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Herbert F. Janick Jr. Papers

Identifier: MS 012

Scope and Content Note

The Herbert F. Janick, Jr. Papers (HFJ) comprise approximately 9 linear feet arranged into three series. The collection spans the years 1889-2003 and consists mainly of HFJ's research for his book on the centennial history of Western Connecticut State University.

Series 1 consists of documentation of Janick's history related endeavors and projects not including his research papers and essays.

Janick accumulated materials and audio recordings related to his book, A People's University which is an historical narrative of the WCSU's history. Additional WCSU Archives collections with information on WCSU's history include: Truman Warner Collection, Geddes Collection, Jack V. Friel University History Collection, James Furman Collection, June Goodman Collection, Ruth A. Haas Papers, and Ralph C. Jenkins Papers. Other college histories that are included here are: Charlotte Isham's History of Western Connecticut State College (ca 1978), May A. Green's Danbury Teachers College; A Brief History (ca 1950); and, Jack V. Friel's research notes, which contain alphabetical and numerical lists of his oral history interviews, background history of the school, and a proposed outline of his research paper. Friel's annotated summaries of his interviews are filed within the appropriate presidential term. His oral history tapes are located in the Jack V. Friel University History Collection in the Ruth A. Haas Library, Archives & Special Collections Department. Faculty folders under Haas, Bersi, and Feldman contain obituaries and summaries of interviews with the following members of the faculty: Helen (McGlynn) Cuming (class of 1926), Elizabeth McNamara (class of 1928), Ralph Brabanti (class of 1941), Rabbi Jerome Malino; Mary Brennan Musnicki and Elsie Laurincella Rader (class of 1939); Mort Johnson (class of 1942); Trudy Braun; and, Helen Tucker (class of 1929); Jack Friel (2000); Truman A. Warner, and Gertrude M. Murphy (Friel interview 1976).

The first president of Danbury Normal School was John R. Perkins (1903-1923). The personal files contain biographical information, research notes, clippings, and news coverage of Perkins' death. Folder 17 contains correspondence with John C. Perkins (grandson of JRP), Town History Papers of the Monday Club of Washington, Conn. Reminiscences of Dr. Orlando Brown Written by His Wife Martha Pomeroy Whittlesey In the Eighty-Third Year of Her Age and The "New" Danbury Normal School circa 1903 by Margaret Perkins (Mrs. Mortimer H. Camp), daughter of John R. Perkins.

Of special interest are profiles of students who entered DNS between 1904 and 1906, excerpts from admission forms (1907-1912), and copies of letters of inquiry from prospective students (box 1, folder 24). Also included are reminiscences by Janine K. (Brentari) Brennan (class of 1984), and A Tree Grows in Danbury; and, Memories and Vagaries, Wanderings and Meanderings, Kindergarten, 1916-1917, in the Old Main by Dr. William P. Georgen (class of 1917).

The second president of DNS was Lothrop Higgins (1923-1935). The personal file contains several obituaries, a questionnaire from Brown University, his alma mater, and annotated summaries of two interviews by Jack Friel with Minnie Benham (Mrs. Llewellyn Warner) DNS graduate 1911, and Jennie Warner (Mrs. Frank Stone) DNS graduate 1917 and cousin to Truman Warner.

The Student Life files (box 1, folders 34-35) contain research notes, obituaries, reunions, and minutes of meetings of the Student Cooperative Government Association between 1926 and 1930. Summaries of interviews by HFJ include Mary Creagh (class of 1927), Ann Girlometti (class of 1928), Helen Budd Mason (class of 1923), Helen McGlynn Cuming (class of 1926), and a transcript of Gertrude Murphy's (class of 1912) reminisces of DNS.

Two booklets prepared for the Golden Circle Luncheons of October 16, 1998, and October 8, 1999, contain alphabetical lists of alumnae and their personal and career highlights since graduation. Mary Creagh donated two photographs of students on a field trip (site unknown, ca. 1926-1927) which are located in box one, folder 34.

Ralph C. Jenkins was the school's third president (1935 to 1946). The personal files contain biographical information, clippings, his opening remarks at the beginning of the college year, September 7, 1943, and a portion of his manuscript Henry Barnard-Progressive Educator of Teachers. A reprint of his manuscript from The Educational Forum, November 1939, is also included. See also Ralph C. Jenkins Collection.

Janick's interviews for this period include Mary Breennan Musnicki, Elizabeth Laws, Elsie Lauricella Rader, Charlotte Isham, and also Jack Friel's interview with Charlotte Isham in 1976.

Elizabeth (Libby) Laws (nee Minck) was a student at DTC (class of 1942). Folder 51 contains her Plan Book, Mrs. Dobson, Miry Brook clippings, and copies of photographs from yearbooks that includes Miry Brook, Mill Plain, Locust Avenue, and Balmforth Avenue Schools. Libby Laws also donated 42 photographs to the archives that depict student life (ca 1938-1942) The images are also filed in folder 51.

Ruth A. Haas was the school's fourth president (1946-1975). The personal files contain newspaper clippings, copies of correspondence, Tribute to a Great Lady by Jim Dyer, and summaries of HFJ's interviews with Joseph Batchelor (brother-in-law to RAH), Doris Salmon (class of 1932); and, Jack Friel's interviews with Ruth A. Haas and Corinne D. O'Connell (1976). See also Ruth A. Haas Collection.

The Interim Program was designed for freshmen and sophomore students to participate in and successfully complete an actual work experience project during one month between semesters in a non-paying position with business, government agency, or non-profit organizations. Summary reports, committee recommendations, and opinion surveys are located in box 2, folders 15-16. See also An Evaluation of a Field Experience Program; The Danbury State Teachers College Interim Program. A Report of a Type C Project by Calvin C. Eland, (box 2, folder 8).

The Monuments of Culture program (box 2, folders 17-18) was a short lived attempt to integrate music, art, science, and humanities courses into a four year, interdisciplinary course sequence that would fulfill the general education requirement for elementary education teachers. The files contain syllabuses for 1958-1959, and an interview with Martha Counts, who designed and taught this program along with Lou Edwards, Jim Timmins, and Fred Lowe during 1958-1959.

The Nature of Man Program (box 2, folder 19) was an interdisciplinary program in Humanistic Studies. This file contains a transcript of an interview with Dr. H. Jonathan Greenwald, founder of the program, by Jack Friel in 1976. For further information regarding these programs, see Record Group 8, Academic Programs.

Student Activism (box 2, folders 33-34) contains A Mild Shout: Anti-War Protest at Western Connecticut State College, 1967-1969 by Colleen Blair, and An Assessment of the Community Needs of Danbury, Connecticut, and Potential Role of Danbury State College In Community Service by David Wilder.

During Haas's tenure, DSC faculty developed three innovative teaching programs: The Interim Program, Monuments of Culture, and the Nature of Man (box 2, folders 15-19). Additional information can be found in Record Group 8, Academic Programs.

The Students files contain Jack Friel's interview with Sheila Shearon (class of 1949), and, Herb HFJ's interviews with Jack Sikora (class of 1965); Harriet Rosenberg (class of 1961); Ben DaSilva (class of 1954); Joe Lehney (class of 1953); Edyce (Dashiff) Hornig (class of 1948); and Harriet Blum (class of 1953).

Robert M. Bersi was the school's fifth president (1975-1981). The Faculty files include interviews with Dr. Ruth Kohl, Mrs. Pfender, Dr. M. Kathleen McGrory, Leslie L. LaFond, Harold R. Burke, Dr. Donald Groff, Dr. Mervin W. Whitcomb, William G. McKee, Dr. Alice I. Donnelly, Dr. F. Burton Cook, Chester E. Floyd, Dr. William J. Esposito, Neil E. Wagner, Ed Rosenberg and Clair and Al Geddes. A biography of James Furman by Howard Tuvelle and newspaper clippings focusing on Furman's musical career are also included. A summary of HFJ's interviews with Bill Devlin (class of 1976), Ray Lubus (class of 1980), and Joyce Luongo Flanagan (class of 1978) are located in Students (box 1, folder 58).

Origins of the Westside Campus can be found in box 2, folders 62-66. Information includes a thesis entitled Land Use History of the Westside Nature Preserve, Senior Research by Margaret Jackson, May 17, 2000; Expansion Proposal for Western Connecticut State College, 1968-1975; and Why Build It Now, WCSC (ca 1975). Also included are notes from a taped interview with John Deegan (1976), correspondence and interview with Arnold Hansen, Office of Institutional Planning, and architect John M. Johansen. See also box 2, folder 48, Board of Trustees (1965-1980).

Stephen Feldman was the sixth president of the school (1982-1992). Information regarding his tenure and leadership of the school, and controversies surrounding it, are contained in clippings, correspondence, and faculty interviews with Ray Baubles, Paul Hines, Howard Russock, Harry Schramm, Phil Steinkrauss, Jim Wohlever, Vijay Nair, Connie Wilds, Jack Leopold, J. Bannister, N. Jahlbert, Trudy Braun, Jim Pegolotti, Jean Main, and Neil Wagner. Copies of the underground newspapers WasteCann, Jim Crow Times, The White Street Journal, focused on faculty and student unrest during this time period. Researchers should also see the Truman Warner Collection and the University Archives for additional information.

James R. Roach is the Seventh President (1992-2004). The personal files contain clippings, an interview by JFH, and several reports related to enrollment and student characteristics, race and affirmative action issues, marketing plans, surveys, and accreditation. The clippings focus mainly on sports, faculty, administration, donors, and new construction on the campus.

In the projects series, there is information on the Center for Urban Studies, which was organized in 1981 with a coalition of Western Connecticut State University faculty from many disciplines and civic leaders from the ten town greater Danbury region. The organization was to foster greater cooperation between the college and the community, particularly in dealing with problems related to regional growth. The Center also allowed faculty to contribute to the community by offering their expertise in connection with the program.

Additionally, there is information on Project Acorn: The Greening of WestConn was conceived by the all-volunteer Center for Urban Studies and supported by the college administration, Alumni Association, and the midtown dorm council. The project called for planting shade trees, evergreens, flowering trees and flower, and installing brick patios, flagstone paths, outside seating arrangements, additional stairs, pathways and ramps around the Ruth A. Haas Library.

The correspondence in Series 1 documents Janick's tenure as Chairman of the History Department. These files contain information relating to faculty and department meetings, curriculum issues, course outlines, and student concerns. The History Department's Clio, a student publication, was designed to include articles on all areas and aspects of history. Students, including alumnae and faculty, were encouraged to contribute to the magazine. HFJ was advisor to Clio from its inception in 1973 until 1998. A complete set of Clio is filed separately under Student Publications.

The Research and Papers series includes materials relating to Janick's Introduction to Historical Research class. Students were assigned oral history projects that resulted in the following: 15 interviews with residents of Danbury who experienced the flood of 1955; 65 interviews with WCSU faculty and staff regarding the school's history; one WW II interview; and, one focused on the hatting industry in Danbury.

The Publication correspondence series is comprised of Janick's personal files relating to the publication of his research essays and papers. Typescripts (with some notes) of those essays and papers can be found in the Research and Papers series.


  • Creation: 1889-2002


Access Restrictions

Open for research without restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the:
Ruth A. Haas Library
Archives and Special Collections
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone: 203-837-8992

Historical/Biographical Note

For 29 years, Dr. Herb Janick (1929-2018) taught history at WestConn. He retired in 1998 but continued to teach courses at WestConn in urban history and American architecture until 2008. Janick specialized in urban and labor history and mostly focussed on how those larger issues played out in Connecticut and in Danbury in particular. Janick was instrumental in the creation of an Archive at WCSU and is responsible for the many of its holdings. Janick is the author of many articles and two books; his first book published in 2003 was WestConn's centennial history, A People's University: The Centennial History of Western Connecticut State University; his second book, cowritten with a former student, Bill Devlin, published in 2013 was Danbury's Third Century, which is a history of Danbury that picks up where James Bailey's history leaves off.


16 Linear Feet (, 14 boxes, and 1 OS Folder)

Language of Materials



The Herbert F. Janick Papers span the years 1889-2003 and consist mainly of Janick’s historical research (focused on CT and Danbury) for his many articles and in particular for his book on the history of Western Connecticut State University. The collection includes many oral history interviews conducted by Janick and many conducted by his students.


Organized in chronological and alphabetical order.

The files are grouped into 3 series.


Donated by Herb Janick.

Related Material

Geddes Collection.

Jack V. Friel University History Collection.

James Furman Collection.

June Goodman Collection.

Ruth A. Haas Papers.

Ralph C. Jenkins Papers.

Truman A. Warner Collection.

Guide to the Herbert F. Janick Jr. Papers
Unverified Full Draft
Mary Rieke
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from Herbert F. Janick 2R.doc

Repository Details

Part of the Western Connecticut State University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Haas Library
181 White St
Danbury 06810 USA US
203.837.8322 (Fax)