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Grinnell College -- History
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Class of 1957 Materials 1953-2003

  • US US-IaGG MS/01.167
  • Collection

Materials collected by the class agents relating to the Grinnell College Class of 1957.

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is manuscripts of his writings, including his autobiography, novels, short stories, essays, and poems, published and unpublished.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

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.

Grinnell – Chapin Genealogical Material

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.05
  • Collection

The collection consists of genealogical charts 1480 0 1919.  Correspondence ca. 1898-1908, 32 portraits, some unidentified, copies of cemetery inscriptions, Family Association publications for the Chapin (4 books, 1862, 1908, 1908, 1927) and Alden (1 book, 1916) families, sixty Chapin family deeds and documents from Massachusetts 1674-1851, and a 114-page handwritten notebook by E. F. G. of Stockbridge, 1848, family history of Chapin ancestors Dudley, Woodbridge, Jones, and Eliot.

The papers have detailed information about a few branches of the family, little or no information on other branches.  The researcher might consult U.S. Library of Congress, Genealogies in the Library of Congress to identify more complete sources.

Genealogical charts in this collection trace part of the Grinnell family from Pierre Grenelle, born about 1480 in France. A descendant, Matthew, born 1602, became a Protestant and moved to Newport, R.I., in 1630, beginning the American line of the family. Matthew’s son married a granddaughter of John and Priscilla Alden. Other charts trace various branches of the Chapin family from about 1576 to Mary Grinnell’s birth about 1857.

Grinnell, Josiah Bushnell

Truman Douglass. Builders of a Commonwealth 1911

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.07
  • Collection

In preparing his book, Pilgrims of Iowa, published in 1911, Truman Douglass compiled extensive biographical information about Congregational ministers in Iowa up to 1900. He had hoped to publish this material in additional volumes to his book, but left only a typed manuscript.  The preface in volume I suggests further sources for information about some of the ministers.

Douglass, Truman O.

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

Shelton Beatty Notes for his History of Grinnell College and its Curriculum to 1931 1929-1943

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.09
  • Collection

The collection consists of typewritten notes Mr. Beatty made for his “History of Grinnell College and its Curriculum to 1931” (August 1955), the original typescript of which is in the Archives 06.1/B38h. The notes are on 5 1⁄2 by 8 1⁄2 sheets filed in four archives boxes (20 linear inches); bibliography cards are filed in Box 2. The information on the notes would be most valuable for a person interested in pre-1931 curricular and academic aspects and in a brief general history of the college. References from which the notes were derived could direct a researcher to more detailed sources. In a 1980 letter Mr. Beatty indicated part of his research was “based on the trunk full of presidential and departmental reports tied each separately in ribbon by Mrs. Minora Rusk, former secretary to several of the earliest presidents (the trunk having been “lost: and covered over under the floor of the treasurer’s office in Magoun or Chicago Hall).”

Beatty, Shelton L.

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

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.

Grant O. Gale Personal Papers 1850-1995

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.115
  • Collection

The personal correspondence, notes and photographs of former Grinnell professor of physics Grant O. Gale. Gale was educated at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and got his masters in physics at the University of Michigan in 1933. He taught at Grinnell from 1929 to 1972. The college's observatory is named for Gale, and he was active in several Grinnell community organizations before his passing in 1998.
Gale is remembered for his dedication to his students and to his role as a mentor on the Grinnell campus.

Ruth E. Bean Papers 1922-1949

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.116
  • Collection

Various publications of Grinnell High School's newspaper, The Grinnellian, The Grinnell College Malteaser, and a cassette tape from the Grinnell College Glee Club in 1949

Chicago National League Ball Club Stock Certificates 1981-1981 1981

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.122
  • Collection

Two stock certificates (#3404 and #3405) issued to the Trustees of Iowa College. Dated August 21, 1981. Each certificate is worth 12 shares. Note with stock certificates indicates that a third certificate (#3503) is framed and on display in the Cubs Room of the PEC (Physical Education Complex). The plan is to display the framed certificate in the new Athletic Facility when it is completed in 2010. Destroyed in 2010.
Processed by Cheryl Neubert, February 2008.

William Oelke Papers 1953-1974

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.13
  • Collection

Consists of manuscripts of talks, articles, correspondence, photographs, and slides.  Most relate to chemistry and chemists at Grinnell College in the early and mid-twentieth century.

Oelke, William C.

Earl Blair Drawing Collection 2011 2011

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.134
  • Collection

Eighteen original ink drawings and one photocopy, featuring buildings including Goodnow and Carnegie Hall.

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