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H. Glendon Steele Papers - MS 504
The papers of H. Glendon Steele (1910-1985) provide insights into the life of this poet and English Professor at Bowling Green State University. The papers largely consist of classroom materials and lecture notes and poems, most of which are not dated. Of interest is a diary kept by Steele, dating with scattered entries from 1943-1946.
H. Glendon Steele's collection of books as well as these manuscripts were donated to the Jerome Library after his death in 1985. The manuscripts and his rare books were then transferred to the Center for Archival Collections. Excluding copyright restrictions, no other restrictions exist on the use of this collection. The collection was arranged and finding aid prepared by James Mapes, graduate assistant, in October 1996.
Harold Glendon Steele (1910-1985) was a writer and professor in literature. Steele was born in Jackson, Ohio, on June 13, 1910. He received his Bachelor's degree in 1932 from Northwestern University, Illinois. He received his Master's degree from Ohio State University in 1933. Steele performed one year of additional study at Ohio State University in 1935 and then moved to Buckhannon, West Virginia where he worked for ten years as an associate professor of English at Wesleyan College.
Steele was hired at Bowling Green State University as an instructor in 1946. In 1948 he became an assistant professor and was tenured on February 24, 1955.
Steele was a dedicated teacher. He specialized in creative writing, publishing several poems in anthologies. Steele also had a passion for world literature and taught a course on the Bible as literature.
Steele served as Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts for 12 years from 1952 to 1964, as well as Director of English Advising. Resigning from the post in 1964, he happily returned to his classroom. Steele had such a passion for teaching that it was common for him to teach courses in the summer without pay.
After 30 years of outstanding service to the Bowling Green campus, Steele asked for "early" retirement in 1976. Steele stated in his retirement letter that he had promised himself and his students that he would retire before he became ineffective as a teacher. Steele was an active volunteer at the Wood County Hospital after his retirement up until the day of his death, April 5, 1985.
Steele served as a teacher/instructor of Literature and Composition for 40 years. He was a member of Eta Sigma Phi, a national recognition society in classical languages. Steele was recommended to be awarded the status of Professor Emeritus on his retirement.
The core of the H. Glendon Steele papers lies in the volumes of poetry written by Steele throughout his life. The collection includes 225 poems, on a variety of subjects, some of which are found in a bound (unpublished) book entitled, "Songs of Indiscretion." The remaining poems are found in two black spring binders and a brown folder. The black spring binders are titled "A Further View" and "Volume II", respectively, and the brown folder is also titled "Volume II," but contains 9 poems not found in the other works. Most of the poetry cannot be dated, although there is a date of 1942 given on the title page of "Songs of Indiscretion."
Enhancing this core collection are Steele's personal diary and materials that he presumably used in his class lectures as a Professor of Literature. The personal diary was kept by Steele on a daily basis during the following periods: June 1 to August 5, 1943, November 11 to December 1, 1944, and February 8 to April 24, 1946. In his personal diary, Steele reflects on issues that were causing conflict in his life, thus offering a glimpse of the inner life of a writer and a teacher. His diary offers us a view of Steele as a unique individual, troubled by love, his compassion for human kind, his friendships, his zeal for teaching, and how these often conflicting forces affected his life.
Of further interest to the researcher is a small collection of classroom materials, including two English 101 exams, a folder of poetry by famous authors, and a series of lecture notes.
H. Glendon Steele is brought to life most by his poetry and his diary, offering us a view of an intelligent, sensitive man with an almost overwhelming passion to help others. But these writings also reflect a man dealing with internal conflict, a perfectionist who became more critical of himself and his abilities as an instructor, writer, and friend.
September 3, 1946, September 7, 1946
Contains a two page, handwritten letter by an acquaintance in western Virginia, known only as Pat, who appears to have been a romantic interest (envelope included). The second correspondence is a postcard, sent four days later from a relative of Pat, updating Steele on Pat's recovery from a tonsillectomy.
CLASS EDUCATION MATERIALS
Arranged by subject
Includes two originals of English 101 Composition and Rhetoric exams. Also included are various collections of poems assumed to have been used by Steele in his Literature classes. Included in the collection of poems by famous poets is a typed draft of lecture notes on Robert and Elizabeth Browning including samples of their poetry.
"Language as Love Affair."
Unfinished manuscript assumed to have been written by Steele. Includes handwritten corrections to the draft.
MASTERS THESIS: H. GLENDON STEELE
Presented to Ohio State University, this thesis was approved by J. Forest Craig. The thesis is titled "Revelations of Method in Henry James's Prefaces to his Novels". (67 pages)
DIARY: H. GLENDON STEELE
June 1, 1943-August 5, 1943, November 11, 1944-December 1, 1944, February 8, 1946-April 24, 1946
This diary was maintained by Steele periodically during the inclusive dates shown above. Steele recorded an entry every day. In addition, the diary includes a newspaper clipping, a lock of hair, and a bluebook exam booklet pasted into the diary. Also included are several pages assumed to be from another journal.
UNPUBLISHED BOOKS, POETRY
Includes H. Glendon Steele's "Songs of Indiscretion" compiled in 1942. The book is bound but unpublished (88 pages). Also includes "Bent Blue" (a Symphony of Flight) and other poems by Charles F. Madden, a former student of Steele's (n.d.) (68 pages). This unpublished, bound work, includes a typewritten, four page letter to Steele, dated November 21, 1948.
Arranged by title
Includes three collections of poetry by Steele, "A Further View", "Volume II", and a brown folder titled "Volume II". There are 141 poems total, 72 in "A Further View", 60 in "Volume II" and 9 in the brown folder titled "Volume II".
Includes eight typed 8 x 5 note cards with lecture notes and an outline on Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Shintoism - probably a presentation lecture aid.
November 23, 1933, December 1964, April 5, 1985
Includes a program by Valley Grange for a stage production of "The Sign of the Pewter Jug," in which Steele acted the role of Joseph Weatherbee. Also includes the funeral announcement for Steele's father, James Haslett Steele, obituary of H. Glendon Steele, and Steele's resume.
Includes black and white photographs of a young girl, a building, and a home. The photograph/postcard of the house includes a short poem on the back. Also includes two photographs presumed to be H. Glendon Steele
- Correspondence, September 3-7, 1946
- English 101 Composition and Rhetoric exam originals, n.d.
- Class materials - poems and lecture notes, n.d.
- Unfinished manuscript, n.d.
- Thesis - "Revelations of Method in Henry James' s Prefaces to his Novels" by H. Glendon Steele, 1933
- Diary, June 1-Aug. 5, 1943, Nov 11-Dec 1, 1944, Feb 8-April 24, 1946
- Book-Bound "Songs of Indiscretion" by H. Glendon Steele (list of poems in beginning of book), 1942
- "Bent Blue" and Other Poems (autographed), by Charles F. Madden, n.d.; Letter from Charles F. Madden to H. Glendon Steele, November 21, 1948
- Black spring folder - "A Further View", poetry by H. Glendon Steele, n.d.
- Black spring folder - "Volume II" poetry, by H. Glendon Steele, n.d.
- Brown folder - "Volume II" poetry by H. Glendon Steele, n.d.
- Presentation/Lecture, n.d.
- Programs/announcements, 1933, 1964, 1985
- Photographs, n.d.
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