Skip to main content

Robert Torrens Hatt Papers

 Collection
Identifier: 1999-14

Collection Scope

SERIES I: Personal (1919-1984) documents Dr. Hatt’s life and work at Cranbrook Institute of Science and elsewhere. Within the correspondence folder are letters describing Dr. and Mrs. Hatt’s travel in Pakistan and Africa. Two diaries chronicle Dr. Hatt’s activities during his retirement years.

SERIES II: Travel Journals (1920-1984) consists of journals documenting several decades of world travel and field work. Starting in 1919 with his summer field work in Wyoming and Colorado, Dr. Hatt recorded both professional and personal observances in these journals. T

SERIES III: Published Works (1926-1976) represent only a small part of the approximately 250 scientific papers and reports authored by Dr. Hatt during his career. The works are arranged chronologically. One book in this series, Laboratory Manual of Testing Materials, was written by Hatt’s father, William Kendrick Hatt, a professor of civil engineering at Purdue University.

SERIES IV: Photographs (1935-1936, undated) are of special interest to those studying early Cranbrook and CIS history. Subjects documented are: the first house built on Faculty Row (occupied by the Hatt family), the CIS original building and planetarium, ca. early 1930s, and the gardens at Milles House at Cranbrook during the Hatt family residence.

SERIES V: Ephemera (undated) consists of Dr. Hatt’s metal field notebook clipboard only. The condition of the clipboard indicates that it was used extensively during Dr. Hatt’s field work and travels.

Dates

  • 1919 - 1984

Creator

Access

Access to the collection is unrestricted.

Use

Permission to use collection materials must be requested in writing.

History

Robert Torrens Hatt was born on July 17, 1902 in Lafayette, Indiana. He was the son of William Kendrick Hatt, a professor of civil engineering at Purdue University, and Josie Belle Appleby Hatt.

Dr. Hatt grew up in Lafayette and attended Purdue University from 1919-1920. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1923 from the University of Michigan. Hatt began his career in museums at Michigan when one of this professors, Dr. Ruthven, assigned him a research desk at the old University Museum. Dr. Hatt pursued his interest in the study of mammals at Columbia University, where he was awarded a masters degree (1925), and a Ph.D. in zoology (1932). During this time, Dr. Hatt was an instructor of biology at New York University (1923-1928), and an Assistant Curator of Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (1928-1935).

A long association with Cranbrook began on July 1, 1935, when Dr. Hatt was appointed Director of the Cranbrook Institute of Science (CIS), a position he held until retirement on June 30, 1967. Under his direction, CIS went through several building expansions and research conducted there drew the attention of the scientific community worldwide. In appreciation for his years of service, Dr. Hatt was awarded a Founders Medal in 1964 from the Cranbrook Foundation.

In addition to his administrative duties as CIS Director, Dr. Hatt spent a significant amount of time on field work and consultation. His research on the mammals of the United States, Mexico, Iraq, Pakistan, the Congo, and Southern Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe] resulted in many published papers and books. He was a Fellow in the Zoological Society of London and the New York Zoological Society, and the American Museum of Natural History. Hatt was a Research Fellow with the Fulbright Foundation in Iraq (1952-1953), and was appointed as the Ministry of Education, Consultant on Science Museums through UNESCO in Pakistan (1956).

Dr. Hatt married Marcelle Roigneau in 1929. The marriage produced two sons: Richard and Peter. After Marcelle’s death in 1951, Hatt married Suzannah Beck Vaillant in 1953.

Following retirement, Dr. and Mrs. Hatt continued their research and world travels, with a home base in Littleton, New Hampshire. Dr. Hatt died in 1989 after suffering a stroke.

Extent

2.5 Linear Feet (2 SB)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Robert Torrens Hatt (1902-1989), a graduate of University of Michigan and Columbia Univerisity, was an academic and zoologist with a long career in museum work culminating with his appointment as Director of the Cranbrook Institute of Science (CIS), a position he held until retirement on June 30, 1967. Under his direction, CIS went through several building expansions and research conducted there drew the attention of the scientific community worldwide. Dr. Hatt spent a significant amount of time on field work and consultation. His research on the mammals of the United States, Mexico, Iraq, Pakistan, the Congo, and Southern Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe] resulted in many published papers and books. He was a Fellow in the Zoological Society of London and the New York Zoological Society, and the American Museum of Natural History. Hatt was a Research Fellow with the Fulbright Foundation in Iraq (1952-1953), and was appointed as the Ministry of Education, Consultant on Science Museums through UNESCO in Pakistan (1956). Following retirement, Dr. and Mrs. Hatt continued their research and world travels, with a home base in Littleton, New Hampshire. The collection includes personal documents about Dr. Hatt's life and work at the CIS, and two diaries documenting his activities in retirement. It also contains travel journals detailing decades of world travel and field work, his field clipboards, and approximately 250 scientific papers and reports authored by Hatt. Photographs document Cranbrook and CIS history, including the first house built on Faculty Row (occupied by the Hatt family), the CIS original building and planetarium, and the gardens at Milles House at Cranbrook during the Hatt family residence.

Arrangement

The collection is divided into five series: Personal (box 1), Travel Journals (boxes 1-2), Published Works (box 2), Photographs (box 2), and Ephemera (box 2).

Journals making up Series II: Travel Journals are arranged chronologically.

Acquisition

Gift of Jennifer Hatt Windus.

Related Materials

Cranbrook Institute of Science Director’s Office Records (1990-31)

Cranbrook Publications Collection

E&M file, Robert T. Hatt

James H. Carmel Papers (2016-08)

Processing History

Amy James, 2000
Title
Guide to the Robert Torrens Hatt Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Amy James
Date
2000
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Edition statement
Resource record created by Laura MacNewman.

Repository Details

Part of the Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research Repository

Contact:
39221 Woodward Ave.
P.O. Box 801
Bloomfield Hills MI 48303 US