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Papers of Ruth J. Wattles

 Collection
Identifier: URJW

Scope and Contents

The Papers of Ruth J. Wattles consists of documents dated 1859 to 1965, with the bulk falling from 1943 to 1946. Types of materials include biographies, correspondence, department histories, financial materials, manuscript drafts, newspaper clippings, reports, statistical data, and subject index cards. The collection documents the first seventy-five years of Colorado State University from the perspectives of the board, administration, faculty, and alumni. Wattles' correspondence with many individuals associated with the school during its earliest years is unique among collections in the University Archive. Note that the dates refer to the date of original creation; copies of some materials were made in the 1940s.

Items that have been digitized are available in CSU's digital repository, Mountain Scholar.

Dates

  • 1859-1965
  • Majority of material found within 1943-1946

Creator

Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.

Biography

Ruth Jocelyn Wattles (1888-1985) was a native of Colorado who became the first official historian of Colorado State University. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado and completed a Master of Arts degree at the University of California. In 1918, she moved to Fort Collins and as an instructor in the English department at Colorado State University. From 1919 through 1930, she served as an assistant professor of English and led the school's drama club. Her drama students toured the state and performed for many small towns throughout the 1920s. Wattles also supported local theater and worked diligently to provide scripts to high schools and 4-H clubs throughout Colorado.

From 1930 through 1950, Wattles was an associate professor of English. In 1943, the State Board of Agriculture appointed her to write an official history of Colorado State University for its 75th Anniversary celebration. She was relieved of teaching duties from 1943 through 1946. Wattles diligently researched and corresponded with alumni to construct the school's history. This work resulted in the unpublished manuscript "Mile High College."

In 1950, Wattles is listed as a professor; she retired three years later. She continued to serve Colorado State University until 1958. Her forty years of service to the school and community of Fort Collins are still evident. In 1964, a plaque in her honor was placed in the University Theater at Johnson Hall and Dr. Thomas H. Napicienski announced the R. J. Wattles Fellowship, established by the CSU drama board. Wattles attended the event and was photographed with the plaque.

Extent

10.5 linear feet (7 record cartons)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Ruth Jocelyn Wattles (1888-1985) was the first official historian of Colorado State University from 1943 through 1946. She also taught English classes and led the drama club at the school for almost forty years. Types of materials include biographies, correspondence, department histories, financial materials, manuscript drafts, newspaper clippings, reports, statistical data, and subject index cards. The collection documents the first seventy-five years of Colorado State University from the perspectives of the board, administration, faculty, and alumni.

Items that have been digitized are available in CSU's digital repository, Mountain Scholar.

Arrangement

Arrangement is by material type.

The collection consists of three series in seven record cartons:

Series 1: Research materials, 1859-1965 and undated

Series 2: Manuscript drafts, 1945

Series 3: Index cards, undated

Online Materials

Some materials have been scanned and are available through the Colorado State University Libraries website. In the electronic version of this document, direct links appear in context.

Related Collections

The Papers of Ruth J. Wattles is related to many collections in the Archives and Special Collections Department due to the natural relationship of University records. Some related materials in the Colorado State University Archive are the James E. Hansen, James R. Miller, Historic Photographs, State Board of Agriculture, and the University Historic Photograph collections. Wattles' unpublished history of Colorado State University, "Mile High College" is available in microtext format in the Libraries, call number: LD1153.W37.

Separated Collections

Many faculty members and alumni donated photographs to Wattles for her use in "Mile High College." In the 1970s, these photographs were separated and placed in the Historic Photographs collection of the University Archive. A list of separated photographs is available from the administrative file upon request.

Processing

Alice Spaulding arranged the collection in 1991. Recent processing was completed in May 2008. The principles of minimal processing were applied to the collection. Series 1 and 2 were placed in acid-free folders and boxes; metal fasteners, rubber bands, and string ties were removed. Materials in Series 3 were placed in acid-free boxes and rubber bands were removed. All materials were re-arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Title
Guide to the Papers of Ruth J. Wattles
Status
Edited Full Draft
Author
Prepared by Alica Spaulding; Revised by Colleen M. McCorkell and Vanessa Baca
Date
Copyright 2008
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA
970-491-1844