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Speech Communication Department Records, 1918-1996

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Oregon State University. Dept. of Speech Communication.
Title
Speech Communication Department Records
Dates
1918-1996 (inclusive)
1930-1975 (bulk)
Quantity
1.25 cubic feet, including 3 photographs, (2 boxes)
7 microfilm reels
Collection Number
RG 181
Summary
The Speech Communication Department Records document speech instruction at Oregon State University; speech, debate, and drama activities, especially during the 1920s through 1950s; and the activities of Earl W. Wells as a faculty member and department chair. Speech courses have been taught at Oregon State since its establishment in the late 1860s. The Speech Department was founded in 1920; Earl Wells was department chair from 1952 to 1962.
Repository
Oregon State University Libraries, Special Collections & Archives Research Center
Special Collections & Archives Research Center
121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis OR
97331-4501
Telephone: 541-737-2075
Fax: 541-737-8674
scarc@oregonstate.edu
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Languages
English


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Courses in elocution and speech have been taught at Oregon State University since its founding in the 1860s. During the 1890s, these were taught by the Department of Elocution and later by the Department of Public Speaking. The Department of Public Speaking and Dramatics was established in 1920, as the first Speech Department in Oregon, and grew quickly during the 1920s. Courses in "speech correction" were added in the mid-1920s. When higher education in Oregon was re-organized in the early 1930s, responsibility for speech degrees was transferred to the University of Oregon and several faculty moved to establish the program. However, the service department at Oregon State continued to offer courses in debating, extempore speaking, oratory, voice and diction, and radio speech and coordinated an extensive program of forensics and dramatic activities for students.

In 1965-1966, the Speech Department was one of the first departments to offer an undergraduate degree in the new School of Humanities and Social Sciences. In 1970, the department name was changed to Speech Communication.

C.B. (Charles Buren) Mitchell joined the faculty of Oregon Agricultural College in 1920 to head the new Department of Public Speaking and Dramatics. Earl W. Wells joined the department at about the same time (1921); he was instrumental in developing the forensics and public speaking program and coached orators who gained national prominence. Wells served as Speech Department Chair from 1952 until his retirement in 1962.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Speech Communication Department Records document speech instruction at Oregon State as well as speech, debate, and drama activities. The Records include orations and speeches, correspondence, reports, organization records, course materials, committee minutes, a scrapbook, and several photographs. Of special note are records of the Oregon State chapter of Delta Sigma Rho, the national honorary society for students in speech communications, and an Institute on Advanced Communications Skills for junior and senior high school English and Speech teachers offered at OSU in summer 1967. The photographs are of the Institute's participants.

The collection includes substantial materials pertaining to forensics and dramatic activities at Oregon State including orations and speeches; annual reports for debate squads during the 1930s through 1950s; and annual activities reports detailing the number of students participating, results of forensics competitions, plays performed, and number of attendees at dramatic productions. Materials pertaining to speech pathology and the Department's clinical activities, especially during the 1930s-1950s, are included in the records.

A significant portion of the microfilmed records (Subgroup 1) consist of the correspondence of Earl W. Wells and document Wells' activities as a faculty member and department chair and his participation in national, regional, and state-wide professional organizations. Some of C.B. Mitchell's correspondence is also included.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Speech Communication Department Records (RG 181), Oregon State University Special Collections & Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Subgroup 1:  Microfilmed Records, 1921-1969Return to Top

Subgroup 1 consists of microfilmed Speech Department records documenting speech, debate, and drama activities; the work of Earl. W. Wells as faculty member and department chair; and department administration. The records are primarily for the 1930s thru 1950s and include correspondence, reports, speeches, and orations.

Container(s) Description Dates
Series I: Orations
Series I consists of the texts of orations given at contests by Oregon State students as well as students from other regional colleges and universities.
1921-1962
Reel
1
1921-1930
1
1931-1932
1
1932-1933
1
1933-1934
1
1934-1935
1
1935-1936
1
1936-1937
1-2
1937-1938
2
1938-1939
2
1939-1940
2
1940-1941
2
1941-1942
2
1942-1943
2
1943-1944
2
1944-1945
2
1945-1946
2
1946-1947
2
1947-1948
2
1948-1949
2
1949-1950
2-3
1950-1951
3
1951-1952
3
1952-1953
3
1955-1956
3
1956-1957
3
1957-1958
3
1958-1959
3
1959-1960
3
1960-1961
3-4
1961-1962
4
31: Oratorical Contest Speeches
1931-1948
Series II: Speeches
Series II consists of speeches presented by Oregon State students at forensics competitions.
1923-1948
Extempore Speeches
1923-1938
Reel
4
1923-1931
4
1931-1932
4
1932-1933
4
1933-1934
4
1934-1935
4
1935-1936
4
1936-1937
4
1936-1937
4
1937-1938
After-Dinner Speeches
1938-1948
Reel
4
1938-1939
4
1939-1940
4
1940-1941
4
1941-1942
4
1942-1943
4
1943-1944
4
1944-1945
4
1945-1946
4
1946-1947
4
1947-1948
Reel
4
50: Auto Accident Prevention Contest
Contest for freshmen extempore speaking.
1935
Series III: Debates
Series III includes reports of each debating season for the 1930s through mid 1950s documenting the members of the men's and women's debate squads, the number of debates each squad participated in, and the number of debates that were won by Oregon State squads. The series also includes information about the participation of Oregon State squads in the annual West Point Debates.
1930-1956
Reel
4
51: Season Reports for Debate Squads
1930-1956
4
52: Radio Debates
1937
4
53: West Point Debates
1947-1951
Series IV: Army Specialized Training Program
Series IV consists of syllabi, correspondence, and related materials pertaining to speech training in AST 111.
1943
Reel
4
54: General
Series V: Intercollegiate Forensic Association of Oregon
Series V consists of documents of the Intercollegiate Forensic Association of Oregon, which included representatives from colleges and universities throughout the state. The Association sponsored forensics contests and activities.
1932-1962
Reel
4
55: Directories, Bulletins, and Minutes
Series VI: Activities Reports
Series VI consists of annual reports of dramatics and forensics activities at Oregon State, including the number of participating students; results of forensics competitions; plays performed; and number of attendees at dramatic productions.
1928-1958
Reel
4
1928-1929
4
1929-1930
4
1930-1931
4
1931-1932
4
1932-1933
4
1934-1935
4
1935-1936
4
1936-1937
4
1937-1938
4
1938-1939
4
1939-1940
4
1940-1941
4
1941-1942
4
1942-1943
4
1943-1944
4
1944-1945
4
1945-1946
4
1946-1947
4
1947-1948
4
1948-1949
4
1949-1950
4
1950-1951
4
1951-1952
4
1952-1953
4
1953-1954
4-5
1954-1955
5
1955-1956
5
1956-1957
5
1957-1958
Series VII: Correspondence of Earl W. Wells
Series VII consists of correspondence received and sent by Earl W. Wells in his role as a Speech Department faculty member as well as department chair. The series also includes some personal correspondence for Wells, such as that for the Corvallis Rose Society.
1922-1967
Reel
5
85: Miscellaneous Current
1961-1962
Miscellaneous Past
1922-1961
Reel
5
86: Volume I
1922-1933
5
87: Volume II
1935-1940
5
88: Volume III
1940-1950
5
89: Volume IV
1950-1961
Reel
5
90: Radio and Television
1954-1958
5
91: Publishing Companies
1927-1937
5
92: NDEA Brochure Copy
1966-1967
Speech Faculty
1954-1962
Reel
5
1954-1955
5
1955-1956
5
1956-1957
5
1957-1958
5
1958-1959
5
1959-1960
5
1961-1962
Reel
5
100: President Jensen
1962
5
101: C.B. Mitchell's Personal Correspondence
1925-1943
Colby - Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences
1952-1961
Reel
5
1952-1953
5
1953-1954
5
1954-1955
5
1955-1956
5
1956-1957
5
1957-1958
5
1958-1959
5
1959-1960
5
1960-1961
Reel
5
111: Equipment - General
1956-1961
5
112: Speech Aptitude and Proficiency Test
1948-1952
5
113: Speech Correction Extension Vol. I
1927-1950
5
114: Western Speech Association Vol. III
1950-1960
5
115: American Association of University Professors
1946-1962
5
116: American Forensic Association
1958-1961
5
117: American Red Cross
1936-1947
5
118: American Speech and Hearing Association
1936-1963
5
119: Century Club
1936-1957
5
120: Committee on Disaster Preparedness and Relief
1936-1946
5
121: Clinical Staff
1948-1955
5
122: Committee on Scholarship
1938-1940
5
123: Committee on Teacher Selection
1940-1948
5
124: Corvallis Boy Scouts
1936-1938
5
125: Corvallis Camp Fire Girls
1937-1941
5
126: Corvallis Rose Society
1958-1960
5
127: Corvallis Summer Recreation and Educational Program
1935-1937
Delta Sigma Rho
Reel
5-6
128: Volume I
1926-1949
6
129: Volume II
1951-1955
6
130: Volume III
1955-1961
Reel
1
131: Democratic Party
1955-1960
6
132: Educational Activities Committee
1951-1955
6
133: Faculty Council
1957-1961
6
134: Future Farmers of America
1936-1960
6
135: Franklin Parent - Teachers Association
1931-1932
6
136: Faculty Men's Club
1957-1962
6
137: Graduate Division
1960
6
138: Inland Empire Education Association
1928-1930
6
139: Intercollegiate Forensic Association of Oregon
1931-1961
6
140: Liberal Arts Division
1949-1962
6
141: Order of the Spoon
1929-1939
6
142: Oregon High School Extempore Speaking and Interpretation Contests
1925-1932
6
143: Oregon High School Speech League
1942-1951
6
144: Oregon Speech and Hearing Association
1949-1962
6
145: Oregon Speech Association
1931-1950
Series VIII: Reader's File
Series VIII consists of department correspondence arranged as reader's files. The correspondence documents the administration of the department, primarily during the 1950s and 1960s.
1931-1969
Reel
6
146: Bulletins: Business Office
1956-1957
Business Office
1956-1960
Reel
6
147: 1956-1959
6
148: 1959-1960
Colby - Dean of Liberal Arts
1946-1952
Reel
6
149: 1946-1950
6
150: 1950-1951
6
151: 1951-1952
Faculty - Other
1950-1959
Reel
6
152: 1950-1951
6
153: 1951-1952
6
154: 1953-1954
6
155: 1954-1955
6
156: 1955-1956
6
157: 1958-1959
Lemon - Dean of Administration
1951-1954
Reel
6
158: 1951-1952
6
159: 1953-1954
Miscellaneous
1948-1959
Reel
6
160: 1948-1950
6
161: 1951-1952
6
162: 1952-1953
6
162: 1952-1953
6
163: 1954-1955
6
164: 1955-1956
6
165: 1958-1959
Reel
6
166: Self Evaluation Report II
circa 1960
6
167: Other Institutions
1951-1952
6
168: Physical Plant
1950-1953
President Strand
1931-1952
Reel
6
169: 1931-1951
6
170: 1951-1952
Zeran - Dean of Education
1952-1961
Reel
6
171: 1952
6
172: 1961
Chronological Reader's File
1963-1969
Reel
6
September 1963
6
October 1963
6
November 1963
6
December 1963
6
January 1964
6
February 1964
6
March 1964
6
April 1964
6
May 1964
6
June 1964
6
July 1964
6
August 1964
6
September - October 1964
6
November 1964
6
December 1964
6
January 1965
6
February 1965
6
March 1965
6
April 1965
6
May 1965
6
June 1965
6
July 1965
6
August 1965
6
September 1965
6
October 1965
6
November 1965
6
December 1965
6
January 1966
6
February 1966
6
March 1966
6
April 1966
6
May 1966
6
June 1966
6
September 1966
6
October 1966
6
December 1966
6
January 1967
6
February 1967
6
March 1967
6
April 1967
6
May 1967
6
June 1967
6
July 1967
6
August 1967
6
September 1967
6
October 1967
6
November 1967
6-7
December 1967
7
January 1968
7
February 1968
7
March 1968
7
April 1968
7
May 1968
7
June 1968
7
July 1968
7
August 1968
7
September 1968
7
October 1968
7
November 1968
7
December 1968
7
January 1969
7
February 1969
7
March 1969
7
April 1969
7
May 1969
7
June 1969
7
December 1969
Series IX: Report on the Forensic and Dramatic Activities at Oregon State College
Series IX consists of a report documenting the speech, debate, and drama activities of the department during the 1920s and 1930s.
1938
Reel
7
240: Report on the Forensic and Dramatic Activities at Oregon State College since the Establishment of the Department of Speech, Fall 1920 to Spring 1938

Subgroup 2:  Paper Records, 1918-1996Return to Top

Subgroup 2 consists of Speech Communication Department Records in paper form documenting the curriculum, policies and procedures, faculty, and student activities of the department. Of special note are records of Delta Sigma Rho, the national honorary society for students in speech communications, and the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) Institute in English on Advance Communications Skills held at Oregon State in 1967.

Container(s) Description Dates
Series I: Correspondence
Series I consists of correspondence received and sent from the department and documents the policies and procedures of the department, facilities, faculty, and courses. The fall letter to the Speeech Department from Earl W. Wells, Department Chair, introduces new and returning faculty, summarizes department policies and procedures, and lists advising responsibilities.
1952-1985
Box
1
Fall letter to members of Speech Department
1952-1961
1
Policy and Historical
1955-1967
1
General Speech Department Correspondence
1968-1985
Series II: Delta Sigma Rho Records
Series II consists of records of the Oregon State University chapter of Delta Sigma Rho, the national honorary society for students in speech communications. The records include constitutions, correspondence, membership lists, initiation rituals, and financial records.
1920-1975
Box
1
Account ledger and finances
1931-1947
1
Correspondence
1920-1934
1
Correspondence
1954-1972
1
Initiation rituals
1941-1967
1
Membership lists
1929-1953
1
Procedures and constitutions
1966-1975
1
Sample membership cards
1932-1953
Series III: History of the Speech Department
Series III consists of research notes on the history of the department compiled by Thurston Doler. The notes include correspondence as well as photocopies from the Beaver yearbook. Several short essays on the history of the Speech Department are also part of the series.
1918-1989
Box
1
Research notes
1918-1989
1
Essays
1966-1982
Series IV: Minutes of Speech Department Meetings
Series IV consists of minutes of department meetings and compilations of the minutes of the Executive Committee and the Department Staff. These compilations consists of copies of the minutes that have been clipped and re-assembled by topic. A list of topics is in the front of the first folder for each. The Executive Committee minutes include materials relevant to the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) Institute at OSU in 1967.
1959-1970
Box
1
Department meeting
1959-1960
1
Executive committee
2 folders
1964-1970
1
Staff meetings
2 folders
1964-1970
Series V: National Defense Education Act (NDEA) Institute in English: Advanced Communication Skills
Series V consists of the records of an National Defence Education Act (NDEA) Institute in English on Advance Communication Skills offered at Oregon State University. The 8-week course, from June 26 through August 18, 1967, was attended by 32 junior and senior high school English and Speech teachers. The program focussed on the multiple and interdisciplinary aspects of human communication skills. The records include the proposal, plan of operation, and final report; course materials; correspondence; brochures and clippings; lists of participants; and a group photograph of the participants.
1965-1968
Correspondence
1966-1967
Box
1
Dr. Milton Valentine's NDEA Institute correspondence
1966-1967
1
Exhibit requests
1967
1
General correspondence
1967-1968
1
Participant and alternate rejection letters
1967
Course Materials
1965-1967
Box
1
Psychology of Reading
undated
1
Various courses
1965-1967
Finances
1966-1968
Box
1
4 Column Book
1967
1
Dr. Valentine's expenditure receipts and related correspondence
1966-1968
1
Stipend information and related correspondence
1967
Box
1
Newspaper clippings and brochures
1967
1
Participant lists
1967
1
Participant group photograph
2 prints and 1 120 negative
1967
Reports
1965-1967
Box
1
Plan of Operation
1967
1
Proposal for NDEA Summer Institute in Advanced Communication Skills
1965-1967
1
Final Report
1967
Box
1
Schedules
1967
Series VI: Committees, Organizations, and Conferences
Series VI consists of the records of department committees, student organizations, and conferences and includes materials pertaining to forensics at Oregon State during the 1930s-1950s.
1933-1989
Box
1
Curriculum Committee
undated
1
Dramatics Committee
1959
1
Executive Committee
1969-1970
1
Oregon High School Drama Conference
1959-1963
1
Oregon Speech Association
1960
Forensics
1933-1954
Box
1
Associated Students, Forensic Division - accounting ledger
1934-1949;
1
Intercollegiate Forensic Tournament of Champions
1950-1952
1
Pacific Forensic League events
1933-1954
Box
1
Philosophies Committee
undated
1
Seminars Committee - School of Humanities and Social Sciences
1961
1
Speech Chair Search Committee
1988-1989
1
Television Committee
1958
Series VII: Publications
Series VII includes the program for the Model United Nations of the Far West 40th annual session; clippings; and a newsletter to theater departments at Oregon community colleges regarding a theater festival.
1940-1996
Box
1
Model United Nations 40th Annual Session conference book
1990
1
Newspaper Clippings
1940-1996
1
Oregon Community College Festival newsletter
1977
Series VIII: Reports
Series VIII consists of reports, primarily from the 1950s and early 1960s, documenting the academic programs and activities of the Speech Department.
1949-1974
Box
2
Accreditation - Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools
1960
2
Annual Reports
1957-1962
2
Biennial Reports
1956-1962
2
The Philosophy and Future of Drama at Oregon State College
circa 1961
2
Policies and Procedures
1960s-1974
2
Report on Extempore, Impromptu, Experimental, and Discussion at Oregon State College
1949-1950
2
Report on the Model United Nations of OSU
1964
2
Speech Screening Test
1954-1960
2
Text Evaluation
circa 1962
2
Student Speech Activities at Oregon State College
undated
2
A Statement on Operational Principles for the Department of Speech
undated
2
Future Quarters for Department of Speech at Oregon State College
undated
Box
2
Series IX: Scrapbook
2 folders
Series IX consists of a scrapbook assembled by the Speech Communication Department documenting Oregon State University theater productions, KBVR-TV programs, workshops, department faculty news, campus free-speech regulations, and a performance by a visiting San Francisco Mime Troupe. The scrapbook is predominantly newspaper clippings; it also includes brochures and flyers. The scrapbook was originally housed in a three-ring binder.
1964-1970
Series X: Subject Files
Series X consists of materials documenting speech courses and activities pertaining to live television. The series also includes biographical information for Paul Knoll, a Speech Department faculty member from 1927 until his death in 1957.
1948-1961
Box
2
Biographical file on Paul X. Knoll
1948-1957
2
Speech 111 course materials
undated
2
Television - live
1961