The Clarence L. Ver Steeg papers span the years from 1927 to 2000 and are divided into six categories: biographical files, general correspondence, subject files, teaching files, public addresses, and publications.
The biographical files date between 1927 and 1998 with the bulk of the material dating prior to 1950. Filling slightly more than five boxes, the biographical files afford a remarkably detailed look into Ver Steeg's personal life, especially his youth, education, and military service. Preserved here are examples of school work and related items from throughout the span of Ver Steeg's formal education, from early childhood to his graduate studies at Columbia University. Among the most interesting items found in these files are the materials relating to his service in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. Ver Steeg was able to document almost every aspect of his military experience. These materials include, among other items: flight manuals and notes from flight school, mission records and logs, a battle area map, first aid manuals, in-flight photographs, war leaflets and wartime family correspondence. Complementing these is an extended run of correspondence between Ver Steeg and fellow USAAF officer and pilot Earl Butts. More general biographical items include newspaper and magazine clippings pertaining to Ver Steeg and his wife, Dorothy.
Arranged across almost seventeen boxes, the general correspondence, including both incoming and outgoing items, dates from 1942 to 1999 and forms the largest component of the series. The correspondence is fullest between the years 1953 and 1976 with letters from any given year during this period filling multiple folders. Correspondence is arranged in chronological order and pertains to personal and professional matters. It is supplemented by correspondence found in the subject files. Taking up nearly nine boxes, these relate almost entirely to Ver Steeg's career as a scholar and span the period from his days as a lecturer at Columbia University to his retirement from Northwestern University. The subject files are an important source of information on Ver Steeg's involvement in professional associations and document his awards, recognitions, and opportunities for advancement as a teacher and administrator. Significant runs of correspondence relate to the American Historical Association's Committee on the Commemoration of the American Revolution Bicentennial, the work of the Institute of Early American History and Culture, Ver Steeg's service on Northwestern University committees, and his tenure as Dean of the Graduate School. Important material relating to the design and construction of the Northwestern University Library also is found here.
The teaching files contain lecture notes, syllabi, examinations, and grade records from Ver Steeg's service at Columbia, Harvard and Northwestern. These files fill about two boxes and are arranged first by school and then by topic or by course name or number. A few files pertain to Ver Steeg's teaching in the Stanford University program at Alpach, Austria, and to the Law and American Society Project, a program relating to curriculum development in elementary and secondary schools.
A few boxes of public address files include the chronologically arranged texts of various presentations, files on selected other speeches, and a larger volume of texts and correspondence relating to a series of presentations Ver Steeg made before social studies groups.
Publications files are arranged in nearly ten boxes and pertain to articles, reviews, and major works written by Ver Steeg. Some articles and book reviews are grouped chronologically. Other articles or publications associated with correspondence are filed individually and arranged alphabetically by title or topic. Monographs and textbooks are documented typically with more extensive bodies of correspondence between Ver Steeg and his publishers and may also include manuscript drafts. A few files concerning relationships with publishers complete the series.
Clarence Ver Steeg's lengthy 1970 statement of policy analysis and advice to Northwestern University's newly appointed president, Robert H. Strotz, has been added to the series at Box 43, Folder 5.