USC Libraries

University of Southern California

skip navigation

Archives at USC

« back to Archives at USC Search

Finding Aid to the Merritt Thompson Papers, 1896-1970

Finding aid prepared by Kyle Morgan, (c) 2013

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Summary Information

Repository
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Creator - Creator
Thompson, Merritt Moore
Title
Merritt Thompson papers
Collection no.
Coll2013.039
Date [inclusive]
1896-1970
Extent
2.3 linear feet., 3 archive cartons + 1 flat box
Language
English
Abstract
The Merritt Thompson papers, 1896-1970, consists of Thompson's professional and family correspondence, manuscripts and articles he wrote and collected on the topic of education, course materials used in his education classes, translated Inca stories, photographs of his professional and personal life, and documentation of his travels. Thompson was an education professor at the University of Southern California as well as a founding member of ONE Institute of Homophile Studies, the first academic institution in the United States devoted to the study of homosexuality.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder #, or item name] Merritt Thompson Papers, Coll2013-039, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

Return to Table of Contents »


Biography

Merritt Moore Thompson (1884-1970) was a lifelong educator and gay education activist. Thompson was born and raised in New Jersey. He started teaching in a local one-room country schoolhouse, then went abroad to teach in the Philippines in 1905. He returned to the United States two years later and got a bachelor's degree at the University of Denver. After a time teaching in South America, he moved to California where he taught Spanish at the University of Southern California. He got his masters and doctorate in education at the University of Southern California and became the university's director of student teaching for 31 years. Thompson's writings include The History of Education published in 1951.

Thompson was one of four members of ONE Incorporated's Education Planning Committee that developed a curriculum for an academic institution devoted to the specialized study of homosexuality. The resulting ONE Institute of Homophile Studies opened its doors in 1956 to ONE Incorporated staff members and then the next year to the general public, becoming the first institution in the United States to offer such studies.

Return to Table of Contents »


Scope and Contents

The Merritt Thompson papers, 1896-1970, consists of Thompson's professional and family correspondence, manuscripts and articles he wrote and collected on the topic of education, course materials used in his education classes, translated Inca stories, photographs of his professional and personal life, and documentation of his travels. The bulk of the collection documents his career as an educator and provides limited information regarding his life as a gay man.

Return to Table of Contents »


Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
(c) 2013
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, 90007
(213) 821-2771
askone@usc.edu

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition

Date and method of acquisition unknown.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Kyle Morgan, 2013.

Return to Table of Contents »


Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

For documentation of Thompson's gay education activism, please see:

ONE Incorporated records, Coll2011.001, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

Jim Kepner papers, Coll2011-002, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

ONE audiovisual collection, ARR0153, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

Return to Table of Contents »


Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Correspondence
  • Education--Study and teaching
  • Gay men's writings, American

Occupation(s)

  • Educator

Subject(s)

  • Gays in higher education

Return to Table of Contents »


Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Merritt Thompson papers 1896-1970 

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in alphabetical order.

Box Folder

 Address labels undated 

4 4

 American Humanist Association papers 1957-1961 

1 1

 Bibliographies in education, compiled by Thompson undated 

1 2

 Correspondence, family 1905-1914   [3 folders]

1 3-5

 Correspondence, professional 1940-1967 

1 6

 Course material 1934-1948   [4 folders]

Scope and Contents note

Materials for four courses: Facism and Democracy as Social Theories, Philosophy and its Implications for Education, Philosophy of Education, and Values in Education.

1 7-10

 Inca stories, translations circa 1967 

1 11

 Inca stories, correspondence 1967-1968 

2 1
Item

 Interviews with Thompson 1969   [2 open-reel audiotapes]

Separated Materials note

Separated to the ONE audiovisual collection.

ARR0233-ARR0234
Box Folder

 Newspaper clippings 1941-1959 

2 2

 Personal papers 1950-1970, undated 

2 3

 Photograph of Thompson, mounted undated 

4 1

 Photographs 1946-1953, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Black-and-white photographs (17 negatives, 5 photographic prints, and 3 negative strips) of Merritt Thompson, unidentified people, and unidentified locations.

2 4

 Ranch records 1938-1950 

Scope and Contents note

Records of a ranch deeded to Thompson in 1938.

2 5

 Research, articles 1939-1968   [4 folders]

2 6-9

 School and early teaching records 1896-1930 

3 1

 Schematics and architectural drawings, with notes 1940, undated 

4 3

 Student work and correspondence 1906-1907 

4 2

 Syllabi, examinations, and handouts 1932-1949, undated 

3 2

 Teaching reference material 1931-1938 

3 3

 Travel itineraries and narratives written by Thompson 1906-1907 

3 4

 Writings by Thompson, manuscripts and published papers 1936-1965, undated   [4 folders]

Scope and Contents note

Includes unidentified manuscripts that cannot definitively be attributed to Thompson.

3 5-8

Return to Table of Contents »