Joe L. Norris Papers

Accession Number: 
10.5 linear feet (9 SB, 1 MB, 1 OS)

Dr. Joe L. Norris began as a professor at Wayne State University in the Department of History in 1938. Prior to his appointment at Wayne State, Norris received his BA from Northwestern in 1928, his MA from Harvard in 1931, and his Ph.D. from University of Chicago in 1938. Dr. Norris worked as a research assistant at the Library of Congress from 1930 to 1931 and served in the Air Force from 1943 to 1946.

During his tenure at Wayne State University, Dr. Norris was the Editor in Chief of the Wayne State University Press from 1951 to 1954, the founder and editor of the Detroit Council of Local History newsletter, an active member of the Michigan Historical Society, the American Historical Association, the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, the Detroit Historical Society and a member of Wayne State’s Athletic Association. Dr. Norris was also a chairman of the Michigan Bibliography Committee in 1949 and a historical consultant for Wayne State University Broadcasting, the Portrait of Anthony Wayne by F. Clever Bald, and Leslie Hanawalt’s A Place of Light: The History of Wayne State University.

The collection primarily consists of Dr. Norris’s research notes, historical papers, and student papers. This collection contains the early research of Wayne State’s Athletic Association, as well as many faculty memos and drafts of newsletters and publications associated with Wayne State. Dr. Norris authored two books: As Others See Chicago and Forty Six Years, The Published Writings of Milo M. Quaife, as well as the Classified Finding List of the Collections of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society and Detroit History Booklets, a series of booklets on Detroit history.

This collection also includes pamphlets and political ephemera from the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the Socialist Party, and the Progressive Party largely from the 1920s to the 1940s. Dr. Norris saved political pamphlets and flyers passed out on Wayne State University’s campus during his time at Wayne State. He also collected a variety of political and cultural materials associated with Detroit including materials from the Detroit Public Schools, the Detroit Library Commission, Detroit political campaigns, Detroit tourism promotional materials, and theater and musical productions within Detroit. Dr. Norris saved political materials from the University of Chicago, including flyers for political student groups and student strikes. This collection also contains a sizeable amount of political leaflets, pamphlets, and flyers from Indiana (his birthplace), primarily from Marion County. Included in this is the Kourier, a Ku Klux Klan publication, as well as materials from various political groups within Marion County. Finally, this collection contains a small number of action adventure books from the early 1900s.

1792-1958, bulk 1930-1952
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