Prepared by Barbara Bass, May 6, 1997
3 document cases, 1 cubic foot, 11th floor
James Tamplin Laing was born in Montgomery, West Virginia on August 26,
1899, the son of James McAlpin and Annie (Tamplin) Laing. He received the B.A.
degree from West Virginia Univeristy in 1924, and went on to Graduate School at
Ohio State University, receiving his M.A. in 1929 and Ph.D. in 1933.
He married Clair Lenila Thomas on August 2, 1927. They had one son, James
Laing taught at Dunbar High School in West Virginia in 1924-25, in
Charleston, West Virginia in 1926-28. From 1929 to 1933 he was Assistant
Instructor at Ohio State University. After receiving his Doctorate, Lain was
appointed Professor of Sociology at Holbrook College for the academic year
1933/34. He was Associate Professor at West Virginia Institute of Technology
(1934-35) before joining the Sociology Department of Kent State University in
1935. He remained at Kent State University until his retirement in 1969,
serving as Head of the Department of Sociology from 1937-1959, and as Chairman
of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology from 1959-1967. He resigned the
chairmanship of the department in 1967, but served as professor until 1969, when
he was appointed Professor Emeritus.
Active in the community, Dr. Laing served as president of the Kent Welfare
Board from 1944-46. He was a member of the American Sociological Society and
member and past president of the Ohio Valley Sociological Society. He also held
memberships in the American Association of Univeristy Professors, Alpha Kappa
Delta, Pi Gamma Mu, Phi Sigma Kappa, the Methodist Church, and Rotary Club (past
president). He was an active member of long standing in the Wranglers Club of
Kent State University.
Scope and Content
The boxes of material, as accessioned, were in no apparent sequence of
chronology, type, or subject, with the exception of a group of students papers
from Ohio State University, which were fastened together in a binder; teaching
materials on criminology were in a file; and three groups of clippings: one on
blacks in American society, a second on West Virginia, and a third on the firing
of Herbert Miller, Professor of Sociology, from Ohio State University in 1931.
All other materials have been grouped by the processor into what seemed the most
logical and usable.
The general overall arrangement progresses from early scholarly research
(including Dissertation) to teaching materials; departmental-adminstrative
responsibilities; correspondence; materials relating to organizations and clubs;
addresses and speeches; other writings, the nature of which could not be readily
discerned; personal materials; photographs; two small groups of materials which
stood alone with little relation to other groups; clippings, arranged by
subject, interfiled with other types of materials relating to these subjects;
and a regrettably large group of "miscellaneous" materials. Within
each folder, an attempt has been made to organize individual documents
chronologically or by alphabet, if such order could be reasonably applied
These material may be of use to any user interested in the history of the
field of sociology, or, more specifically, the Department of Sociology and
Anthropology at Kent State University.
Box 1 Folder--Contents
Student Paper - Laing - Sociology 607: "Social Disintegration
Among the Indians," 1928
Student Paper - Laing - History 634 (Dr. Cole): "The Negro in the
Anti-Slavery Crusade," 1930
Student Paper - Laing - Sociology 807 (Dr. Hagerty): "A Personal
Estimate of Cooley, Giddings, Ross, and Small," 1930
Student Paper - Laing - Sociology 811: "Our Changing Civilization: a
Student Paper - Laing - Principles of Education 640 (Dr. Bode and Mr.
Marple) - "Sociology and the Snedden Ideal," 1931
Student Paper - Laing - Sociology 812 (Dr. North): "The Next Ten Years
in British Economic and Social Policy" by G.D.H. Cole: a review, "
Student Paper - Laing - "Robert Hunter: Violence and the Labor
Movement. MacMillan 1914: a review"
Student Paper - Laing -"Boas, Franz, The Mind of Primitive Man.
MacMillan 1911: a review"
Student Paper -Denez Gulyas - Sociology 590 - "Mental Disorders in
Urban Areas, Faris, Robert E.L. and Dunham, Warren H.: a review"
Student Paper - Gulyas - Sociology 590 - "Warner, Lloyd W. and Lunt,
Paul S., The Social Life of a Modern Community: a review"
Student Paper - (no author) - "Ellwood, The Reconstruction of
Religion: a review
Student Paper - (no author) - "Mohammedanism and the American Mind
Abstract of Dissertation, "The Negro Miner in West Virginia:" -
Ohio State University, 1933
Dissertation - parts of drafts - incomplete final draft, including
photographs, tables, maps, data sheets
Article - "The Negro Miner in West Virginia" - final copy, typed
- incomplete portions
Teaching Materials - Sociology 571 - Exams, keys, class lists
Box 2 Folder--Contents
Departmental Administration: Budgets, Faculty appointments, courses,
general memos, 1937/38 - 1966/67 (sporadic): Budgets, Faculty appointments,
Courses, General memos
Departmental Administration: Letter to Department Staff re resignation;
drafts and final - Procedure for selection of new Chairman - Memo confirming
appointment of new Chairman - Departmental memo from new Chairman
Correspondence: Incoming - arranged alphabetically by last name of
Correspondence: Third party - May 15, 1948, June 7, 1963, June 11, 1964
Organizations: Alpha Kappa Delta (National Honorary Sociological
Fraternity) - Application for a Charter at University of Akron, 1967
Organizations: American Association of University Professors - Report from
Semi -Annual Meeting of the Ohio Conference, Fall, 1969
Organizations: American Sociological Association - Certificate of
Membership; membership information; "A Code of Etiquette for Sociologists
nth draft", by Roth (humorous)
Organizations: Methodist Church, First Methodist Church, Kent, Ohio - "Excerpts
from the Community of Celebration by Thomas C. Oden", 1964; Church
Conference, Fourth Quarter, May 11, 1965; Bulletin, Dec. 21, 1969
Addresses, Speeches: p. 3 only of address at unveiling of portrait of Dr.
Other writings: Column re: 'Thinkers', draft, n.d.
Other writings: "On Becoming More Business-Like"
Other writings: "Chapter 5, Questions of Public and Social Policy
Regarding the future Development of Higher Education in Ohio" - notes for
Personal: Diary, 1923 - entered sporadically, Jan. 1-Mar. 25 - handwritten
loose notes on "Why I do not believe in the Devil"
Box 3 Folder--Contents
Personal: "The Laing Bugle", Dec. 1959; v. 13, Dec. 1966;
v.14, Dec. 1967; v. 15, Dec. 1968; v. 16, Dec. 1969
Personal: Postcards, 1964; greeting cards
Personal: Financial - bills, receipts, clippings, letters to Mrs. Laing
from lawyer with advice re: declaration of income, 1949-1969
Personal: Clippings, 1962; Results summary of United Community Services,
Personal: wedding invitation: Dehner-Harler, June 8, 1968
Photograph: Department Heads, 1936
Photograph negative: Laing, n.d.
"Daily Athenaeum": newspaper of West Virginia University,
Fri.-Tues., Oct. 2-6, 1959 - Laing represented Kent State University at the
Installation of Elvis J. Stahr, Jr., as President of W. Va. University
Letter: from S. Cambell to "Brother Ashley" at Yarmouth, Nova
Scotia, Jul. 8, 1831
Clippings: Prof. Herbert Miller, Ohio State University, 1931
Clippings: University department
Clippings: Race - Blacks
Clippings: "Negroes and the War"
Clippings: Race - American Indians
Clippings: Race - Jews
Clippings: West Virginia
Clippings: World War II
"The Dialect of the Appalachian People", Wylene P. Dial; taken
from West Virginia History, vol. 30, no. 2, Jan. 1969
"The Myth of West Virginia's Anti-Intellectualism", by Ruel E.
"West Virginia Hillbilly" - local weekly - Nov. 2, 9, 1968; Mar.
29, Apr. 5, 12, 1969
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