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James T. Laing papers, 1930-1969

Finding Aid

Prepared by Barbara Bass, May 6, 1997
3 document cases, 1 cubic foot, 11th floor


Biographical Note

James Tamplin Laing was born in Montgomery, West Virginia on August 26, 1899, the son of James McAlpin and Annie (Tamplin) Laing. He received the B.A. degree from West Virginia Univeristy in 1924, and went on to Graduate School at Ohio State University, receiving his M.A. in 1929 and Ph.D. in 1933.

He married Clair Lenila Thomas on August 2, 1927. They had one son, James Thomas.

Laing taught at Dunbar High School in West Virginia in 1924-25, in Charleston, West Virginia in 1926-28. From 1929 to 1933 he was Assistant Instructor at Ohio State University. After receiving his Doctorate, Lain was appointed Professor of Sociology at Holbrook College for the academic year 1933/34. He was Associate Professor at West Virginia Institute of Technology (1934-35) before joining the Sociology Department of Kent State University in 1935. He remained at Kent State University until his retirement in 1969, serving as Head of the Department of Sociology from 1937-1959, and as Chairman of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology from 1959-1967. He resigned the chairmanship of the department in 1967, but served as professor until 1969, when he was appointed Professor Emeritus.

Active in the community, Dr. Laing served as president of the Kent Welfare Board from 1944-46. He was a member of the American Sociological Society and member and past president of the Ohio Valley Sociological Society. He also held memberships in the American Association of Univeristy Professors, Alpha Kappa Delta, Pi Gamma Mu, Phi Sigma Kappa, the Methodist Church, and Rotary Club (past president). He was an active member of long standing in the Wranglers Club of Kent State University.

Scope and Content

The boxes of material, as accessioned, were in no apparent sequence of chronology, type, or subject, with the exception of a group of students papers from Ohio State University, which were fastened together in a binder; teaching materials on criminology were in a file; and three groups of clippings: one on blacks in American society, a second on West Virginia, and a third on the firing of Herbert Miller, Professor of Sociology, from Ohio State University in 1931. All other materials have been grouped by the processor into what seemed the most logical and usable.

The general overall arrangement progresses from early scholarly research (including Dissertation) to teaching materials; departmental-adminstrative responsibilities; correspondence; materials relating to organizations and clubs; addresses and speeches; other writings, the nature of which could not be readily discerned; personal materials; photographs; two small groups of materials which stood alone with little relation to other groups; clippings, arranged by subject, interfiled with other types of materials relating to these subjects; and a regrettably large group of "miscellaneous" materials. Within each folder, an attempt has been made to organize individual documents chronologically or by alphabet, if such order could be reasonably applied

These material may be of use to any user interested in the history of the field of sociology, or, more specifically, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Kent State University.


Box 1
Folder--Contents

  1. Student Paper - Laing - Sociology 607: "Social Disintegration Among the Indians," 1928
  2. Student Paper - Laing - History 634 (Dr. Cole): "The Negro in the Anti-Slavery Crusade," 1930
  3. Student Paper - Laing - Sociology 807 (Dr. Hagerty): "A Personal Estimate of Cooley, Giddings, Ross, and Small," 1930
  4. Student Paper - Laing - Sociology 811: "Our Changing Civilization: a review," 1930
  5. Student Paper - Laing - Principles of Education 640 (Dr. Bode and Mr. Marple) - "Sociology and the Snedden Ideal," 1931
  6. Student Paper - Laing - Sociology 812 (Dr. North): "The Next Ten Years in British Economic and Social Policy" by G.D.H. Cole: a review, " 1930
  7. Student Paper - Laing - "Robert Hunter: Violence and the Labor Movement. MacMillan 1914: a review"
  8. Student Paper - Laing -"Boas, Franz, The Mind of Primitive Man. MacMillan 1911: a review"
  9. Student Paper -Denez Gulyas - Sociology 590 - "Mental Disorders in Urban Areas, Faris, Robert E.L. and Dunham, Warren H.: a review"
  10. Student Paper - Gulyas - Sociology 590 - "Warner, Lloyd W. and Lunt, Paul S., The Social Life of a Modern Community: a review"
  11. Student Paper - (no author) - "Ellwood, The Reconstruction of Religion: a review
  12. Student Paper - (no author) - "Mohammedanism and the American Mind
  13. Abstract of Dissertation, "The Negro Miner in West Virginia:" - Ohio State University, 1933
  14. Dissertation - parts of drafts - incomplete final draft, including photographs, tables, maps, data sheets
  15. Article - "The Negro Miner in West Virginia" - final copy, typed - incomplete portions
  16. Teaching Materials - Sociology 374 (Criminology) - Outlines, notes, bibliographies
  17. Teaching Materials - Sociology 374 (Criminology) - Outlines, notes, bibliographies
  18. Teaching Materials - Sociology 374 (Criminology) - Outlines, notes, bibliographies
  19. Teaching Materials - Sociology 571 - (Seminar on Race Relations) - outline
  20. Teaching Materials - Sociology 571 - Exams, keys
  21. Teaching Materials - Sociology 571 - Exams, keys, class lists

Box 2
Folder--Contents

  1. Departmental Administration: Budgets, Faculty appointments, courses, general memos, 1937/38 - 1966/67 (sporadic): Budgets, Faculty appointments, Courses, General memos
  2. Departmental Administration: Letter to Department Staff re resignation; drafts and final - Procedure for selection of new Chairman - Memo confirming appointment of new Chairman - Departmental memo from new Chairman
  3. Correspondence: Incoming - arranged alphabetically by last name of correspondent, 1963-1969
  4. Correspondence: Outgoing - arranged chronologically, 1942-1969
  5. Correspondence: Third party - May 15, 1948, June 7, 1963, June 11, 1964
  6. Organizations: Alpha Kappa Delta (National Honorary Sociological Fraternity) - Application for a Charter at University of Akron, 1967
  7. Organizations: American Association of University Professors - Report from Semi -Annual Meeting of the Ohio Conference, Fall, 1969
  8. Organizations: American Sociological Association - Certificate of Membership; membership information; "A Code of Etiquette for Sociologists nth draft", by Roth (humorous)
  9. Organizations: Methodist Church, First Methodist Church, Kent, Ohio - "Excerpts from the Community of Celebration by Thomas C. Oden", 1964; Church Conference, Fourth Quarter, May 11, 1965; Bulletin, Dec. 21, 1969
  10. Organizations: Phi Sigma Kappa - Deputies' Handbook, 1955
  11. Organizations: Rotary Club of Kent - Official directory, 1944, n.d.
  12. Organizations: West Virginia University Alumni Association: membership card, 1968/69
  13. Organizations: Wranglers Club: "Migrants", Jan. 1963
  14. Organizations: Wranglers Club: "Poverty", Nov. 1968
  15. Orgnaizations: Wranglers Club: "How Can We Get Out of Vietnam", Feb. 1970
  16. Organizations: Wranglers Club: "Aging/Retirement", pgs. 3-8
  17. Addresses, Speeches: Kent Methodists - Newspaper clipping (photograph of Dr. and Mrs. Laing), n.d.
  18. Addresses, Speeches: "Some Pitfalls of Pseudo-Scholarship" - draft, n.d.
  19. Addresses, Speeches: Wesley Foundation, "Can a Thinking Man Be a Christian?", 10/3/65
  20. Addresses, Speeches: Phi Sigma Kappas, welcome to new members, n.d.
  21. Addresses, Speeches: Sociology Club, Akron University, "Magnetic Akron", Jan. 13, 1958
  22. Addresses, Speeches: p. 3 only of address at unveiling of portrait of Dr. Ray Clark
  23. Other writings: Column re: 'Thinkers', draft, n.d.
  24. Other writings: "On Becoming More Business-Like"
  25. Other writings: "Chapter 5, Questions of Public and Social Policy Regarding the future Development of Higher Education in Ohio" - notes for discussion
  26. Personal: Diary, 1923 - entered sporadically, Jan. 1-Mar. 25 - handwritten loose notes on "Why I do not believe in the Devil"

Box 3
Folder--Contents

  1. Personal: "The Laing Bugle", Dec. 1959; v. 13, Dec. 1966; v.14, Dec. 1967; v. 15, Dec. 1968; v. 16, Dec. 1969
  2. Personal: Postcards, 1964; greeting cards
  3. Personal: Financial - bills, receipts, clippings, letters to Mrs. Laing from lawyer with advice re: declaration of income, 1949-1969
  4. Personal: Clippings, 1962; Results summary of United Community Services, Lorain
  5. Personal: wedding invitation: Dehner-Harler, June 8, 1968
  6. Photograph: Department Heads, 1936
  7. Photograph negative: Laing, n.d.
  8. "Daily Athenaeum": newspaper of West Virginia University, Fri.-Tues., Oct. 2-6, 1959 - Laing represented Kent State University at the Installation of Elvis J. Stahr, Jr., as President of W. Va. University
  9. Letter: from S. Cambell to "Brother Ashley" at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Jul. 8, 1831
  10. Clippings: Prof. Herbert Miller, Ohio State University, 1931
  11. Clippings: University department
  12. Clippings: Race - Blacks
  13. Clippings: "Negroes and the War"
  14. Clippings: Race - American Indians
  15. Clippings: Race - Jews
  16. Clippings: Suicide
  17. Clippings: West Virginia
  18. Clippings: World War II
  19. "The Dialect of the Appalachian People", Wylene P. Dial; taken from West Virginia History, vol. 30, no. 2, Jan. 1969
  20. "The Myth of West Virginia's Anti-Intellectualism", by Ruel E. Foster
  21. "West Virginia Hillbilly" - local weekly - Nov. 2, 9, 1968; Mar. 29, Apr. 5, 12, 1969
  22. Clippings - Miscellaneous
  23. Miscellaneous