Guide to the J. Kenneth Munford Collection

Print this Finding Aid | Email this Finding Aid


Overview of the Collection

Creator: Munford, James Kenneth.
Title: J. Kenneth Munford Collection
Dates: 1866-2000 ( inclusive )
1930-2000 ( bulk )
Quantity: 4 cubic feet
Collection Number: Consult repository.
Summary: The J. Kenneth Munford Collection consists of a variety of materials assembled and created by Munford as a student, teacher, writer and editor, and local historian.
Repository: Oregon State University Libraries, Special Collections & Archives Research Center
Contact Information: Special Collections & Archives Research Center
121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis OR
Telephone: 541-737-2075
Fax: 541-737-8674
Languages: Materials in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical Note

Alumnus J. Kenneth Munford was a member of the Oregon State University faculty from 1939 until his retirement in 1977, with breaks for military service and further education. A native of Banks, Oregon, Kenneth Munford came to Corvallis in 1930 as a freshman at Oregon State College. After graduating in 1934 with a degree in education, he served as principal at the Harding Elementary School in Corvallis (1935-1937) and the junior high school in Newburg, Oregon (1938-1939) and taught classes at both schools as well. Kenneth Munford and Helen Marjorie ("Marge") Vannice were married in 1939.

In 1939, Munford became an English instructor at Oregon State College, a position he held until leaving for military duty in 1941. After receiving a Doctor of Education degree from Stanford University in 1948, he returned to OSC as an editor in the Office of Publications. He became Director of Publications in 1956 and spearheaded formation of the OSU Press in 1961. Active in the OSU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi since his initiation in 1934, Munford also served as chapter President (1963-1964), correspondent for the chapter newsletter, and later President of the national headquarters (1968-1971) of the honorary society. In 1986, Munford was awarded Phi Kappa Phi's Distinguished Member Award.

Munford's interest in John Ledyard began in the mid-1930s while teaching a fifth-grade Oregon history class. He wrote an article for the Sunday Oregonian and with the encouragement of a Portland, Oregon, publisher, he quickly wrote a book, John Ledyard: An American Marco Polo, which was published in 1939. Through the years, he began to see that there was much more of historical value in the Ledyard story than had been revealed in his 1939 book, so Munford began preparing an annotated version of the Ledyard's journal. He began collaborating with Sinclair Hitchings, Keeper of Prints at the Boston Public Library, and John Ledyard's Journal of Captain Cooks's Last Voyage was published by the OSU Press in 1963.

Munford retired from Oregon State University in 1977, but continued to be an active writer and supporter of local history. In 1978, he was awarded the Oregon Historical Society's Henry Clinton Collins Award "for his writings on local and statewide history."

In 1983, Munford began writing a weekly column on local and regional history for the Corvallis Gazette-Times. Thirteen years and 561 columns later, his last column was published on January 15, 1996.

Content Description

Series 1 includes several family photographs and an excerpt from Munford's mother's diary. The souvenirs of college (series 2) consist primarily of memorabilia of Munford's first year as an Oregon State College student in the early 1930s. Series 3 includes texts written by Oregon State College faculty member, Lillian Jeffreys Petri, that were used and annotated by Marge Munford when she studied piano with Petri in the late 1930s. Also included in Series 3 is sheet music for two pieces, Song Birds in the Twilight Calling and Sweet Oregon. Series 4 includes radio scripts and related notes, correspondence, and documentation pertaining to several radio productions on Oregon history and geography that Munford created in the mid 1930s and early 1940s.

Series 5 consists of materials pertaining to Munford's research and writing about John Ledyard. Specifically, these include research notes, manuscripts, correspondence, publicity, and reviews for a 1937 article about Ledyard in the Sunday Oregonian; a 1939 book, John Ledyard: An American Marco Polo; and the 1963 publication, John Ledyard's Journal of Captain Cook's Last Voyage.

Series 7 includes photocopies of all the columns on local and regional history written by Munford for the Corvallis Gazette-Times; a subject index and title list for the columns; and photographs assembled and/or acquired for use with the column. The photographs include images of various Corvallis landmarks, especially schools, as well as many individuals of local or regional significance. Series 8 includes materials pertaining to the early history of Corvallis College and other local and regional historical topics. The travel notes (series 9) were written during an extended trip to Maine, Canada, London, and Europe during the late summer and fall of 1971.

Series 10 consists of materials related to Munford's membership in Phi Kappa Phi and includes books, correspondence, a handbook, lists of chapter officers, minutes, newsletters, reports, and an unpublished manuscript on Munford's 45 years of involvement with the organization. Included among the subjects addressed in this series are: the 1997 Centennial Conference, the 1980 national Convention in Portland, and Phi Kappa Phi President Ilona Herlinger.

Series 11 constitutes certificates, awards and plaques presented to Munford in honor of his work in local history and participation in Phi Kappa Phi. Organizations that awarded the certificates include: Benton County Board of Commissioners, Boy Scouts of America, Corvallis Historic Preservation Advisory Board, Daughters of the American Revolution, Oregon Historical Society, and Phi Kappa Phi. Series 12 consists of newspaper clippings pertaining to Munford's involvement in Phi Kappa Phi and a protest lodged by students over the firing of an English Professor, Frank Harper. Series 13 is a sound recording, The Face of Oregon, of the OSU Concert Band, Madrigal, Glee Clubs, and Choralaires performing several pieces in honor of the Oregon Centennial, April 23, 1959.

Use of the Collection

Preferred Citation :  

J. Kenneth Munford Collection, Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Organized into thirteen series: I. Munford Family; II. Souvenirs of college; III. Helen Marjorie Munford-Music Studies; IV. Radio Productions; V. John Ledyard Publications; VI. Scrapbook; VII. Corvallis Gazette-Times Columns; VIII. Other Publications on OSU and Corvallis History; IX. Travel Notes; X. Phi Kappa Phi Materials; XI. Certificates and Awards; XII. Newspaper Clippings; and XIII. Sound Recordings.

Custodial History :  

Most of these materials were donated by Munford to the Archives during 1996 and 1997. The final donation was accessioned in 2000. The Munford Family materials, the college memorabilia, and several of the items pertaining to local history were donated to the Horner Museum in the early 1980s and subsequently transferred to the Archives in 1996. The Gazette-Times columns and travel notes were transferred from the Archives' Memorabilia Collection in 1997.

Related Materials :  

The Office of University Publications and OSU Press (RG 18) includes materials pertaining to that office during Munford's years as Director. The KOAC Records (RG 15) include extensive records pertaining to the KOAC School of the Air and other radio programs. Materials pertaining to Adventures of a Home Economist, written by Munford and Ava Milam Clark, are available in the Ava Milam Clark Papers. Documents relating to Munford's involvement in Phi Kappa Phi can be also be found in the records of the OSU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. The OSU Archives' holdings also include the Banks Dairy Products Company Records; Kenneth Munford's mother, Flora M. Munford, was a stockholder in the corporation and secretary of the Board of Directors.

The OSU Archives holdings include many other materials pertaining to OSU history as well and local and regional history. In addition, the Benton County Historical Museum's holdings include extensive documentary and visual materials pertaining to the history of Corvallis and Benton County.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I:  Munford Family, ca. 1910-1915
1 Diary of Flora M. Munford - excerpt, 1915
2 Photographs, ca. 1910

^ Return to Top

Series II:  Souvenirs of College, 1930-1934
2 Photographs, 1931
1 Dance Cards
2 folders
1 Grade Reports, 1931-1934
1 Handbooks and Information for Students, 1930-1932
1 Financial Records, 1930
1 Programs, 1930-1931
1 Correspondence, 1930-1931
1 Trial Study List, 1930-1931
1 Membership Card, 1930/31
1 Memorabilia, 1930-1931
1 Theater Programs, 1933-1934

^ Return to Top

Series III:  Helen Marjorie ("Marge") Munford - Music Studies, 1924-1953
Texts by Lillian Jeffreys Petri (annotated by Munford)
1 Mind Over Muscle, 1924
1 The ABC of Harmony or Music Fundamentals Correlated, undated
1 Music Fundamentals Correlated, Part II, undated
Sheet Music
1 Song Birds in the Twilight Calling, Gilbert Schaad, 1953
1 Sweet Oregon, Henry S DeMoss, 1930

^ Return to Top

Series IV:  Radio Productions, 1936-1993
3 Harding School (Corvallis) Students - "Unfolding the Map of Oregon" on KOAC School of the Air, 1936-1993
2 Photographs, 1936 and 1950
3 Harding Jr. High School (Newberg, Oregon) - "Harding is on the Air" on KOAC Junior Matinee Program, 1939
3 " Hero Tales from Oregon History" on KOAC School of the Air, 1940
3 Staters' Quarter Hour, 1941

^ Return to Top

Series V:  John Ledyard Publications, 1936-1975
3 Correspondence and Research, 1936-1946
3 John Ledyard: " The First American to See Oregon" , published in Sunday Oregonian, 31 Jan 1937
3 Correspondence, notes, and published article, 1936-1938
4 Original copies of published article
apx 20x24 in.
4 Maps of Travels, ca. 1937
apx 20x24 in.
3 John Ledyard: An American Marco Polo by Kenneth Munford, published in 1939 by Binford and Morts
3 Published volume
5 Manuscript, 1938
5 Scrapbook of reviews, clippings, correspondence and photographs, 1938-1939
5 Publishing contract, reviews, and correspondence, 1938-1954
5 Advertisements, 1939
4 Dust jackets and advertising poster, 1939
apx 20x24 in.
6 Photographs of J.K. Gill window display (prints in scrapbook), 1939

nitrate negatives
5 Mary Ledyard Correspondence, 1940-1975
5 " Did John Ledyard Witness Captain Cook's Death?" , published in April 1963 Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 1963
5 John Ledyard's Journal of Captain Cook's Last Voyage, edited by James Kenneth Munford with an introduction by Sinclair H. Hitchings, published in 1963 by OSU Press; Oregon State Monographs Studies in History Series no. 3 P
5 Published volume
5 Gould's notes on Bligh and unpublished journals, 1962
7 Munford-Hitchings Correspondence, 1963
3 folders
2 Photographs used in publication, 1963
1 A Journal of Captain Cook's Last Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, and in Quest of a North-West Passage between Asia and America, by John Ledyard, 1783
Microfilm of original journal held by John Carter Brown Library
8 2 Journal of Captain Cook's Last Voyage to the Pacific Ocean ... (probably written by 2nd Lt. J. Rickman)
apx 12x17 in.
Microfilm of original journal held by John Carter Brown Library
8 Cover art, blue-line proofs, title and typeface proofs, 1963
apx 12x17 in.

^ Return to Top

Series VI:  Scrapbook, 1939-1941
apx 12x17 in.

^ Return to Top

Series VII:  Corvallis Gazette-Times Columns, 1979-1996
7 Index, 1996
7 Catalog of Titles, 1996
7 Columns, 1983-1996
9 10 Columns, 1979-1995
apx 12x17 in.
2 sets
Photographs, 1883-1994
2 View of lower campus and Corvallis, ca. 1890
2 Corvallis railroad station, ca. 1925
2 Cadets in front of water tower, ca. 1900
2 Corvallis water works tower, ca. 1890
2 Shepard Hall, ca. 1908
2 Howard McKinley Corning
2 Henry Villard on train; Gold Spike ceremony, 1883
2 Francis A. Chenowith portrait
2 B.F. Irvine and Gertrude Avery Irvine at Oregon State College, 1939
2 B.F. Irvine and Milton C. Sheely at Oregon State College, 1939
2 Ben Holladay
2 Esther Campbell Holladay
2 J.W. Nesmith
2 Andrew Warren Moore
2 Warren Groshong, 1994
2 Hamilton Campbell
2 Corvallis Schools, ca. 1900-1945
7 prints
2 Fire in downtown Corvallis (?), ca. 1930
2 Territorial capital in Corvallis
2 Martha Henderson Gross with "Old Mill Stones" monument, ca. 1927
2 Central School and students, ca. 1890
2 Buxton Hotel (Buxton, Oregon)
2 Corvallis riverfront with sternwheeler at dock, ca. 1915
2 Corvallis residence street "on the road of a thousand wonders"
2 Ed Culp
11 Aerial view of downtown Corvallis, 1959
apx 12x17 in.
Photograph by Western Ways.
11 View of Corvallis from west, 1871
apx 12x17 in.

^ Return to Top

Series VIII:  Other Publications on OSU and Corvallis History, 1866-1972
8 Early Corvallis College History (including copies of Columbia Conference of Methodist Episcopal Church South records, 1866-1893
apx 12x17 in.
7 " The Boswells of Boswell Springs" , published in Oregon Historical Quarterly, Winter 1982 (v. 83, no. 4), 1979-1982
16 Reference materials
7 Corvallis' 125th Anniversary Special Edition of Corvallis Gazette-Times, 1982
12 Linn-Benton Partnership (Thomas Hart Benton and Lewis Fields Linn), 1979-1982
12 Rumer, Thomas A., Correspondence with, 1988-1992
12 The Wagon Train of '44, 1990

^ Return to Top

Series IX:  Travel Notes, 1971

^ Return to Top

Series X:  Phi Kappa Phi Materials, 1934-2000
13 Books: In Pursuit of Excellence: The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi: 1897-1971, Edward Schriver, 1971
13 Making Heroes of Scholars: The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi: 1971-1983, Neal O'Steen, 1985
13 Centennial Celebration Conference, 1997
13 Conventions, 1992, 1995
13 1980 Convention (Portland, Oregon) Investment Committee materials, 1980-1981
13 Barrs, James, 1986-1999
13 Herlinger, Ilona, 1982-1993
13 Hohenstein, Walt, 1990-1997
13 General, 1977-1997
13 Handbook for Phi Kappa Phi Chapters, undated
13 Manuscript: " 45 Years With Phi Kappa Phi" , 1986
13 Memorabilia
13 Newsletters, 1961-2000
13 OSU Chapter materials, 1966-1999
2 Photographs, Portraits of Munford for Phi Kappa Phi, ca. 1970, 1995
Photographer Ball Studio
2 Phi Kappa Phi members 1992 Convention

^ Return to Top

Series XI:  Certificates/Awards, 1934-1997
14 Advisory Council on Historic Preservation/Dept. Of the Interior, 1988
apx 16x20 in.
14 Air Force, U.S., 1972
apx 16x20 in.
13 Benton County Board of Commissioners, 1996-1997
13 Benton County Historical Society, 1992-1993
13 Boy Scouts of America, 1986
13 Corvallis Historic Preservation Advisory Board, 1988-1995
13 Daughters of the American Revolution, 1994-1995
13 Kiwanis Club of Corvallis, 1985
14 Oregon Historical Society, 1979
apx 16x20 in.
13 Phi Kappa Phi, 1934-1977
13 National President 1968-1971, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
13 Distinguished Member, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
13 For Meritorious Service to The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, 8-24-1977

^ Return to Top

Series XII:  Newspaper Clippings, 1931-1971
13 Frank Harper Protest/Student Counterculture, 1969-1970
13 Phi Kappa Phi, 1931-1971

^ Return to Top

Series XIII:  Sound Recordings, 1959
15 The Face of Oregon, OSU Concert Band, Madrigal and Glee Clubs, and the Choralaires Oregon Centennial Concert, April 23, 1959

^ Return to Top


  • Personal Names :
  • Ledyard, John, 1751-1789.
  • Corporate Names :
  • Corvallis College--History.
  • Oregon State College--History.
  • Oregon State University--History.
  • Phi Kappa Phi. Oregon State Chapter.
  • Phi Kappa Phi--History.
  • Geographical Names :
  • Benton County (Or.)--History.
  • Corvallis (Or.)--History.
  • Oregon--Geography.
  • Oregon--History.
  • Subject Terms :
  • Piano--Instruction and study--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Radio programs for children--Oregon.
  • Radio programs--Oregon.
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographs.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Sound recordings.
  • Titles within the Collection :
  • Corvallis Gazette Times.
  • John Ledyard
    • Other Creators :
    • Munford, Helen Marjorie Vannice.
    • Munford, James Kenneth.
    • Petri, Lillian Jeffreys.

    ^ Return to Top