Collection MS/MS 01.03 - Harold L. Clapp Papers 1929-1961 1947-1961

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Reference code

US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.03

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Title

Harold L. Clapp Papers 1929-1961 1947-1961

Date(s)

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1.00

Name of creator

(1909-1961)

Biographical history

1909 June 14, born I Jamestown, New York

1928-29 Junior year at University of Nancy, France

1930 BA from Colgate University, Hamilton, New York

1931 Married Laura Rice

1930-32 Instructor in romance languages at Colgate University

1933 MA from University of Wisconsin

1935 Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin

1935-29 Professor of Romance Languages, Lake Erie College, Painesville, Ohio

1939-61 Grinnell College, Modern Language faculty

1941 Summer, Director, American Friends Service Committee, student work project, Mexico

1943-44 Coordinator of Area and Language Unites of the Army specialized Training, Assignment and Reclassification Unit (STAR), and if Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) at Grinnell College.

1946-47 President, Iowa Foreign Language Association

1947-48 Director, University of Delaware Foreign Study Group in Geneva, Switzerland

1949-50 Summers. Organized and taught French Play School for children

1952-55 Served on National Council of the American Association of University Professors

1953-54 President of the Iowa Conference of the American Association of University Professors.

1956-57 Executive Secretary, Council for Basic Education, Washington D.C.  Editor, Council for Basic Education Bulletin

1959-60 President, Council for Basic Education

1958-60 Chairman of the Faculty, Grinnell College

1960 Summer. Research in France and Switzerland

1961 Appointed to Seth Richards Chair of Modern Languages

1961 Sept. 3. Died of cancer, Grinnell, Iowa

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Scope and content

The Harold L. Clapp papers consist of talks; unpublished articles, stories, books, verse, and translations; newspaper clippings about Clapp; and correspondence.  One published book is reproduced here; other published works are listed in Appendix A.  The papers span the years 1929-61, with the bulk of the material between 1947 and 1961. Mr. Clapp was very concerned about American public primary and secondary education and in teacher training, favoring greater emphasis on basic elementary subjects.  Much of the collections records his active work in this area, speaking and writing and working for the Council for Basic Education in Washington, D.C.  This interest began with his observations of his sons’ education in Swiss public schools during the family’s year in Geneva, 1947-48.  The year is described in detail in letters written by HLC and Laura Clapp and in Laura Clapp’s introductory pages to the letters.  All of these are in “Letters from Switzerland,” the first series in the Clapp papers.  The Swiss letters also describe living and travel conditions and problems of American students in post-war Europe. Mr. Clapp’s ideas on education are most fully documented I the series Council for Basic Education, Talks, and Published and Unpublished Writings.  French Play School shows the practical application of his ideas.  His fiction (three books) was satire on American education.  Other than the Manual for French A2 the papers contain very little directly relating to Mr. Clapp’s teaching of French at Grinnell College. Laura Clapp transcribed by hand or had typed some of the papers because the originals were difficult to read.  She collected and in part arranged the material and appended explanatory notes where she felt they would help a reader better understand her husband’s writings.  Excerpts from her letters to her mother (series 10) describe some campus events of the 1940s and ‘50s.

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Conditions governing reproduction

Literary rights to Professor Clapp’s unpublished writings are held by James E. Clapp, 316 E. 23rd St., New York, New York 10010.  Single photocopies of unpublished material may be made for scholarly research.

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  • English

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