Melvin Hecht (1926-1985) received his Ph.D in geography from the University of Kansas before joining the faculty at the University of Arizona in 1956. As the first trained geographer in the faculty, Hecht taught in the Department of Geography and Regional Development. As a professor, he taught beginning courses in geography and business administration, developed new courses in the department and aided in program planning. During this time, he also co-authored The Arizona Atlas with Richard Reeves. He retired to emeritus status in 1983.
The Melvin Hecht papers contain his professional research between 1950 and 1982, the bulk of which was created during his time at the University of Arizona. The research focuses primarily on the geography of southern Arizona, specifically man-made structures such as houses. The papers contain research notes, newspaper clippings, lecture notes, and a research index. In addition, the papers contain a variety of photographic materials such as photographic prints, slides, and negatives.