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UMC Journalism students at work, ca. 1911
UMC Journalism students at work, (ca. 1911)
University Archives (C:11/13/1)

Record Group: 6 C
Record Sub-Group: 8
Records Title: UMC; College of Arts and Science; Department of English; Contests and Prize-Winner Records
Dates: 1905-1953
Volume: 3 and 2/3 cubic feet, 4.6 linear feet

Scope and Content Note

This Record Sub-Group contains files pertaining to literary contests and prizes offered at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Although the majority of these contests and prizes were offered under the auspices of the Department of English, this Sub-Group also includes materials relating to literary competitions sponsored by University of Missouri organizations.

Among prizes and contests included are the Field Prize, the Dickey Prize, the Sigma Upsilon Prize, the Stephens Medal Contest (extemporary speaking), the University Debate Prize, the Missouri Valley Contest, the Peace Oratorical Contest, the McAnally Medal Contest, the Bradley Dramatic Contest, and the Dramatic Arts Club One-Act Play Contest.

The bulk of records in this Sub-Group, however, pertain to the Mahan Prizes established by George A. Mahan in 1930, including High School Essay, Freshman Essay, University Essay, Short Story, and Poetry. Among these records are original winning manuscripts and judges' comments, news clippings, histories of various contests and prizes, correspondence, posters, play bills, and published collections of poetry.

Contest entries include student efforts by later literary figures such as Mary Paxton Keeley, Harold Vincent Boyle, Katherine Foster Smith (Mrs. John Dos Passos), Clarissa Start (Davidson), Charles G. Ross, Thomas Lanier (Tennessee) Williams, George C. Scott, Dorothy Belle Flanagan, and Martha Cheavens.
Note to Researcher: This Sub-Group also contains an oversize folder of play posters and contest announcement posters, ca. 1923-1953. The entire Sub-Group has been microfilmed for preservation reasons. The researcher is encouraged to use the microfilm unless there is a need to consult materials in their original paper form.

Historical Note:

Series Descriptions:

This Sub-Group is not divided into separate record series. Arrangement is by the original, topical order.


Box 1

FF 1 - Contests General Correspondence, 1929-1952 (includes annual reports, announcements, prize winners, etc. for all contests)

FF 2 - Contest Entry Listings, 1937-1942 (lists by contest; pseudonyms, names, titles of pieces)

FF 3 - Poetry Prizes, History, 1905-1925 (Field Prize, Dickey Prize, Sigma Upsilon Prize)

FF 4 - Extemporary Speaking, 1932-1934 (took place of Mahan Debate)

FF 5 - Prentis Prize Essay Contest, 1945 (announcement only)

FF 6 - Stephens Medal Contest, 1930-1936 (oratory - public speaking contest; established in 1867 by James S. Stephen gift of $500)

FF 7 - University Debate Prize, Missouri Valley Contest, Peace Oratorical Contest, 1930-1932

FF 8 - FF 24 - McAnally Medal Contest, 1929-1952 (the oldest literary prize at MU; awarded annually. Prize for best essay, both semesters; selected from regular assignments by teacher in charge of course. Originally open to seniors only, but in 1929 opened to all students of MU in English courses numbered over 100 and under 200)

FF 25 - Nelson C. Field Prize, 1905-1916 (poetry contest; discontinued 1916)

FF 26 - Walter S. Dickey Poetry Contest, 1916-1918

FF 27 - FF 28 - Sigma Upsilon Verse, 1905-1923 (collected poetry written by MU students and edited by Florien Gass, includes a published booklet and related correspondence, also includes prize winners and other entries from all MU poetry contests)

FF 29 - FF 32 - Sigma Upsilon Poetry Prize, 1922-1923, 1925, 1934

FF 33 - Sigma Upsilon Short Story Contest, 1924 (correspondence re winners)

FF 34 - Poems by Missouri Students, Ellis Booklets of Student Creative Writing, Booklet No. 1; edited by Robert L. Ramsay, 1935 (published, Mahan Poetry Contest winners, 1930-1935; also includes brief history)

FF 35 - FF 49 - Mahan Poetry Contest, 1930-1952 (all Mahan contests established in 1930 by gift of George A. Mahan in memory of his wife Ida D. Mahan)

Box 2

FF 50 - Mahan Debate Prize, 1931-1932

FF 51 - FF 61 - Mahan High School Essay Contest, 1930-1938, 1940-1941, 1948-1949 (open to all high school students in Missouri; students came to MU to write essays during a timed contest)

FF 62 - FF 71 - Mahan Freshman Essay Contest, 1930-1939 (Note: also called Mahan Freshman Essay Prize. Name seems to have changed to Mahan Freshman Prose Prize in 1939. Open to all students enrolled in freshmen courses in composition and rhetoric at MU; entries selected by instructor of best paper written as a regular class assignment for each semester)

FF 72 - FF 84 - Mahan Freshman Prose Prize, 1939-1952 (as above, name changed)

FF 85 - FF 98 - Mahan University Essay Contest, 1930-1946 (open to all MU Students)

Box 3

FF 99 - FF 101 - Mahan University Essay Contest (cont'd), 1947-1951

FF 102 - FF 122 - Mahan Story Prize, 1930-1937, 1939, 1941, 1943-1944, 1946-1947, 1949-1952 (open to all MU students)

FF 123 - University Short Story Contest, 1929-1930

Box 4

FF 124 - FF 126 - Bradley Dramatic Contest, 1936-1938 (established in 1936 in memory of William Bradley, Jr. by his parents. One-act play contest open to MU, Stephens College and Christian College (Columbia College) students)

FF 127 - Dramatic Prizes, Listing, 1923-1932

FF 128 - FF 135 - Dramatic Arts Club One-Act Play Contest, 1923-1930

Box 5

FF 136 - FF 141 - Dramatic Prize, 1931-1935, 1940, 1945-1951 (name changed from Dramatic Arts Club One-Act Play Contest in 1931. Marks first year in which Missouri Workshop and Dramatic Arts Club cooperated in full production of selected contest plays)

FF 142 - Manuscripts of Unknown Date or Author (poetry, essays, play)

Non-University of Missouri Contests

FF 143 - Missouri Intercollegiate Folk Play Writing Contest, 1933-1935 (State Teachers College, Cape Girardeau, MO)

Restrictions Note: The Archives of the University of Missouri-Columbia is required by law and Board of Curator's policy to restrict access to some files and information. Student records are held as confidential under the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and by University policy. Faculty promotion and tenure records and Academic Personnel files are restricted for 75 years, or the lifetime of the individual. All grievance, disciplinary, and medical records are treated as confidential files. Consultations with legal counsel, both in-house and external, are protected by the attorney/client privilege and will not be released.

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Originally Prepared: June 2000
Revised: 19 January 2007

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