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Charles Edwin Blackburn Papers, 1930-1976

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Blackburn, Charles Edwin
Title
Charles Edwin Blackburn Papers
Dates
1930-1976 (inclusive)
Quantity
17 containers., (14 linear feet of shelf space.), (13,900 items.)
Collection Number
Cage 479
Summary
Correspondence, financial, and other papers related to family matters; the study and teaching of English; Coast Guard service, 1942-1945; and employment at Washington State University, 1951-1959 and 1964-1976, and the Boeing Company, Seattle, Washington, 1959-1964.
Repository
Washington State University Libraries, Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections.
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Terrell Library Suite 12
Pullman WA
99164-5610
Telephone: 509-335-6691
mascref@wsu.edu
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Charles Edwin Blackburn was born to William Brownlow Blackburn and Julia Agnes McDonald Blackburn on August 2, 1915, on a farm near Elberton, Washington. He was the youngest of eleven children. Blackburn attended Tekoa High School and graduated in 1934 in the midst of the Great Depression.

The Depression played a large role in Blackburn's early adult years. His father died in April 1934 and the family moved from Tekoa to Moscow, Idaho, the following June. From 1934 to 1936 he held several different jobs. He worked in an office as a typist, he sold silk hosiery door-to-door, he worked a Comptometer in an office in Olympia, and for a time in 1935, was in the Civilian Conservation Corps. All the while he dreamed of getting to college -the one all-consuming goal in his life. Yet, he lacked the funds and an understanding of college admission procedures. In April 1936 he started work in the office of the West Coast Lumberman's Association in Seattle. In the fall of the year, while still working part-time, he enrolled at the University of Washington. He attended college and continued to work for the WCLA until December 1940, when he decided to devote his full attentions to school. While attending the U of W he met his future wife Alice Kiser. Both received their B.A. degrees in 1941, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. From 1941-1942, Charles attended graduate school, while Alice finished her fifth year studies to complete a Library Science degree.

America's entry into the Second World War delayed Blackburn's education for several years. He entered the service in the spring of 1942 and was assigned to the U.S. Coast Guard Station at Westport, Washington, as a radioman and yeoman. In 1944 he was transfered to the U.S.S. Casper (PF-12) as a radioman. In addition to his regular duties while on board the Casper he served as the ship's librarian and published the ship's newspaper, The Casper Clarion.

Charles Blackburn was discharged from the Coast Guard in late 1945; like so many young couples of the day, the Blackburns were faced with the task of rebuilding their lives. Blackburn returned to the University of Washington to continue his graduate education. In the fall of 1947, after only a year at the U. of W., he moved on to Yale University to complete his doctorate in American Studies. While at Yale, he taught English at Stone College (1948-1949) and the Junior College of Commerce (1949-1950), both in New Haven, Connecticut. During this time he was awarded a Yale University Fellowship (1949-1950) and a Sterling Predoctoral Fellowship (1950-1951).

Upon completing the Ph.D.in 1951, Blackburn joined the English faculty of Washington State University. He served as Chair of the Department of English from 1956-1957.

By 1959, however, the financial pressures of a growing family (children: Julia, 1947; Taft, 1949; Mary Beth, 1953) led Blackburn to look for a better paying position. In June of that year, he began a relatively short-lived career with the Boeing Company Industrial Products Division in Seattle, Washington. He started as a technical writer and over the next five years held several supervisory and administrative posts. Most of Blackburn's work was in marketing (writing and revising brochures and semi-technical documents) and administration (preparing and reporting the section's budget and coordinating his group with the European office). In addition, he was involved with the Boeing Employees' Good Neighbor Fund, a community service organization, from 1962-1964. Although Blackburn enjoyed his work and was promoted quickly, he found that he was not well suited to the business world. Therefore, from 1960 on he attempted to return to a position in academe.

In 1964, Washington State University again offered Blackburn a position in the English Department. WSU's attractive offer-- both in terms of salary and tenure considerations--in combination with Alice's appointment as Pullman City Librarian, brought the family back to Pullman.

From 1964-1976 Blackburn taught a variety of subjects: freshman/sophomore composition, technical writing, American Drama, 20th century Drama, and assorted literature classes. A talented actor himself, Blackburn had several roles with the New Pullman Summer Palace Theatre.

Blackburn died September 7, 1976 at age 61 in a Springfield, Oregon hospital where he had been a patient for two weeks after suffering a heart attack while on vacation.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of correspondence, financial, and other papers related to family matters; the study and teaching of English; Coast Guard service, 1942-1945; employment at Washington State University, 1951-1959 and 1964-1976; and employment at the Boeing Company, Seattle, Washington, 1959-1964.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Prior to January 1, 1998, researchers desiring access to correspondence written between 1941 and 1945 needed permission of Mrs. Alice Blackburn.

Preferred Citation

[Item Description]. Cage 479, Charles Edwin Blackburn Papers. Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1940-1976Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Blackburn family;
Box Folder
1 1-11
Blackburn family
643 items.
1947-1975
1 12
Charles and Alice Blackburn
40 items.
1947-1948
1 13
Julia Blackburn
75 items.
1960-1966
1 14
Julia, Taft, and Mary Beth Blackburn
65 items.
1968-1976
1 15
Mary Beth Blackburn
200 items.
1971-1976
Box Folder
2 16-21
Charles and Alice Blackburn
455 items.
1941-1943
3 22-27
Charles and Alice Blackburn
375 items.
1943-1944
4 28-32
Charles and Alice Blackburn
305 items.
1944-1945
5 33-37
Charles and Alice Blackburn
210 items.
1944-1945
6 38-42
Charles and Alice Blackburn
255 items.
1945
7 43-49
Kiser Family
420 items.
1947-1976
7 50-59
Family
479 items.
1940-1957
8 60-68
Family
470 items.
1950-1965
8 69-72
Family and Friends
300 items.
1936-1946
9 73-85
Family and Friends
940 items.
1944-1961
10 86
Family and Friends
50 items.
1958-1961
10 87-98
Friends
577 items.
1946-1975

Series 2: Subject File, 1930-1976Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Boeing:
Box Folder
11 99-101
Boeing News
68 items.
1961-1966
11 102
Brochure and Newsletter Preparations
30 items.
1959
11 103
Diary
1 item.
1959
Good Neighbor Fund:
Box Folder
11 104
Agency Reports
20 items.
1953-1964
11 105
Annual Reports
9 items.
1961-1966
11 106
Correspondence
140
1963-1964
11 107
Elections and Membership
17 items.
1962-1964
11 108
Events
20 items.
1963-1964
11 109-113
General
180
1963-1965
11 114
Minutes
30 items.
1962-1963
11 115
Photos
16 items.
1963-1964
Box Folder
11 116-120
Interdepartmental Correspondence
176 items.
1959-1964
11 121
Hage Fund
40 items.
1963-1964
11 122
Personal Materials
30 items.
1959-1964
11 123
Sales Orientation Seminar
7 items.
1959-1960
11 124
Sales Staff Meeting Minutes
38 items.
1959-1962
Business, Medical, and Financial Records:
Box Folder
12 125-126
Business Letters and Seattle House
125 items.
1962-1968
Cars:
Box Folder
12 127
Chrysler
25 items.
1967-1970
12 128
Rambler
100
1961-1975
Box Folder
12 129
Correspondence -- Financial
60 items.
1970-1976
12 130
Diabetic Records
1 item.
1963
12 131-132
Financial and Medical Records
125 items.
1951-1972
12 133
Financial Records
50 items.
1966-1975
12 134-136
Income Tax Reports
67 items.
1942-1969
12 137
Record Books
10 items.
1942-1951; 1967-1973
Box Folder
12 138
Calenders
11 items.
1961-1974
12 139-141
Casper Clarion
35 items.
1944-1945
12 142-143
Community Congregational Church
150 items.
1961-1975
13 144
Democratic Party
20 items.
1962-1969
Education:
Box Folder
13 145
Diplomas
4 items.
1930-1941
13 146
High School
35 items.
1932-1935
Box Folder
13 147
Tekoa Blade
1 item.
1934
University of Washington:
Box Folder
13 148
The Austin Tree
1 item.
1936
Literature 58:
Box Folder
13 149
Fictional Technique in Cross Section
1
1937
13 150
This Road to Follow
1
1937
Box Folder
13 151
Personal Values in Literature
1 item.
1937
Philosophy I:
Box Folder
13 152
Berkely in Review
1
1937
13 153
Descartes in Review
1
1937
13 154
Russell in Review
1
1937
Box Folder
13 155
Various Tests
4 items.
1937; 1940
13 156
English Literature; The Bible as Literature
1 item.
1938-1939
13 157
The Hurly Burly
1 item.
1938
13 158
Newspaper Articles, Tempo Articles
3 items.
1938; 1941
13 159
Philosophy 101 Problem Papers
2 items.
1938
13 160
Philosophy 102 Notes
1 item.
1939
13 161
Literature 153, 161, 162, Zoology 16-17, History 140 Notes and Tests
8 items.
1939-1940; 1946
Literature
1940
Box Folder
13 162
164 Two Travelers in America
1
13 163
171 Notes on Some Long Winded Characters in Shakespeare
1
Box Folder
13 164
Philosophy 103 Notes
1 item.
1940
13 165
The Fantasy Worlds of Three British Authors
1 item.
1941
13 166
American Literature Notes
1 item.
1946
13 167
English 221 John Calvin and Paradise Lost
1 item.
1946
13 168
History 175 Notes, American Colonial History
1 item.
1946
13 169
The Emerson Brothers and some dissertation correspondence
30 items.
1946-1949
13 170
English 202 Notes and Tests
1 item.
1947
History
1947
Box Folder
13 171
144 Notes
1
165:
Box Folder
13 172
Among the Dry Bones
1
13 173
Tests and Book Reviews
3
13 174
The West in American History, Notes
1
Undated Material:
Box Folder
13 175
Anthropology 60 American Indian Notes
1
13 176
History 144 Reading Notes
1
Literature:
Box Folder
13 177
57 Notes
1
13 178
106 British Literature Notes
1
13 179
164 American Literature Notes
1
13 180
171 Shakespeare
1
Box Folder
13 181
Lord Byron and his Contemporary Critics
1
13 182
Philosophy Notes, Untitled Paper
2
13 183
The Steptoe Campaign of 1858
1
Alice Kiser Blackburn Papers
Literature
1941
Box Folder
13 184
162 The Culmination of Individualism in American Democracy
1
13 185
174 Hard Times: An Attack on Utilitarianism
1
177:
Box Folder
13 186
Michael: The Conflict Between Woodsworth's Purpose and Art
1
13 187
Robert Burns: Prophet of an Unborn World
1
Box Folder
13 188
Librarianship 196 The Land Lies South
1
1942
Undated Material:
Box Folder
13 189
History 182 Reading Reports
1
Literature:
Box Folder
13 190
104 The Social Significance of Nana
1
13 191
162 Emerson's ""Individualism"" in his Times
1
13 192
164 The Mysterious Stranger
1
13 193
175 The Poet's Diary
1
Box Folder
13 194
Three Modern Poets and the Modern Ego
1
Box Folder
13 195
University of Washington Commencement Program
1 item.
1941
Yale University:
Box Folder
13 196
American Studies Notes
1 item.
1947
History 180
1947-1948
Box Folder
13 197
Literature of American History
2
13 198
Political and Constitutional History
20
Box Folder
13 199
Literature 160 Twentieth Century
1 item.
1947
American Studies
1948-1949
Box Folder
13 200
102 Repeal: Diminishing of the Theocracy
1
13 201
151 Term Paper Outlines
1
Box Folder
13 202
Art 61a Notes
1 item.
1948-1949
13 203
English 160 Various Papers and Testes
5 items.
1948
Government 152
1948-1949
Box Folder
13 204
Notes
1
13 205
Papers
8
History:
Box Folder
13 206
31a, b Notes
1
1948-1949
13 207
31b Notes
1
1948
13 208
180 James Ford Rhodes: Man in the Web of Time
1
1948
Box Folder
13 209
Sociology 114a
1 item.
1948
American Studies
1949
Box Folder
14 210
151 Notes
1
14 211
Notes
1
Box Folder
14 212
Civil War Notes
1 item.
1949
History 31
1949
Box Folder
14 213
American Thought and Civilization
1
14 214
Notes and Tests
1
Sociology
1949
Box Folder
14 215
115b Legal Realism: The Pragmatic Spirit in Law
1
14 216
Notes
1
Undated Materials:
Box Folder
14 217
All the King's Men
1
14 218
The American Creed in the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
1
14 219
Literary America 1790-1826
1
14 220
Parrington as an Economic Determinist
1
14 221
Various Papers
10
Dissertation:
Box Folder
14 222
Copy
1
1952
14 223-224
Research Materials
101
undated
Box Folder
14 225
European Trip Memorabilia
50 items.
1971
14 226
Family History
1 item.
undated
General Correspondence:
Box Folder
14 227
Columbia University (AKB)
50 items.
1970-1971
14 228
Correspondence with Publishers
30 items.
1938-1946
14 229
Veterans Administration
40 items.
1946-1948
14 230
Washington State University and Yale
60 items.
1951-1957
Yale:
Box Folder
14 231
Association of Yale Alumni
50 items.
1969-1975
14 232
Correspondence
15 items.
1974-1975
14 233
Graduate School
60 items.
1946-1948
Job Hunting:
Box Folder
14 234-236
English Department, Washington State University and Job Applications
140 items.
1961-1968
14 237-238
General Applications
75 items.
1959-1964
15 239-241
Yale and Job Hunting
150 items.
1949-1951; 1959
Box Folder
15 242
Memorabilia
50 items.
1938-1956
15 243
Newspaper Clippings
7 items.
1949
15 244
Photographs
3 items.
1934; 1942; undated
15 245
Programs
50 items.
1965-1975
John P. Sebree:
Box Folder
15 246
College Yearbook and Church Directory
3 items.
1907; 1970
15 247-249
Correspondence
120 items.
1902-1975
15 250-251
Medical Records
130 items.
1971-1975
15 252
Memorials
7 items.
1939-1975
15 253
Will and Declaration of Trust
2 items.
1970
Box Folder
15 254
Short Stories
7 items.
undated
15 255
Speeches
17 items.
1961-1967
15 256
Summer Theatre
50 items.
1966-1969
Tekoa High School Reunion:
Box Folder
15 257
Correspondence
75 items.
1953-1954
15 258
News of Old Friends
1 item.
1954
University of Washington:
Box Folder
15 259
Clippings on Communist Investigations
25 items.
1949
15 260
Survey of Scholarship at UW
1 item.
1946
Washington State University:
Box Folder
15 261
American Studies
35 items.
1964-1973
15 262
Correspondence New York City Sabatical
30 items.
1970-1971
16 263-266
English Department
237 items.
1966-1976
16 267
Faculty Evaluations
25 items.
1972-1976
16 268
Forms, Salary and Rank Information
40 items.
1958-1975
16 269
French 525
10 items.
1974
16 270
Graduate Examination Handbook
1 item.
1972
16 271
Lectures - Civil Religion and Prophetic Faith
7 items.
1976
16 272
Promotion and Tenure Statements
25 items.
1965-1969
16 273
Senate Review
6 items.
1974-1975
16 274
Student Strike and R.I.S.
45 items.
1969-1970
Box Folder
17 275
Notecards for Dissertation
4500 items.
undated