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Only top-level descriptions Grinnell College Libraries Special Collections Grinnell College -- History
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Harold L. Clapp Papers 1929-1961 1947-1961

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.03
  • Collection

The Harold L. Clapp papers consist of talks; unpublished articles, stories, books, verse, and translations; newspaper clippings about Clapp; and correspondence.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Clapp’s ideas on education are most fully documented I the series Council for Basic Education, Talks, and Published and Unpublished Writings.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.

Clapp, Harold L.

Harry Downer Papers 1930-1950

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.31
  • Collection

This collection includes correspondence from the 1940s, memoirs of Grinnell College in the 1880s, class letters and other related materials.

Harry Downer

Henry S. Conard Papers 1930-2000

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.28
  • Collection

The collection contains some of Conard's correspondence and newspaper clippings of articles about him.  There are also typed manuscripts of some of his articles, as well as several journals to which he contributed articles.

Conard, Henry S.

James Norman Hall Papers 1906-1954

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.01
  • Collection

The James Norman Hall papers at Grinnell College span the years 1906-54.  About half the collection is correspondence, clippings, photographs, and notebooks, the other half is manuscripts of his writings, including his autobiography, novels, short stories, essays, and poems, published and unpublished.  The 665 letters and post cards are arranged chronologically.  A small portion are from Hall's four years in Boston before World War I, nearly half are from World War I and post war years, and the rest from the last 25 years of his life.  Much of the correspondence is with his family and two Boston friends, George Courtright Greener (1911-53), Director of the North Bennet Street Industrial School, and Roy Cushman (1914-50), Probation Officer in Juvenile Court.  Other correspondence includes letters and cards from Hall to his former Grinnell professors, Charles Payne (1916-44) and George L. Pierce (1911-50), from his college roommate, Chester C. Davis (1910-19), newspaperman, head of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration in the 1930's and president of the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis, and a few letters from Ellery Sedgwick, editor of Atlantic Monthly.  The Atlantic Monthly-Hall-Nordhoff correspondence is on 14 rolls of microfilm, and the Sedgwick-Hall correspondence is on one roll in the Archives.  A few letters are exchanges between friends with comments about Hall.  Some letters are typed, some are carbons, most are handwritten.  A typed version of selected war letters is included.  The Archives does not have Robert Dean Frisbie's letters on which Hall's story "Frisbie of Danger Island" is based, nor correspondence with Nordhoff.

Most of the newspaper clippings are reports of Hall's war experiences and reviews of his books, a few are about Hall, Tahiti, and the South Seas.  Most photographs are from World War I and his Iceland trip, a few are of his family in Tahiti.

Twenty-eight small handwritten notebooks, some of which record Hall's travels and outlines of stories and poems, a diary of the 1909 Grinnell College Glee Club tour to the west coast, and Hall's Grandfather Young's small Civil War diary (1864) are also in the collection.  Two rolls of microfilm in the Archives contain war letters, pages of notebooks and other items selected from the Grinnell collection by Paul Briand Jr., who wrote a biography of Hall.

Over half of the collection consists of typescripts, some with revisions or several versions of sections, of nine of the twelve books Nordhoff and Hall co-authored (manuscripts of the first three, published before 1930, are not in the collection), of parts or all of seven of the seventeen books Hall published alone, of scripts of two of Hall's plays, of typescripts or holograph versions of 19 of the more than 80 published magazine pieces, and of about sixty unpublished poems, stories, and essays, most undated.  The Archives owns 28 books Hall wrote by himself or coauthored with Nordhoff, including foreign language editions of some titles.

The Hall papers at Grinnell College are a valuable resource for anyone studying his career as a writer, his travels, experiences, ideas, and the sources of some of his stories.  Hall's war correspondence is particularly enlightening for the World War I scholar interested in the human aspect of the war.

Hall, James Norman (Class of 1910)

John Kleinschmidt Collection of Grinnell Local History

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.39
  • Collection

Professor Kleinschmidt amassed countless photocopies, copies of microfilm and Sanborn maps, copies of newspaper articles, correspondence, and black and white photographs of local buildings (residences, commercial, college).  In the 1990s, Professor Kleinschmidt expressed his interest in having his collection deposited with the Grinnell College Archives.  Members of the Grinnell Historic Preservation Commission (Lisa Adkins, Don Irving, Cheryl Neubert), conducted interviews with him to access much of his accumulated knowledge about this history of the town, the occupants and the buildings.

Kleinschmidt, John

John P. Ryan Papers 1923-1953

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.18
  • Collection

Consists of notebooks containing records of the books Ryan read. His daughter, Jean, noted: “It shows his thoroughness, organization, and wide range of interest.” Only a few Lesson Plans are included in Ryan’s papers, including some for Fundamentals of Speech, Parliamentary Law, and one of his adult education classes in Des Moines. Correspondence includes two letters from Ryan to his daughter and son-in-law. The letter dated October 22, 1947 was “Ryan’s last letter written from Grinnell after retirement, and just before leaving to live on the West Coast.” [Jean Squires’ note] The typed letter was received after Ryan’s death by his wife from a Des Moines businessman who was a former member of Ryan’s classes there.

Ryan, John P.

John and Louise Nollen Correspondence 1906-1932

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.32
  • Collection

The collection consists primarily of letters written to John Nollen from members of his family 1906-32.  Correspondents include his parents, his wife, Louise, brother Henry, and his sisters Hanna and Sara.  The two sisters taught 1929-33 at Anatolia College, Salonika, Greece.  The collection includes their letters to John as well as typed copies of their letters to other members of the family and contain descriptions of their travels during those years.

Nollen, John S.

Jonathan L. Chenette Papers 1978-1996 1984-1996

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.37
  • Collection

The musical scores (and recordings of performances) were composed for a variety of institutions and occasions.  A number of vocal and instrumental pieces were composed for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Grinnell, Iowa) and St. John’s Catholic Church (Indianapolis, Indiana).

The composition of the opera Eric Hermannson’s Soul (begun in 1986-87 and completed in 1993) was supported with fellowships from Grinnell College and the Associated Colleges of the Midwest.  The opera was first performed in Grinnell on September 11, 1993 and in Iowa City on September 24, 1993.

Oh Millersville, based on the poetry of Grinnell College alumnus James Norman Hall, was first performed on February 29, 1992 in Herrick Chapel with Amy Johnson, soprano, and Richard Gordon, piano.  The 1991 orchestral version was commissioned by the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra and was performed on February 22 & 23, 1992 with Kristie Tigges, soprano.

Out of the land premiered at the inauguration of Pamela A. Ferguson as the 11th President of Grinnell College, October 12, 1991.  Text was by Associate Professor Paula V. Smith and by Grinnell President George F. Magoun.  The Grinnell Singers performed the piece, conducted by John Stuhr-Rommereim.

Broken Ground was commissioned by the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, the Iowa Sesquicentennial Commission, and Grinnell College to honor the 150th anniversaries of the state of Iowa and of Grinnell College in 1996.  The texts were composed by Iowa poets Michael Carey, Edward Hirsch, Dan Hunter, Paula V. Smith, Mary Swander, and Ray Young Bear.  The world premier was in May 1996, performed by the Des Moines Symphony and The Grinnell Singers.

Chenette, Jonathan

Joseph F. "Joe" Wall Papers 1950-1988

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.08
  • Collection

Consists of holograph, typescript, and proofs of Joseph Wall's biography, Andrew Carnegie (1970), holograph and typescript of Henry Watterson: Reconstructed Rebel (1956), and of the page proof of Interpreting Twentieth-Century America (1973).  A small part of the collection includes some correspondence connected with Andrew Carnegie. Also included is a typescript of the Grinnell College Faculty Handbook (1969) and talks and memos concerning the Abler-Woodworth controversy of 1974.

Wall, Joseph Frazier

Julius Reed Papers 1831-1890 1845-1869

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.106
  • Collection

The bulk of the collection contains correspondence and reports concerning Reed's work of the American Home Missionary Society of the Congregational Church in the 1845-1869. Among the topics addressed are slavery and how the church should regard congregations in slave-holding states, founding of churches in Iowa, church finances, and founding a college in Iowa. This is a rich collection for the study of early Congregationalism in Iowa.

Kara Bakken's “What We Remember: An Oral History of Grinnell College 1925-1992" 1925-1992

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.36
  • Collection

This oral history collection is a celebration of nearly 70 years of Grinnell College history as told through the words of people who have studied, worked, and played at this institution.

Drawn from interviews with more than 50 alumni, these remembrances tell not only about the specifics of college life, but also about the collective identity of the Grinnell community.  These interviews offer insight into the successes and struggles of individuals and into the traditions and values that define Grinnell, whether they occurred in 1925, 1945, 1972, or 1992.

[This note is quoted from the brochure created for the exhibition (photographs and excerpts of the interviews) that was displayed in the Burling Gallery, June 1-September 23, 1995.]

Bakken, Kara

Lenabel Courtney Oral Interview 1883-1977 1883-1899

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.10
  • Collection

Lenabel Body Courtney was interviewed by her grandson, J. Courtney Wilson, in January, February, August and December 1977. The collection consists of 15 cassette tapes and transcripts of approximately 230 typed pages, the transcript for each tape having an index of topics discussed.

Wilson, J. Courtney

Lillian Mattison Papers 1914-1915

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.25
  • Collection

Consists primariy of letters written by Lillian Mattison to her family during her senior year at Grinnell College, alumni materials, and a photograph album.

Mattison, Lillian

Mary Gae Wyly Papers on Grinnell Women Faculty 1971-1972

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.15
  • Collection

Mary Gae Wyly graduated from Grinnell College in 1962 and served as a librarian from 1968 to 1976.  This collection contains documents from her desk files, including one on the hiring of blacks and women, and a survey of women on campus for the improvement of Grinnell.

Wyly, Mary Gae

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