Lois Borland Collection 1 Series 1-10 Finding Aid
Finding Aid Prepared By Harley Tripp August 2005
Lois Borland Collection
Lois Borland (1877-1967) came to the Colorado State Normal School, Gunnison, Colorado in 1914 as the school’s first English professor. She retired in 1942 from Western State College of Colorado after a long career that included many interests. In addition to literature, she developed an interest in local history and was probably the first person in the area to appreciate the value of saving and preserving historical documents. She also was involved in dramatic productions at the college.
Lois Bertha Borland, born on October 25, 1877 at Twin Mounds, Kansas, was one of “Colorado’s most illustrious and renowned women educators.” She attended public schools in Topeka, Kansas and received her B.A. at the University of Kansas in 1906.
Borland taught high school English from 1906 to 1908 in Norton, Kansas and was an instructor at the Preparatory School and Institute of Technology in Tonkawa, Oklahoma from 1908 to 1914.
After attending Harvard for a year she earned her M. A. from the University of Chicago in 1913. She held a teaching fellowship in journalism at the University of Wisconsin in 1920-21 and was a Shakespearean scholar in England during the winter of 1922-23. Borland completed her Ph. D. at the University of Chicago in 1929 and held a research fellowship at Yale in 1934-35.
Borland joined Western State College, then Colorado State Normal School, in Gunnison, Colorado as its sole English instructor in 1914 and was the chair of the Languages and Literature Department at Western State College from 1914 to 1920, and again from 1924 to her retirement in 1942.
Borland’s long tenure at Western State left a distinct tradition on the campus. She was instrumental in starting the student newspaper, Top O’ the World and improving the college yearbook, The Curecanti. She founded the Press Club and coached the debate team. She started a creative writing course and founded the Writer’s Workshop and the One Act Play Contest. By the time she retired, Borland had directed or produced over three hundred plays on the campus.
Borland’s home in Gunnison, at the southeast corner of Colorado and Gothic Streets, was a Mecca for students, faculty members, and local residents. “Her desk was always piled high with books, papers, journals, and other materials which she was using in her never-ending search for information and knowledge.”
Following her retirement from Western State in 1942, Borland worked as a journalist for the Gunnison News-Champion for eight years. In this capacity she wrote numerous historic sketches of the Gunnison country. During that time she also wrote several articles that were published in the Colorado Magazine.
Borland had a long-term interest in history. She was the faculty advisor for “Sketches of Early Gunnison,” prepared by the Colorado State Normal School at Gunnison Class of 1916. She was also a thesis advisor for numerous Master Degree thesis including Alice Starbuck Spenser’s theses, Newspapers in Gunnison County, 1879-1900, written in 1930. In the early 1950s she started writing a biography of Captain John Gunnison, which has since been lost. Borland’s notes on Captain Gunnison are found in folder 29. Borland also corresponded with many of the early Gunnison settlers.
In 1967 Western State College founded the Lois Borland Plaque for outstanding service to the college. The award was based on quality scholarship, enthusiasm, high moral character, and notable contribution to the reputation of the school.
Borland died in Denver on November 9, 1967 and was buried in the family plot in Carbondale, Kansas.
The majority of the information used in the biographical sketch is from Lois Borland’s obituary published in the Gunnison News-Champion on November 13, 1967.
|1877||Born in Twin Mounds, Kansas|
|1906||Received her B. A. from the University of Kansas|
|1906-07||Taught English in the Norton, Kansas High School|
|1907-1913||Instructor at the University Preparatory School and Institute of Technology in Tonkawa, Oklahoma|
|1913||Received her M.A. from the University of Chicago|
|1914||Became the sole English instructor at the Colorado State Normal School at Gunnison|
|Oct.1917-Aug 1918||Y.W.C.A. Entertainer in France|
|1920-21||Held a teaching fellow at the University of Wisconsin|
|1922-23||Was a Shakespearian scholar in England|
|1929||Completed her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago|
|1934-35||Held a Research fellowship at Yale|
|1942||Retired from Western State College|
|1943-1951||Journalist for the Gunnison News-Champion|
|1967||Died in Denver|
This collection consists of 10 series.
Series 1 – Gunnison History, 1853-1957;2 records storage boxes, 1 flat box (2.5 lin. ft.) Newspaper clippings, handwritten notes, and correspondence pertaining the Gunnison area. Finding aid available (http://www.western.edu/academics/library/archives-special-collections/borland-collection/lois-borland-collection-gunnison-history-series-1853-2013-1967).
Series 2 – Aberdeen Quarry Records, 1891-1947; 2 document cases (.75 lin. ft.) Mostly union records the strike that occurred on June 1, 1891; newspaper clipping and journal articles. Finding aid available at (http://www.western.edu/academics/library/archives-special-collections/borland-collection/lois-borland-collection-aberdeen-quarry-records.html).
Series 3 – Gunnison National Forest Records, 1904-ca. 1960’s; 1 records storage box, 1 document case, 3 card boxes, 21 atlases/ledgers (6.5 lin. ft.) Many of the records focus on the responsibilities and workings of the Forest Service including correspondence and reports on grazing, timber, mining, tourism, Indians, fire and history. Many of these reports and correspondence are written by William Kreutzer. Other items contained in this series include pictures, maps and pamphlets, records of timber sales, and maps. Finding aid available (http://www.western.edu/academics/library/archives-special-collections/borland-collection/lois-borland-collection-gunnison-national-forest.html).
Series 4 – Miscellaneous (unprocessed) ; 1 document case (.5 lin. ft.) Includes: Gunnison County Sheriff’s Ledger, 1909, YMCA correspondence and ledger, State Teachers Association documentation, 1893 issue of the Colorado Magazine.
Series 5 – American Legion Records, 1921-1962; 2 records storage boxes, 2 document cases, 1 flat box (3.5 lin. ft.) Records pertaining to the American Legion Post number 54, Gunnison, Colorado, including minutes, an official membership listing, newsletters, correspondence, financial records, and other material. Finding aid available (http://www.western.edu/academics/library/archives-special-collections/borland-collection/lois-borland-collection-american-legion-records.html).
Series 6 – Western State College One Act Plays, 1927-1943; 1 records storage box (1.5 lin. ft.) Over 170 scripts and nine costume sketches associated with Borland’s “One-Act Plays” Festival at Western State College. Finding aid available (http://www.western.edu/academics/library/archives-special-collections/borland-collection/lois-borland-collection-western-state-college-one.html).
Series 7 – Western State College Records; 1 document case, 2 flat boxes (1.5 lin. ft.) Records from Lois Borland’s employment at Western State College, including correspondence pertaining to the Speech and Drama program and college student organizations, and a scrapbook with clippings about drama productions. Finding aid available (http://www.western.edu/academics/library/archives-special-collections/borland-collection/lois-borland-collection-western-state-college.html).
Series 8 – Gunnison School District Records (unprocessed); 1 document case (.25 lin. ft.)
Series 9 – Scrapbooks (partially processed); 1 records storage box, 1 flat box (2 lin. ft.) Two scrapbooks have been processed (1929-1961). These include newspaper clippings about prominent residents and events. Finding aid available for these two scrapbooks (http://www.western.edu/academics/library/archives-special-collections/borland-collection/lois-borland-collection-scrapbooks-1912-1961.html). Series also includes three scrapbooks (1912-1918) with newsletter clippings and other materials pertaining to the Colorado State Normal School and one scrapbook (1929-1930) from the Sigma Chapter of Delta Sigma Epsilon containing photographs, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia.
Series 10 – Personal Papers, 1885-1957; 1 records storage box, 1 card box (2.5 lin. ft.) Correspondence, including letters to and from Mrs. Robert Frost, authors, and local and state official; mementos, including post cards from around the world; writings; and financial records. Finding aid available (http://webteam.western.edu/academics/library/archives-special-collections/borland-collection/lois-borland-collection-personal-papers-1885-1957.html).