MS - 059: The Papers of Charles H. Glatfelter (Class of 1946)

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MS-059: The Papers of Charles H. Glatfelter (Class of 1946)

(26 boxes, 5.88 cubic feet) 

Inclusive Dates: 1949-1987 

Processed by: Keith Swaney

July 2004

Link to Full Finding Aid - PDF

Provenance Gift of Dr. Charles H. Glatfelter.


Charles H. Glatfelter was born in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania on May 11, 1924.  Before completing the Bachelor’s Degree in history from Gettysburg College in 1946, Glatfelter had intended to become a teacher.  However, for the next six years, he continued his education at the Johns Hopkins University and received the doctorate in 1952.  Glatfelter joined the faculty at Gettysburg College in 1946 before he finished graduate school and remained professor until 1989, a career that encompassed forty years of service to the College.  In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Glatfelter held a number of administrative posts during his tenure, including Chair of the History Department (1969-74) and Dean of the College (1960-66).  Outside of the classroom, Glatfelter was active in the community and in his own scholarship.  From 1976 to 1988, for example, Glatfelter served as Director of the Pennsylvania German Society.  Additionally, he has held a number of positions with the Adams County Historical Society: President from 1962 to 1964; Executive Director from 1959 to 2001; and Historian from 2001 to the present.  His many works—most of which concentrate on Pennsylvania, local, and college history—include A Brief History of Glen Rock, York County, Pennsylvania, The Pennsylvania Germans: A Brief Account on their Influence on Pennsylvania, A Salutary Influence: Gettysburg College, 1832-1985, Yonder Beautiful and Stately College Edifice: A History of Pennsylvania Hall (Old Dorm), and “Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: A Brief History.”  He also co-authored Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, a work published in 1958 by a group of Gettysburg College faculty.  Charles Glatfelter received recognition for his accomplishments in 1976, as he was named to Who’s Who in America.

Scope and Content Notes

The Papers of Charles H. Glatfelter consist of twenty-six boxes of processed papers, approximately 11.66 cubic feet.  The collection contains five series: (I) Research Notes and Sources for A Salutary Influence: Gettysburg College, 1832-1985; (II) Manuscripts for A Salutary Influence and Ideas and Institutions of Western Man; (III) Committee Papers [Chair’s Files]; (IV) Faculty Manuals and Papers; and (V) Grade Books received as an accretion to the collection in August 2009. The bulk of the collection deals with the history of Gettysburg College, including Glatfelter’s subject and chronological notes that became the basis for A Salutary Influence.  Additionally, researchers will find the committee files and faculty papers (located in Series III & IV) to be particularly helpful in understanding the academic climate at Gettysburg College from the 1960s to the 1980s.  Most of the papers in this collection have been arranged chronologically, including the notes for A Salutary Influence, Glatfelter’s committee files, and various correspondence.  With some exceptions, most of the materials are original. 

Series Description

The collection is divided into five series.

Series I--Research Notes & Sources for A Salutary Influence: Gettysburg College, 1832-1985

In writing his history of Gettysburg College, Charles Glatfelter constructed two indices, consisting of alphabetical and chronological notes on the College’s history.  Each entry is approximately one to five pages and demonstrates the process by which Glatfelter wrote A Salutary Influence: Gettysburg College, 1832-1985.  This inventory indicates the people, places, and things—arranged in alphabetical order—that can be referenced in the alphabetical index of notes.  If the content of the entry discusses particular years, that information is also marked on the inventory.  In addition to the content of each note, Glatfelter provides the source and page number(s) from which he took the information.  Researchers should also be aware that Glatfelter took other notes on trustee minutes, Synod minutes, the curriculum, the faculty/administration, the Woman’s League (see also MS-040: Woman’s General League of Gettysburg College), and the Gettysburg College campus.  For the alphabetical indices of notes, one should consult boxes one and two.  For the notes on other subjects (such as the Woman’s League, curriculum, etc.), as well as the notes that Glatfelter used to prepare his chapters, consult boxes six through eleven.

The sources that Glatfelter used to create the subject notes (boxes one and two) can be found in boxes 12 and 13 of the collection.  As the collection was processed, the alphabetical and chronological indices were kept together at the beginning of the series, while the alphabetical and chronological sources were kept together towards the end.  Most of these are primary sources and were photocopied by Glatfelter as he conducted his research.  Often, however, one will find original sources in these boxes, copies of which are in the College Archives.  Box 12 contains sources from the letters “A” to “O,” while box 13 includes sources from the letters “P” to “Z.”

Furthermore, this series contains the chronological notes and sources that Glatfelter used to write A Salutary Influence.  These chronological notes are extremely detailed and allow the researcher to construct a virtual day-to-day timeline of the College’s history from 1832 to 1985 (One will also discover notes concerning 1779 to 1833 and 1985 to 1987).  Again, researchers should consult the card catalog boxes two through six for the chronological indices of notes.  Like the alphabetical sources, one will locate both original and photocopied materials, including correspondence, legal documents, excerpts of various publications, and other items towards the end of series I.  For these primary sources—arranged in chronological order—see boxes 14 through 16. 

Researchers should also consult this series for correspondence on college history, the content covered in Glatfelter’s A Salutary Influence.  Most of the correspondence is original and is arranged chronologically.  These letters discuss various topics, including Peter D. Barnhart, military drill at Gettysburg in the 1800s, and endowed professorships.

Series II--Manuscripts for A Salutary Influence: Gettysburg College, 1832-1985 and Ideas and Institutions of Western Man

Series II of the collection contains the edited manuscripts that became A Salutary Influence: Gettysburg College, 1832-1985 and Ideas and Institutions of Western Man.  These materials will help the researcher to follow Glatfelter’s progression in writing A Salutary Influence, from his notes (series I), to these manuscripts, to the published, two-volume history.  Additionally, the manuscripts for Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, written by “The Contemporary Civilization Staff” at Gettysburg College, will facilitate a similar experience for researchers.  In both cases, the manuscript chapters are arranged in the order that they appear in each publication.  Chapter numbers are provided in brackets on the inventory.  See Glatfelter’s appendices for A Salutary Influence to obtain a listing of trustees, faculty, and administrators from 1832 to 1985/86.

Series III--Committee Papers [Chair's Files]

During Charles Glatfelter’s tenure at Gettysburg College, he served as chair or co-chair on several committees, such as the Committee on Committees (records from 1957 to 1986); the Board of Fellows Committee on the Restoration of Pennsylvania Hall (1967); the College Charter and By-Law Revision Committee (1973-74); the Dean of the College Search Committee (1978-79, restricted); and the Academic Policy and Program Committee (records from 1966 to 1969).  Researchers will gain insight into academic policy at Gettysburg College from the 1960s to the 1980s, as well as the workings of the College administration during this period (i.e. plans for the restoration of Pennsylvania Hall and the revision of the Charter and By-Laws).  These records consist of correspondence, proposals, meeting minutes, memorandums, and Glatfelter’s own notes.  The series contains both original and photocopied materials and follows a chronological progression within each subject file.

Series IV--Faculty Manuals and Papers

In addition to the committee papers that comprise this collection, researchers will also note Glatfelter’s copies of faculty manuals and papers that are included.  Box 26 deals exclusively with these materials, which are arranged in chronological order as best as possible.  One will observe that these papers show a working, evolving relationship between faculty and administrators at Gettysburg College during the 1960s and 1970s.  Items such as “The Rule Governing Faculty Committees” and “The January Term Committee,” as well as the 1966 version of the “By-Laws of Gettysburg College,” depict such this relationship.  In addition, it is interesting to note the issues with which the College dealt during these years.  The Rights and Responsibilities of Students (January 1974) and “Gettysburg College Grievance Procedures for Alleged Sex Discrimination,” for example, illustrate the importance of this series to Glatfelter’s tenure at Gettysburg College

Series V – Grade books

Class grade books from courses taught by Dr. Glatfelter at Gettysburg College from 1949 to 1989.

Related Collections:  In addition to this collection, there are other materials in Special Collections that relate to Dr. Charles H. Glatfelter.  The Archives maintains two ephemera files on Glatfelter, as well as an oral history interview conducted by Professor Michael Birkner and former Special Collections Librarian David Hedrick.  See the Oral History Collection.  Furthermore, RG-014: The Papers of the Office of the Dean of Gettysburg College (1958-82) will have pertinent materials about Glatfelter’s tenure as Dean of the College.  For the published versions of A Salutary Influence: Gettysburg College, 1832-1985 (two volumes) and Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (two volumes), see MUSCATA Salutary Influence is located at call number LD2001 .G402 G5 1987 in the general collection and in the Reading Room of Special Collections.  Ideas and Institutions of Western Man is located at call number CB57 .G39 1958 in Special Collections-Gettysburgiana.

Link to Full Finding Aid - PDF