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Other times by appointment


The Special Collections is located on the east side of the Library at the front of the 3rd floor.

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Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0256
telephone (757) 683-5350
fax (757) 683-5954


The Papers of Dr. Thomas Blossom

Scope and Contents - Series Descriptions - Access - Contents Listing


Thomas Blossom was born on February 15, 1912, to Harold H. and Mary Dawson Blossom in Dedham, Massachusetts. His secondary education was at the Boston Latin School (1926-1929) and at the Beacon School in Wellesley, Mass. Blossom received his BA from Amherst College in Amherst, Mass., in 1934, his M. A. in 1935 from Columbia University in New York and his Ph.D. from Duke University in Durham, N. C., in 1956.

Blossom taught history at the secondary level from 1935 to 1940 when he entered the U.S. Navy for the duration of World War II. Blossom served with the Interior Department at Cherokee, N. c., as Naval Convoy Liaison Officer for the Atlantic and Mediterranean and with the Naval Separation Center interviewing separatees. From 1946 until 1963 Blossom served as a reserve officer with the U.S. Navy.

From 1946 to 1956 Blossom was assistant and then associate professor of history at the Citadel in Charleston, S. C. In 1956 Blossom accepted the position of chairman with the Social Studies department at Southern State College in Magnolia, Arkansas. In 1958 Blossom became assistant professor of Humanities at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Blossom wrote three books: The Americas (1964), Narino (1967), and a biography of Santander. He was a contributor to the 1972 edition of the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia. Blossom also wrote many book reviews and scholarly articles. He was listed in Who's Who Among American Authors and International Who's Who.
Thomas Blossom married the former Mildred Underwood, (1940). They resided in Virginia Beach, Virginia. They had four children: Frances (Mrs. John L. Caughey), Katherine Eleanor, Mary (Mrs. Terry Springle) and Martha (Mrs. James Medeiros). Dr. Blossom died in 1992.

Scope and Contents

Thomas Blossom had an active career as a teacher. His papers reflect this aspect of his life. His papers contain one file on genealogy; otherwise, the papers pertain to his publications, his faculty position, or his classes.

Series Descriptions

The papers are divided into two series: Series I Personal; Series II, Professional. The folders are in chronological order.


Gift of Dr. Thomas Blossom, October 12, 1976
Accession # A76-57


Open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on literary property rights should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.


2 Hollinger Documents Cases, 1 oversized box.

Collection Number

RG 17-5B1

Contents Listing

Box 1

Series 1 - Personal

Folder 1: Genealogical Paper on Maternal Grandfather; Jackson Dawson and his medal. 1925
Folder 2: Military Certificates. 1946-56
Folder 3: Vita: Blossom 1963
Folder 4: Boston Latin School Catalogue and related news clippings. 1965

Series 2 - Professional

Folder 5: M.A. Thesis : Congressional Opposition to the World War. 1935
Folder 6: Paper : “Journey of Alvar Nunez Cabeza….” 1947
Folder 7: Paper: “The South Sea Bubble.” 1949
Folder 8: Script. “Unto These Hills.” 1950
Folder 9: Sermon. “Material Progress is Not Enough.” 1953
Folder 10: Paper.  Antonio Narino. 1953-1958
Folder 11: Antonio Narino, notes and pictures.  1962
Folder 12: University of Florida. 1962-1967
Folder 13: Paper. “Agony and the Ecstasy.”  1963
Folder 14: Paper. “Origin and Development of Pan American Union and the OAS.”  1963

Box 2

Folder 1: Cruise on the USS Carver representing ODC. 1966
Folder 2: Correspondence with HEW concerning International Education Act. 1966
Folder 3: Correspondence with McGraw Hill Encyclopedia Articles.  1969-1971
Folder 4: Correspondence, General. 1970-1975
Folder 5: Course Material: History 101/102
Folder 6: Course Material: History 302
Folder 7: Course Material: History 371/372
Folder 8: Course Material: History 376
Folder 9: Course Material: History 439
Folder 10: Course Material: History 493/494
Folder 11: History Department Faculty Minutes for January 11, 1973.
Folder 12: ODU History Dept. Faculty Info Sheets 1970-1976
Folder 13: Graduate Studies. Elizabeth Blandin; paper and materials. 1972
Folder 14: Radio Talks Material, 1973.
Folder 15: Western Society for the Study of French History. Annual Meeting 1975
Folder 16: Correpsondence. 1975
Folder 17: PACE. Birdfarm News. USS Kennedy 1975
Folder 18: PACE, collision material. Kennedy – Belknap. Fall 1975.
Folder 19: PACE. Correspondence. USS Kennedy. Fall 1975.
Folder 20: PACE. Casa Materna. Naples, Italy. Summer 1977
Folder 21: Paper : Latin Americans in Norfolk and Norfolk ties with Latin America. (undated)

Box 3 (Oversize)

Framed Bachelor of Arts Diploma, Amherst College. 1934
2 Posters – “Do dull, dry, dreary history textbooks turn you off?” Posters advertising History 396, undated.


Revised 1/18/12