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Monday - Friday:
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The Special Collections is located on the east side of the Library at the front of the 3rd floor.

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Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0256
telephone (757) 683-4483
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The Papers of Dr. James R. Sweeney

Biographical Sketch

Dr. James Sweeney began teaching at Old Dominion University in 1970. It wasn't until later that year that he received his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame upon completing his thesis on the Harry F. Byrd political organization in Virginia.

Dr. Sweeney has taught courses on Virginia history, American Civilization, and a course on United States history since 1945. He has published articles for historical journals such as the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, the Virginia Quarterly Review, and the Presidential Studies Quarterly. Additionally, he has written two books: Old Dominion University: A Half Century of Service in 1980, and Race, reason, and massive resistance: the diary of David J. Mays, 1954-1959 which was published in 2008.

Sweeney was the first official archivist for ODU starting in 1974, though at the time this position was only part time. Sweeney carried a 6 hour class load in addition to his archivist duties. He began working as archivist when President Bugg created the position and remained in the position until 1981. Sweeney was instrumental in establishing the University Archives and Special Collections in the ODU library in 1976. He oversaw the transition of the University Archives from scattered offices in BAL into the new Library. Before that time, University materials were unofficially collected on campus by Professor Benjamin Clymer and Dr. Robert McClelland.

Dr. Sweeney started an oral history program in the Archives which interviewed present and former professors, staff, and students about their experiences at the college. Additionally, prominent Hampton Roads citizens were interviewed about life and organizations in the local community. This oral history program still continues in the ODU Library.

Additionally, Dr. Sweeney serves as the chapter advisor to Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society, which publishes The Old Dominion University Historical Review. He has served as a national officer of this society.

Scope and Contents

This collection includes material related to Old Dominion University and Hampton Roads history collected by Dr. James R. Sweeney, associate professor of history and former University Archivist. Included are correspondence, photos, news clippings, and oral history materials, as well as Sweeney's notes and drafts for a book he wrote in 1980 on ODU history. ODU history materials date as far back as the 1920s. Local history dates back as far as 1905.

Series Descriptions

Series I: ODU Library and University Archives. This series consists of two sub-series: A. ODU Library and B. University Archives.

Sub-series A: ODU Library. This sub-series contains architectural blueprints for construction of the new Library in 1975 and the foundation plan for the Library created by Library Director, Cynthia Duncan, in 1978. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series B: University Archives. This sub-series contains material related to Dr. Sweeney's tenure as University Archivist in the 1970s. Included are notes, information on forming an archive, a news clipping on Dr. Sweeney and the University Archives, financial reports for the archives, and information on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, including a paper delivered by Sweeney at the conference. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Series II: University History. This series is broken into six sub-series related to the history of Old Dominion University: A. Interviews; B. Correspondence related to the History of ODU; C. News Clippings; D. ODU: A Half Century of Service; E. Other ODU Research and Notes; and F. ODU 50th Anniversary.

Sub-series A: Interviews. This sub-series contains information about Oral History interviews conducted by Dr. Sweeney and others to record the oral histories of Old Dominion University. Most of this sub-series is made up of notes, correspondence, and news clippings related to the several individuals interviewed in this process. There is one transcript for a 1975 oral history interview with Lewis Webb, a past president of the college. Additionally there are examples of release forms and information on how to conduct oral histories. Most of the material is not dated, though most materials were collected or compiled in the 1970s with a few items dated as late as the 1990s. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series B: Correspondence related to the history of ODU. This sub-series contains historical correspondence related to the history of ODU. Included are correspondence between the college and the Virginia Governor's office from the 1920s to the 1960s, as well as correspondence related to the college's Board of Visitors. Topics include: President Bugg's salary, funding and finances, speaking invitations, Board of Visitors appointments, becoming a 4-year college, and funding for a library building and books, as well as other buildings. Material is arranged chronologically.

Sub-series C: News Clippings related to the history of ODU. This sub-series contains historical clippings related to the history of ODU. Included are clippings from the Norfolk Division's Silver Anniversary in 1955, clippings from the 1960s, and various non-dated clippings that appear to go back to the 1930s. Materials are arranged chronologically.

Sub-series D: ODU: A Half Century of Service. This sub-series contains material related to Dr. Sweeney's book "ODU: A Half Century of Service" published in 1980. Materials are mainly drafts and revisions of chapters in the book, but there is also a book outline and one folder of correspondence regarding promotion of the book. The drafts and revisions are ordered chronologically by decade covered, but everything else in this sub-series is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series E: Other ODU Research and Notes. This sub-series contains notes and research materials related to various topics of ODU's history. Included are athletics history, Board of Visitors minutes from the 1920s and 1930s, correspondence related to discontinuing the ROTC on campus in 1950, a compilation of documents from William T. Hodges, the Director of the Norfolk Division from 1932 to 1941, student protests and controversy in the 1960s, opening announcements for the Norfolk Division of William and Mary in 1930, the Norfolk Division of William and Mary seal, and Virginia Acts of Assembly that relate to the college. This sub-series dates from the 1920s through the 1990s. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series F: ODU 50th Anniversary. This sub-series contains information related to the ODU 50th Anniversary committee on which Dr. Sweeney served. Included are proposals, correspondence, minutes, and timelines for this project. This sub-series dates from 1976 to 1980. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Series III: Local History. This series contains items related to local history, but not specifically ODU history. Topics include: Atlantic University, a university that was founded around the same time as the Norfolk Division of William and Mary. It went bankrupt shortly thereafter, but was revived in the 1980s by the Association for Research and Enlightenment; the Freelance, a Norfolk newsletter from 1905-06; Jamestown Exposition postcards from 1907; and the Norfolk Gorilla, a 1970s radical newspaper. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Series IV: Florence "Fay" Zetlin. Fay Zetlin was a well-known Virginia artist who also taught in the Art Department at ODU. This series is broken into two sub-series: A. Correspondence and B. News clippings.

Sub-series A: Correspondence. Correspondence dates from the 1950s to the 1970s and mainly concerns exhibitions of her work. Material is arranged chronologically.

Sub-series B: News Clippings. News clippings date from the 1950s to the 1970s and are primarily related to exhibitions of her work. Material is arranged chronologically.

Series V: Photos. This series contains a complete set of ODU 50th Anniversary photos. Additionally, there are a few photos that are not a part of this set. This sub-series is broken into 11 sub-series. A. Athletics and Sports; B. Buildings and Grounds; C. Faculty and Staff; D. Freshmen; E. Greek Life; F. Music and Entertainment; G. Prominent Personalities; H. Publications; I. Seniors and Graduation; J. Student Life; K. Miscellaneous; and L. Other photos. All photos except those in sub-series L. are from the 50th Anniversary photo set.

Sub-series A: Athletics and Sports. This sub-series contains photos of athletics and sports. Included are: archery, baseball, men's and women's basketball, cheerleading, football, and sailing. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series B: Buildings and Grounds. This sub-series contains photos of campus buildings and grounds. Included are: Batten Arts and Letters (BAL), Webb Center, Canterbury House, Foreman Field, the Old Larchmont School and the Old School of Education Building, the Technical Institute, and campus construction. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series C: Faculty and Staff. This sub-series contains photos of individual faculty and staff members from Academic Counseling and Testing, the Administration Office, the Business Department; Campus Police, the Library, the Physics Department, the Social Studies Division, and the Technical Institute. Also included are past Presidents of the college, and faculty events. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series D: Freshmen. This sub-series contains photos of freshmen and freshmen events. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series E: Greek Life. This sub-series contains photos of fraternities and sororities including Circle K, IMPS, Pi Phi Sigma, and Tiga, as well as Greek events such as Greek Week and the Cotillion Rush Party. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series F: Music and Entertainment. This sub-series contains photos of musical and theatrical events, including a concert of Peter, Paul, and Mary in 1963. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series G: Prominent Personalities. This sub-series contains photos of famous people, political figures, and prominent citizens. Of note, is a photo of Ernest Hemingway with Professor William Seward. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series H: Publications. This sub-series contains photos of people holding the Chieftain and the High Hat. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series I: Seniors and Graduation. This sub-series contains photos of seniors, graduating classes, senior officers, and various graduation ceremonies. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series J: Student Life. This sub-series contains photos of a variety of themes that represent the life of students at the college. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series K: Miscellaneous. This sub-series contains miscellaneous photos. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series L: Other photos. This sub-series contains photos that are not a part of the ODU 50th Anniversary set. These include photos related to ODU president Dr. James L. Bugg, Jr. and a photo of a Vet's Club plaque. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Provenance

A gift from Dr. James R. Sweeney, 1981.

Access

Open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on literary property rights should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.

Size

6 Hollinger Document Cases. 2.5 linear feet.

Collection Number

RG 10-4B1

Container Listing

Box 1

Series I: ODU Library and University Archives

Sub-series A: ODU Library

Folder 1: Architectural plans- ODU Library, 1974
Folder 2: Foundation Plan-ODU Library, 1978-1984 by Cynthia B. Duncan, Feb. 10, 1978

Sub-series B: University Archives

Folder 3: Accessions Policy Article- submitted to American archivist
Folder 4: Archives finds new location, Unews, December 10, 1976
Folder 5: Correspondence with Frederick B. Hill, Jr. 1978-79
Folder 6: Financial Reports- Archives, 9/30/1979
Folder 7: MARAC- Spring meeting, 1976 (paper delivered by Sweeney)
Folder 8: MARAC-Winter Conference (Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference)
Folder 9: Notes

Series II: ODU History

Sub-series A: Interviews

Folder 10: Emily Williams Interview with Webb, September 3, 1975
Folder 11: George Archibald Interview notes and correspondence
Folder 12: Interview Correspondence
Folder 13: Interviewee Notes I [n.d.]
Folder 14: Interviewee Notes II [n.d.]
Folder 15: Interviewee Notes III [n.d.]
Folder 16: Interviewee Notes IV [n.d.]
Folder 17: Oral History Forms [n.d.]
Folder 18: Oral History Interviews [n.d.]

Box 2

Sub-series B: Correspondence related to the History of ODU

Folder 1: Correspondence with Virginia Governor's office (1920s)
Folder 2: Correspondence with Virginia Governor's office (1930s-40s)
Folder 3: Correspondence with Virginia Governor's office (1950s)
Folder 4: Correspondence with Virginia Governor's office (1960s)
Folder 5: Bugg, President, regarding his salary, 1968-69

Sub-series C: News clippings

Folder 6: Norfolk Division Silver Anniversary Clippings, September 25, 1955
Folder 7: Clippings 1960s
Folder 8: Notes and news clippings for University History [n.d.]

Box 3

Sub-series D: ODU: A Half Century of Service

Folder 1: Correspondence - Book Promotion, 1980
Folder 2: Drafts- Revisions- ODU history, 1920s
Folder 3: Drafts- Revisions- ODU history, 1930s
Folder 4: Draft-ODU History-Edited version, 1930s
Folder 5: Drafts- Revisions-ODU history, 1940s
Folder 6: Drafts-Revisions-ODU history, 1950s
Folder 7: Drafts-Revisions-ODU History, 1960s
Folder 8: Drafts-Revisions-ODU History, 1970s
Folder 9: Drafts-Revisions-ODU History for 1980, 50th Anniversary
Folder 10: Drafts-Revisions - ODU History, 1990s
Folder 11: ODU History- becoming an independent Institution and University
Folder 12: Outline for ODU: A Half Century of Service
Folder 13: Research ODU history- The revolution of distance learning

Box 4

Sub-series E: Other ODU Research and Notes

Folder 1: Athletics History
Folder 2: Athletics History - Orange Bowl Minus One?- ODU vs. Miami in football
Folder 3: Athletics History - Greyson Daughtrey, 1st Track Coach at Norfolk Division
Folder 4: Board of Visitors Meetings 1920-1939
Folder 5: Discontinuance of ROTC at Norfolk Division, September 23, 1950
Folder 6: Documents Selected from the Files of Dr. W. T. Hodges, 1934-41
Folder 7: History Notes
Folder 8: The Immaculate Deception, controversial article in The Gadfly 1969
Folder 9: Miscellaneous Notes
Folder 10: Norfolk Division of William and Mary Opening Announcements
Folder 11: Norfolk Division of William and Mary Seal
Folder 12: Note cards
Folder 13: Students for a Democratic Society
Folder 14: Virginia Acts of Assembly Pertaining to ODU

Sub-series F: ODU 50th Anniversary

Folder 15: 50th Anniversary Committee
Folder 16: 50th Anniversary Correspondence
Folder 17: University History Project

Series III: Local History

Folder 18: Atlantic University
Folder 19: The Freelance 1905-06
Folder 20: Jamestown Exposition Postcards 1907
Folder 21: The Norfolk Gorilla 1971

Series IV: Florence "Fay" Zetlin

Folder 22: Correspondence 1950s
Folder 23: Correspondence 1960s
Folder 24: Correspondence 1970s
Folder 25: Correspondence [n.d.]
Folder 26: News Clippings 1950s
Folder 27: News Clippings 1960s
Folder 28: News Clippings 1970s
Folder 29: News Clippings [n.d.]

Box 5

Series V: Photos

Sub-series A: Athletics and Sports

Folder 1: Archery - Women's
Folder 2: Baseball
Folder 3: Basketball - Men's
Folder 4: Basketball - Women's
Folder 5: Cheerleading
Folder 6: Football
Folder 7: Sailing

Sub-series B: Buildings and Grounds

Folder 8: Batten Arts and Letters (BAL)
Folder 9: Building at Night
Folder 10: Canterbury House
Folder 11: Construction
Folder 12: Foreman Field
Folder 13: Old Larchmont School
Folder 14: Old School of Education Building
Folder 15: Technical Institute
Folder 16: Webb Center

Sub-series C: Faculty and Staff

Folder 17: Academic Counseling and Testing - Walter Earl and Kathleen Doub
Folder 18: Administration Staff
Folder 19: Business - Dean Diener 1980
Folder 20: Campus Police 1979
Folder 21: Chandler, Alvin Duke
Folder 22: Faculty Frolics 1968
Folder 23: Library Staff
Folder 24: Physics Staff
Folder 25: Rollins, Alfred, ODU President 1976-1985
Folder 26: Social Studies Division - Dr. Stanley Pliska, Dr. Warren F. Spencer, Dr. W. J. Schell
Folder 27: Technical Institute - Dr. Lee M. Klinefelter
Folder 28: Unknown Meeting
Folder 29: Unknown Staff
Folder 30: Webb, Lewis, ODU President 1962-1969

Sub-series D: Freshmen

Folder 31: Freshmen bowing to Upperclassmen
Folder 32: Freshman Cake Race

Sub-series E: Greek Life

Folder 33: Circle K
Folder 34: Cotillion Rush Party 1954
Folder 35: Greek Week, May 10-15, 1965
Folder 36: IMPS 1960s
Folder 37: Pi Phi Sigma
Folder 38: Tiga, April 1961

Sub-series F: Music and Entertainment

Folder 39: Music
Folder 40: Opera
Folder 41: Peter, Paul, and Mary Concert, April 28, 1963
Folder 42: Theater

Sub-series G: Prominent Personalities

Folder 43: Attorney General Albertis Harrison, Jr. and Senator Mills Godwin, Jr.
Folder 44: Charles Kaufman and Albertis Harrison with Lewis Web
Folder 45: Ernest Hemingway and William Seward
Folder 46: Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon, February 9, 1972

Sub-series H: Publications

Folder 47: The Chieftain
Folder 48: The High Hat

Box 6

Sub-series I: Seniors and Graduation

Folder 1: Colgate W. Darden, Jr. Commencement Speaker, June 7, 1954
Folder 2: Convocation, May 15, 1943
Folder 3: First Graduating Class
Folder 4: Senior Class Officers 1969
Folder 5: Senior Class Ring 1956
Folder 6: Various Graduation Photos

Sub-series J: Student Life

Folder 7: Alumni
Folder 8: Dining
Folder 9: Dorm Antics
Folder 10: Events - Miscellaneous
Folder 11: Groups of Students
Folder 12: Military / ROTC
Folder 13: Physical Education
Folder 14: Politics
Folder 15: Protests
Folder 16: Streakers
Folder 17: Miscellaneous

Sub-series K: Miscellaneous

Folder 18: Antarctica Research
Folder 19: Christmas Tree
Folder 20: Madison Cleaners Car
Folder 21: Red Cross
Folder 22: Signs and Seals
Folder 23: William and Mary - VPI Norfolk Division Car
Folder 24: Women War Workers

Sub-series L: Other Photos (not 50th Anniversary)

Folder 25: Photo Material relating to president of ODU Dr. James L. Bugg, Jr.
Folder 26: Vet's Club Plaque Photo

Revised 5/4/10