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Gilbert Courtland Fite

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Scope and Contents

The Gilbert Fite Papers are separated into ten series: University of Oklahoma, India Visit 1969-1970, Eastern Illinois University, University of Georgia, Retirement, Organizations and Conferences, Research and Publications, Teaching and Service, Personal and Photographs.

The University of Oklahoma series (Boxes 1-3) include correspondence with university staff and faculty, as well as the President. Correspondence with historians and writing partners Norman Graeber, Jim Reese, and Don Berthrong are also included. It also contains information on Fite’s time as head of the Presidential Search Committee, the inauguration of J. Herbert Holloman, and Holloman’s subsequent scandals and resignation. A brief bit on Fite’s financial records from the university is also in this series.

The India Visit 1969-1970 series (Boxes 4-5) includes correspondence between Fite and Oklahoma and former Indian colleagues, as well as correspondence with the American Studies Research Centre. June Fite’s correspondence to friends and family is also covered in this series.

The Eastern Illinois University series (Boxes 6-12) contains correspondence with Eastern’s collegiate departments as well as letters from former Oklahoma professors. Congratulatory letters on his appointment, inauguration, and resignation are also included, as well as letters to other university leaders, many addressing financial concerns at Eastern Illinois. Articles and newspaper clippings surrounding his time as president as well as menus and pamphlets from his farewell dinner are in this series. This series also contains speeches and speech notes from addresses given by Fite at this time.

The University of Georgia series (Boxes 13-22) primarily contains correspondence between former and current colleagues of Fite. Much of this correspondence covers research done by Fite, particularly for his text on Richard B. Russell, American Farmers: the New Minority, and other works completed or edited by Fite. There are also numerous articles pertaining to lectures given by Fite or awards won while at the University of Georgia. Personal files, including correspondence and recommendations for former students are also included.

The Retirement series (Boxes 23-28) contains correspondence between colleagues and family. There is some brief correspondence between Fite and the University of Arkansas and Oklahoma Christian College. There is also correspondence written to federal and state government organizations and legislatures regarding Fite’s interest in immigration issues. Articles on Fite’s involvement in the town of Bella Vista, Arkansas are also included.

The Organizations and Conferences series (Boxes 29-31) mainly includes booklets and information pertaining to the organizations Fite was a member of and conferences he attended throughout the entirety of his career. There are multiple references to the South Dakota Hall of Fame and South Dakota State Historical Society, which Fite was a member of. Notes from speeches and lectures given at conferences are also included.

The Research and Publications series (Boxes 32-40) includes correspondence to and from publishing agencies and multiple university presses about the publication of the book and articles written or edited by Fite.  Financial information about the royalties produced by the texts are also included. This series contains reviews of Fite’s book and articles, as well as reviews written by Fite. Also included are multiple publications with articles mentioning Fite and his work. It also contains some articles written by Fite. There are newspaper clippings, research correspondence, notes and articles.

The Teaching and Service series (Boxes 41-46) consists of papers, speeches, lectures, conferences and workshops, notes and correspondence.  It also includes Associations, Organizations, Societies, Conferences, Committees and Symposiums. Mainly historical and agricultural related.

The Personal series (Boxes 47-57) includes documents on Fite’s human relationships, from early life through retirement. Records regarding the Fite family homestead and financial transactions are available here, as well as notes, files, articles, and letters pertaining to Fite’s parents, wife, children, and siblings. This series includes miscellaneous items from Fite’s friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, including former student writings and holiday cards. Finally, this series contains research notes for various texts and speeches. Items listed within the folders are highlights of the folder’s contents and not every item is inventoried.  FIX

The Photograph series (Boxes 58-63) is organized by type for preventive conservation purposes. Sub-series include black and white, color, digital output prints, negatives and slides. The series consists primarily of family photographs and collections of copy photographs from institutions and archives used in Fite’s research. The content is arranged alphabetically. Box 63, which contains negatives and slides, is housed in cold storage. The negatives and slides remain mostly unidentified.

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