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Title: Interview with Solomon Katz - #4
Original format: VHS
Item Id.: spl_ds_skatz_01_04
Description: This is part 5 of a 6 part interview with Solomon Katz. This interview was conducted in 1985.
Solomon Katz (1909-1989) was a University of Washington professor, dean and provost and community patron of the arts. Katz was born in Buffalo, New York and attended Cornell University where he studied ancient history. In the 1930s, he taught Greek at the University of Oregon before moving to the University of Washington in 1936 where he taught Roman, Byzantine and medieval history. During World War II, Katz served as a major in the Army Air Force Intelligencer. Following the war, Katz returned to the University of Washington and became chair of the history department in 1954, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1960 and Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs in 1965. He retired from the University in 1979. Katz was part of many organizations including the Seattle Center Advisory Commission, the Lakeside School Board of Trustees, the board of the Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Seattle Arts Commission, the Seattle Art Museum, the Haas Foundation and Patrons of Northwest Civic, Cultural and Charitable Organizations (PONCHO).
The first tape covers his early life, education and the beginning of his career at the University of Washington. The second tape covers more of his early career and his experiences during World War II, the university environment from the McCarthy era to the early 60's. Tape 3 continues the topic from the end of tape 2 on Dr. Katz's involvement with various arts boards and organizations. The last two tapes cover his increasingly responsible duties at the University of Washington from the 60's through his retirement.
This interview is part of the Donald Schmechel Oral History Collection. Don Schmechel, who was a member of the Seattle Public Library Foundation board, began this project with Seattle Public Library in 1984, with the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) brought on board as a partner in early 1985. Schmechel himself worked to raise the funding for the project, and volunteered his time to manage the project, and to conduct interviews along with a crew of volunteers. Originally titled the Videotaping Historic Figures (VHF) Program, the project interviewed 91 people, with a portion of the interviews entering the collections of the Seattle Public Library and a portion of them going to MOHAI. The interviews conducted with these Seattle civic, business and cultural leaders are valuable first-hand accounts that provide insight into developments taking place in the mid-twentieth century.
Digitization of this videotape material has been made possible in part by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.