University of Rochester History: An Introductory Note


An Introductory Note to the May Manuscript of the
History of the University of Rochester

Upon his retirement in 1964 after almost 40 years of teaching European history at the University of Rochester, Professor Arthur J. May was appointed University Historian to write a history of the University.

He and his two research assistants had nearly completed the first draft at the time of his sudden and unexpected death in June 1968. The assistants finished researching and writing two more chapters before the office closed the next year.

The manuscript draft, thorough and detailed, was too long to publish as a single volume. But to make it more immediately useful, Karl S. Kabelac of the library staff was employed in 1971 to create an index to it. This index has greatly added to its usefulness, and can be accessed below.

Several years later, Lawrence E. Klein, UR 1971, was employed to abridge the manuscript to book length. This abridged version was then published in 1977. Copies of the book are available in the University of Rochester library collections.

The volume as published does not contain the footnotes. Thus the original manuscript draft has continued to be useful, both for the fact that it contains much information not in the published volume, and the fact that it has the footnotes. These footnotes are invaluable for anyone wishing to research more deeply into many aspects of the University's history.

A researcher using the footnotes, though, has to be aware that Dr. May did not footnote individual facts, but rather footnoted one or more paragraphs at a time. Thus in using the manuscript, one sometimes has to study a footnote to decide which of the several citations in the footnote relates to the particular fact one is interested in pursuing.

Finally, today's readers of this history are urged to remember that Professor May -- born in 1899 -- was a man of his times, and he sometimes expressed a different view of the role of women at the University, and other subjects, than we are accustomed to.




The original index referenced both the chapter and page of the citation; because the text is now fully searchable, the online version of the index provides links to the chapter only. Once at the chapter, readers should do a keyword search using the "Find" option in the Edit menu of their browser.

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  1. A University Dream That Failed
  2. Hamilton versus Rochester
  3. The Year of Decisions: 1850
  4. A College Opens
  5. Portrait of a President
  6. A Critical Decade
  7. The Civil War Era
  8. Continuity and Growth
  9. University Gallery
  10. The End of an Age
  11. Hill and the Interregnum
  12. Collegians and Graduates in the 'Nineties
  13. Enter the Ladies
  14. Rhees of Rochester
  15. Widening Horizons
  16. Men and Women
  17. Sunshine and Shadow
  18. The Birth of a Music Center
  19. Voices of Music
  20. Shaping the Medical Center
  21. Sons of Aesculapius
  22. Oak Hill Becomes the River Campus
  23. The Changing College
  24. Beyond the Curriculum
  25. Hail, Farewell, Hail
  26. The Depression Decade
  27. Undergraduates and Graduates in the 'Thirties
  28. Music and Medicine in the 1930's
  29. The Impact of Pearl Harbor
  30. Education for Victory
  31. Women, Music and Medicine in Wartime
  32. Valentine: The Last Phase
  33. The First Century Ends
  34. The Coming of de Kiewiet
  35. Reunion of the Colleges
  36. River Campus Panorama
  37. In Pursuit of Excellence
  38. Undergraduate Life Beside the Genesee
  39. The Eastman School -- The Postwar Years