Alfred W. Ramsey Papers at University of Notre Dame Hesburgh Libraries

Alfred W. Ramsey Papers at University of Notre Dame Hesburgh Libraries

Alfred Winston Ramsey (1883-1955) served as a business teacher at the Carlisle Indian School from January 1909 until November 1910. His collection of papers was acquired by the Rare Books & Special Collections department of the Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame in 2014.

The collection includes manuscripts, printed matter, photographs, and realia preserved by Ramsey, most of it ca. 1904-1913. Particularly abundant, and notable, is material dating from Ramsey's time at Carlisle (1909-1910). There is a relatively small amount of personal correspondence of this period, some of it relating to Ramsey's hiring at Carlisle and his resignation the following year. A much larger body of manuscript material includes typescripts of student writing and typing exercises; copies of addresses by Carlisle administrators (especially superintendent Moses Friedman) and commencement speakers; school mission and policy statements; essays on character and behavior with a bearing on Indian education; and other topics. Some of this material would have been generated as a consequence of Ramsey's teaching (including instruction in typing), but much of it was the result of his de facto status as clerical assistant to Friedman. There are also two memory books preserved by Ramsey, with questionnaires filled out in manuscript by 79 different Carlisle students. The printed matter includes a broad selection of items from the Carlisle Indian Press; printing was one of the trades taught at the school, and Edgar Miller, the program's superintendent, was a particular friend of Ramsey's. Included are runs of school periodicals like the weekly The Carlisle Arrow and the monthly The Indian Craftsman (later titled The Red Man). There are also pamphlets, programs, broadsides, dance cards, and other ephemera. Photographs include panoramas of the Carlisle campus and a number of group portraits of the student cast of the comic opera "The Captain of Plymouth". Carlisle materials naturally relate to Ramsey's own duties and interests at the school: the business program itself, of course, as well as shorthand reporting, typing, and other clerical work done for Friedman. (The presence in the collection of so many commencement speeches and other addresses, for example, is attributable to Ramsey's shorthand and transcription capabilities). There are only a few items relating to the Athletic Department (see folders 77 to 77C).

Includes Primary Resources: 
Yes