Scope and Contents
Ruth Genevieve Van Horn Zuckerman was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on November 7, 1900 to Samuel H. Van Horn (1875-1938) and Laura J. (Mills) Van Horn (1880-1967). As a young adult, Ruth attended Western Michigan College (1918-1921) and the University of Michigan (1921-1922) to receive a B.A. in English. Continuing her studies, she returned to the University of Michigan (1925-1926) and also attended Columbia University (Summer 1935, Fall 1936-1967) to receive a M.A. in English with a minor in Philosophy. During WWII, Ruth taught at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center and joined the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Washington D.C., where she worked decoding Japanese messages, and her experiences are recorded in her 1943 diary.
Following her education, Ruth taught at Western Michigan University in the English department (c. 1940-1960), as well as published several poems, articles, book reviews, short stories, and novels. The collection includes draft copies of Red Weather, Susan Granberry, and Changing Waters, as well as published copies of Crooked Eclipses (1942) and From the Ravine (1984). The diaries and photos included in the collection show that Ruth was well travelled, and visited various countries in Europe including England, France, and Belgium (c. 1950), as well as islands in the Caribbean including Haiti, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico (c. 1970).
On October 20, 1962, Ruth married Jerome Zuckerman (1945-2017), an English PhD and faculty member at Western Michigan University, and the two moved to Mankato, MN in 1964 after Jerome accepted a position teaching at Minnesota State University. There they resided, continue to travel, and remained married until Ruth’s death on November 3, 1991.
From the Collection: 6 boxes : 3.0 cubic feet contained in six full-sized Hollinger boxes
Language of Materials
Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository
Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US