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