Oberlin College Archives

Donald Melbourne Love (1894-1974)

Personal Papers, 1868, 1882, 1891-1974
Scope and Content Note

The personal papers of Donald M. Love are divided into eleven series: I. Address Books; II. Appointment Books; III. Committee Files; IV. Correspondence; V. Teaching Files; VI. Writings and Talks; VII. Community Service Files; VIII. Tour Guide Files; IX. Student Files; X. Photographs; and XI. Miscellaneous Historical Files. Within some series, records are further divided into subseries. Materials within subseries are typically arranged chronologically or alphabetically by type of material.

Love's papers document his activities as a college administrator, writer, and teacher, as well as a civic leader and traveler. The most significant records are his talks and writings. The series of largely incoming correspondence, while equal in volume to Love's writings, provides minimal details about Love's personal or professional activities. Files include exchanges with President Carr over the controversial Barrows House (1963); with Librarian Eileen Thornton (1960, 1962) relating to a proposed archives at Oberlin; and with friends and acquaintances such as the Rev. William H. Hudnut (d. 1963) of Rochester, New York (1922-31). Numerous illegible letters (1965) from Katherine Hayden Salter (1896-1988) request special professional favors of Secretary Love. Gaps exist in Love's correspondence because select, private correspondence was probably not retained for future research use.

In spite of gaps in the record, Love's papers span his lifetime. Early records date from Love's school days at Sandusky High School (1909-12) and at Oberlin College (1912-16). Family correspondence (1894-1916) reveals a tight bond between Love and his parents, although family personalities remain veiled. Several letters (1915-16) from Love to his "dear ones" describe his adventures as Oberlin delegate on Henry Ford's Peace Ship to Scandinavia. These are housed in Series IX, Student Files, Subseries 2. Except for some miscellaneous correspondence (1936-73) and committee files (1936, 1948-52, 1957-62), which include the only extant manuscript notes of General Faculty meetings (1960-62) and Trustees Executive Committee meetings (1962), very little record exists in this collection of Love's administrative career. For Love's professional records, consult the Records of the Office of the Secretary (5), the Records of the Office of the Registrar (27), and the Records of the College of Arts and Sciences (9).

Although Love will be best remembered as an administrator, his papers fully document his activities as a writer and public speaker from 1913 to 1974. Love's writings include the type-script draft of his publication, Henry Churchill King of Oberlin (Yale University Press, 1956), together with research materials and correspondence created during the writing of the book (1952-56). Among the research materials are several letters received from President King (1913, 1915). The bulk of Love's writings consist of manuscript and typescript drafts of talks and notes for talks, as well as published articles. Subjects of these talks, which were delivered mainly to local groups, range from Sienese art to the poetry of British writer Matthew Arnold. The talks and articles, together with Love's teaching materials for his English literature classes at Oberlin (1926-65), and the records (1949-66) of the tours he conducted in the British Isles in 1950 and 1955, reveal Love's deeply rooted interest in the literary history of England.

Love's efforts to promote higher education in Lorain County and his activities on behalf of the town of Oberlin are also well documented, in spite of some gaps. Files relating to his tenure as a member of the Board of Trustees of Lorain County Community College (1959-71) are incomplete; they include correspondence (1962-63, 1967-69), printed financial reports (1967/68-1969/70), memoranda (1962, 1968), and minutes (1968, 1970, 1971). Records document Love's service in numerous capacities to the First Congregational Church of Oberlin (1940-41, 1961-74) and include memoranda, official correspondence, and budgetary records. Gaps exist in these files for the twenty years between 1941 and 1961. Love's involvement in other civic affairs, including the founding of the Oberlin Historical Society, are documented in correspondence, fundraising records, and printed materials (1940-74). Historical files include his collections of records relating to Ohio history.

Series Descriptions

Series I. Address Books, [1926-55], 1962-73 6 vols. 0.2 l.f.

Includes three address books used in Oberlin, and three Christmas card record books, 1962-73, containing names without addresses. Volumes are chronologically arranged.

Series II. Appointment Books, 1910-73 27 vols. 0.4 l.f.

The earliest volume is a date book (1910) with brief entries noting school assignments, weather, and family activities. The bulk of the volumes (1928-73) date from Love's residence in Oberlin and contain reminders of professional, social, and family engagements. Appointment books are chronologically arranged.

Series III. Committee Files, 1936, 1948-52, 1957-62 0.2 l.f.

Includes records of Love's service to the Commission on Scholarships (formed 1936) and the Faculty Committee on Honorary Degrees (1948-52, 1957-62). Of special interest are the only extant manuscript notes recorded by Love at meetings of the General Faculty (1960-62) and the Trustees Executive Committee (1962), which were received in 1975.

Series IV. Correspondence, 1894-1974 1.2 l.f.

The incoming and outgoing correspondence of Donald Love is divided into four subseries. Subseries 1, 2, and 3 are maintained as they were received, in the folder order established in 1975 and 1979. Subseries 1 constitutes the earliest accession, and Subseries 2 and 3 constitute a single, later accession. Subseries 4 is composed of files drawn from the early accession, brought together because of the miscellaneous character of their content, and arranged alphabetically by subject.

The bulk of Love's correspondence (largely incoming) covers both administrative and personal matters. Correspondents include honorary Trustee Harry Eliot Barnard (1892-1973), President Robert Kenneth Carr (1908-79), Professor Louis E. Lord (1875-1957), Professor Raymond H. Stetson (1872-1950), and Katherine Hayden Salter (A.B. 1918). An index of correspondents is housed in the case file. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent and chronologically thereunder.

The incoming correspondence of the Rev. William Herbert Hudnut (d. 1963), a Presbyterian minister and longtime friend of Donald Love, includes letters from Princeton Theological Seminary (1922-27), from Union Theological Seminary (1927-28), and from Youngstown, Ohio (1928-31). Later Hudnut correspondence is housed in Subseries 3. The file of David Carroll Churchill (1873-1969) includes a letter from his widow, Eleanor Churchill (1969), a eulogy (1969) by Donald Love delivered at Churchill's funeral, and printed materials relating to the Churchill Weavers of Berea, Kentucky. Additional Churchill correspondence is housed in Subseries 3. Correspondence is chronologically arranged.

Personal and professional correspondence (largely incoming) includes letters from the Rev. William H. Hudnut, Oscar Jaszi (1875-1957), Secretary George M. Jones (1870-1948), and Grace Love (1866-1935). Several letters from Love describe his departure from New York in 1915 with the Henry Ford Peace Ship. For additional correspondence relating to the expedition, see Series IX, Subseries 2. Correspondence is chronologically arranged.

Includes professional correspondence mainly related to Oberlin College but which also documents Love's outside activities, such as his work for the Lorain County Historical Society (1965) and the Oberlin Historical Society (1960, 1962). Two memos (1960, 1962) from Librarian Eileen Thornton (b. 1909) discuss plans for establishing an archives at Oberlin College. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series V. Teaching Files, [1921]-65 0.4 l.f.

Includes lecture notes, syllabi, bibliographies, and grade books used in Love's high school teaching ([1921]-1926) and in his teaching at Oberlin College (1926-65). Files are arranged chronologically.

Series VI. Writings and Talks, 1913-74, n.d. 1.2 l.f.

Writings and Talks are divided into four subseries: 1. Henry Churchill King of Oberlin; 2. Talks and Articles (Published and Unpublished); 3. Notes for Talks; and 4. Tributes and Memorials.

Records relating to the research, writing, and publication of Henry Churchill King of Oberlin (Yale University Press, 1956) include research materials (1913, 1915); correspondence between Trustee Arnaud C. Marts (1888-1970) and Oberlin resident Margaret McGee (1889-1975), in which they discuss who will write the book (1952-53); correspondence of a general nature relating to the progress of writing and publication (1954-59); correspondence with the publisher (1955-62); book reviews (1956-59); and the manuscript draft of the book (ca. 1956) with a subject index to letters in the King Papers.

Includes manuscript and typescript drafts for talks as well as printed articles written by Donald Love throughout his career. For notes for a speech given at City Club in 1962 on "The Ford Peace Expedition," see Series IX, Student Files, Subseries 2. Files are chronologically arranged.

Comprised of note cards containing typed or hand-written notes. Cards are chronologically arranged.

Contains original drafts and carbon copies of eulogies and parting tributes written by Donald Love for his friends and colleagues, who included Edward Franklin Bosworth (1894-1957), Oscar Jaszi (1875-1957), President Ernest Hatch Wilkins (1880-1966), Lloyd W. Taylor (1893-1948), Kemper Fullerton (1865-1941), and President Henry Churchill King (1868-1934).

Series VII. Community Service Files, 1940-74 1.2 l.f.

Records are divided into three subseries representing areas of Love's activity outside of Oberlin College: 1. Lorain County Community College; 2. First Congregational Church in Oberlin; and 3. Oberlin Civic Activities. Within subseries, records are arranged alphabetically by type of material.

Records include correspondence, published financial reports, memoranda, minutes of trustee meetings, newspaper accounts, and printed materials documenting the establishment of the college (1959-62) and Love's tenure as a member of the Board of Trustees (1963-69) and as Chairman of the Board (1967-69). Much of the correspondence relates to a controversy surrounding the community college's refusal to reappoint two faculty members (1968-69).

Includes official correspondence from various church committees on which Love served, such as the Pastoral and Cabinet Committees; budgetary reports; fundraising records; minutes of Executive Council meetings at which Love served as moderator; and service bulletins. Records are chronologically arranged.

Records document Love's service to the town of Oberlin and include correspondence and printed materials. Files are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series VIII. Tour Guide Files, 1932, 1949-66 0.8 l.f.

Records document Love's work as a tour guide in England for the Bureau of University Travel and are divided into two subseries: 1. Bureau of University Travel; and 2. "Backgrounds of English History and Literature": Records of the Tours.

Includes correspondence between Donald Love, tour leader, and his employer, the Bureau of University Travel, relating to the organization of the tours, recruitment of participants, scheduling, itinerary, and accommodations. Also filed here are publicity brochures published by the Bureau.

Comprised of the records gathered and created by Love as tour guide for the Bureau of University Travel's summer tours of England. Records include the tour guide's weekly reports, lecture notes, itineraries, passports, and travel guides. Travel memorabilia consists of lists of postcard recipients, museum entrance tickets, meal receipts, hotel bills, luggage tickets, and business cards. Materials are alphabetically arranged by type.

Series IX. Student Files, 1908-16, 1924, 1937-38 0.8 l.f.

Student Files are divided into three subseries: 1. High School and College Files; 2. Henry Ford Peace Expedition; and 3. Post-Graduate Studies. Within subseries, files are alphabetically arranged by type of material.

Records include Love's high school grade cards, class notes, essays, and laboratory reports from Sandusky High School in Sandusky, Ohio. For additional notes on the Classical Epic, see Series V, Teaching Files.

Comprised of records relating to Love's journey to Scandinavia aboard the second of Henry Ford's peace ships in 1915-16. Materials include Love's account of the experience (1916), a scrapbook (1915), journals (1915, 1916), correspondence to his family (1915-16), and publications of the Scandinavia-America line (1915). Slides are 1962 reprints of original photographs taken by Love.

Includes Love's class notes taken in English literature and history courses offered by Oberlin College (summer session 1924) and Harvard University (winter session 1937-38). Files are chronologically arranged.

Series X. Photographs, 1868, 1925, n.d. 0.2 l.f.

Includes one large rolled photograph of a tour group in Washington, D.C. (1925) and twenty miscellaneous photographs of Love family members and Oberlin individuals. Most photographs are undated.

Series XI. Miscellaneous Historical Files, 1912-73 0.4 l.f.

Consists of materials gathered by Love relating to his family history and to Ohio history. The files of Love's friend Susan F. Zearing (l874-1963; A.B. 1896; M.A. 1932), a teacher at the Oberlin Kindergarten Primary Training School (1924-33) and librarian at the College Library, were part of the personal papers Love deeded to the College.

Includes family tree charts prepared by Love, photocopies of clippings relating to Love and his family, diplomas of his mother, Grace Love, from the Connecticut Training School for Nurses (1892), and other miscellaneous items relating to Love's family. Records are arranged alphabetically by type of material.

Records include unpublished articles, postcards, and brochures collected by Love relating to the history of Sandusky, Youngstown, and Coshocton, Ohio. Materials are arranged alphabetically by type.

The files of Susan F. Zearing include typescript drafts of several unpublished articles, her Oberlin M.A. thesis (1932) in history, and miscellaneous personal records including her S.A. and M.A. diplomas, official correspondence from Registrar Donald Love (1932); official correspondence from the Board of Trustees, Oberlin Kindergarten Primary Training School (1929); a passport (1929); and travel diary (1927).


The Donald M. Love papers were transferred to the Oberlin College Archives in two separate accessions in 1975 and in 1979.

Related Materials

For Donald Love's correspondence as the first Secretary of the Oberlin Historical and Improvement Organization (1964-74), consult the records of O.H.I.O. (31/9). Correspondence from Donald Love is found in the professional files of the four presidents under whom he served. Consult the presidential papers of President Henry Churchill King (2/6), Ernest Hatch Wilkins (2/7), William Edwards Stevenson (2/8), and Robert Kenneth Carr (2/9). As indicated above, consult the records of the Office of the Secretary (5), the Records of the Office of the Registrar (27), and the records of the College of Arts and Sciences (9) for the bulk of Love's administrative records. Secretary Love's minutes of meetings of the Board of Trustees, its committees, and the general faculty for the period 1938-62 are available on microfilm. See the Records of the Board of Trustees (1) for minutes of Board of Trustees committee meetings.

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Last updated: 8 July 1998