Guide to the James H. McBurney (1905-1986) Papers

Collection Title: James H. McBurney (1905-1986) Papers
Dates: 1934-1972
Identification: 20/45
Creator: McBurney, James H. (James Howard), 1905-1986
Extent: 3 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: McBurney joined the Northwestern University faculty as an associate professor in 1936, and was appointed full professor of the School of Speech in 1941. He became Dean of the School of Speech in 1942 and held the position for thirty years until his retirement in 1972. The series fills seventeen folders (three boxes). Materials include correspondence, teaching files, speeches and publications.
Acquisition Information: Mrs. Helen McBurney donated The James H. McBurney Papers to the Northwestern University Archives on June 6, 1987 (Accession #87-105).
Processing Information: Janet Czarnik; March 22, 1989
Separated Materials: Twenty-five volumes were transferred to the Northwestern University Library Gifts and Exchange Department. Four faculty books and one reprint were transferred to the University Archives faculty publications collection. One folder of documents on the Reviewing Stand was transferred to the University Archives general file. A few photographs of McBurney were transferred to the University Archives photograph collection. Nine unrelated journal articles were discarded, as were duplicate articles.
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

James Howard McBurney, the son of William and Martha Miller McBurney, was born June 19, 1905, in Tyndall, South Dakota. McBurney joined the Northwestern University faculty as an associate professor in 1936, and was appointed full professor of the School of Speech in 1941. He became Dean of the School of Speech in 1942 and held the position for thirty years until his retirement in 1972.

McBurney graduated in 1925 from Yankton College in Yankton, South Dakota. McBurney received his master's degree in 1929 from the University of South Dakota in economics and business administration, and his Ph.D. in 1935 from the University of Michigan in speech and general linguistics. He also performed one year of post-doctoral work at Columbia University in 1936.

McBurney moderated the Reviewing Stand, a Chicago radio program, from 1936-1972. He also moderated Your Right to Say It, a Chicago television program, from 1956-1972. He co-authored seven books about speech and several articles. McBurney delivered numerous speeches and participated in many social and professional organizations. Upon his retirement in 1972, McBurney made his home in Columbus, North Carolina, where he died at the age of 80, in 1986.

Scope and Content

The series fills seventeen folders (three boxes). Materials include correspondence, teaching files, speeches and publications.

The first five folders in box one are professional correspondence relating to McBurney's publications. The letters are from co-authors, editors, and publishers. Folder one consists of correspondence relating to the book, Speech: A High School Course. The materials date from 1943-1963, concentrating in the 1950s and early 1960s. Folder two contains correspondence relating to the books, Principles and Methods of Discussion (1945-1948) and Discussion in Human Affairs (1948-1962). Folder three relates to The Plight of the Conservative in Public (1941-1951, 1960). Folder four relates to Basic Principles of Speech (1950-1971). The last folder, five, concerns the books, The Working Principles of Arguments (1943-1945) and Argumentation and Debate: Techniques of a Free Society (1947-1963).

Box one, folder six and box two folder one contain personal correspondence. The first folder dates from 1934-1961 while the second folder spans 1962-1972.

Box two, folders two and three contain teaching materials consisting of lecture notes, syllabi, and a few student papers. Dated (1968) and undated materials are present in these folders.

Box two, folders four and five contain manuscripts of speeches. Folder four dates from 1948-1968 and folder five is undated.

Box three, folders one and two contain published materials, mainly journal articles. Folder one dates from 1936 and folder two spans 1936-1950.

Box three, folder three contains material relating to a speech education conference held by the Big Ten conference schools, approximately in 1968. This folder contains papers, syllabi, and agendas plus hand written notes by McBurney.

Box three, folders four and five contain biographical materials including: diplomas, awards, newspaper clippings, and related items. The dates range from the 1940's to the 1970's.

Box three, folder five contains course notes taken by McBurney at the University of Michigan, relating to the human anatomy. These notes are undated.

Arrangement of Materials

All materials within the folders are arranged chronologically.

Subjects

Personal Name

McBurney, James H. (James Howard), 1905-1986

Subjects

College teachers--Illinois--Evanston

Speech--Study and teaching


Container List / Contents

  • Correspondence
    • Professional, 1943-1963Box 1, Folder 1
    • Professional, 1945-1962Box 1, Folder 2
    • Professional, 1941-51, 60Box 1, Folder 3
    • Professional, 1950-1971Box 1, Folder 4
    • Professional, 1943-45, 1947-1963Box 1, Folder 5
    • Personal, 1934-1961Box 1, Folder 6
    • Personal, 1962-1972Box 2, Folder 1
  • Teaching Materials
    • Teaching materials, c. 1968Box 2, Folder 2
    • Teaching materials, c. 1968Box 2, Folder 3
  • Speeches
    • Speeches, 1948-1968Box 2, Folder 4
    • Speeches, n.dBox 2, Folder 5
  • Publications
    • Published materials, 1936Box 3, Folder 1
    • Published materials, 1936-1950Box 3, Folder 2
    • Speech Conference of the Big Ten Schools, c. 1968Box 3, Folder 3
    • Biographical material, 1940-1970Box 3, Folder 4
    • Biographical material, 1940-1970Box 3, Folder 5
    • Student Course Notes, n.dBox 3, Folder 6