Special Collections of the ODU Libraries

Thomas Blossom Papers, 1925-1976, undated | Special Collections and University Archives

By Special Collections Staff

Collection Overview

Title: Thomas Blossom Papers, 1925-1976, undated

ID: 17/RG 17-5B1

Primary Creator: Blossom, Thomas (1912-1992)

Extent: 2.0 Linear Feet. More info below.

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

Date Acquired: 10/12/1976

Subjects: Old Dominion University--Dept. of History, Old Dominion University--Faculty, United States. Navy--Officers, World War, 1939-1945--Veterans

Languages: English


Longtime career as a teacher. Professor of History at Old Dominion University. Collection relates to his publications, faculty position, classes and students. Of note is material relating to his research of Central and South American history.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

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.

Collection Historical Note

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, Massachusetts. Blossom received his BA from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1934, his M. A. in 1935 from Columbia University in New York and his Ph.D. from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, 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, North Carolina, 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, South Carolina. 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.

Subject/Index Terms

Old Dominion University--Dept. of History
Old Dominion University--Faculty
United States. Navy--Officers
World War, 1939-1945--Veterans

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives

Alternate Extent Statement: 2 Hollinger Documents Cases, 1 oversized box

Access Restrictions: Open to researchers without restrictions.

Use Restrictions: Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Acquisition Source: Dr. Thomas Blossom

Acquisition Method: Gift.  Accession #A76-57

Related Materials: Oral Histories in the Perry Library: Dr. Thomas Blossom

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], Dr. Thomas Blossom Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Personal],
[Series II: Professional],

Series I: Personal
Box 1
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

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Personal],
[Series II: Professional],

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