Robert Billigmeier

Guide to the Robert Billigmeier Collection

The Robert Billigmeier collection holds some of the documents of the University of California's Evacuation and Resettlement Study begining in 1942. The collection contains reports conducted under the direction of University of California, Berkeley Professor Dorothy Swain Thomas. There are also publications such as Professor's Dorothy Swaine Thomas' book The Spoilage and the WRA: A Story of Human Conservation. There is a scrapbook produced by the students at Tule Lake, photographs of the internment camp and photos of Billigmeier's personal life.

Robert Henry Billigmeier was a UCSB professor of sociology and author who lived in Santa Barbara. His areas of specialization were demographics, social movements and European and American ethnic groups. In Santa Barbara, Billigmeier worked for family planning, fair housing and international cooperation.

He was the foreign student advisor at UCSB from 1955 to 1963 and was one of the founders of the University of California Education Abroad Program, serving as associated director from 1964 to 1976.

Billigmeier also wrote books about Swiss immigrants to America, German Americans and the Romansh minority of Switzerland, in addition to a number of other scholarly and literary contributions. His book on the Romansh, who live in parts of Switzerland and Italy, is considered by many scholars to be the definitive work on the subject. During visits to Switzerland, he was involved in community organizations for the preservation of the Romansh culture.
(from the Santa Barbara News Press)