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John D. Unruh Archive: Home

This guide gives an overview of the John D. Unruh Jr. archive, one of several manuscript collections held by Bluffton University.


The John D. Unruh Jr. Archive consists of items, originals and photocopies, related to Unruh's life and career, with special focus on his tenure as a faculty member at Bluffton University, 1967-1976.

Former colleagues Robert Kreider and Von Hardesty and former student George Rable have contributed essays to the Archive, which is housed in the manuscripts section of the Archives and Special Collections floor of Musselman Library.

Quote from Elmer Neufeld


It was during the January 1968 Interterm on Freedom and Order than a young and handsome Bluffton Professor strode to the podium wearing a cowboy hat and western clothes, with six-shooters protruding from holsters dramatically slung on either hip! This was John Unruh, the immaculate and creative professor of history, in the throes of his dissertation research on "The Plains Across," which argued, among other things, that the six-shooter was really not as central to the westward movement in America as popularly depicted. John died very suddenly on January 18, 1976, following brain tumor surgery. He was just 38, in his ninth year of teaching at Bluffton..."

Elmer Neufeld, President Emeritus, in Centennial tribute to John D. Unruh Jr., August 1999

Librarian Info

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Carrie Phillips
Musselman Library