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Polly Ruhtenberg papers

Identifier: Coll 081

Scope and Contents note

The Polly Ruhtenberg Papers (1946-1983) include correspondence, manuscripts, speeches, research materials, photographs, and audio-visual materials. The correspondence spans from 1946 to 1983 but the bulk of it is dated between 1960 and 1970. The correspondence, which includes letters, postcards, and memoranda, is arranged chronologically. Among the correspondents are Willis E. Stone, Vivien Kellems, Luis V. Manrara, and various other individuals.

The manuscripts include drafts, notes, photographs, illustrations, and correspondence relating to approximately sixty articles, short stories, poems, and novellas which were written or co-authored by Polly King Ruhtenberg. Most of these items date from the 1970s and early 1980s and were intended for children and general audiences. Also included in the manuscript series are several editorials and articles by Ruhtenberg, which were clipped from newspapers, concerning the Liberty Amendment and other political issues.

The speeches are arranged in chronological order from 1960 to 1981. Included in the speeches are Ruhtenberg's testimonies before House and Senate Committees in Washington, D.C. during the 1960s and 1970s. Most of the speeches and testimonies concern income taxes and ownership of public lands by the federal government.

Research materials and the newspaper clippings concern the Liberty Amendment, government bureaucracy, government spending and related political issues. Included in the research materials are reprinted articles, statistical reports, government publications, bulletins, and other material. The researcher should note that a scrapbook containing more newspaper clippings is packaged separately.

The subject files are arranged alphabetically by topic and include correspondence, notes, and publications collected by Ruhtenberg. These files do not seem to be related to the Liberty Amendment or the conservative movement.

Several photographs include Margaret Sanger, H.G. Wells, Vivien Kellems, and Gordon van B. King.The audio-visual materials consist of several reel-to-reel tape recordings which include speeches by Willis E. Stone, Gordon van B. King, and Dan Hanson.

Miscellaneous materials include bumper stickers, awards, certificates, and political buttons.


  • 1946-1983


Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time. Collection includes sound recordings, moving images, and digital files to which access is restricted. Access to these materials is governed by repository policy and may require the production of listening or viewing copies. Researchers requiring access must notify Special Collections and University Archives in advance and pay fees for reproduction services as necessary.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical note

Mary (Polly) Spingler Ruhtenberg, the daughter of Willard Vinton King and Mary Spingler Van Beuren, was born May 18, 1907. She grew up in Morristown, New Jersey, and attended the Shipley School in Pennsylvania and Barnard College in New York City. On August 4, 1935, she married Alexander Gustav Jan Ruhtenberg, an architect and her second husband, in New York City. Polly King Ruhtenberg and her husband moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1940.

Throughout her life, Polly King Ruhtenberg, a libertarian and children's book author, was active in social and civic organizations. She helped organize the New York City Maternal Health Centres and served as secretary of the New York Federation for Maternal Health Centres. From 1952 to 1962, she was elected Committeewoman of the Republican Party of El Paso County. Mrs. Ruhtenberg served as the Colorado Co-ordinator for the Vigilante Women for the Bricker Amendment, 1954-1957, the joint-chairwoman of the Colorado Committee for the Liberty Amendment, and as the temporary chairwoman of the Colorado Committee for Economic Freedom, Inc. She was a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America, the Colorado Springs Opera Association, and board member of the Pioneer Museum, as well as numerous other civic and social organizations.

She died January 23, 1983 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


10.5 linear feet (17 containers)

Language of Materials



Polly King Ruhtenberg (1907-1983) a libertarian and children's book author was active in social and civic organizations throughout her life. The collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, speeches, photographs, and a scrapbook that reflect her work as an author and libertarian.

Arrangement note

Collection is organized into the following series:

Series I: Correspondence

Series II: Manuscripts

Series III: Speeches

Series IV: Research Materials

Series V: Subject Files

Series VI: Photographs

Series VII: Audio-visual Materials

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements note

Collection includes nitrate photographs.

Other Finding Aids

See the Collective Name Index to the Research Collection of Conservative and Libertarian Studies for a cross-referenced index to names of correspondents in this collection, if any, and 37 related University of Oregon collections, including dates of correspondence. See index instructions on use.

General Physical Description note

17 containers; 1 package?

Processing Information note

Collection processed by Cynthia Crouch, September 1984.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Polly King Ruhtenberg Papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Cynthia Crouch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA