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Harry T. Wood papers

Identifier: 010.HTW

Scope and Contents

The Harry T. Wood papers include correspondence, professional publications, newspaper clippings, debate outlines and notes, student notes, and course material. Materials date from 1894 to 1943, with the majority dating from 1923 to 1937. The papers are divided into five series: Personal, Professional Organizations, Academic Training, Academic Teaching, and Subject Files.

The Personal series contains Wood's certificates, correspondence, genealogical papers, and dictionaries. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by last name of sender.

The Professional Organizations series is divided into the Michigan Speech Correction Association subseries and the Michigan State Committee on Speech subseries. The former subseries contains correspondence and the Michigan Speech Correction Association's constitution. The latter subseries contains publications, pamphlets, and copies of state legislation.

The Academic Training series is arranged chronologically by each instition that Wood attended: high school, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, University of Iowa, and the University of Michigan. The latter three universities each have a subseries with course notes, papers, and course packs arranged alphabetically by class title and/or subject.

The Academic Teaching series is arranged chronologically by the institutions where Wood taught: high schools, Carleton College, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, and Michigan State Normal College. Wood taught at the Springfield, Illinois high school and was superintendent of schools in Fillmore, Illinois. The University of Michigan subseries is further divided alphabetically by course. The Michigan State Normal College is divided into course material, debate team papers, faculty papers, and professional publications. Papers of the men's debate team are arranged chronologically by the year of each particular debate. The subseries of faculty papers contains Wood's transcripts, curriculum vitae, pay information, and letters of recommendation. Materials relating to the Pi Gammu Mu, Pi Kappa Delta, and Sigma Mu Sigma fraternities, organiszations Wood was intimately involved with, had been previously removed from the collection and filed in the fraternities' individual collections.

Wood collected newspaper clippings, papers, and publications for his research, professional needs, and as mementos. These materials are found in the Subject File series, which maintains Wood's original organization of alphabetically by subject. The Insurance file contains correspondence relating to insurance plans available to Michigan State Normal College staff. Material relating to the Michigan State Normal College debate team may also be found in the Argumentation, Debate, and Programs-Debate files. Papers from speech classes that Wood taught, as well as transcripts of speeches Wood wrote, may be found in the Pedagogical Problems file. The Child Psychology file contains a sampling of Gladys Huntington Bevans' You and Your Children column and Doris Blake's advice column published in the Chicago Herald Tribune betweem 1927 and 1932. Material relating to World War I may be found in the War file. Materials from the Occasional Addresses and Programs subseries are further divided by events.

Wood conducted field research on speech defects while a graduate student at the University of Iowa in the 1920s. He also participated in a speech clinic while teaching at Michigan State Normal College. Papers relating to both activities may be found in the Clinic in Speech Correction subject file.


  • Creation: 1894 - 1943
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1923 - 1937


Language of Materials

The majority of the materials are in English, except for letters written in German in box 2, folder 5 and box 7, folder 9. A newspaper published in French is located in box 9, folder 10 as well.

Conditions Governing Access

Researchers are asked to request materials 24 hours prior to visiting the the University Archives.

Biographical note

Harry T. Wood was born on November 16, 1890 in Hennepin, Illinois. Wood received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1915 from the University of Illinois, and joined the army shortly afterward. He was stationed in France with the 68th Coast Artillery during World War I. His first position as a college speech teacher was at Carleton College in Minnesota from 1921 until 1922. Wood married Esther Winterscheid in Hennepin, Illinois the same year he left Carleton College. In 1925, Wood received his Master of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. He was a graduate teaching associate at the University of Iowa from 1922 to 1926 and became a member of the speech staff at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1926. Wood left the following year to begin teaching at Michigan State Normal College as an assistant professor in the Department of Speech, a position he held from 1927 to 1943.

Wood specialized in speech correction and pathology, and served as the debate team coach at the schools and institutions where he taught. He was also active in multiple fraternities, and was the college patron of the Sigma Mu Sigma Fraternity. Wood belonged to many professional organizations, including the National Association of the Teachers of Speech and the Michigan Speech Correction Association and was a charter member of each. He founded a speech clinic at MSNC and offered assistance to those suffering from speech defects. Wood took doctoral courses in speech at the University of Iowa and the University of Michigan, but did not complete a PhD program. Wood died April 18, 1943.

(Information gathered from an obituary found in Wood's biographical file in the University Archives. It was written by F.B. McKay, head of the Department of Speech at Michigan State Normal College.)


8.6 Linear Feet (7 record center cartons, 4 archive boxes )


Harry T. Wood taught at Michigan State Normal College (MSNC) as an assistant professor in the Department of Speech from 1927 until his death in 1943. Wood coached the MSNC debate team, and belonged to organizations dedicated to providing comprehensive special education in Michigan. The Harry T. Wood papers include correspondence; notes and papers written as a student at various universities; outlines and publications used in classes he taught; MSNC student papers and grades; debate team materials; newspaper clippings; and research he conducted as a graduate student at the University of Iowa. Materials date from 1894 to 1943, with the bulk dating from 1923 to 1937.

While some of Wood's syllabi and class notes may be found among the papers, most of the class material dating from his time at MSNC consist of student papers and notes, as well as teaching material. Wood's papers are a valuable resourse for anyone interested in special education, speech, graduate training during the 1920s, and student debates on the New Deal.

Related Materials

Researchers interested in other professors who have taught at Eastern Michigan University may also review:

the Daniel Putnam papers[02.DP], professor of psychology and pedagogy from 1868 to 1906:

the John B. Virtue papers [010.JV], professor of English from 1946 to 1971:

the Julia Ann King papers [010.JAK], professor of history from 1881 to 1919. These collections contain various lectures, course outlines and descriptions, and publications of the respective professors:

The Department of Special Education records [07.SE] may be of use to anyone researching special education. The records include publications on the history of the special education program (the oldest in the nation) and papers from the 1930s:

Separated Materials

Papers relating to the Pi Gammu Mu, Pi Kappa Delta, and Sigma Mu Sigma fraternities were previously removed and placed in the fraternities' individual collections.

A group of letters and papers belonging to Claudia Crumpton originally appeared in the collection. Crumpton was employed at Detroit's Northwestern High School. There is no evidence of how Wood obtained these papers or what, if any, relationship Wood had with Crumption. All of the papers and letters are from the early 1920s and illustrate Crumpton's role as secretary of the Committee on American Speech for the National Council of Teachers of English. The papers also document the "Better Speech" movement of the 1910s and 1920s, which aimed at improving Americans' grammar and articulation. Due to the independent nature of the material's creation, Claudia Crumpton's papers have been removed and form a separate collection (018.CEC).

Harry T. Wood papers
Sean J. McConnell
2014 April 9
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Repository Details

Part of the Eastern Michigan University Archives Repository

Bruce T. Halle Library, Room 310
955 West Circle Drive
Ypsilanti Michigan 48197