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William Whalen papers



Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description


Naval Service

Purdue University

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William Whalen papers, 1943-1991 | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

By Neal Harmeyer

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Collection Overview

Title: William Whalen papers, 1943-1991Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1943-1947

Primary Creator: Whalen, William J. (William Joseph) (1926-2008)

Extent: 0.8 Cubic feet. More info below.


The William Whalen papers are organized into three series, all chronologically within each:

1.    Correspondence, 1943-1949, 0.4 cubic feet: Series 1 is comprised entirely of personal correspondence, primarily between Whalen and his mother.  He also writes to other family members, friends, and past acquaintances.  The correspondence contains letters, newspaper clippings, photographs, postcards, and a still-intact rose petal.

2.    Naval Service, 1943-1946, 0.2 cubic feet: Series 2 contains materials related to Whalen’s time in the service, including hymns, reports, newsletters, and war crimes documents.

3.    Purdue University, 1958-1991, 0.2 cubic feet: Series 3 includes items relating to Whalen’s time as a faculty member and director of the Purdue University Press.  Documents include memoranda, budget reports, staff reports, and publication information.

Date Acquired: 05/07/2008. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Authors, American--Indiana, Purdue University--Faculty, Purdue University Press, United States. Department of the Navy, World War, 1939-1945

Forms of Material: Clippings (Information artifacts), Correspondence, Memorandums, Newsletters, Photographic prints, Postcards

Languages: English


The William Whale papers consist of a series of letters that document the military service and career of former Purdue University Press Director William Whalen.  The papers contain personal correspondence from Whalen’s young adulthood and a variety of documents related to the operations of the Purdue University Press.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The William Whalen papers (1943-1991; 0.8 cubic feet) includes many personal materials shared during Whalen’s service during and after World War II, as well as a small number of assorted documents related to his time as director of the Purdue University Press.

Biographical Note

William “Bill” Whalen (1926-2008) was born in Michigan City, Indiana.  He earned a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.  He also attended the University of Notre Dame, where he joined United States Navy in 1943.  He married Mary Beth Sell in 1954, with which he had five children.  Whalen joined Purdue University in 1950, where he directed publications and taught journalism.  In 1960, he helped to create the Purdue University Press, serving as its director until his retirement in 1992.  Whalen was also authored or co-wrote a dozen books and several hundred articles during his career.

Subject/Index Terms

Authors, American--Indiana
Purdue University--Faculty
Purdue University Press
United States. Department of the Navy
World War, 1939-1945

Administrative Information

Repository: Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Accruals: 20080508, 20080527

Alternate Extent Statement: 2 mss. boxes

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.  Some material has been restricted to protect confidentiality.

Acquisition Source: Mary Beth Whalen, Patrick Whalen

Acquisition Method: Materials donated by Mary Beth Whalen and Patrick Whalen.

Preferred Citation: MSP 100, William Whalen papers, Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries

Processing Information: The original order of the materials has been retained whenever possible.  Letters have been removed from envelopes and most envelopes have been discarded.  All newsprint has been photocopied and original newspaper clippings have been discarded.

Other URL: http://collections.lib.purdue.edu/fa/pdf/msp100-whalen-william.pdf

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1943-1949],
[Series 2: Naval Service, 1943-1946],
[Series 3: Purdue University, 1955-1991],