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Irving Hart Collection

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.58
  • Collection

There are two pieces to the Irving Hart collection in the Grinnell College Archives.  One is a letter that Elizabeth Kelsey (Class of 1898) wrote to Hart in April 1898 as he was leaving Grinnell to serve in the Spanish–American War, and the other is an autograph album with signatures of students and faculty from the 1870s when Irving’s mother, Elizabeth Biggar Hart, was a student.

Ivan Sheets Postcard Collection 1900-2000 early 20th century

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.107
  • Collection

The Ivan Sheets collection contains approximately 400 post cards of towns primarily in Poweshiek County, Iowa.  The are 334 post cards of Grinnell and 74 post cards of surrounding towns including Brooklyn, Malcom, Montezuma, Newton, and Oskaloosa.

Sheets, Ivan W.

Jack Robertson Photograph Collection 1986

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.173
  • Collection

Photographs taken by Grinnell College employee Jack Robertson during the 1986 school year. The majority of the photographs are of teaching faculty members, but many photos are also of students.

Robertson, Jack

James Langdon Hill Papers 1715-1928

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.43
  • Collection

This may be an autograph collection of Hill’s; or it may be a collection of historical items collected by various persons. In the collection is a notebook that has one poem written in it; letters and correspondence of Hill’s were found in the notebook.

Items in the large scrapbook may be part of his collection because one of the autographs mentioned in Hill’s letter in the Correspondence file was in the scrapbook. There were other letters in the scrapbook that indicate that some of the items were from different sources and were collected for a type of historical collection. There is a note attached to two, 1840 receipts: “Professor Spencer: Do you have charge of a collection such as these? / E. L. Long” and a letter to Rev. Parker from Lyman Whiting that was enclosed with some historical items: “...[they] have a bit of history in them which leads me to send them to you to dispose of as you think best. If worth keeping in the museum, please put them there; if fit only to be burned, let that be their fate.” Items from the scrapbook that seemed to have a different provenance were put into file folders.

Hill, James Langdon (Class of 1871)

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 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

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