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Benjamin L. D'Ooge papers

Identifier: 05.BD

Scope and contents

The Benjamin L. D'Ooge papers detail the professional and personal activities of Benjamin Leonard D'Ooge, head of the Latin Department at Michigan State Normal School, later Normal College, from 1886-1936. The collection is organized into four series: Scholarship, Service, Personal and Family Materials, and Portrait Restoration. Items of collection range from 1884-2007.

The Scholarship series contains academic articles written by Professor D'Ooge, publishing contracts and correspondence from the publishing firm Ginn & Company for his many texts books and latin translations, Library of Congress copyrights, books, work abroad, a scroll advertisement for one of his books "Latin for Beginners," and a hand written 1884 master's thesis from the University of Michigan on the Theology and Ethics of Euripides in Latin. Series does not contain any syllabi, course materials, tests, or quizzes.

The Service series is the smallest portion of the collection. It includes information about the Benjamin L. D'ooge Stoic society scholarship and the Arm of Honor fraternity. This series does not include any information on the activities of the Stoic Society or Arm of Honor. It is also missing any information related to the founding of the Arm of Honor by professor D'Ooge.

The Personal and Family Materials series makes up a large portion of this collection. It is rich in biographical and genealogical materials related to various members of the D'Ooge family, including a subseries of correspondance between D'Ooge, his wife, and thier children from 1884-1940. Series includes clippings and tributes to Professor D'Ooge, information on multiple honorary dinners and obituaries, a detailed personal financial ledger from 1890-1938, information on the family's time abroad at Bonn, Germany 1899-1901. Microfilm copies of his wife Jane "Jennie" D'Ooge's extensive personal diaries from 1886 to 1936. These diaries are rich in day to day details of Jennies life and the lives of her family.

The Portrait Restoration series contains correspondence and financial material related to the portrait of D'Ooge that hangs in the Halle Library. Most of the material is related to its restoration in 2005-2006 and the unveiling event. There are several photos of D'Ooge's decendents with the portrait, a negitive copy of the photograph used for the painting, and an article about the painting from the EMU alumni magazine, Exemplar.


  • Creation: 1884 - 2007


Language of Materials

Records are mainly in English with some items in Latin and Greek.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Biographical note

Benjamin Leonard D’Ooge served as a Professor and head of the Latin Department at Michigan State Normal College from 1886-1936. He was born 10 January 1860 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The son of Leonard and Johanna (nee. Quintus) D’Ooge, immigrants from Holland. His father brought his family to America in 1851, settling in New York for a short time before relocating to western Michigan. His father's family was descended from Huguenot (French Protestants) and his mother was descended from a line of Dutch educators. Professor D’Ooge had two sisters, Jennie and Maria, and an older brother, Martin Luther D’Ooge. Martin D’Ooge’s was also a linguist and head of the University of Michigan’s Latin and Greek Department.

D’Ooge attended Grand Rapids High School and later went on to study at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. D’Ooge worked as a tutor in order to pay his way through college and graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1881. His first position was as Principle of Coldwater High School, where he also taught physics and chemistry. D’Ooge returned to the University of Michigan in 1884 to complete his Masters degree and began teaching at the University upon graduation. He was married to Jennie (Jane) Pease on the 25th of June, 1885. The couple moved to Ypsilanti, MI shortly after.

D’Ooge joined the Michigan State Normal School faculty as a professor of latin in 1886. During his employment Professor D’Ooge was an active member of the Stoic Society and founded the Arm of Honor fraternity in 1895, the oldest active local fraternity in the United States. Professor D’Ooge retired from the Normal College in 1936 and in 1938 the Normal College Stoic Society established an academic scholarship in his name.

In addition to his life as an educator Professor D’Ooge was also an avid writer. His book Latin for Beginners was one of the most widely used Latin textbooks in schools across the country. Earnings from his textbooks paid for his family of six to live abroad from 1899 to 1901 while he earned his PhD from the University of Bonn, Germany.

In 1905 Professor D’Ooge and his wife Jennie purchased property at 420 W. Forest Ave, Ypsilanti, MI where they built their family home. Professor D’Ooge lived there until the winter of 1939. The house was purchased by the University in would go on to be incorporated into campus by the University and used through the 1980’s as the Student Placement Center, helping to connect EMU graduates with employers. The house was eventually torn down in 1985 to make room for the Coating Research Institute.

Professor D’Ooge spent the last months of his life with his daughter Helen in Allentown, PA. He fell ill in mid February and died 7 March 1940.


4.4 Linear Feet (2 archive boxes, 1 oversize box, 1 oversize item)


The Benjamin L. D'Ooge papers contains publications, photographs, and biographical information related to professor and head of the Latin Department at Michigan State Normal School now known as Eastern Michigan University, Benjamin L. D'Ooge (1860-1940). D'Ooge was on faculty for fifty years, and the author of numerous textbooks for teaching Latin. He retired in 1936 and died in 1940. The collection includes genealogical and biographical material on D'Ooge and other members of his family, tributes and obituaries for D'Ooge, photographs of D'Ooge and other family members, their time abroad from 1899-1901 and family homes, books, articles, and other documentation related to his publications, and correspondence and financial documents connected to the restoration of the portrait of D'Ooge in 2005-2006. This collection would be useful in researching the personal life of Professor D'Ooge and his work in publishing. The Jane "Jennie" D'Ooge diaries would serve as an excellent resource in looking at daily life in Ypsilanti from 1886 to 1936.

Related Materials

Other publications by Benjamin D'Ooge can be found in the Eastern Michigan University Library catalog. Additional photographs of D'Ooge are availible through the Ypsilanti Historical Society.

Related materials housed in the University Archives can be found in the following collections:

Arm of Honor records [04.AOH]

Stoic Society records [04.SS]

Department of Foreign Language and Bilingual Studies collection [05.FLBS]

Benjamin L. D'Ooge papers
Julia Pope, Roxanne Simoni
2012 June 18
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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