University Receives Collection Of Works on Vietnam's History

Historian Joseph Buttinger has donated his collection of materials on the history of Vietnam to the Harvard College Library.

Buttinger, author of several books on the subject, made his donation after with-drawing the research collection from the Graduate School Library of the City University of New York.

He originally gave the collection to the Graduate School Library of CUNY in February 1972. But because the CUNY library had taken no steps to catalogue the collection, Buttinger said, he approached Louis E. Martin, librarian of Harvard College, in May 1973.

After consulting with Harold M. Proshansky, acting president and provost of CUNY's graduate division, Buttinger withdrew the collection from the City University in June 1973.

George Seimor of the CUNY's Graduate School Library said yesterday that he did not believe that the library's delay in cataloguing the collection was the real reason Buttinger withdrew it.


"We hadn't catalogued the Utopia collection Buttinger gave us, and he didn't withdraw that," Seimor said. But the librarian declined to speculate on what he thought to be the real reason for Buttinger's withdrawal of the collection.

The collection of approximately 6000 volumes includes pamphlets, periodicals, and photographs.

The only institution with a comparable collection is Cornell, but its collection is "not nearly as good," Vietnam historian Alexander B. Woodside, associate professor of History, said yesterday.

The collection includes a great deal of material published in Vietnam during the 1920s and 30s which, Woodside said, makes the collection quite valuable. Because the collection was published in Western languages--French and English--it will be housed in Widener instead of the Harvard Yenching.

The collection presently sits in 184 cartons in a locked cage in the Widener stacks.

It is not known when the collection will be catalogued, but scholars will have access to the collection in the meantime, Woodside said.