Special Collections of the ODU Libraries

Thomas Blossom Papers, 1925-1977, undated | Special Collections and University Archives

By Special Collections Staff

Collection Overview

Title: Thomas Blossom Papers, 1925-1977, 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, 1925-1965],
[Series II: Professional, 1935-1975, undated],

Series II: Professional, 1935-1975, undated
Box 1
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 Old Dominion College, 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, undated
Folder 6: Course Material: History 302, undated
Folder 7: Course Material: History 371/372, undated
Folder 8: Course Material: History 376, undated
Folder 9: Course Material: History 439, undated
Folder 10: Course Material: History 493/494
Folder 11: History Department Faculty Minutes, 1973 January 11
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: Correspondence, 1975
Folder 17: PACE--Birdfarm News--USS Kennedy, 1975
Folder 18: PACE--Collision Material.Kennedy--Belknap, Fall 1975, 1975
Folder 19: PACE. Correspondence. USS Kennedy, Fall 1975
Folder 20: PACE--Casa Materna, Naples, Italy, Summer 1977, 1977
Folder 21: Paper: Latin Americans in Norfolk and Norfolk Ties with Latin America, undated
Oversize Box 3
Item 1: Framed Bachelor of Arts Diploma, Amherst College, 1934
Item 2: Do Dull, Dry, Dreary History Textbooks Turn You Off?, Posters Advertising History 396, undated

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Personal, 1925-1965],
[Series II: Professional, 1935-1975, undated],

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