Hello there! My name is Renee Barrera and I am a first year history graduate student and this past August I had the pleasure of being hired as the Carlson Intern at the American Heritage Center. The Carlson Internship is funded through an endowment generously donated by Gerald Meyer, past Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The endowment provides funding for an upper division undergraduate or graduate student to process and help manage records of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Over the last six months I have been trained and instructed on how to process collections from beginning to end. I have been able to process the collection of Mary Slavens Clark and Wilmer E. Stevens. Currently, I am in process of working on the UW Music Department collection and the Adrian Bantjes collection. One collection that proved to be most interesting was the Wilmer E. Stevens Collection.
Wilmer E. Stevens was born sometime in the early 1900s and not only did he graduate from the University of Wyoming, he was also a faculty member after his graduation. Stevens was a UW English professor from 1925 until approximately 1960. During his tenure, Professor Stevens was in charge of the UW Debate Team, and involved in the Rocky Mountain Forensic League, and Colorado-Wyoming Debate League. The UW Debate Team hosted many debates on campus and also traveled to debates in cities such as Denver, CO, Missoula, MT and Redlands. CA. The collection includes speeches and debates from students, Box 1 Folder 11 and 12, and also newspaper clippings of the UW Debate team hosting a debate team from a university in Texas. One interesting tidbit about Professor Stevens is that he was involved in the Student use of English Committee from 1925-1931. The committees functioned as a resource for students to improve their use of English and included in the collection are various worksheets and a small handbook on proper use of English.
There were times that I was caught up in reading the various speeches, debates and correspondence that Professor Stevens collected or wrote. The Stevens Collection provides a brief glimpse of life in the UW English Department in the 1930s and is an interesting collection to peruse if one has a fascination with debates and speeches.
–Renee Barrera, Carlson Intern