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Purdue Office of Publications Oral History Program collection



Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description


Biographical Materials


Associated Materials, 1969-1989

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Purdue Office of Publications Oral History Program collection, 1969-1989 | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

By Shauna Borger, Katie Martin, Emily Durkin

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Collection Overview

Title: Purdue Office of Publications Oral History Program collection, 1969-1989Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Butz, Earl L. (Earl Lauer) (1909-2008)

Other Creators: White, Harland W., Andrews, Frederick Newcomb, Berkshire, William T., Bottum, J. Carroll, Brenes, Edwin, Brown, Herbert C. (Herbert Charles) (1912-2004), Buchanan, Dewitt "Buck" (1877-1978), Cordell, Richard A. (Richard Albert) (1896-1986), Day, John S., Fan, H. Y., Fontaine, William E., Freehafer, Lytle J. (1910-1987), Freeman, Verne, Gabbard, Edward, Goetsch, Gerald D., Haas, Felix, Haelterman, E. O., Hansen, Arthur G., Hawkins, George A. (George Andrew) (1907), Hicks, John W. (John William) (1921-), Hovde, Frederick L. (1908-1983), Jenkins, Glenn L. (Glenn Llewellyn) (1898-1979), Karling, John S. (John Sidney) (1898-), Kerker, Ann E., Knoy, Maurice G., Koffler, Henry, Kohls, Richard L. (Richard Louis) (1921-), Lawshe, C. H. (Charles Hubert) (1908-2000), Mackey, Guy J., Mallett, Donald R., Mcnelly, George, Mellon, M. G. (Melvin Guy) (1893-1993), Moriarty, John H. (1903-1971), Morse, Erskine V., Ogle, Marbury Bladen (1879-), Parkhurst, Nelson M., Potter, A. A. (Andrey Abraham) (1882-1979), Purcell, Edward M., Roberts, Marcus Dale, Roberts, O. D., Schleman, Helen B. (Helen Blanche), (1902-1992), Shreve, R. Norris (Randolph Norris) (1885-1975), Smalley, John C., Solberg, Harry L. (Harry Leland) (1898-), Sperandio, Glen J., Stewart, R. B., Stockton, Jack J., Stone, Beverley (1916 - 2003), Tiffin, Joseph (1905-), Tyler, Varro E., Volk, Norman James, Weiler, Emanuel Thornton (1914-), Woods, Kenneth B. (Kenneth Brady) (1905-), Zucrow, Maurice J. (Maurice Joseph) (1899-1975)

Extent: 6.5 Cubic feet


1.  Transcripts, 1969-1989 (1.8 cubic feet, 4.5 boxes).  The transcripts are housed separately from the media and are organized alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee.

2. Biographical Materials, 1969-1989 (0.6 cubic feet, 1.5 boxes). The biographical materials are housed separately from the transcripts and are organized alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee.

3.  Recordings, 1969-1989 (3.6 cubic feet, 8 boxes).  The media are separated by type and then organized alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee and include the following formats: audio cassettes and reel-to-reel tapes. 

4. Associated Materials, 1969-1989 (0.5 cubic feet, 1 box). This series includes materials with some association to the collection with unknown provenance.  Content may not have a direct relationship to the larger collection.

Subjects: Astronauts, College sports for women--United States, Purdue Alumni Association, Purdue University--Alumni and alumnae, Purdue University--Presidents, Purdue University. Board of Trustees, Purdue University Retirees Association

Forms of Material: Sound recordings, Transcripts

Languages: English


During the 1970s oral history interviews were conducted under the auspices of the Office of Publications. The recordings and transcripts were turned over to the Purdue Libraries Archives and Special Collections for preservation and to allow individuals to access them. The goal of this program was to capture stories and experiences of individuals who had an impact on the history of Purdue University.  These recordings and transcripts were a collection created by the Purdue Office of Publication and various biographical information resources.

In the summer of 2006, Purdue Libraries launched another oral history program entitled Archives and Special Collections Oral History Program Collection, 2006-Present. The Purdue Office of Publications Oral History Program and the Purdue Archives and Special Collections Oral History Program Collection are housed separately in the Archives and Special Collections.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Types of materials include: printed material, cassette tapes, reel-to-reel tapes. The collection includes interviews with Purdue Presidents and faculty on topics such as Purdue history and changes in academic departments over time. Recordings are found in formats which won’t readily have playback machinery on hand, namely audio cassette recordings and reel-to-reel. The collection is organized into four series.

Biographical Note

Dr. Earl L. Butz (1909-2008 ), educator, administrator, and government official was born on July 3, 1909 to Harmon Lee Butz and Ada Tillie Lower in Albion, Indiana.  Dr. Butz graduated from Purdue University in 1932 (B.S., Agriculture) with a major in animal husbandry.  During his undergraduate career at Purdue he served as an editor to the Exponent, and was a member of Iron Key Honor Society and Alpha Gamma Rho (a national agricultural fraternity).  In 1937 he received his PhD from Purdue in Agricultural Economics, and joined the Purdue staff as an agriculture instructor.

During 1943-1944 Dr. Butz was on leave from his University duties and worked in Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. From 1946 to 1954 he was head of the agricultural economics department at Purdue. Butz was Dean of Agriculture from 1957 to 1967. From 1968 to 1971 he was Dean of Continuing Education and President of the Purdue Research Foundation.

During his time at Purdue University he was active in professional, academic, and civic organizations.  These included being president of the Lafayette Kiwanis Club, vice president of the American Farm Economic Association (now called the American Agricultural Economics Association), vice president of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, vice president of the Indiana Academy of Social Sciences, and national president of Alpha Gamma Rho.

In 1954, Dr. Butz was appointed Assistant Secretary of Agriculture under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In that same year he was appointed to the chairmanship of the United States delegation to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In 1957 he resigned both offices to become the Dean of Agriculture at Purdue. In 1968 he was promoted to the positions of Dean of Education and vice president of the Purdue Research Foundation.

President Richard M. Nixon appointed Dr. Butz Secretary of Agriculture in 1971.  He continued to serve in that capacity into the President Gerald R. Ford administration (1976).  Dr. Butz was a highly controversial figure throughout his tenure in this position.  He resigned on October 4, 1976, a result of controversy in response to comments he made in public.

Subject/Index Terms

College sports for women--United States
Purdue Alumni Association
Purdue University--Alumni and alumnae
Purdue University--Presidents
Purdue University. Board of Trustees
Purdue University Retirees Association

Administrative Information

Repository: Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research. Certain interviews may require reformatting due to the physical format of the material.

Use Restrictions: Audio oral histories that do not have written transcripts may have restricted researcher use due to the physical condition of the materials. Please ask staff about individual use restrictions.

Physical Access Note: Forty-eight hour advance notice is required.

Acquisition Source: Purdue University Libraries

Acquisition Method: Recordings and transcripts aggregated from Purdue Office of Publication.

Related Materials: Many individuals within this collection are represented within other Purdue Archives and Special Collections materials. Consult the archives for more information.

Finding Aid Revision History: Finding aid updated in 2015 and 2016 to include more authoritative names and enhanced collection description.

Other URL: http://collections.lib.purdue.edu/fa/pdf/mso2-publications-oral-history.pdf

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Transcripts, 1969-1989],
[Series 2: Biographical Materials, 1969-1989],
[Series 3: Recordings, 1969-1989],
[Series 4: Associated Materials, 1969-1989],