Polly Ruhtenberg papers , 1946-1983

Overview of the Collection

Ruhtenberg, Polly King, 1907-1983
Polly Ruhtenberg papers
1946-1983 (inclusive)
10.5 linear feet, (17 containers)
Collection Number
Coll 081
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.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

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.

Additional Reference Guides

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.

See the Current Collection Guide for detailed description and requesting options.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

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.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

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.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
  • Children's literature, American--Authorship
  • Debts, Public
  • Equal rights amendments
  • Income tax--Law and legislation
  • Libertarianism

Personal Names

  • Brinkman, Edna Epperson
  • Chenoweth, J. Edgar, 1897-1986
  • Hanson, Dan, 1906-
  • Kellems, Vivien, 1896-1975
  • King, Gordon van B.
  • Lee, Wallace L
  • Lemly, William C.
  • Long, Gladys
  • Manrara, Luis V
  • Moths, Armin
  • Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
  • Peck, George
  • Root, E. Merrill (Edward Merrill), 1895-1973
  • Sangar, Margaret, 1879-1966
  • Stone, Willis E. (Willis Emerson), 1899-

Corporate Names

  • Liberty Amendment Committee of Colorado
  • Liberty Amendment Committee of the U.S.A
  • National Organization for Women
  • Republican Party (Colo.)
  • Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )
  • Vigilante Women for the Bricker Amendment

Form or Genre Terms

  • Photographs
  • Sound recordings