Special Collections of the ODU Libraries

Calder Smith Sherwood, III Papers, 1899-1976, undated | Special Collections and University Archives

By Joanna Ruedisueli; Revised by Kathleen Smith, May 2014

Collection Overview

Title: Calder Smith Sherwood, III Papers, 1899-1976, undated

ID: 22/RG 22-7B1

Primary Creator: Sherwood, Calder Smith III (1911-1977)

Extent: 5.0 Linear Feet. More info below.


The collection is organized into the following series: I. Personal; II. Navy Reserves; III. Professional; IV. Photos; V. Oversized Documents.  The subseries are organized alphabetically with the folders arranged in chronological order.

Series Descriptions

Series I. Personal – This series is divided into seven subseries: A. Alumni Papers; B. Camp; C. Clubs and Organizations; D. Education; E. Miscellaneous Correspondence; F. Parents’ Miscellaneous Documents; G. Records.

Subseries A. Alumni Papers – Includes bulletins, updates, and a book list from Woodrow Wilson High School, the College of William and Mary and the University of Chicago. There is also correspondence regarding the organization of the Fiftieth Anniversary Fund of the University of Chicago.

Subseries B. Camp – Includes information books and pamphlets on the Explorer Caravan trip and the Camps Sequoyah and Tsali, camp newsletters, a camp devotional booklet, and correspondence that Sherwood received while at camp the summer of 1927 and from Camp Illahee concerning his niece’s camp experience.

Subseries C. Clubs and Organizations – Includes correspondence and notes from the Baptist Student Union Conference, the schedule for a tour of Europe, essays and speeches for the Portsmouth Torch Club, publication entries for “Boys’ Life” magazine, minutes from the Boart of Christian Education meeting, involvement with Boy Scouts and Big Brothers, and a victory bond given by the Men’s First Aid class. Of note are Torch Club member Marshall Butt’s comments on Desegregation.

Subseries D. Education – Includes awards, programs, and newspapers from high school, a newspaper from the College of William and Mary, membership information to various chemistry and science fraternities and societies, physical chemistry lab experiments and reports, job correspondence before and after graduate school, as well as miscellaneous personal, scientific correspondence, and Sherwood’s masters’ thesis, diploma, and convocation program from the University of Chicago.

Subseries E. Miscellaneous Correspondence – Includes received Christmas cards and newsletters, Christmas mailing lists, newsletters from Fred B. Millett, correspondence with the author of “Where to Eat in America’s Cities,” and community college job applications and correspondence. Of note is the presidential reply to a sympathy letter on the occasion of the Kennedy assassination.

Subseries F. Parents’ Miscellaneous Documents – Includes Lessie Sherwood’s notebook from serving at the Red Cross Canteen, her daily planner from 1945, her stamp collecting book and notes, C.S. Sherwood Jr.’s record of receipts, and Hampton Roads defense procedures. Of note are food stamp books from World War II.

Subseries G. Records – Includes finance, automobile, and personal records of expense.

Series II. Navy Reserves – This series is divided into two subseries: A. Personal Documents; B. Teaching.

Subseries A. Personal Documents – Includes appointments of duty, submitted requests for leave, annual qualification questionnaires, promotion to Lt. Commander, and U.S. Navy Reserves inactive status lists.

Subseries B. Teaching – Includes teaching notes and class rolls, notes on cryptography, documents for sailing and yacht races and courses, and programs from events at the Navy Academy.

Series III. Professional – This series is divided into five subseries: A. Norfolk Division of William and Mary/ODU Administration; B. Organizations; C. Planetarium; D. Teaching.

Subseries A. Norfolk Division of William and Mary/ODU Administration – Includes departmental reports on faculty, correspondence and papers documenting the development of science degrees, departmental evaluations and self-study reports, and correspondence from visiting science programs. There are also several surveys that Sherwood composed for the Chemistry department faculty, their results, and their evaluations. There are also papers documenting Sherwood’s participation in student senate advising, revisions to the honor system, revisions to the faculty rules and regulations, the faculty senate, and preliminary sketches and photostats in preparation for the construction of the new science building.

Subseries B: Organizations – Includes speeches and organizational correspondence for the annual Chemical Progress Week, membership to the American Chemical Association, correspondence and brochures documenting the annual Virginia Academy of Science Conference and the Virginia Conference of American Association of University Professors.

Subseries C: Planetarium – Includes preliminary correspondence and planetarium research for the Pretlow Planetarium, materials from planetarium programs and lectures, with a notable amount of research and correspondence in astronomy in Indian myths.

Subseries D: Teaching – Includes thank you letters from students, student memorabilia, notes, and drawings, summer orientation involvement, teaching notes and notebooks, and curriculum from Sherwood’s involvement with local high schools.

Series IV. Photos – This series contains photographs and postcards of historical Norfolk, the Biltmore House, the Jamestown Exposition, Sherwood’s high school graduation, Camp Sequoyah, the Naval Academy, chemistry professors at ODU, astronaut Scott Carpenter, a lunar eclipse, and unidentified personages.

Series V. Oversized Documents – This series contains the high school diplomas of both C.S. Sherwood Jr. and C.S. Sherwood III, Sherwood’s graduating class photo, a certificate from the Virginia Society of Sons of the Revolution, membership of Phi Kappa Phi, Sherwood’s college diploma, certificate of membership to the U.S. Naval Institute, specifications for the Sherwood home in Glensheallah, Portsmouth, VA, blueprints for the Pretlow Planetarium and the new science building, and annotated wall calendars from the years 1959-1960 and 1962-1974.

Date Acquired: 10/13/1977. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: College of William and Mary. Norfolk Division, College of William and Mary. Norfolk Division--Faculty, Old Dominion University, Old Dominion University--Faculty, Old Dominion University. College of Sciences, United States. Naval Reserve, United States Naval Academy

Languages: English


Calder Smith Sherwood, III was a chemistry professor who served as faculty member in the College of Sciences from 1939-1977, teaching chemistry, astronomy, and geophysical sciences at the university.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection documents the life of Calder Smith Sherwood, III and his family from 1899 to 1977.  Materials include personal correspondence from family members, faculty, students, and organizations, daily planners, wall calendars, pocket diaries, newsletters and newspapers, blueprints, speeches, faculty reports, department surveys, a recorded lecture, and photos.  Due to Sherwood’s involvement with summer camps, the collection also includes brochures, photos, and correspondence from several boys’ camps in North Carolina.  There is also much information on planetariums and projectors that Sherwood gathered in preparation for designing the Pretlow Planetarium of ODU.

Collection Historical Note

Calder Smith Sherwood, III was born on November 1, 1911 in Portsmouth, Virginia, to Calder Smith Sherwood, Jr. and Lessie Wallace Sherwood.  He was commonly known throughout his life as C.S.  The Sherwood family owned a successful jewelry business and lived in the area throughout C.S.’s adolescence.

Sherwood graduated from Portsmouth’s Woodrow Wilson High School in 1929.  Afterwards he attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 1933.  He spent 1934 working as lab assistant at the college before pursuing his master’s degree in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Chicago, which he obtained in June of 1937.  He then returned to Virginia, this time to the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary, as an assistant professor.  After one year, Sherwood returned to Chicago to pursue his doctorate, but then decided to return to Norfolk to assume a full time teaching position at William and Mary in 1939.

Sherwood taught freshman Chemistry courses along with a variety of other courses during his teaching career, and he introduced geology and astronomy courses into the curriculum.  In 1942 Sherwood left to teach chemistry and sailing courses at the United States Naval Academy in Baltimore, Maryland, as a Lieutenant of the United States Navy Reserves.  Four years later, after a promotion to Lieutenant Commander in 1945, he returned to Norfolk.  Sherwood remained in the Navy Reserves until 1953.

Upon his return to the Norfolk Division of William and Mary in 1946, Sherwood was made the Chairman of the Chemistry Department.   During this time, he also occupied the chair for the division of Natural Sciences from 1950 to 1954.  When Sherwood resigned the Chair of Chemistry in 1969, he assumed a position in Student Academic Advising as well as a part time position teaching Astronomy.  In 1971 he served as Chairman of the Department of Geophysical Sciences until his retirement in May 1977.

While teaching at William and Mary, Sherwood was involved in many campus councils and departmental groups.  He was part of the Honors Council in 1941 and aided in editing revisions to the Honor Code.  He helped design the new science building in 1950 and organize the building of the Pretlow Planetarium in 1965.  In 1968, Sherwood also taught summer courses and helped with summer orientation for new students.

Off campus, Sherwood was a member of many community organizations and clubs such as the Portsmouth Torch Club, the Seaboard Lodge, and the American Camping Association.  He was an Eagle Scout sponsor in the Boy Scouts of America and possessed a great love of camping.  This led to a lifelong connection with Camp Sequoyah in Ashville, North Carolina as a camper, a counselor, and a visitor.  He was on the Board of Deacons for the Court Street Baptist Church of Portsmouth and was a part of the Baptist Student Union in the 1930’s.  In line with his profession, he served as the chairman of the local committee for the Virginia Academy of Science conferences in Norfolk.  He advised various local high school science programs and helped open a planetarium at the Portsmouth Manor High School in 1970.  Sherwood established a trust that now funds the C. S. Sherwood Portsmouth Community Trust Scholarship and the C.S. Sherwood III Endowed Scholarship, for Geology or Chemistry majors at Old Dominion University.

He was a Professor Emeritus until his death on August 9, 1977.

Subject/Index Terms

College of William and Mary. Norfolk Division
College of William and Mary. Norfolk Division--Faculty
Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University--Faculty
Old Dominion University. College of Sciences
United States. Naval Reserve
United States Naval Academy

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives

Accruals: Additional accessions made in November 1977 and 1979.

Alternate Extent Statement: 7 Hollinger boxes and 1 oversized box

Access Restrictions: Open to researches without restrictions.

Use Restrictions: Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Acquisition Source: Estate of C. S. Sherwood III

Acquisition Method: Gift.

Related Materials: Oral Histories in the Perry Library: C.S. Sherwood III

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], Folder [insert number and title], Calder Smith Sherwood III Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Personal, 1903-1976, undated],
[Series II: Navy Reserves, 1942-1953, undated],
[Series III: Professional, 1938-1976, undated],
[Series IV: Photos, 1868-1968, undated],
[Series V: Oversized Documents, 1899-1974, undated],

Series V: Oversized Documents, 1899-1974, undated
Box 8
Item 1: C.S. Sherwood, Jr. Portsmouth High School Diploma, 1899
Item 2: C.S. Sherwood, III Woodrow Wilson High School Diploma, 1929
Item 3: High School Graduation Class Photo, 1929
Item 4: Virginia Society of Sons of the Revolution Certificate, 1931
Item 5: Phi Kappa Phi Induction, 1932
Item 6: William and Mary College Diploma, 1933
Item 7: U.S. Naval Institute Membership, 1943
Item 8: Specifications for Residence in Glensheallah, Portsmouth, VA
Item 9: Specifications for Residence in Glensheallah, Portsmouth, VA
Item 10: Pretlow Planetarium Blueprints
Item 11: Science Building Blueprints
Item 12: Desk Calendars, 1959-1960; 1962-1974
Item 13: Chemical Warfare Agents Reference and Training Chart, U.S. Army Air Corps., circa 1940-1949

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Personal, 1903-1976, undated],
[Series II: Navy Reserves, 1942-1953, undated],
[Series III: Professional, 1938-1976, undated],
[Series IV: Photos, 1868-1968, undated],
[Series V: Oversized Documents, 1899-1974, undated],

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