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Robert B. Wolf papers

Identifier: MSS 0983

Scope and Contents

The Robert B. Wolf papers comprises his personal and professional files spanning from 1910 to 1952. Wolf worked in the paper and pulp industry, and wrote about industrial management and labor relations. The collection contains correspondence, articles, conference papers, news clippings, and texts of speeches, conferences, and lectures. It is arranged into three series: I. Correspondence, II. Articles, speeches, and lectures, and III. Reference materials.

Series I. contains correspondence and associated materials. Arranged alphabetically by correspondent, the files contain incoming letters and outgoing carbons of Wolf's letters, telegrams, and postcards, as well as clippings, conference papers, transcripts of talks, and photographs. Notable correspondents include American social philosopher Mary Parker Follett, British poet and philosopher Frank Townshend, Canadian American industrialist Cyrus Ching, U.S. Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, American economist Sumner Slichter, and French surgeon and biologist Dr. Alexis Carrel. The Carrel file includes Wolf’s correspondence with one of Carrel's colleagues about accusations that Carrel was a Nazi collaborator. This series also includes personal and biographical information about Wolf, filed under his name.

Series II. contains Wolf's published articles, conference papers, and transcriptions of talks he gave on management and labor relations in industry. His writing cans also be found in series I, interfiled with correspondence.

Series III. contains copies of speeches and published articles that Wolf collected. Included in the files are Matthew J. Burns’ farewell message as president of the International Brotherhood of Paper Makers; “The American Revolution” by Rose Wilder Lane (1939); “If We Keep This Enterprise Free,” an address by John L. Lewis to the US House of Representatives Committee on Labor; “Man Must Work for More Than Wages….” by Roderic Olzendam of the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company (1939); and a 1936 editorial from the Seattle Star, praising the “intelligent men of the papermaking industry and crafts” for reaching an agreement to raise wages (1936). There are also clippings on the subjects of technocracy, Nazi Germany, and a 1938 "war scare.”


  • Creation: 1910-1952


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical / Historical

Robert Bunsen Wolf was born May 16, 1877, in Newark, Delaware. He was the son of Theodore R. Wolf, a professor of Delaware College and namesake of Wolf Hall on the University of Delaware campus, and Annie Rosius (Rosie) Kohler. Wolf attended Delaware College and graduated in 1896 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering (B.E.E.) and then received his master’s degree in engineering (M.E.) in 1916.

Wolf had a long career in the paper and pulp industry. He held a variety of positions in many different companies, working his way up from “apprentice boy” to president of his own companies. In 1930, he was named pulp division manager at the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company. He was a member of the University of Delaware’s Tau Beta Pi engineering honors society and the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI).

Aside from engineering advancements, one of Wolf’s main focuses within the pulp industry was management and labor relations. He argued that companies should foster creativity and individuality among employees instead of stunting them, and was a proponent of non-financial incentives for workers. He was a member of the Taylor Society, and later the Society for the Advancement of Management, which promoted the concept of “scientific management.”

In 1901, he married Harriet Curtis Cooch. They had four children together: Anne, Margaret, Theodore, and Robert Jr. Wolf died on November 10, 1954, at the age of 77.

U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (accessed via on October 4, 2021) Delaware Marriage Records, 1744-1912 (accessed via on October 4, 2021) 1925 New York State Census (accessed via on October 4, 2021) Other biographical information derived from the collection.


2 linear foot (2 boxes)


Robert B. Wolf (1877-1954) was an engineer and labor-management professional born and raised in Newark, Delaware. He was educated at Delaware College (now known as the University of Delaware), and subsequently worked in various positions in the paper and pulp industry. The Robert B. Wolf papers consist of his correspondence with friends and colleagues, writings on industrial management, and his collected reference materials.

Custodial History

Sometime after the death of Robert B. Wolf, his daughter Anne Wolf gained possession of this collection. After her death, her brother Theodore Wolf took possession of it and donated it to the University of Delaware.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Theodore Rudolf Wolf, 1995

Materials Cataloged Separately

The following book was removed and cataloged with imprints in Special Collections. It can be accessed by searching the library catalog.

Townshend, Frank. Earth. London: Knopf, 1929.

Physical Description

Some letters in the collection are brittle.

Rights Statement

The text of this web page can be reused and modified under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. (

Shelving Summary

Boxes 1-2: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons

Processing Information

Processed and encoded by Julianna Salak, October-November 2021.

Series I and III maintain order in which the collection was recieved. Series II was arranged chronologically by the processor from the original unordered pile.

Finding aid for Robert B. Wolf papers
In Progress
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA