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A Finding Aid for the Woodbridge N. Ferris Dissertation Collection 1899-1989

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Woodbridge N. Ferris Dissertation Collection

Creator: Tabor, Morris

Dates: 1968-1974; undated

Abstract: In preparation for a dissertation on Woodbridge N. Ferris, Morris Taber conducted research at Ferris State College, including several oral histories of former employees. Professor Charles Bond transcribed several of these interviews and retained copies. This collection consists of partial transcriptions for interviews, and notes taken by Taber.

Language: English

Quantity: 0.4 cubic feet; 1 Hollinger box

Identification: MSS-5

Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program

Scope and Content Note

Morris Taber began a dissertation project on Woodbridge N. Ferris that was not completed. In 1974, Ferris State College Professor Charles Bond borrowed the tapes of interviews to make transcriptions, in preparation for a history which he never wrote. These transcripts are not complete, and the original audiotapes are no longer available. There is no documentation as to whether these were the only interviews done. Many have handwritten additions on the side noting who the speakers are. A few of the interviews are identified only by their surnames such as "Mr. Green." The correspondence makes reference to the original governing board minutes from the corporation period of 1900-1931- it is possible these are the copies which have since been placed into the Board of Trustees collection. These records do exist now as part of the Ferris State University Archives.

Most of the interviews, with the exception of Roy Newton focus on the period of the Woodbridge N. Ferris presidency. They relate anecdotes of Ferris in the classroom, in relation to his family and on the streets of Big Rapids, Michigan. Some refer to his second marriage, but few talk about his political career. The interview with Roy Newton also discusses the institutional histories about Ferris and the loss of history through missing documents. He also discusses the Brophy and Spathelf presidencies. This collection provides memoirs and impressions from the early years of Ferris Institute.

A draft of the dissertation entitled Woodbridge N. Ferris, An Unorthodox Reformer in Education and Politics, 1853-1928, is available in the Ferris Collection.


The papers are contained in a single series.

Access Information

Conditions of Access

The Woodbridge N. Ferris Dissertation Collection is open for research to all users in accordance with University Archives and Records Management access policies. It is available in the reading room of the Ferris State University Archives.

Conditions of Use

Requests for permission to publish material should be directed to the University Archivist. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Copyright interests for this collection have not been transferred to Ferris State University. For more information, contact the University Archivist.

Subject Headings

Below are a list of names, organizations and subjects relating to the collection. Names have been taken from Library of Congress Authority headings whenever possible.

Related Materials

None specified.

Administrative Information


Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box. Woodbridge N. Ferris Dissertation Collection. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Provenance (Acquisition Information)

The Woodbridge N. Ferris Dissertation Collection was donated by Charles Bond of Big Rapids, Michigan.

Processing Information

The Woodbridge N. Ferris Dissertation Collection was processed to the folder level by Melinda McMartin Isler in May 2004. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 1.0. A revised finding aid was created in January 2008. A collection level MARC-format record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description was based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004).

Separated Materials

During processing, duplicate materials were discarded. There were no other materials placed in other collections.

Technical Requirements

This collection consists of paper based materials. No specialized hardware or software is required for viewing.

Content Listing

Series 1. Research Files. 1968-1974; undated..

The Woodbridge N. Ferris Dissertation Collection is organized into a single series. It consists of transcripts of both oral history interviews with early Ferris Institute staff, but also transcripts of notes taken into a tape recorder while using resources at the Ferris State College and elsewhere.

The files are arranged alphabetically by interviewee name or by subject.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Bergelin, John. Oral history transcript. Undated.
1 2 Correspondence. 1974.
1 3 Green, Mr. Oral history transcript. Undated.
1 4 Jenkins, Mrs. Oral history transcript. Undated.
1 5 Lavs, Grace. Oral history transcript. Undated.
1 6 MacGregor, Geraldine (Travis). Oral history transcript. Undated.
1 7 Newton, Roy. Oral history transcript. Undated.
1 8 Notes. Ferris, Phelps and Mabel. Divorce. 1922.
1 9 Notes. Ferris State College library sources. Undated.
1 10 Notes. Secondary sources. Undated.
1 11 Owns, Addie. Oral history transcript. Undated.
1 12 Shaw, William. Oral history transcript. Undated.
1 13 Stewart, Mrs. Oral history transcript. Undated.
1 14 Wart, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene. Oral history transcript. Undated.
1 15 Windquist, Helen. Oral history transcript. Undated.
1 16 Worcester, Donald. Oral history transcript. Undated.
1 17 Wright, Lillian (Masselink). Oral history transcript. Undated.