The series consists of one box of letters from former students at Northwestern answering an ad placed by Professor Harold Williamson of the N.U. History Project in the 1975 Spring issue of the Northwestern Alumni News, in which Professor Williamson asked alumni to send letters describing their memories of favorite professors.
The response to “Professors I'll Never Forget” was overwhelming, with people writing letters not only about one favorite professor but two, three, and sometimes four or five. In filing these letters, the letters containing memoirs about more than one professor were filed under the names of the first professor listed, or, in some cases, under the name of the professor who was discussed at greatest length in the letter. Furthermore, an alphabetical list of all the professors mentioned in these letters was drawn up, which will also appear as an appendix in the forthcoming history of Northwestern. The list also includes the disciplines taught by each professor and the dates he or she taught at Northwestern. This list is located in Box 1, Folder 2. Within the collection itself, a 3“x5” card is filed for every professor mentioned in a letter, again giving the professor's full name, department, courses taught, and the years in which he or she taught.
Since the response to Professor Williamson's published request was so favorable, he and Mrs. Alice Snyder, editor of the Alumni News, decided on an exhibit of some of the more notable letters. The exhibit, prepared by Mary Moss, Katharine Giese and Sarah Good of the University Archives, was displayed in three cases in the center of the lobby of the University Library. The exhibit contained a representative display of matted photographs of, letters about, and books by favorite professors from various departments in the university, and presented artifacts from a few of the professors, including the beaded Indian moccasins once belonging to Professor Lew Sarett of the Speech Department (from the collection of Lew Sarett's papers and artifacts in the University Archives, Series 20/9).
This collection also contains an exhibit file, with a list of all the professors highlighted in the exhibit, copies of the announcement in the Alumni News, the tearsheet copy of an article about the letters which appeared in the Fall issue of the Alumni News, the exhibit's placard, and general material relating to the professors, the letters and the exhibit.