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ACLS News

ACLS Mourns the Passing of Oscar Handlin

9/27/2011

ACLS mourns the passing of Oscar Handlin, scholar of American history, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning history "The Uprooted" changed America's ideas about immigration. "Once I thought to write a history of the immigrants in America," the book begins. "Then I discovered that the immigrants were American history."

Dr. Handlin was born in Brooklyn in 1915. He received the B.A. from Brooklyn College and the Ph.D. from Harvard University; he went on to teach at both institutions. Dr. Handlin was also among the first Jewish scholars to become a full professor at Harvard, where he taught for nearly 50 years and also served a term as director of the University Library. He pioneered the use of newspaper accounts, census data, and personal correspondence in historical scholarship, and his work popularized the fields of ethnic and urban studies.

“Oscar Handlin left a tremendous intellectual legacy,” said ACLS President Pauline Yu. “His written works and the distinguished students he trained continue to animate American historiography. ACLS is grateful that he lent his name to awards we make each year to worthy young scholars. “

ACLS honors Professor Handlin's accomplishments by naming an Oscar Handlin Fellow from among its ACLS Fellows each year. The first ACLS fellowship endowed in an individual's name, it was initiated by bequests from Paul Goodman and Stephen Salsbury. Ten Oscar Handlin Fellows, all assistant professors and U.S. historians with a commitment to archival work, have been named over the past decade.

Read more:
Oscar Handlin, Historian Who Chronicled U.S. Immigration, Dies at 95
Give to the Oscar Handlin Fellowship fund

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