Old Dominion University Libraries

Special Collections & University Archives

Events & Exhibits

Search Special Collections


Monday - Friday:
9 am - 4:30 pm

Other times by appointment


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

Contact Information

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


The Papers of Willard Chabot Frank Jr.


Historical Sketch

Willard Chabot Frank Jr. is an emeritus professor of History at Old Dominion University (formerly known as Old Dominion College).  He began teaching in 1963 and although he retired in 2004, he still continues to teach classes each semester.  Early in his career, he taught at the United States Naval College as an adjunct professor.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Brown University in 1957, his Master’s Degree from the College of William and Mary in 1962, and his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 1968.  Frank has been a member of the Unitarian Church of Norfolk since 1958, and has researched and written about the church’s history.  Frank supports local organizations, such as WHRO and the Young Audiences of Virginia, which is an organization that encourages retaining the arts in education.  Frank participated in a grass roots opposition to the proposed marriage amendment in 2006 by going door-to-door and discussing the issue with Norfolk. 

Frank’s political interests including anti-Vietnam War movements and campus concerns, such as faculty pay and student rights.  He was the advisor of the Emerson Forum from 1963 until the 1973-1974 school year.  The Emerson Forum was classified as a religious organization on campus because of its association with the Norfolk Utilitarian Church.  This forum was responsible for discussion and awareness of political issues.  He has been a member of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), an organization that promotes the advancement of academic freedom, professional values and standards of higher education.  Frank was a key figure in the “Academic Freedom” movement on the campus in 1967, in which college authorities banned the publication of literature from the Student Democratic Society chapter at Old Dominion College.  Frank, along with other faculty members, wrote letters to the president of the college in the students’ defense, citing college policies and regulations that allowed this type of activity.  Old Dominion College rescinded its policy after the American Civil Liberties Union became involved in the matter.  Frank was involved in the “Time Out” program, which allotted one day per semester for members of the academic community to share their concerns and discuss popular issues.

Scope and Contents

The papers of Willard Chabot Frank Jr. date from 1963 to 1976.  These papers pertain to Frank’s interests in politics and include newspapers, newsletters, pamphlets on current issues, memos, letters, permission forms for speakers, professional essays, application for recognition of the Emerson Forum, and meeting minutes. Further information about student activism can be found in RG 37 - Student Organizations.

Organization of the Collection

The collection is organized alphabetically by programs or movements and then by date.

Series Descriptions

Series I. Political Activism:  This series includes letters, announcements, fliers, and memos pertaining to various organizations of political or faculty significance as well as political movements.  Documents pertaining to the Academic Freedom movement include newsletters published by the Students for a Democratic Society chapter at Old Dominion College, newspaper articles, and correspondence between faculty members, students, and college officials.  Documents in the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) include notes to Willard Chabot Frank Jr. from various faculty members, fliers, reports, newsletters, notices of meetings, pamphlets, and a 1974 membership card.  The Time Out Program documents include a Director’s Summary for the March 5, 1969 session, a schedule for the April 8, 1970 session, and a statement of intent.  Date range: 1966-1976.

Series II. Campus Policies:  This series includes Old Dominion College Policies concerning student organizations.  Also included are documents in regards to the Student Exchange program between Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University in the 1970-1971 school year.  Date range: 1963-1971.


Gift of Willard Chabot Frank Jr., 2008.


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


1 Hollinger Case, 1 Oversize Box

Collection Number

RG 17-5B4

Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], Box [number], Folder [number and title],The Papers of Willard Chabot Frank Jr., Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, Virginia 23529.

Container Listing

Box 1:

Series I. Political Activism.

Folder 1: Academic Freedom Correspondence, 1966-1969.
Folder 2: Academic Freedom Newsletters and Newspapers, 1966-1968.
Folder 3: American Association of University Professors, 1969-1976.
Folder 4: Emerson Forum Correspondence, 1963-1971.
Folder 5: Emerson Forum Fliers, 1965-1969.
Folder 6: Emerson Forum Posters, 1963-1967.
Folder 7: Time Out Program, 1969-1970.
Folder 8: Vietnam War/Anti-Draft/Conscientious Objector, 1967-1969.

Series II. Campus Policies.

Folder 9: Old Dominion College Policies, 1963-1969.
Folder 10: Student Exchange Program with Norfolk State University, 1970-1971.

Box 2:

Newspapers and newsletters, 1967-1971.


Revised 12/09/09