The Ralph Noble Tirey Collection was given to the University Archives by the Office of the President and Tirey's daughter, with no restrictions. The collection covers the years 1929-1963 with most of the material covering the years of Tirey's presidency 1934-1953.
The material that was donated can only be considered a part of a collection because there is only three and a half feet of material from a man who was president for nineteen years. Therefore a great deal of material has been lost. Because of this, what has remained provides only a glimpse into the Tirey presidency and nothing more than that. An example of this lack of documentation concerns the World War II period and the V-12 program that was set up on campus. There is only a handful of papers concerning this program which seems odd when one realizes that it was this program that kept the college going during the war. However, it is also quite ironic that the best documented period is that of the war. Also, one notices that the least documented period is that of the post-war time period. This would date from 1946-1953 and Tirey's retirement.
The collection consists of correspondence, which constitutes a large portion of the collection, reports, programs, constitutions, an autobiography, a biography, and other such items. Almost all of the material, as stated above, revolve around Tirey's presidency and even then during the years of the Second World War.
Mainly deals with Tirey's autobiography The Golden Globe, and Luther S. Ferguson's biography Ralph N. Tirey, A Great Teacher, A Great American The other materials are either brief outlines of Tirey's life, for example the card he filled out for Who's Who, or any information that might shed some light on Tirey and his views.
Most of the material in this series revolve around the Johnson Publishing Company. The memorandum of agreement and royalty statements involve the Johnson Publishing Company.
This deals with Tirey's personal life outside of the biographical series. The information is of no great significance with the largest file pertaining to recommendations given by Tirey.
This series contains correspondence with organizations that Tirey belonged to. Most of the material dates to the pre-World War II time of his presidency. There is no one organization that stands out in this series.
This deals with speeches given by Tirey during his presidency. The only exception being his inaugural address in 1929 as president of the State Teachers Association. This series covers most of Tirey's presidency at Indiana State Teachers College, yet this period is covered sparsely.
This deals not so much with publications or articles, but with greetings, especially Christmas greetings. What makes this series important in understanding trying to understand Tirey is that it contains the most amount of material from the retirement period. Therefore one can follow Tirey's state of mind during the last years of his life.
This series basically covers two events: the inauguration of Tirey is president of Indiana State Teachers College, and his receiving the degree of Doctor of Laws from Indiana University in 1945.
Ralph N. Tirey Concert/Dinner
This covers the time of 1953 and Tirey's retirement. It was decided by the college to have a retirement concert and later a dinner in honor of Tirey. Therefore this series covers both events; this is done in that it is correspondence concerning whether the invited guest will show for the concert and later the dinner.
This series covers the entire Tirey regime. The largest amount of the information, as one can easily see from the inventory, is the compliments. However, this series does not pertain to Tirey, but instead to the college and whether the visitor like the campus and accompanying tour or not.
This series by far is the largest in the whole collection. This is due to the fact that the correspondence was not separated between that pertaining to only Tirey, and that which might have included the college. The reason for this is that it is impossible to sometimes differentiate between the two, and a continuity would have probably been broken up. Thus one could not really understand a certain letter if it referred to a previous one. Thus the correspondence was put together in one series. Another thing about this series concerns certain people who's material was separated from the general alphabetical file, example being that of Mary Black and her correspondence being separate from the general B file. The reason for this is that she co-authored several books with Tirey and thus her correspondence is more important then the others in the B file. Most of the ones separated are in the same category as Mary Black in that either there seemed to be a great deal of correspondence from these people, or that they had done something to make them stand out from the other people in there file.
This series was separated from the general correspondence series because this deals with universities/colleges. This series pertains to the Tirey presidency period.
World War II
This series deals with, of course, World War II, basically the years 1942-1945. While this series does not contain the material to provide an in depth look of how the war influenced the college and its day to day operation, it does allow one to catch a glimpse of what the college attempted to do during the war, and what programs went on during this time. But, as mentioned before, some of the key programs, mainly the V-12 program, is briefly dealt with and does not give a person the information needed to provide a detailed view of this program.
This series concerns the college budget with detailed records for the years 1941 (from October on) to 1943. During this time, every month's budget account was kept. Thus one can follow how the university reacted to World War II in its budget accounts. It is this series, along with the Placement reports of the late thirties that provide the most detailed record of the college during the Tirey regime.
This series covers the post-war period, 1946 to 1953. Thus one can see what the salary of the administration and faculty was during the twilight of Tirey's presidency.
This series deals with the buildings associated with the college, or plans by the college to acquire land in order to build. This series also deals with Tirey's campus improvement plan, which has been one of many. However, it is the Buildings Erected, 1933-1953 file that allows one to get an idea on what was built during Tirey's time and how much the college changed during this time.
This series revolves around the government, mainly the state, and its departments. This also deals with the presidential years of 1934-1953.
This series deals with organizations that Indiana State Teachers College belong to. The most noted of these being the American Association of Teachers College, which became in 1947 the American Association for Teacher Education. Over half of the material available in this series comes from these two groups. It should also be noted that these two groups accredited schools and the accreditation of I.S.T.C. is dealt with in these groups.
This series revolves around the offices and departments located on the campus during Tirey's presidency. The best documented office/department include the Extension Division for the years 1939-1947, the Health Services Office and their reports for the years 1941-1946, and the Placement Office for the years 1934-1941. But once past these departments, the documentation is rather sparse.
This series deals only with the faculty. It is not a well documented series and only covers a hodge-podge of topics. These include application letters, promotion letters, approval letters, and so on.
Special Days and Events
This series basically covers Honor Day, along with a few other events. Honor Day is the best documented group among the series with the years 1934-1937, 1942-1947, 1949, being covered. This, compared to homecoming where only the 1949 one is documented, and very briefly.
This series revolves around organizations, most of the fraternities, that either wanted to organize or had already done so on campus. However, this like all the other series is not well documented.
This series deals with the constitution of the Student Government Association, Student Union Advisory Board, and Tirey Memorial Union Board.
This series deals with meetings, board and faculty, and committees. The best documented group of this series is the faculty meetings for the years 1941-1946. However, this is misleading in that not every meeting is documented and those that are documented basically state that a meeting took place on this date. Hardly ever is there any mention of what was discussed in the meeting.
This series deals with those groups that fell through the cracks. They constitute the loose ends of the collection with no true place for these particular groups to be located.