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The Harold L. Clapp papers consist of talks; unpublished articles, stories, books, verse, and translations; newspaper clippings about Clapp; and correspondence.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ideas on education are most fully documented I the series Council for Basic Education, Talks, and Published and Unpublished Writings.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

Glenn H. Leggett Writings 1958-1996

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.40
  • Collection

The collection contains 24 different volumes that are collections of essays, lectures, eulogies, toasts, letters, reminiscences, etc. The subjects of the essays range from dogs to writing and from poetry to hunting and fishing, reflecting the broad range of interests of the author. Also included is an autobiography, family stories, travel accounts, and reflections on the academic life. There are histories of Grinnell Federal Saving and Loan Association and of the Kiwanis Club. Some of the essays were papers delivered at the Fortnightly Club. The speeches include ones given on retirements, dedications, commencements, and inaugurations.

Leggett, Glenn H.

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.

Burling Family Papers 1889-1957

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.160
  • Collection

Photographs, correspondence, and visitor book from the Edward B. Burling family.

Matlack Family Papers 1879-1997

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.46
  • Collection

The collection includes a variety of materials belonging to several family members that were found in Laura's house after her death: legal papers; personal calendars of Merta, David, and Laura; papers of Henry and Merta from their professional careers; and family correspondence and other personal papers. They provide a glimpse into the activities of this fascinating Grinnell family.

The family papers generally include legal papers, information about genealogy, photos, correspondence, and miscellaneous items. Noteworthy items include My Family's History by Helen M. Hatch, A Christmas Memoiry by Margaret M. Kiesel, and numerous editions of The Maggie Gazette and Intelligence, a family newsletter written and published by Margaret M. Kiesel. The family correspondence is extensive, and gives a good look into the family members' lives.

Henry's papers include music that he wrote, church programs when he was organist, articles that he wrote on a variety of music-related issues, articles and talks on education (some written during his time as Alumni Secretary), and files of historical material from the Alumni Office.

Merta's papers include programs, reports, and yearbooks of organizations to which she belonged including Entre Nous, Uncle Sam's Club, and Congregational women's groups. Her professional papers include memos, time sheets, correspondence from her tenure with the Consumer Purchases Study and miscellaneous other activities. There are also items from Merta's college years, including papers and notebooks. Go to College and The Education of Merta Johnson Matlack as told by herself give a glimpse into what a woman's education was like around the turn-of-the-century. Gust Johnson's papers include newspaper clippings, letters, report cards, and other miscellaneous stuff.

David's papers include a birth certificate, newspaper clippings, programs from events in Grinnell, correspondence and calenders.

Laura corresponded with Art Department colleagues, other Grinnell College graduates from her class, and with Edith Sternfeld, a former art professor at the college. The remainder of Laura's papers contain material relating to her weaving and to organizations in which she was active including the League of Women Voters, Peace Links, and weavers' groups. Noteworthy items include letters and SGA minutes in response to Kent State killings and closing of Grinnell College, miscellaneous items regarding convocation of 1967 when Martin Luther King Jr spoke at Grinnell College and the Wiemans hosting Benjamin Mays at the 1967 convocation, Recollections of My Husband, Henry Nelson Wieman, and The History of Architecture ... Grinnell Iowa, 1949. Henry N. Wieman's papers include correspondence and newspaper articles, He was a professor of philosophy who taught at several notable universities. The bulk of Henry N. Wieman's papers are at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

There are also items from the four remaining Matlack siblings: Mary Davenport, Margaret Kiesel, Jane Rutherford, and Connie Wieman; Merta's parents, Gust and Elma Johnson; Laura'/s husband, Henry N. Wieman; and Maggie's mother-in-law, Anna Kiesel. Correspondence to the Matlack sisters and other papers of theirs are included. Stories about the birth of Connie (born on Christmas day) are especially charming. Anna Kiesel's items include photos, programs, and correspondence. She and Gust Johnson have papers in German and Swedish, that give a glimpse into the ethnic communities of the mid-west in the 19th Century.

There are four boxes of oversize materials that include records, artwork, certificates, photos, music, and correspondence.

Matlack, Henry W.

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.