Robin Higham records

Identity elements

Reference code

Level of description



Robin Higham records


  • Circa 1963 - 2003 (Creation)


10.5 cubic feet total.
Consisting of 9 cubic foot boxes and 3 oversize flat boxes (two of which are 16" x 20" and one of which is 20" x 24").

Name of creator

(June 20, 1925 – August 27, 2015)

Biographical history

Robin David Stewart Higham (June 20, 1925 – August 27, 2015) was a British-American historian, who specialized in aerospace and military history, and also served as a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II.

Higham was born in London, England to David Higham, a British veteran of the World War I and Margaret Anne Stewart, an American. He grew up in London but had met relatives in Texas and Oklahoma with his mother in 1929 and 1935. Following the outbreak of the Battle of Britain in 1940, Higham's parents sent him to the United States. He attended the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. He married Barbara Jane Davies (1927-2017) on August 5, 1950. They had four children: Peter, Susan, Martha, and Carol; they had three grandchildren at the time of his death. Higham lived in Manhattan, Kansas for the majority of his life and became an American citizen in 1959. He died in Manhattan, Kansas and is buried there in Sunrise Cemetery with Barbara.

From 1943 to 1947, Higham served as a pilot and flight sergeant in the Royal Canadian Air Force in Europe and Asia (Burma Road). Higham studied at the University of New Hampshire and Harvard University, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1950 cum laude. In 1953, he received his master's degree at Claremont Graduate University in California.

From 1954 to 1957, Higham was an instructor at the University of Massachusetts. He received a PhD in 1957 from Harvard with a dissertation on the development of aviation in Great Britain. For the next six years, until 1963, he was an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, where he was co-founder of the National Security Seminar of Duke University and University of North Carolina. In 1963, Higham became a professor at Kansas State University. He was granted professor emeritus in 1999.

Though he described himself as a "historical generalist" in a 1998 interview, Higham's primary publications were on the subject of aeronautics, especially military-scientific aspects. He did, however, also write extensively on geopolitics in general.

He was editor of Military Affairs (re-titled later as The Journal of Military History) from 1968 to 1988 and of Aerospace Historian from 1970 to 1988. Higham was also the editor of the Journal of the West beginning in 1976.

In 1977, Higham founded Sunflower University Press, which existed until 2005 and published books on military science and military history.

Higham authored, co-authored, and edited over 38 books and many professional articles.

Higham was a member of many aviation and military history organizations. His honors from these groups included the Social Science Research Council National Security Policy Research Fellowship, 1960–1961. In 1985, he received the first Samuel Eliot Morison Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Society for Military History. In 1986, Higham received the Victor Gondos Award (now The Edwin H. Simmons Award) for his outstanding service to the Society for Military History.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection contains writings, notes, Department of History information, personal material, photographs, and miscellaneous material accumulated by Robin Higham.
The writings include drafts, historical papers, oversize papers, and manuscripts, specifically Deciphered: The Phaistos Disk and the Southern Minoan Maritime World by Robin Higham, A Guide to the Sources of British Military History by Robin Higham, Handbook on World War I by Robin Higham, 100 Years of Air Power and Aviation by Robin Higham, and Diary of a Disaster by Robin Higham.
Higham’s notes pertain to personal and professional subjects, especially publication and revision.
The Department of History information contains course material, especially syllabi and final exams/prompts, course planning, class schedules, class directories, correspondence, memoranda, minutes, certificates, and Higham operations manuals.
The personal material mostly contains correspondence and notes, but also has some information regarding Higham’s children. There are records regarding Manhattan High School and its PTA.
The photographs largely contain images of pilots, planes, other aircraft, watercraft, soldiers, colleagues, family, and other personal and professional subjects. Additionally, there are maps, and portraits. A small amount of this material is oversize.
The miscellaneous records include memoranda from the American Military Institute, Faculty Senate records, Kennedy Library Information, and awards and certificates.

System of arrangement

Material was grouped together based roughly on box content. See the individual box scope and content for more information.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Physical access

This collections contains a photographic slide and a VHS tape. These materials will need special tools in order to view them properly.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Languages of the material

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Russian

Scripts of the material

  • Cyrillic
  • Greek
  • Latin

Language and script notes

The majority of records are in English, but correspondence and other works in other languages can be found in this collection.

Finding aids

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Specialized notes

  • Citation: Citation: Preferred Citation: [Item title], [item date], College of Veterinary Medicine records, Box [number], Folder [number or title], Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

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Archivist's note

Finding Aid Author: AJ January
Processing Info: Majority of processing and description completed by AJ January, with Wil Doddridge, and Brinna Wellington.
Majority of pre-processing survey work completed by Kevin Jackson, but also by Meghan Luttrell. Project overseen by Helena Egbert, Processing Archivist.
Publication date: February 2024

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