Howard Washington Odum papers, 1908-1982.
Creator: Odum, Howard Washington, 1884-1954.
Collection number: 3167
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Abstract: Howard Washington Odum was a sociologist of the American South; author; professor at the University of North Carolina from 1920 to 1954; and founder of the Sociology Department, the School of Public Welfare, the Department of City and Carolina. The collection documents Howard Odum’s active and varied career in sociology, race relations, regional planning, Jersey cattle breeding, and several regional national boards and commissions concerned with social and economic welfare, especially during the Roosevelt administration. There is very little material concerning Odum’s formal education or his early career days in Philadelphia and Atlanta. The original deposits (circa 10,000 items) are arranged in six series: 1) Correspondence, chiefly 1925-1955, concerning the origin of the School of Public Welfare at the University of North Carolina; the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, Atlanta, Ga.; and arrangements for Frances Sage Bradley of the Children’s Bureau of the United States Department of Labor to teach and do field work with Odum’s students. 2) Odum’s speeches and writings, 1919-1954. Speeches address topics such as regionalism, education, race relations, and Southern development. Writings consist of Odum’s book drafts, research notes, articles, and other material. 3) Flyers, minutes, budget reports, agendas, and related materials concerning the various organizational activities of Odum, circa 1920-1954. 4) Photocopies of newspaper clippings, flyers, articles, and announcements related to Odum’s numerous activities, circa 1920-1982. 5) Various items including contracts with publishing houses, class syllabi, photocopies of newspaper clippings, awards, and membership certificates concerning Odum, his family, and employees, circa 1922-1954. 6) Photographs intended for publication in an unfinished novel by Odum, and of Odum in various settings. Additions 1990 to June 2006 have added over 45,000 items similar to those in the original deposits, but expanding the date span of the collection. The Addition of June 2006 contains a variety of material relating to Howard Washington Odum’s personal and professional life, including writings by and about Odum, research for an unpublished work, letters relating to the distribution of his bookSouthern Regions of the United States (1937), and letters from his parents. Also included are materials relating to Odum as a Jersey cattle breeder; newspaper clippings about surveilance done by the FBI on Odum and others; and letters from his daughter, Mary Frances Odum Schinhan, to various people about the use and publication of Odum’s works. The Addition of May 2009 includes duplicates of letters from Howard Washington Odum to others coordinating the distribution of copies of his book Southern Regions of the United States and letters to Odum acknowledging receipt of the book. Also included are a copy of Liberation, the fascist newsletter published by William Dudley Pelley. There are also letters from social researchers at universities and colleges throughout the United States responding to a request by Odum for their perspective on the term “poor white,” seemingly research for a publication or project.
Repository: Southern Historical Collection
Collection Highlights: Contains correspondence pertaining to the Commission for Interracial Cooperation and other organizations ( See particularly Folders 1a – 11; 121 – 156; 157-182). Subseries 2.1 contain speeches and subseries 2.2 contain writings, many of which discuss segregation and other topics related to race relations. Series 5 contains folders discussing race and African American students at UNC Chapel Hill (see Folders 836 and 841). Series 6 contain photographs related to Odum’s unfinished novel “White Sands of Bethlehem”, which include images of African Americans, their homes, and churches.