papers also include letters of support from Timothy Howarth, A. Burns Chalmbers, Clarence Pickett and others.

Reid's passport was returned in December 1953, but questions regarding his affiliations lingered. In a 1955 letter to Haverford College President Gilbert White, Reid wondered if accusations by the House Unamerican Activities Committee had "serious bearing upon the relations of the College and its alumni."

Materials are arranged chronologically.

Processed by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, completed March 2021

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger
Finding Aid Date
March 2021
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17)

Collection Inventory

Ira De Augustine Reid papers, 1949-1961.
Box 1 Folder 1

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