Guide to the William T. Starr (1910-1999) Papers

Collection Title: William T. Starr (1910-1999) Papers
Dates: 1939-1978
Identification: 11/3/12/2
Creator: Starr, William Thomas, 1910-1999
Extent: 7 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: William Thomas Starr joined the romance languages department of Northwestern University in 1946 and remained here until his retirement in 1978. Starr took a particularly active role in the anti-Vietnam and related social movements during the 1960s. He was also active in the Modern Language Association and the American Association of Teachers of French. The William T. Starr Papers, comprising eight boxes, include biographical material, correspondence, social activism files, material relating to professional organizations, teaching files, and publications. Some material is in French.
Acquisition Information: The William T. Starr Papers were donated to the Northwestern University Archives by Professor Starr on March 10, 1978, as Accession #78-9.
Processing Information: William K. Beatty, August, 1983.
Separated Materials: Starr's report as chair of the Northwestern University Community Council (1975-76) was added to the Council's records.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

William Thomas Starr was born in Kirksville, Missouri, on March 11, 1910. He took a BS in education with a major in French at Northeast Missouri State Teachers College in 1931, and MA (1932) and PhD (1938) degrees in French literature from the University of Oregon. His dissertation was entitled “Romain Rolland's Internationalism”. Starr joined the romance languages department of Northwestern University in 1946 and remained here until his retirement in 1978.

Starr served as instructor of modern language at Phoenix (Arizona) Junior College in 1938-39. He spent 1939-40 studying in France. In 1940-41 he accepted a temporary appointment as instructor of romance languages at Gettysburg College. He remained at Gettysburg as an assistant professor of German until January 30, 1945 when he resigned to take a position with the North Atlantic Engineers Corps, U. S. Army, in New York City. He left the Engineers Corps in July, 1945 to join the Northwestern University faculty as interim instructor of romance languages. At Northwestern he served as an instructor, 1946-48; assistant professor, 1948-57; associate professor, 1957-67; and professor, 1967-78 when he retired as professor emeritus. During the summer of 1960 Starr served as acting chairman of the romance languages department.

Starr took a particularly active role in the anti-Vietnam and related social movements during the 1960s. He was also active in the Modern Languages Association and the American Association of Teachers of French.

On July 20, 1934 Starr married Mega Means. They had two children: William Lawrence, born May 4, 1938 and Jeffery Gordon, born February 3, 1941. William T. Starr died on April 6, 1999.

Scope and Content

The William T. Starr Papers, comprising eight boxes, include biographical material, correspondence, social activism files, material relating to professional organizations, teaching files, and publications. Some material is in French.

The biographical material includes curricula vitae and several partial bibliographies. The general correspondence, some of which is in French, pertains to Starr's work on Romain Rolland and other French authors. A typed letter (February 20, 1953) signed by Georges Duhamel, acknowledges receipt of a copy of the college text edition of Duhamel's La Nuit d'Orage edited and with an introduction by Starr. Letters concerning Starr's rank and salary form the major portion of the correspondence. Recommendations for students and colleagues, and memos concerning applicants for faculty positions are also included.

Correspondence with Vice President and Dean of Faculties Payson Wild pertains to Starr's role in a 1970 Peace Commencement at Northwestern.

The five folders of social activism files include notes relating to a variety of protest meetings held during the 1960s involving faculty members and students; announcements; lists of workers; and other items related to various protests and to the “New University” organization. The professional organization files document three of Starr's major professional involvements: his service as president of the Chicago Chapter, American Association of Teachers of French; as secretary, editor, and chairman of the French VI group, Modern Languages Association; and as chairman, bibliography committee, and editor of the French VII group. Some of this correspondence is in French. A copy of “Women of the Renaissance”, a speech delivered by Starr at Rockford College in 1963, is also included.

The teaching files, comprising nearly five boxes, consist primarily of course schedules, reading lists, problem sets, reading and lecture notes, and exam sheets. Some of the lecture notes may date from Starr's undergraduate career. Boxes 6 and 7 contain two bibliographies, one on French literature and criticism (3x5 cards), the other on Italian literature and criticism (4x6 cards). The publications include reprints of articles by Starr, several book reviews by him, and several published reviews of Starr's books.

Arrangement of Materials

Arrangement within each category is basically chronological.

Subjects

Corporate Name

American Association of Teachers of French. Chicago/Northern Illinois Chapter

Modern Language Association of America

Personal Name

Rolland, Romain, 1866-1944

Subjects

French language--Study and teaching (Higher)

French teachers--Illinois--Evanston


Container List / Contents

  • Social Activism Files
    • Vietnam Protests, 1967-1971Box 1, Folder 6
    • Strike, 1967Box 1, Folder 7
    • Teach-in, January 1969, 1968-1969Box 1, Folder 8
    • March Fourth, 1968-1970Box 1, Folder 9
    • New University, 1969-1970Box 1, Folder 10
  • Professional Organizations
    • American Association of Teacher of French Chicago Chapter, 1953-1955Box 1, Folder 11
    • Modern Language Association French VI Group - Bibliography, 1957-1963Box 1, Folder 12
    • Modern Language Association French VI Group - Bibliography, 1964-1968Box 1, Folder 13
    • Modern Language Association French VI Group - Secretary, 1958-1961Box 2, Folder 1
    • Modern Language Association French VI Group - Chairman, 1959-1960Box 2, Folder 2
    • Modern Language Association French VII Group - Bibliography, 1954-1959Box 2, Folder 3
    • Speech - "Women of the Renaissance", 1963Box 2, Folder 4
  • Teaching Files
    • Folder 5 A02-03, B01-03, 1952-1977Box 2, Folder 5
    • Folder 6 B01, n. d.Box 2, Folder 6
    • Folder 7 C13, 1965-1976Box 2, Folder 7
    • Folder 8 C13, n. d.Box 2, Folder 8
    • Folder 9 C17, 1957-1963Box 2, Folder 9
    • Folder 10 C17, n. d.Box 2, Folder 10
    • C17, n. d.Box 3, Folder 1
    • C19, 1963Box 3, Folder 2
    • CO1, 1943-1977Box 3, Folder 3
    • CO1, n. dBox 3, Folder 4
    • CO1, n. dBox 3, Folder 5
    • D13, n. dBox 3, Folder 6
    • D03, n. dBox 3, Folder 7
    • D05, E17, and Education C86, n. dBox 4, Folder 1
    • French Literature Seventeenth Century, n. dBox 4, Folder 2
    • French Literature Seventeenth Century, n. d.Box 4, Folder 3
    • French Literature Eighteenth Century, n. d.Box 4, Folder 4
    • French Literature Eighteenth Century, n. d.Box 4, Folder 5
    • French Literature Eighteenth Century, n. d.Box 4, Folder 6
    • French Literature Eighteenth Century, n. d.Box 4, Folder 7
    • French Literature Eighteenth Century, n. d.Box 5, Folder 1
    • Introduction to Research in French Italian Literature, n. d.Box 5, Folder 2
    • D'Annunzio, n. d.Box 5, Folder 3
    • Miscellaneous Notes, n. d.Box 5, Folder 4
    • Class Lists and Grades, 1966-1978Box 5, Folder 5
    • Teaching Files - Graduate Students
      • General, 1965-1973Box 5, Folder 6
      • L.R.B., 1968-1974Box 5, Folder 7
      • H.C., 1968Box 5, Folder 8
      • A.C., 1968Box 5, Folder 9
      • C.D., 1973-1974Box 5, Folder 10
      • B.E., 1971-1974Box 5, Folder 11
      • R.W.H., 1968-1971Box 5, Folder 12
      • L.K., 1977Box 5, Folder 13
      • F.J.K., 1970-1975Box 5, Folder 14
      • W.G.L., 1968-1969Box 5, Folder 15
      • Miscellaneous A-M, 1969-1976Box 5, Folder 16
      • B.W.P., 1968-1972Box 5, Folder 17
      • E.R., 1972-1973, 1977Box 5, Folder 18
      • Miscellaneous N-Z, 1968-1976Box 5, Folder 19
  • Publications
    • Reprints, 1939; 1947-61; 1971Folder 1
    • Book Reviews, 1960-1973Folder 2
    • Reviews of Books by Starr, 1950-1957Folder 3
  • Biographical Material, 1947-1977Box 1, Folder 1
  • Correspondence - General, 1948-1977Box 1, Folder 2
  • Correspondence - Recommendations, 1960-1976Box 1, Folder 3
  • Correspondence - Recommendations, 1961-1977Box 1, Folder 4
  • Correspondence - Wild, Payson S., 1970Box 1, Folder 5
  • Bibliography of French Literature, n. d.Box 6, Folder 1
  • Bibliography of Italian Literature, n. d.Box 7, Folder 1