Washington State University Debate Club Records, 1972-1981

Overview of the Collection

Washington State University. Debate Club.
Washington State University Debate Club Records
1972-1981 (inclusive)
0.25 Linear feet of shelf space, (1 Box)
Collection Number
Archives 392 (collection)
Records relating to debate competitions either involving Washington State University teams, or held at WSU.
Washington State University Libraries' Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Terrell Library Suite 12
Pullman, WA
Telephone: 509-335-6691
Access Restrictions

This collection is open and available for research use.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Washington State University’s intercollegiate Debate Club, also known as the Forensics Club, dates to the earliest days of campus, when informal literary societies debated themselves, each other, and other schools. On March 22nd 1898 the state college’s Columbian Society debated at the University of Idaho against one of their societies, with over 100 students traveling by train to witness the debate. A more formal campus debate took place that November, a three-part competition with Whitman College and UI. WSC’s 1949 debate team won the national championship. The Forensics Club appears to have been finally dissolved by the ASWSU in about 1985.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of record relating to the running of Washington State University’s competitive speech team in the 1970s. In addition to summary administrative materials, the collections consists of programs and related documents from tournaments the WSU teams competed in. It also contains programs and other materials from state high school tournaments, some of which were hosted on the Washington State University campus. Instructions and forms for judging debate tournaments are undated, but most likely were used for the 1975 State High School tournament in Pullman, WA.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Preferred Citation

[Item Description]

Washington State University Debate Club Records, 1972-1981

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The collection is arranged into two series. The first is administrative materials. The second relates to debate competitions, and is broken into two subseries: debate tournaments, and debate judging materials. The debate tournaments subseries has WSU debate tournaments first, and then state high school tournaments. Within these series and subseries, materials are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Acquisition Information

These materials were transferred by Jim Abbott of Washington State University Library’s Communication program on Dec. 22, 1987 to the WSU Libraries’ Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, where they were retained as UA1987-34.

Processing Note

This collection was processed in June, 2019 by University Archivist Mark O’English.

Related Materials

Some debate team records are held in Archives 151, Speech Department Chair Records, 1923-1946.

PC 61 holds photographs of the Debate Teams between 1928 and 1957.

Some debate team documents, including programs and a history covering 1899-1927 can be found in the Speech Department portion (WSU 151) of the WSU Publications collection.

Other smaller sets of debate materials exist in other MASC collections.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 Alumni lists and donor solicits 1972-1976
1 2 Budget allocations 1975
1 3 Budget allocations 1977
1 4 Budget allocations 1978
1 5 Budgets 1970-1978
1 6 Correspondence re. planned cancellation of forensics program 1972-1973
1 7 Debate coach contact lists, high school undated
1 8 Debate scheduling 1980-1981
1 9 Forensics Endowment Fund 1968
1 10 Debate tournament, Columbia Valley 1976
1 11 Debate tournament, Cougar Invitational 1974, 1977
1 12 Debate tournament, Great Tacoma Debate Swing undated
1 13 Debate tournament, Mt. Rainier Forensic Classic 1981
1 14 Debate tournament, William O. Douglas Forensic Tournament 1981
1 15 Debate tournament, State High School 1972
1 16 Debate tournament, State High School 1973
1 17 Debate tournament, State High School 1975
1 18 Debate tournament record sheets undated
1 19 Debate tournament results undated
1 20 Debate judging undated
1 21 Debate judging, expository undated
1 22 Debate judging, extemporaneous undated
1 23 Debate judging, impromptu undated
1 24 Debate judging, interpretive undated
1 25 Debate judging, oratory undated
1 26 Debate judging, WSU Debate Ballot undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Debates and debating.

Corporate Names

  • Washington State University -- Students -- Societies, etc.
  • Washington State University. Debate Team. -- Records and correspondence.