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Russell E. Miller Papers

Call Number: MS117

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the typescript of Russell Miller's "Light on a Hill: A History of Tufts College from 1852 to 1952" in addition to correspondence, notes, and publicity about the book. It also includes one file of correspondence on the second volume of "Light on the Hill," called "Light on the Hill II, A History of Tufts University since 1952."

In addition to papers relating to "Light on the Hill," the Russell Miller collection also includes two folders regarding his academic career and life, advancement records, and one box of clippings and unidentified written histories of Tufts that Miller used in his research on the university's history. In particular, one folder in this box contains images and clippings from Tufts' opening in 1853.


  • Creation: 1852 -- 1993


Language of Materials



This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Russell Elliott Miller was a Professor of History, University Historian and Archivist of Tufts University, and author of "Light on the Hill, A History of Tufts College from 1852 to 1952" and the second volume "Light on the Hill, A History of Tufts University since 1952." He was born in Bloomington, Minnesota, on April 25, 1916, to one of the last pioneer families in the Minnesota prairie. His mother spoke Dakota Sioux, which she had learned as a child. He received a B.A. in Education in 1937 and an M.A. in political science in 1939, both from the University of Florida at Gainesville. From 1942 to 1946, he served in the Army Air Corps as an enlisted man, rising to the rank of technical sergeant. Initially with personnel and classification, he was finally assigned to the historical section (intelligence) at the headquarters of the troop carrier command. In 1948 he earned a Master of Arts in history from Princeton University and came to Tufts that same year.

In 1952 he received a PhD from Princeton, and in 1964 Tufts appointed him Professor of History and University Historian and archivist. He taught courses ranging from the history of western civilization to the history of the American frontier. In 1966, he published "Light on the Hill, A History of Tufts College from 1852 to 1952." That year he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Tufts Alumni Association and became an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1975 he became the Walter S. Dickson Professor of English and American History and chaired the Department of History from then until 1980. He was voted Emeritus Professor of English and American History in 1981 and received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree in 1983. In 1986, he completed the second volume of Tufts history, "Light on the Hill II, A History of Tufts University since 1952."


1.25 Linear Feet

2 Volumes


This collection is organized into one series.

Processing Information

Two folders relating to Russell E. Miller's academic career and advancement records from UA073 Vertical Files were added to MS117 Russell E. Miller papers in June 2014.

Processing status

This collection is processed.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States