George Belknap papers, 1845-1991

Overview of the Collection

Belknap, George N. (George Nicholas), 1905-1996; McMurtrie, Douglas C. (Douglas Crawford), 1888-1944
George Belknap papers
1845-1991 (inclusive)
bulk (bulk)
16.5 linear feet, (11 containers)
Collection Number
UA 208
George Belknap (1905-1996) was a student at the University of Oregon (UO), and would later become a faculty member, the UO Editor, and also a published author who was especially noted for his Oregon, and UO histories. The collection (1930-1991) contains research files on philosophy, Oregon history, and the history of UO, an unpublished manuscript titled, The Limerick: A Critical Study, administrative faculty files, as well as personal files, including personal correspondence and photographs.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

UNARRANGED COLLECTION. UNAVAILABLE FOR USE. For more information, please submit a Notice of Interest in Unprocessed Collections.

Additional Reference Guides

A paper box and folder listing with additional information is available in Special Collections & University Archives.

Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Historical NoteReturn to Top

George Belknap (1905-1996) "came to the University of Oregon in 1922 when he enrolled as a student with the intention of majoring in journalism." Belknap had previously worked for his hometown newspaper in Moro, Oregon. Belknap was "born in Allen, Nebraska on October 27, 1905. In 1917 the family moved to Portland, and [to] Moro in 1920."

"As a freshman at the University of Oregon Belknap worked on the Oregon Daily Emerald, and by the Spring quarter he was the night editor of the Sunday Emerald. His boss was the student editor of the Sunday Emerald Ernest Haycox, who later became a very successful author of popular western fiction. [He also] took a job as a part-time reporter for the Eugene Morning Register, where his assignment was to cover Springfield for news."

Belknap would later major in Philosophy. "In 1926, he graduated valedictorian of his class and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. His senior honor thesis earned him a Sage Fellowship in Philosophy at Cornell. This award was unusual as it was normally given only to a selected few after a full year of graduate work at Cornell. Belknap spent the year 1928-1929 at Cornell, but returned to the UO to finish his interdisciplinary master of arts in Philosophy and Greek."

The University of Oregon hired Belknap "in 1931 as University Editor, (in 1932 this position was given faculty rank) a position he would hold until his retirement in 1972. During a part of his years as editor he also served as the Director of University of Oregon Books, an academic book publishing venture of the University that was a victim of severe budget cuts in 1971-1972. In addition, he served as Secretary of the University Faculty from 1948 until his retirement."

"Belknap continued his own research which interestingly became a blending of the earlier interest in journalism and the detail of research required in academic writing that had surfaced in his earlier publications. From 1932 through 1984, he had published over fifty articles and books. His 1968 publication of Oregon Imprints is the definitive work on all printed material in Oregon, regardless of source, from 1845 to 1870, the time period when mechanical printing was not commonplace in Oregon."

Belknap also donated "early printed items to the University of Oregon Library Special Collections and University Archives."

"At the end of his research career, 1987, he had a second edition of his Oregon Imprints ready for the press, but this manuscript has apparently been lost. Although he tried several times to place his work, The Limerick: A Critical Study for publication he was not successful."

"Belknap died of pneumonia on May 31, 1996, in Eugene. He and [and his wife] Elsie had no immediate survivors."

[Source: Richard, Keith. "Obituary of George N. Belknap." Minutes of the University Assembly meeting, June 5, 1996. University of Oregon.]

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection contains the faculty and research papers of George Belknap, from 1930 to 1991. It includes the unpublished manuscript for The Limerick: A Critical Study. There is a paper box and folder list available in Special Collections and University Archives.

Also available in the collection:

professional correspondence;

historical Oregon research files and related correspondence;

Philosophy research files and related correspondence;

issues of Oregon Imprints, and also research and articles by Belknap for the same publication;

University of Oregon related faculty, correspondence, subject, and administrative files;

notes, research, and articles by Belknap for other publications;

notes, research, and articles regarding the history of the University of Oregon;

notes, research, and articles regarding the history of printing in the state of Oregon;

personal papers including diplomas, M.A. thesis, awards, and correspondence;

letters from "Deady," (probably Matthew Deady);


and bibliographies (1857-1859).

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], George Belknap papers, UA 208, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • American literature--Oregon--Bibliography
  • College publications--Oregon--Eugene
  • Education, Higher--Oregon--Eugene
  • Historians--Oregon--Eugene
  • Philosophy--Research--Oregon--Eugene
  • Printing--Oregon--History
  • Research--Oregon
  • Universities and colleges--Oregon--Eugene

Personal Names

  • Belknap, George N. (George Nicholas), 1905-1996
  • Belknap, George N. (George Nicholas), 1905-1996--Correspondence
  • Deady, Matthew P. (Matthew Paul), 1824-1893

Corporate Names

  • University of Oregon--Faculty
  • University of Oregon--History--19th century
  • University of Oregon--History--20th century
  • University of Oregon--History--Sources

Geographical Names

  • Oregon--Bibliography
  • Oregon--History--Sources

Form or Genre Terms

  • Articles
  • Manuscripts for publication