Albert H. Lybyer Papers, 1876-1949
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Brief Description: Papers of Albert Howe Lybyer (1876-1949), professor of History (1913-1944) including correspondence, memoranda, diaries, notes, photographs, manuscripts, bibliography slips and financial records relating to courses taken at Princeton and Harvard and taught at Robert College (1901-1907), Oberlin (1910-1913), and Illinois (1913-1944); service with the Inquiry, the American Commission to Negotiate Peace and the King-Crane Commission on mandates in Turkey (1918-1919); schools and relief in the Near East; travel in the U.S., Europe and the Near East; contributions to periodicals and encyclopedias; addresses and radio talks; service on University committees (1920-1940); manuscript bibliographies on the Ottoman Empire; historical association committees; conservation; mathematics; real estate investments in Florida, Iowa, Indiana and Illinois; family history and genealogy and personal affairs. The series includes 2x3 inch glass slides of travel scenes in Europe and the Ottoman Empire (1912).
Held at:
University of Illinois Archives
19 Library
1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 333-0798
Fax: (217) 333-2868
Email: illiarch [at]
Record Series Number: 15/13/22
Created by: Lybyer, Albert Howe (1876-1949)
Volume: 20.3 cubic feet
Acquired: 9/1963
More information is available at
Arrangement: By type of material, alphabetically (correspondence) or chronologically thereunder.
Biographical Note for Lybyer, Albert Howe (1876-1949) :

Albert Howe Lybyer (1876-1949) was associate professor (1913-16); professor (1916-44); and professor emeritus (1944-49) of history at the University of Illinois (UI). He is widely considered a founding scholar of Ottoman studies in the United States (Lowry, 65).

Lybyer was born in Putnamville, Indiana, in 1876. He earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton University (1896) and a master's degree from Princeton Theological Seminary (1899), becoming an ordained Presbyterian minister in 1900. Lybyer then taught at Robert College in Istanbul (1900­-06) and Harvard University (1907-09) before earning a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1909. His dissertation, "The Government of the Ottoman Empire in the Time of Suleiman the Magnificent," was published in 1913 and became an influential early work in the field of Near Eastern studies in the United States. Lybyer taught at Oberlin College (1909-13) before joining the history faculty at the University of Illinois in 1913. Under his leadership, the UI became "the first institution to grant multiple degrees to students working on Ottoman studies in America" (Lowry, 65/66). At the end of WWI, Lybyer served as technical advisor for Colonel Edward House's Inquiry into Peace Terms (August-March 1919); the American Commission to Negotiate Peace (August-March 1919); and the King-Crane Commission on Mandates in Turkey (April-September 1919). Following WWI, the modern history of the Balkans became Lybyer's primary research interest. He later served as trustee for the American College in Sofia, Bulgaria; associate editor and contributor to Current History (1923-30); and president of the New Orient Society of America (1936-39).

Lybyer was active in the Champaign-Urbana chapter of the Progressive Citizens of America. He was married to Clara Lybyer, and he died in 1949.


"Albert H. Lybyer, 72, Taught at Illinois U," New York Times, March 29, 1949, accessed May 21, 2020,

Heath W. Lowry, "The State of the Field: A Retrospective Overview and Assessment of Ottoman Studies in the United States of America and Canada," Turkish Studies Association Bulletin 24, no. 1 (Spring 2000): 65-119, accessed online May 21, 2020,

"Record Series 15/13/22, Lybyer, Albert Howe, Paper, 1876-1949," University Archives PDF (UIUC), accessed May 21, 2020,

Wikipedia, s.v. "Albert Howe Lybyer," accessed May 21, 2020,

Subject Index
Course Notes
Faculty Papers
Harvard University
King-Crane Commission
Music -- Illinois
Near East
Oberlin College
Ottoman Empire
Peace, American Commission to Negotiate
Princeton University
Robert College
Turkey - History and Geography
World War I - Diplomacy and Politics
World War I - Military Government and Peace
Genres/Forms of Material
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Turkish,Ottoman(1500-1928) [ota]