Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Speech Communication Department Records, 1918-1996

Shepard Hall, 1960s. Entryway reads KBVR; to the right is a sign reading "Oregon State University Speech and Hearing clinic."

Information and Credits

RG 181

The Speech Communication Department Records document speech instruction at Oregon State University; speech, debate, and drama activities, especially during the 1920s through 1950s; and the activities of Earl W. Wells as a faculty member and department chair. Speech courses have been taught at Oregon State since its establishment in the late 1860s. The Speech Department was founded in 1920; Earl Wells was department chair from 1952 to 1962.

Historical Note 

Scope and Content Note


1.25 cubic feet, including 3 photographs; 2 boxes; 7 microfilm reels


The Speech Communication Department Records are arranged in two subgroups: 1. Microfilmed Records, 1921-1969 and 2. Paper Records, 1918-1996. The microfilmed records consist of 9 series: I. Orations, 1921-1962; II. Speeches, 1923-1948; III. Debates, 1930-1956; IV. Army Specialized Training Program, 1943; V. Intercollegiate Forensic Association of Oregon, 1932-1962; VI. Activities Reports, 1928-1958; VII. Correspondence of Earl W. Wells, 1922-1967; VIII. Reader's File, 1931-1969; and IX. Report on the Forensic and Dramatic Activities at Oregon State College, 1938.

The paper records (Subgroup 2) are arranged in 10 series: I. Correspondence, 1952-1985; II. Delta Sigma Rho Records, 1920-1975; III. History of the Speech Department, 1918-1989; IV. Minutes of Speech Department Meetings, 1959-1970; V. National Defense Education Act (NDEA) Institute in English: Advanced Communication Skills, 1965-1968; VI. Committees, Organizations, and Conferences, 1933-1989; VII. Publication, 1940-1996; VIII. Reports, 1949-1974; IX. Scrapbook, 1964-1970; and X. Subject Files, 1948-1961.

Related Papers

The Speech Department Photographs (P 088) include images of students who participated in speech and debate activities, faculty, and facilities. The Effie L. Wagner Scrapbook of the Women's Debate Tour documents the 1928 Women's Debate Tour of several colleges and universities in the western United States. The Special Collections & Archives Research Center's holdings also include the Drama, Debate, and Oration Scrapbooks for 1920-1963. Two compilations of Oregon State's achievements in intercollegiate oratorical competition for 1920-1945 by Earl W. Wells are available in the Special Collections & Archives Research Center's Vault Collection. Extensive documentation of theater and dramatics programs are available in the University Theater Records (RG 180), University Theater Photographs (P 112), and C.B. Mitchell University Theater Scrapbooks. General information about the Speech Department is available in the Memorabilia Collection.

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