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Brigance mss., 1930-1959

Summary Information

Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Lilly Library
Indiana University
1200 E. Seventh St.
Bloomington, IN 47405-5500
Phone: 812-855-2452
Fax: 812-855-3143

Brigance, William Norwood, 1896-

Brigance mss., 1930-1959

Collection No.
LMC 2650

9,000 items

Materials are in English

Consists of lectures and speeches, correspondence, writings and notes used for research, published and unpublished articles, manuscripts and audiovisual materials of Wabash College professor William Norwood Brigance, teacher, scholar and leader in the Speech Association of America.

Access Restrictions

Access to this collection requires advance notice. Please contact the Curator of Manuscripts for additional information.

Biographical Note

In his thirty-eight years at Wabash College, "Briggie" taught generations of Wabash students how to be more effective when they spoke and, through his textbooks, he taught thousands more in American high schools and colleges.

As editor of the pioneer book series: History and Criticism of American Public Address, and as editor of the Quarterly Journal of Speech, he gave direction to the scholarship in the field of communication, and as President of the Speech Association of America, he guided the profession through its expansion in the postwar years. The Brigance Forum is an annual public lecture or debate held in his memory. Family, friends, former students whom he taught, and those who continued the tradition of Speech at Wabash after him, have, through their contributions, endowed this program as an ongoing memorial to William Norwood Brigance. In addition, The William N. Brigance Speakers Bureau Award was established by May and James Ching, Class of 1951, in his honor. This award goes to the Wabash student who has done the most for the Speaker's Bureau during his college career.


The collection is organized into the following series: I. Lectures and Speeches; II. Correspondence; III. Writings; IV. Flyers, Convention Programs and Pamphlets; V. Newspaper and Periodical Clippings; VI. Notes; VII. Business Documents; VIII. Printed Materials; IX. Educational Materials; X. Memorabilia; XI. Audiovisual Materials; XII. Biographical; XIII. Miscellaneous.

Scope and Content Note

The Brigance mss., ca. 1930-1959, consist of lectures and speeches, correspondence, writings and notes used for research, published and unpublished articles, manuscripts and audiovisual materials

Correspondents in the collection include: Bower Aly; Paul S. Bachman; Paul D. Bagwell; John W. Black; Bill Clark; Morris Cohen; Rupert Cortwright; Lionel Crocker; F.S. Crofts; Kenneth W. Dean; Fratelli Alinari; Wilber E. Gilman; Giles Wilkeson Gray; Sara Stinchfield Hawk; Hubert Humphrey; Theodore R. Kennedy; Magdalene E. Kramer; Maggs Brothers Ltd.; James H. McBurney; Lee Meriwether; Nelson Heath Meriwether; C.W. Prentice; Loren Reid; Paul J. Richer; John F. Schultz; C.K. Thomas; Lester Thonnsen; Carl Van Ness; Robert M. Vogel; W.H. Lowdermilk & Co., Booksellers; Russell H. Wagner; Karl R. Wallace; Andrew T. Weaver; Sigmund Weiss; Allen S. Wilbur; W. Hayes Yeager; Doris Yoakam; Harold P. Zelko.

Writings consist of typescript copies of book reviews, essays, and unpublished manuscripts and articles, much of which was presumably used by Brigance for research and in determining what he would include in the Quarterly Journal of Speech or other publications of which he was a part. There is also a draft of Brigance's Ph.D. dissertation which he would eventually publish as well as informational documents often used in describing the goals and/or memberships in a particular association.

Flyers, Convention Programs and Pamphlets reflect Brigance's participation in a wide array of events where he either spoke or participated. Newspaper and Periodical clippings are mostly general and arranged chronologically; some however were used for specific research interests and have been labeled accordingly. Business Documents consist of contracts and agreements between Brigance and various publishing companies. Printed Materials consist of published periodicals, articles and other written materials which were used by Brigance in his research; most notably there are the printed materials, organized by chapters, of Brigance's highly acclaimed textbook, Speech: Its Techniques and Discipline in a Free Society.

Educational Materials consist of hearing and communication skills examination results, student hearing testing booklets as well as two of Brigance's grade books. Memorabilia includes Civil War maps and a small "Dr. Miles' Joke Book." The Audiovisual series consists of photographs of Jeremiah Sullivan Black as well as photographs and carbon copies of some of Black's letters, used by Brigance while completing his dissertation research. This series also contains photographs from the set of an unidentified filming at Universal Studios as well as audio recordings of two of Brigance's speeches. Biographical materials include essays and testimonials about W. Norwood Brigance.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Acquired: 2008
Usage Restrictions
Prior arrangements are not necessary before coming to the Library, however, patrons from out of town are encouraged to communicate with the Library in advance of their visits to ascertain availability of materials.

Photocopying permitted only with permission of the Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library.

Preferred Citation
[Item], Brigance mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
Processing Information
Processed by Austin Alexander.

Completed in 2012

Series: Box 1 Lectures and Speeches

A collection of lectures and speeches given by Brigance as a professor and speaker at conferences and commencement ceremonies, and course assignments. Includes accompanying correspondence, notes, promotional and research materials, and lectures and speeches by other writers and presenters.

Lectures and speeches are divided into two subseries: Subjects and Miscellaneous. Arranged alphabetically within each box, with some overlap in the Miscellaneous subseries.

Subseries: Box 1 Subjects

American Public Address

(2 folders)

Argumentation and Television Data

The Art of Rhetoric

(2 folders)

British Public Address

Can Japan Become a Democracy?

Cultured Speech, 1937-1947

English I

(3 folders)

James Burgh, 1956-1959

Kiwanis Speech

Missouri Lectures, 1946

On Getting Salaries Raised


Box 2 Persuasion and Other Titles

Seminar on Persuasion

(2 folders)

Speech Composition

(2 folders)

Speech Improvement from Listening

(2 folders)

Speech Outlines

Speech Workshop, Hawaii, 1947

Box 14 Advice to Advisors of Girls from a Teacher

After a War

America's Eighth World War

Are Teachers of Speech Teaching a Liberal Art?

The Backwash of War

Better Business Speech

Bryan and the Gold Standard

The Crop Was Not a Failure


Debits or Credits in Speech and English

Dollars and Sense of Education

Elks Memorial Address

Flag Day

Fraternity Address

Freedom Train

Hawaii—Hot Spot of the Pacific

Hervey B. Carrington and Red Cloud

How to Live Sanely in This 20th Century

In a World That Has So Much to Learn


Lincoln—A Republican

Making Americans out of Schoolchildren

Making the Speech Count

Memorial Day

Memorial Day Address

Public Address Curriculum in the College of Speech Department

Reasoning and How to Use It Effectively

Religious Heritage

Roughing It

The Second AEF


Speech Training

A Teacher's Heritage

Was Hitler Right?

What Can the Social Sciences Contribute….

What Chance Has Youth?

What is an Educated Person?

What is a High School Grad Worth?

What Teachers and Parents Can Do About Speech

Who Shall Lead Tomorrow?

Why Europeans are That Way

Why Speak? And Who Listens?

World War II

Miscellaneous Speech Materials

Subseries: Box 2 Miscellaneous



(2 folders)


Box 3 C-P

(2 folders)













Box 4 R-S

(2 folders)







Series: Box 4 Correspondence

General correspondence has been arranged alphabetically, while other correspondence has been arranged according to associations, studies or publications in which Brigance had taken part.


(9 folders)

Box 5 M-Z

Alexander Hamilton Bicentennial Commission, 1956 

(2 folders)

American Public Address, 1949-1955

History and Criticism of American Public Address, 1943-1957 

(3 folders)

Indiana Speech Association, 1953-1956

Manuscript Criticisms, 1946-1955

National Society for the Study of Communication, 1949-1950

Rhetoric and Public Address, 1956-1957

Significant Books in Early English Rhetoric, 1951-1959

Speaker's Bureau, 1959

Speech Association of America, 1946-1959

(2 folders)

Speech: Its Techniques and Discipline in a Free Society, 1951-1953

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Speeches, 1951-1952

Box 6 The Quarterly Journal of Speech, 1937-1944 

(14 folders)

Box 7 The Quarterly Journal of Speech, 1944-1958 

(6 folders)

The Quarterly Journal of Speech, "Speech and the War Effort," 1941-1942

Box 14 History and Criticism of American Public Address

(4 folders)

Box 15 History and Criticism of American Public Address

(5 folders)

Series: Box 7 Writings

A collection of published and unpublished materials, by Brigance and other authors, and listed by title or topic.

Subseries: Box 7 Published

Articles, A-Z

Alexander Hamilton Commission, 1956

American Public Address, 1949-1955

Book Reviews, A-Z

Crisis in Education, undated

History and Criticism of American Public Address, 1946-1955

Box 8 Indiana Speech Association, 1950-1955

Public Address, 1946,  undated

The Quarterly Journal of Speech, undated

The Quarterly Journal of Speech, Alteration memos, undated

The Quarterly Journal of Speech, 1941-1942

The Quarterly Journal of Speech, "Speech and the War Effort," 1941-1942 

Rhetoric and Public Address, 1956 

(2 folders)

Seminar on American Public Address, 1951

Significant Books in Early English Rhetoric, undated

Speech Association of America, 1945-1959

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Speeches, 1951,  undated

Speech: Its Techniques and Discipline in a Free Society, Miscellaneous, 1951-1953

Speech: Its Techniques and Discipline in a Free Society, Parts 1-24

(9 folders)

Box 9 Clarence Darrow

Research into the Teaching of Public Speaking







Manuscript Criticisms, 1945-1953

Subseries: Box 9 Unpublished

Anatomy of the Vocal Organs


Experimental Study of Language Learning

Patterns of Influence in Pre-Aristotelian Rhetoric


The Psychology of Music

Speech Pathology

Systematic Psychology

This is America's Eighth World War

Jeremiah Sullivan Black, Preface-Chapter 20

Box 10 Jeremiah Sullivan Black, Chapters 21-34

(6 folders)



Series: Box 10 Flyers, Convention Programs and Pamphlets

Multiple folders containing flyers, convention programs and pamphlets for events such as commencement ceremonies and conferences at which Brigance attended and/or gave talks.

Flyers, convention programs, pamphlets

(5 folders)

Box 11 Flyers, convention programs, pamphlets

(4 folders)

Series: Box 11 Newspaper and Periodical Clippings

World War I, 1918-1927

World War II, 1935-1944









Box 12 1950-1955


1948 Presidential Campaign

Crisis in Education, 1952-1959

Hawaii, 1920-1959,  undated

Wabash College Oratory, 1925-1937


Series: Box 12 Notes

Crisis in Education

Significant Works in Early English Rhetoric


Box 13 History and Criticism of American Public Address

(2 folders)

Miscellaneous Notes

(3 folders)

Series: Box 13 Business Documents

Contracts and agreements, 1951,  1958,  undated

Series: Box 13 Research Materials

Speech: Its Techniques and Discipline in a Free Society

(6 folders)

Speech: Its Techniques and Discipline in a Free Society,

(3 folders)

Politics and the Press

History and Criticism of American Public Address

(3 folders)


Series: Box 13 Educational Materials

Class records and student grades at the University of Hawaii, 1936,  1937

Pamphlets and Reports

Voice communication reports

Written hearing test booklets

Series: Box 13 Memorabilia

Civil War maps

Joke book

Series: Box 13 Audiovisual Materials

Photographs of Jeremiah Sullivan Black and large carbon copies of a few of his letters

Photographs from Universal Studios and other miscellaneous photographs

Audio recording of Brigance lecture: "Aristotle, Dr. Gallup and American Presidential Elections," 1952

Audio recording of Brigance lecture: "A Teacher's Heritage," 1947

Series: Box 15 Biographical


Biographical sketch of Brigance

Biography Files: Newspaper articles (on Brigance)

Brigance books at the Lilly Library

"Experiences with Brigance," by Alfred Kiltz

Final examination of Brigance (includes exams of other students)

"A Great Teacher Passes—William Norwood Brigance"

"A History of Speech Education in the Ten Indiana College," 1939

Lambda Chi Alpha Order of Merit, 1956-1957

Lecture compliments and contacts

Memorial to W. Norwood Brigance, February 2, 1960

Phi Beta Kappa materials

Records of addresses

Speaker of the Year, 1952

Speaker of the Year, 1959

Tau Kappa Alpha Award of Distinction, 1959

Tau Kappa Alpha 50th anniversary

Testimonial speech on Brigance, by Thomas Evans

Thesis on Brigance textbooks, by Jay Ludwig

"W. Norwood Brigance's Advice for a Young Writer"

Wabash Award of Merit, 1958-1959

Series: Box 15 Miscellaneous

Debate Contests, 1925-1944

Various papers

(7 folders)

Box 5 Bibliography on index cards