Archives and Special Collections

Atwood Scope and Contents

The papers of Wallace W. Atwood (1872-1949), geographer, geologist, and President of Clark University, occupy about fifty linear feet of shelf space. The material spans the period 1901-1946, but by far the largest amount dates from after 1920.

These papers consist largely of correspondence, being for the most part the official correspondence of the President's Office for the years indicated in the Register. One box contains materials relating to the so-called "Atwood Controversy" of 1922-1924, including correspondence concerning the A.A.U.P. investigation into the Atwood administration directed by Arthur O. Lovejoy. Another box of correspondence with various officials of the U.S. Geological Survey documents Atwood's Rocky Mountain researches. Several files with various members of the Boston publishing house of Ginn and Company are concerned with the production of various Atwood textbooks. Folders dealing with various geography organizations give insight into the institutional bases of American geography in the inter-war years.

Major correspondents include such leaders in geography and related sciences as Ellen Churchill Semple (about 300 pieces), Preston James, Kirtley F. Mather, John C. Merriam, Roderick Peattie, Erwin Raisz, Helen Goss Thomas, and Robert S. Yard. Correspondence with other professional geographers, with current and former Clark graduate students in geography, with Clark faculty members, and with many other individuals, is also found in the collection.

Additional Atwood materials held in the Clark University Archives and not listed here include photographs and copies of his major publications. Newspaper clippings concerning Atwood and the University of his time are mounted in a series of annual scrapbooks, arranged chronologically by year, and indexed. Other manuscript material may be found in related collections, especially the records of the Graduate School of Geography covering the period.