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Clarence L. Ver Steeg (1922-2007) Papers

 Collection
Identifier: 11/3/16/23

Scope and Contents

Boxes 1-43:

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.

Boxes 44-46:

This addition to the Clarence L. Ver Steeg papers fills three boxes and spans the period 1957-2005. The materials are divided into two subcategories: miscellaneous files organized by subject and editing notes related to Ver Steeg's textbook publications.

The Subject Files are organized alphabetically by subject heading and are largely related to Ver Steeg's history professorship at Northwestern University. These materials include llinois Board of Education Faculty Committee correspondence, inter-office correspondence, and course-related items. However, a considerable amount of the papers are of a more personal nature and include various clippings, "Bits and Pieces," a humorous retrospective of Ver Steeg's Deanship of the Graduate School, and a collection of personal correspondence. Notably, included here is a correspondence Ver Steeg maintained with Earl A. Butts, 1st Lieutenant of Ver Steeg's combat crew during WWII.

The Publications files are organized alphabetically by subject heading and are primarily related to Ver Steeg's American Spirit textbook as well as to his contributions to the Heath Social Studies series. These files include editor's notes and correspondence along with analyses of market outlook and shifting student curriculum.

Dates

  • 1927-2005

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at specialcollections@northwestern.edu or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection. Northwestern University History Department appointment, placement, evaluation, and recommendation files (Box 26, Folders 2-6 and Box 27, Folders 1-10), as well as teaching files (Boxes 30-33) may contain sensitive materials; consultation with University Archivist required prior to use.

Extent

46 Boxes

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Clarence Lester Ver Steeg initially joined Northwestern as a Professor of United States History in 1950 and served as Dean of The Graduate School from 1975 to 1986. Ver Steeg was most well known for teaching American history courses. Aside from his teaching responsibilities, he was instrumental in expanding graduate education programs. As chairman of the Northwestern Faculty Committee to Plan and Build the New University Library, Ver Steeg played a crucial role in the development, design, and construction of the new library. The papers are divided into six categories: biographical files, general correspondence, subject files, teaching files, public addresses, and publications. Additional materials are divided into subject files and publications.

Arrangement Note

Boxes 1-43: The Clarence L. Ver Steeg papers are divided into six categories: biographical files, general correspondence, subject files, teaching files, public addresses, and publications. General files have been organized alphabetically document type. Correspondence is arranged in chronological order. Teaching files are arranged first by school and then by topic or by course name or number. The public address files are chronologically arranged. Within the publications series, 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.

Boxes 44-46: The addition is divided into two subcategories: miscellaneous files organized by subject and editing notes related to Ver Steeg's textbook publications. Each subcategory is arranged alphabetically by subject heading.

Method of Acquisition

Donated to the University Archives by Clarence L. Ver Steeg in the following accessions: 83-170, 85-192, 87-107, 95-98, and 00-271. The addition at Box 43, Folder 5 was separated from Accession #86-234.

The addition incorporates materials from Accession 87-121 (donated to the University Archives by Clarence Ver Steeg on June 29, 1987), Accession 07-172 (donated in July, 2007 by the Ver Steeg family), and Accession 08-159 (transferred to the Archives by kevin Leonard on October 15, 2008).

Related Materials

See also: Records of the Dean of the Graduate School, Clarence Ver Steeg, Series 10/2.

Publications List

Chief among Ver Steeg's publications are:
Robert Morris, Revolutionary Financier (1954)
A True and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia (1960)
The American People: Their History (1961) (1964)
The Formative Years, 1607-1763 (1965)
The Story of Our Country (1965) (1967)
Great Issues in American History: From Settlement to Revolution (1969)
Investigating Man's World (1969) (1970)
A People and a Nation (1971)
Origin of A Southern Mosiac: Studies in the Early Carolinas and Georgia (1975)
World Cultures (1977)
American Spirit (1982)
“The Launching of the New Government” in Problems in American History (1952) (1957) (1966)
“Alexander Hamilton: His Contribution to Constitutional Government” from Representative American Speeches (1956-1957)
“The North American Colonies in the Eighteenth Century, 1688-1763” from Interpreting and Teaching American History (1961)
“The Founding of America” in The Democratic Experience (1963)
“Historians and the Southern Colonies” from The Reinterpretation of Early American History (1968)
“The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America, 1787,” An American Primer (1966)
“The American Revolution Considered as an Economic Movement” published in The Huntington Library Quarterly (1957)

Separated Materials

Addition: Duplicate materials were discarded.

Processing Information

Nathan Youngblood and Kevin Leonard; June-October, 2006. Kevin Leonard; January 3, 2008. Addition processed by Nicholas Cizek, June 2010.
Title
Guide to the Clarence L. Ver Steeg (1922-2007) Papers
Author
Nathan Youngblood and Kevin Leonard
Date
01/06/2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Contact:
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US
847-491-3635