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is manuscripts of his writings, including his autobiography, novels, short stories, essays, and poems, published and unpublished.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

RG-F:  Faculty and Staff

  • US US-IaGG Archives/RG-F
  • Collection

Papers and records of various faculty departments.

RG-SP: Special Services and Summer Activities Office Records 1983-1996

  • US US-IaGG Archives/RG-SP
  • Collection

Consists of Jim Work's office files.  Included are files concerning the celebration of the college's sesquicentennial in 1996.

The Summer Programs Office was organized in 1982 by James C. Work. The office coordinated special academic and athletic summer programs and outside groups using campus facilities for conferences. In 1989-1990 the name of the office was changed to Special Services and Summer Activities as additional responsibilities were added. During the college's sesquicentennial celebration, the office coordinated many on-campus and off-campus events. In July, 2001, the office merged with the Office of Public Relations to become the Office of Communications and Events.

Series 1 Summer Program Files: Have not been arranged; they include brochures and schedules from summer activities from 1983-1989.

Series 2 Sesquicentennial Celebration Files: Include memoranda, programs, planning and materials, and budgets for many events on campus and around the country. Also included are audio and video tapes of SQC events. The files are arranged by Grinnell activities and off-campus activities (generally arranged alphabetically by city).

Series 3 Scholars' Convocations: Includes 129 audiotapes of convocations from 1991-1997 and 23 videotapes of convocations, 1996-1997.

RG-TR: Trustees of Iowa (Grinnell) College

  • US US-IaGG Archives/RG-TR
  • Collection

Consists of minutes of the Executive Committee of the Trustees, the Board of Trustees, the Finance Committee, and materials on the Fund for Excellence.

The cyclone of June 1882 destroyed the minutes of meetings of the Trustees of Iowa College. S. L. Herrick, Secretary of the Board, copied his records of meetings prior to that date.

RG-S: Students

  • US US-IaGG Archives/RG-S
  • Collection

Papers and records of various student organizations and projects.

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

RG-R: College Relations

  • US US-IaGG Archives/RG-R
  • Collection

The Summer Programs Office was organized in 1982 by James C. Work. The office coordinated special academic and athletic summer programs and outside groups using campus facilities for conferences. In 1989-1990 the name of the office was changed to Special Services and Summer Activities as additional responsibilities were added. During the college's sesquicentannial celebration, the office coordinated many on-campus and off-campus events. In July, 2001, the office merged with the Office of Public Relations to become the Office of Communications and Events.

RG-DEV:  Development Office Records 1913-1990

  • US US-IaGG Archives/RG-DEV
  • Collection

The Development Office is responsible for the fund-raising operations of the college.  These records document its activities.

History & Background of the Office:

Perhaps the first donation to Grinnell College was in 1846 when J.J. Hill, one of the Iowa Band, made the gift of a silver dollar to challenge his colleagues to endow the College. Since that time, the College has been almost continually involved with fund-raising campaigns. In 1897 a Semi-Centennial Fund was established for enlarging the campus and for adding to the endowment. Four groups were targeted: alumni, trustees, faculty; citizens of Grinnell; Congregationalists of Iowa; and friends of education everywhere. Solicitations were sent out from the Semi-Centennial Committee.

In 1913 the Grinnell College Foundation was established to work with the Trustees of the College to manage and sell real estate, principally farm lands, given to the college under annuity plans. The Foundation financed men's and women's dormitories built in the second decade of the twentieth century. The College also had a number of endowment campaigns after the turn of the century. During the first half of the century, the College Treasurer and Business Officers were involved with development efforts, especially Louis V. Phelps (1915-49) and Charles Kaufman (1948-66). The fund-raising activities of the College were run by the administration, especially the President, and the Trustees for many years. In the late 1950s President Bowen hired the fund-raising counselling firm of Marts & Lundy to study the feasibility of raising substantial funds to meet the ongoing needs of the College. Then early in the 1960s, with the assistance of a matching grant from the Ford Foundation, the College hired its first, senior, fund-raising officer, John McFarland. From that time until 2005, development activities have been run from the Development Office. In 2005, the Development Office, the Alumni Office, and the Office of Communications and Events were combined under one Vice-President for College and Alumni Relations.

Development Officers:

1963-65 John R. McFarland, Jr. Vice President for Development 1966-66 Russell W. Fridely Vice President for Planning and Development 1966-71 James O. Avison Director of Development 1971-73 James O. Avison Vice President for Resources Planning 1973-76 James O. Avison Vice President for Institutional Development 1976-80 David L. Murphy Vice President for Development 1980-82 Richard T. Jenkins Vice President for Development 1982-92 Thomas K. Marshall Vice President for Development 1992-93 Michael S. Bever Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations 1994-96 E. Kevin Cornell Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations 1996-2001 Angela Voos Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations 2001 - 2005 Todd A. Reding Vice President for Alumnit Relations and Development, 2005 - 2010 Mickey Munley, Vice President for College and Alumni Relations

George D. Herron papers 1891-1973 1891-1903

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.47
  • Collection

The collection includes writings of Herron from the 1890s, correspondence from and to college officials regarding Herron and his work at the college, published articles and unpublished papers about Herron, and extensive set of clippings regarding Herron, his philosophy and teaching, and his relationship with Carrie Rand.

Herron, George D.

RG-T: Treasurer's Office Records 1847-1980

  • US US-IaGG Archives/RG-T
  • Collection

Items in the Treasurer's Office record group span the years 1847-1980.  Records from the 19th Century (Series 1 and 4) consist chiefly of ledgers, journals, and donor lists.

Prior to 1887 the college had no office force, and a Trustee served as Treasurer (without salary). Several local bankers serves as treasurers and auditors during the Gates' administration, The first salaried Treasurer was H. H. Robbins.

H. H. Robbins, 1869, was Secretary and Treasurer of Iowa College 1887-1906, and was a Trustee 1890-1906. Prior to 1887 he was a Congregational minister and a railroad engineer. He was the son of Iowa Band Member A. B. Robbins, who was the first president of the Board.

H. W. Somers, 1882, became Business Manager and Secretary in 1907. His duties were to direct the financial and accounting system of the college and to direct fund raising. In 1916 his title changed to Secretary and Treasurer, and Louis Pyelps became Business Manager. Somers served until 1919.
Louis Phelps came as Business Manager in 1916, was college Treasurer 1919-1949. He was Secretary of the Grinnell College Foundation 1917-ca. 1954. Prior to coming to Grinnell he was a construction engineer, and was involved in construction of the women’s quadrangle 1914-1916.

Rupert Hawk, Treasurer, 1949-1956
Charles Kaufman served as Accountant 1942-1956 and as Treasurer 1956-1966
Donald Lambie, Treasurer, 1966-1972
Robert Anderson, Treasurer, 1972-1988
Waldo Walker, Treasurer, 1988-1990
David Clay, Treasurer, 1990-

From about 1913 to 1940 the college expanded its facilities dramatically.  Louis Phelps, College Treasurer 1919-1949, and Grinnell College Foundation Secretary 1917-ca.1954, preserved most of the papers which expedited the financing and construction of the dormitories and a few other buildings during this period.  Series 3-5 are from his files.

Providing on-campus dormitores for students was a new phenomenon in the early part of the twentieth century, and financing their construction called for considerable ingenuity.  Grinnell was a pioneer in this, and other colleges and universities studied the example.  One officer of the General Education Board, a Rockefeller philanthropy which contributed significantly to the College, praised President Main for pioneering in the social and educational experiment; another officer feared that war or pestilence might create serious problems in dormitories (RG-T, Ser. 3.4, folder 2, Phelps to Arnett, 6/22/30),.  The College Trustees created Grinnell College Foundation to raise the funds.  Details of their activities are in Series 6 and Series 3.4 of this record group.  Dormitory construction records are in Series 4.

Part of the financing involved owning, managing, and selling farms and other real estate.  Correspondence between Mr. Phelps and the farmers and farm managers (in series 5) records on a day-to-day basis the myriad problems farmers faced during the 1920s and 30s in the midwest.  Text books describe the agricultural situation, but this correspondence brings home what it was like to live and cope with falling market prices, crop diseases, pernicious weather patterns, and personal tragedies.  The correspondence includes such details as building and equipment repairs; livestock sales; plant and animal diseases; when to castrate the pigs; planting windbreaks; inability to get crops to market because of muddy roads; government farm assistance programs; trial planiting of the new hybrid corn seed.  Phelps was involved in all of these details.

Margaret Matlack Kiesel Papers 1932-1988

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.49
  • Collection

The collection is arranged in three series: Personal papers; Published work, course outlines, lectures; and Unpublished manuscripts and research notes. It reflects Margaret’s work as a writer, but except for her writing on women, does not reflect her active role in such women’s organizations as NOW and the League of Women Voters nor her work with activist’s groups such as Grinnell Peace Links.

Personal papers contains correspondence with family members, close friends, and letters that relate to her writing. There are many tributes written to her family on her death. Of significance is a poem, “The misbehaving feet,” written by James Norman Hall that Margaret had found in her mother’s papers. It is an unpublished poem written in 1936 for Margaret’s father. Also included is correspondence between Margaret and an editor at The Atlantic Monthly about possible publication of the poem.

Published work contains the research materials, notes, related correspondence, and drafts of her published articles. Although she wrote on a variety of issues, the most significant items are those relating to Grinnell College and published in The Grinnell Magazine, The Annals of Iowa, and Iowa Woman. She wrote fine articles about Herrick Chapel and Mears Cottage and a series of articles about Hallie Flanagan. Her work on Ruth Suckow was quite extensive and led to her participation in the Ruth Suckow Memorial Association; papers from that group are included in this collection.

Unpublished manuscripts includes stories and articles from early in her career and the drafts and research materials from her book on Grinnell women on which she was working when she died. Her extensive writing, her interest in Grinnell, and her strong feminist leanings may have made this last work the pinnacle of her career.

Kiesel, Margaret Matlack (Class of 1930)

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

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.

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.

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