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Southeastern Massachusetts University student papers

Identifier: URC-004

Scope and Contents

The majority of the collection consisted of student papers written between 1950 and 1964 to fulfill requirements of course number E401 “Report Writing” taught by Augustus Silva, English Professor and Dean of Students, New Bedford Textile Institute (Series II). Subjects include textiles, engineering, and chemistry. Other groupings include early textile sciences projects by students of New Bedford Textile School, most notably Cotton Yarn Preparation Theses, Rayon Theses, and Mill Management (Series I), chemistry and business papers completed by students of Bradford Durfee College of Technology (Series III), and local history, local architectural history and educational curriculum papers written by students of Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute, Southeastern Massachusetts University and Swain School of Design (Series IV).

There is a complete handwritten list of papers, arranged numerically, in the control file. This list includes report number, student’s name, date, title, and school. The sequential numbering system, which appears to have been applied arbitrarily to the papers by former library staff members, has been partially retained to serve as a reference to this list. However, obvious discrete series of papers were removed from the overall sequence and organized into four separate series. All duplicate copies were discarded. Within the 1950 - 1963 series, at least three papers were retained from each year, except for years with less than three papers, and all other papers in this series were discarded. The papers retained in the 1950 - 1963 series are a good representation of the varied subject matter. Approximately 398 papers (including all duplicate copies) were weeded out of the 1950 - 1963 series. All student papers before 1950, after 1963, and from the Bradford Durfee Technical Institute were retained. All undated papers were saved and assigned to the category they best fit.


  • 1935 – 1976

Biographical / Historical

For the history of each school that combined to create the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, see the institutional background summary in URC 1. For specific information, see the Bulletins themselves. E401, “Report Writing” was a course required of Seniors in all majors pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree at the New Bedford Textile Institute (NBTI).Although hired in 1948 as textile faculty, Augustus Silva became NBTI’s first instructor of English in 1949. His hiring coincided with the introduction of humanities into the curriculum, and the offering, for the first time, of a degree program leading to a Bachelor of Arts. In 1949 Professor Silva introduced 2 semesters of “English Composition” as a requirement of all freshmen, and in their sophomore year required “Technical Reports” (first semester) and “Business Writing” (second semester). By 1951 the courses moved to the senior year and were referred to as H-3 “Report Writing” (first semester) and H-4 “Business Writing” (second semester). In the 1953 NBTI catalogue Silva is listed as Dean of Students in addition to Assistant Professor of English and Acting Head of Department. Between 1953 and 1955 “Report Writing” was referred to as Eng-2 and “Business Writing” Eng-3. After 1955 “Business Writing” became E-402, “Public Speaking.” “Report Writing” students were to produce a report on a topic of their choice, and in “Public Speaking” they were required to develop a presentation based upon that topic. Professor Silva graded the reports, which he considered “Senior Theses,” on a separate sheet of paper which no longer exists. He deposited each report in the Library. Library staff maintained a card index file for the collection which no longer exists.


4.6 Linear Feet (11 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials


Southeastern Massachusetts University student papers
Jennifer Walsh and Judy Farrar
June 1998
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
First edition 1998

Repository Details

Part of the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Repository

285 Old Westport Rd.
N. Dartmouth MA 02747 USA