The George S. Rentz, Jr. Papers (2 Boxes, 3.0 linear feet) contain the correspondence, photographs, and collected printed materials of George S. Rentz, Jr., the noted Arabist who pioneered the Research and Translation division of the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco). The collection provides primary and secondary source material for the history of the Arabian American Oil Company, U.S.-Saudi relations, the politics of oil, and the Palestinian revolution. Rentz's private notebooks and appointment diaries provide the only personal aspects of the collection; the evolution, expansion, and politics of Aramco dominate Rentz's papers.
The content of the collection can be divided into three parts, each reflecting one of Rentz's titles: scholar, Arabist, and Aramco pioneer. As a scholar, Rentz produced a number of articles, encyclopedia entries, and books relating to the history, culture, and evolution of Saudi Arabia, as well as keeping contact with professors from around the world. After retiring from Aramco and joining the faculty of Stanford University, Rentz became interested in the tensions of the modern Arab world--particularly the Arab-Israeli conflict. In addition to the newspapers and publicity materials of al-Fatah (the Palestinian National Liberation Movement), Rentz's printed materials contain speeches, press releases, and publications generated by Yasser Arafat, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Kings Sa'ud and Faisal of Saudi Arabia. As an enthusiastic Arabist, Rentz collected maps, articles, and photographs that provide researchers with a timeline of the Arab world's development from the early 1930s through its modernization in the 1970s. Of particular interest is the substantial collection of photographs from a 1945 "Locust" expedition to Saudi Arabia and from Rentz's travels to Syria, Egypt, Eritrea and Tunisia in 1932. Finally, George Rentz played an important role in the development of the Arabian American Oil Company, or Aramco. His correspondence provides a window into the daily workings of the company and reveals both the grand ambitions of American and British oilmen and the delicate position they held in a fast-changing Arab world. The collection contains letters to and from Aramco notables, including Tom Barger, Floyd Ohliger, William Mulligan, and Homer C. Mueller (who was working undercover for the CIA). Rentz also preserved a significant number of issues of Aramco's weekly newspaper, the "Sun and Flare", as well as a typed narrative of an Aramco employee's 16,000 mile road trip around North America with the grandson of the Saudi Minister of Finance in 1949. Another item of special interest is the commemorative booklet and photographs of the U.S.S. Rentz, a guided missile frigate named after Rentz's father, George S. Rentz, Sr. George Rentz, Sr. was a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary who entered the U.S. Navy during World War I as a chaplain and rose to the rank of commander by World War II. His ship, the U.S.S. Houston, was attacked in the Pacific in 1942, and Rentz was killed in action. He received the Navy Cross posthumously. The Georgetown University Library Special Collections Division also preserves the collection of William Mulligan, Rentz's colleague and successor at Aramco.
SERIES LIST: Series 1 - Correspondence from George S. Rentz, Jr. Series 2 - Correspondence to George S. Rentz, Jr. Series 3 - Manuscripts by Sophie Rentz Series 4 - Notebooks of George S. Rentz, Jr. Series 5 - Photographs of George S. Rentz, Jr. and other subjects Series 6 - Printed Materials by, or collected by, George S. Rentz, Jr. Series 7 - Issues of Aramco's weekly newspaper the "Sun and Flare" Series 8 - Biographical documents of George S. Rentz, Jr.