Skip to main content

Robert G. Mead, Jr. Papers

Identifier: 1999-0027

Scope and Content

The materials in this collection were originally collected and organized by Mead's wife, Harriet. Most of the materials are personal papers that came from Mead's office and desktop. Harriet Mead also provided some additional personal materials, such as Mead's notebooks from his collegiate days. Boxes 1 and 2 have been re-organized into folders. The folders contain biographical materials, personal correspondence, manuscript articles by Mead, teaching and presentation materials, newspaper clippings of interest to Mead, and other scholarly articles. Beyond this sequence of folders (in boxes 3 and 4) the collection consists of a number of Mead's notebooks, and several boxes of note cards used in the preparation of scholarly works. A video tape of a memorial service held at the Dodd Center in 1995 is also included.

Removed from the collection: Cultural Survival Quarterly, v. 6, no. 3, Summer 1982. This issue is already catalogued in the APC serials located in the Dodd Center.


  • Creation: 1939-2000


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


Robert G. Mead, Jr. was born in 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, an engineer, relocated to Mexico eight months later. It was in Mexico that Mead spent most of his first twenty years, living in Tampico and later in Mexico City. He attended the University at California at Berkeley for a brief period in the middle 1930s, but had to drop out for financial reasons. He taught English at a private academy in Mexico from 1936-1937. After his return to the U.S., Mead enrolled at UCLA, where he received his M.A. in Spanish literature in 1942. Mead then traveled east to work for the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, D.C. There, he surveyed Latin American periodicals for matters relating to American intelligence, preparing a report on a Mexican political group suspected of having Nazi leanings.

Upon leaving the employ of the government in 1947, Mead went to the University of Michigan, and in 1949 finished his doctoral thesis on Peruvian essayist, Manuel Gonzalez Prada, which was written entirely in Spanish. Shortly thereafter, Mead accepted a full-time post at the University of Connecticut.

While engaged in teaching at the University of Connecticut, Mead contributed a number of articles on Hispanic and Latin American literature to scholarly journals. Many of Mead's writings appeared in the journal Hispania in a section called “The Hispanic World.” Mead was also the editor of Hispania from 1957 to 1962. In the early 1960s Mead worked with the Modern Language Association's newly established summer language institute program. As part of this program, Mead traveled the country and made on-site evaluations of over 42 programs. In later years Mead served on the editorial boards of other academic journals and worked with organizations dedicated to the promotion of foreign language education and intercultural understanding. Mead lectured at more than thirty universities and accepted several visiting professorships while maintaining close ties with the University of Connecticut.

Mead received the prestigious Florence Steiner Award for Leadership in Foreign Language Education in 1982. He retired from the University of Connecticut in 1984, but thereafter maintained a high level of scholarly activity. Mead passed away in 1995.

Mead was a dedicated teacher, an active scholar, and a pioneering multiculturalist. The numerous tributes received by Mead during his life and after his death are a testament to his profound impact on the teaching of foreign languages. An outspoken advocate for improved Inter-American relations, he stressed the need for an awareness of Latin American history and culture.


6 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Born in Cleveland in 1913, Mead spent most of his early years in Mexico, developing great facility in both English and Spanish. He worked for the OSS during World War II gathering intelligence from Latin American periodicals. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1949, Mead became a professor at the University of Connecticut. In addition to a long and prestigious career as a teacher of foreign languages, Mead was a prolific scholar on Hispanic literature and an advocate for improved Inter-American relations. He also edited the journal Hispania from 1957 to 1962. Mead traveled the world as a lecturer and as an advisor on the teaching of Spanish. He passed away in 1995.


Collection consists of a single series. See above for arrangement details.

Acquisition Information

Collection donated to Archives & Special Collections by Harriet Mead in 1999.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to the University, its history, administration, faculty, staff and students. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

Robert G. Mead, Jr. Papers
Archives & Special Collections staff
1999 October
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US