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Corinne Lathrop Gilb Papers

Identifier: WSP000708

Scope and Content

This collection primarily documents Gilb’s positions as both Co-Director of the Liberal Arts and Urban Studies program at WSU and as Planning Director for the City of Detroit. The collection is arranged in two series.

Series 1, Wayne State University and Detroit Committee Papers, is one box. Arranged by subject, folders in Box 1 contain correspondence, proposals, reports, and publications. Gilb’s participation from 1978 to 1979 on two WSU search committees, one to hire a Vice Provost and the other to confer the David Safran Award, are evidenced here. Additionally, notes and reports from 1985 to 1986 record the planning of two Detroit prisons, which would later be known as the Mound Correctional Facility and the Ryan Correctional Facility. Most publications in Box 1 are related to WSU’s urban mission in 1976 and 1977.

Series 2, Planning Reports, is two boxes. Arranged chronologically, folders in Boxes 2 and 3 contain planning reports for Detroit, from 1980 to 1985. Among the reports is Gilb’s three-volume Master Plan for the city.

This collection may include language deemed offensive due to its discriminatory content. The archivists of the Walter P. Reuther Library strive to provide historical context in their arrangement and description of such material. Its inclusion may illustrate the attitudes or opinions of its creator, and/or their associates, at the time of creation. These positions do not reflect the mission, vision, or values of the Walter P. Reuther Library, The Library System, or Wayne State University. For more information, please see The Library System’s statement on Diversity.


  • 1970 - 1994


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.


Corinne Lathrop Gilb was born on February 19, 1925 in Alberta, Canada. She was educated at University of Washington (Bachelor of Arts), Radcliffe-Harvard (Doctor of Philosophy in History of American Civilization), and University of California-Berkeley (Master of Arts). Gilb was also enrolled as a special student for three years at Boalt Hall School of Law. Gilb’s career in academia spanned 37 years. Her early years were spent at Mills College, San Francisco State College, and the University of California-Berkeley. While at UC Berkeley, she conducted oral histories for the Institute of Industrial Relations and became the first Director of the Regional Cultural History Project, the forerunner to the university’s Regional Oral History Office. In 1968, Gilb accepted a faculty position at Wayne State University (WSU). She served as both a history professor and Co-Director of the Liberal Arts and Urban Studies program. The latter appointment was from 1976 until 1985. Additionally, Gilb served under Detroit Mayor Coleman Young as Planning Director for the city from 1979 to 1985. While there, she produced a Master Plan for Detroit’s future. She retired from WSU as Professor Emeritus in 1994. In her retirement, Gilb moved to Atherton, California. She then founded Atherton Press and self-published the book, Toward Holistic History: The Odyssey of an Interdisciplinary Historian. Gilb died on January 20, 2003.


3 Linear Feet (3 SB)


The Corinne Lathrop Gilb Papers document Corinne Lathrop Gilb’s career from 1970 to 1994. During this time, she served as both a Wayne State University history professor and Co-Director of the Liberal Arts and Urban Studies program. Correspondence and reports related to her work at WSU are housed in Series 1, Wayne State University and Detroit Committee Papers. Her appointment as the City of Detroit’s Planning Director was from 1979 to 1985. Working under Mayor Coleman Young, Gilb created a Master Plan for the city in 1985. This plan and others are included in Series 2, Planning Reports.


Arranged in two series. Series 1 consists of one box of Wayne State University and Detroit Committee Papers. Folders in Box 1 are arranged by subject. Series 2 consists of two boxes of Planning Reports. Folders in Box 2 and Box 3 are arranged chronologically.


The Walter P. Reuther Library received the Corinne Lathrop Gilb Papers upon her retirement from Wayne State University in May of 1994.

Related Materials

Mel Ravitz Papers, Carl Almblad Papers, United Community Services Research Department: Studies and Reports

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Karen Turk on January 29, 2020.
Guide to the Corinne Lathrop Gilb Papers
Processed by Karen Turk.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA