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Grinnell College -- Students
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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is manuscripts of his writings, including his autobiography, novels, short stories, essays, and poems, published and unpublished.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)

Jimmy Ley Papers 1922-1981 1940-1945

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.162
  • Collection

This collection is organized into four series: Biographical, Correspondence, Military, and Photographs.

Series 1: Biographical (1924-1981)

The Biographical series includes personal items including Ley’s birth certificate, framed high school basketball letter, and Catechism bible, as well as a handwritten copy of a poem composed by his mother for his funeral service. The series also includes an extensive scrapbook including photos, personal and educational documents, and newspaper clippings from early childhood until after his death.

Series 2: Correspondence (1939-1946)

The Correspondence series consists of three sub-series: letters written by Jimmy Ley, letters written to Ley and returned to his parents, and letters written to his parents after his disappearance. Ley’s letters are almost exclusively addressed to his parents and date from between just before he first attended Grinnell College in the fall of 1939 until his disappearance in February 1944. Ley’s letters are organized chronologically and divided into folders by location, mostly military camps where Ley was stationed. Mostly written by the families of other missing men in Ley’s flight crew, the letters to Jimmy’s parents after his death date from between November 1944 and August 1945 and are arranged alphabetically by sender’s last name.

Series 3: Military (unkown-1948)

The Military series consists of Ley’s official certificates and awards, bomb squadron yearbook, air force patch, and framed medals (Distinguished Flying Cross, 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, and Purple Heart).

Series 4: Photographs (unknown-1945)

The Photographs series includes fifteen unframed photographs, a portrait in a display folder, a framed photo collage documenting the medals Ley earned, a large framed portrait displayed at Ley’s funeral, and a large framed artistic collage of Ley’s plane and flight crew.

Ley, James

Joanne Bunge Papers

  • US US-IaGG MS/01.170
  • Collection

Materials from 1952-1956 and subsequent class reunions.

John Bley '47 and Roberta Donaldson Bley '49 Papers

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.121
  • Collection

Class and class reunion photos, academic papers and grades, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and correspondance, commencement, scrapbooks

John Bley (Class of 1947)

John Crossett Papers 1962-1970

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.17
  • Collection

The collection consists of personal and professional correspondence primarily covering 1962 through 1970.  The bulk of the materials are concerned with conditions at Parsons College, beginning with the summer of 1962 and carrying through to its closing in 1973.  Newspaper clippings document final years of parsons College.  Three boxes contain official material published by Parsons, minutes from various organizations on campus, and student records. One box contains the reports on parsons from various agencies.  A small amount of material is related to Dr. Crossett’s tenure on the faculty at Grinnell College

Crossett, John M.

John Dashiell Stoops Papers 1890-1973

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.35
  • Collection

John Dashiell Stoops was a professor of Philosophy at Iowa/Grinnell College from 1904 to 1943 and Professor Emeritus from 1943 until his death in 1973.  This collection of his papers, donated by Rose Stoops, is dated from 1904 to 1950s and includes manuscripts, notes, and correspondence.

Stoops, John Dashiell

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.

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

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

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