Name and location of repository
Level of description
John Crossett Papers 1962-1970
Name of creator
1941 Graduated from James Madison High School in Brooklyn, New York
1947 Graduated fro Columbia College, Phi Beta Kappa, with ‘honors and special distinction in English, Latin and Greek, and history
Taught in a high school in Enosberg Falls, Vermont
Went into insurance business as an insurance adjuster.
Accepted to English Department of the graduate program at Harvard University
1954-57 Teaching Fellow, Harvard University. Doctoral Dissertation on English translation of Homer’s Iliad
1957-58 Taught at Boston University
1958 Received Doctorate from Harvard University
1958-1962 Assistant Professor of English at Hamilton College. While at Hamilton he prepared a Handbook of Composition, Breviary of English Grammar, used at Grinnell and Cornell Colleges. He designed books and set type on his own press, The Virgil Press, for his own poetry and that of others. Principal publications at The Virgil Press included Two Voices, written with his sister, Barbara Crossett Manosh, Adam and Eve Poems, and The Wreath of Seasons, both by John Crossett.
1962-62 Associate Professor of English an Acting Head of the Department of Humanities at Parsons College, Fairfield, Iowa.
1963-70 Associate Professor of Classics at Grinnell College
1970-1981 Professor of Classics at Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa until his death in 1981.
1977 Founded Hesperis Institute for Humanitistic Studies. This institute was intended by Crossett to be the foundation of a future college taught on the model of Plato‘s Academy. Taught at the Hesperis Institute during the summers of 1977-1980.
1979 Received the American Philological Association’s prize for excellence in teaching. 1979 was the first year such an award was given.
(Information for the biographical notes was taken from Arieti, James A. “John M. Crossett: a Memoir,” in Stump, Donald V., et al., eds. Hamartia: The Concept of Error in the Western Tradition. Essays in Honor of John M. Crossett. NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1983.)
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Scope and content
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
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Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Grinnell College holds copyright to Dr. Crossett’s writings in this collection.
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Related archival materials
Material not retained: copies of the Scarlet and Black; New York play bills; commercial pamphlets; dissertation of Millard G. Roberts, available through UMI; two copies of the Grinnell publication Nous; various Xeroxed texts; a few issues of the Des Moines Register. Student newspaper, Portfolio, 1962-64 donated to State Historical Society, Iowa City July, 1996.