A Guide to the O'Shaughnessy Family Papers, 1857-1965 O'Shaughnessy Family Papers Ms1987-052

O'Shaughnessy Family Papers, 1857-1965

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms1987-052


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Special Collections, Virginia Tech

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
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Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
USA
Phone: (540) 231-6308
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Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

©2018 CC BY-NC Virginia Tech.

Processed by: John M. Jackson, Special Collections

Repository
Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Ms1987-052
Title
O'Shaughnessy Family Papers, 1857-1965
Physical Characteristics
3.8 Cubic Feet 8 boxes; 1 oversize folder
Creator
O'Shaughnessy, Louis; O'Shaughnessy, Mary Elizabeth, 1917-
Language
English
Abstract
Papers--including correspondence, schoolwork, diaries, photographs, and printed materials--of Louis O'Shaughnessy, professor of mathematics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI) ; his wife Ida Surface O'Shaughnessy; their daughter, VPI mathematics instructor Betty O'Shaughnessy Bock, a VPI mathematics instructor; and the Surface family, parents and siblings of Ida Surface O'Shaughnessy.

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the O'Shaughnessy Family Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: O'Shaughnessy Family Papers, Ms1987-052, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The O'Shaughnessy Family Papers were donated to Special Collections in two accessions, dated 1987 and 1998.

Processing Information

The processing of the O'Shaughnessy Family Papers commenced in May, 2018 and was completed in August, 2018.


Biographical / Historical

Louis O'Shaughnessy was born in South Solon, Ohio, in 1877. After a year of study at Valparaiso University, O'Shaughnessy matriculated at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and graduated in 1903; the following year, he earned a graduate degree in civil engineering at VPI and taught at the university for two years. O'Shaughnessy obtained a master's degree in mathematics from Ohio State University (1907) and a doctorate degree in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania (1911), where he served on the faculty.

In 1905, O'Shaughnessy married Ida Louise Surface (1885-1973), a native of Montgomery County, Virginia and daughter of Rev. Floyd Daniel and Elizabeth (Betty) Childress Surface. The O'Shaughnessys would have one daughter, Mary Elizabeth (Later known as Betty Louis).

In 1918, O'Shaughnessy returned to VPI as a professor of applied mechanics. He served as acting dean of engineering during the 1927/1928 year; as head of civil engineering for 17 years; and as director of graduate studies from 1936 to 1954. In addition to his teaching and departmental administrative duties, O'Shaughnessy served on the university's athletic council and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi academic honor society, Tau Beta Pi (engineering honor society), Chi Epsilon (civil engineering society), and Omicron Delta Kappa (leadership honor society). Louis O'Shaughnessy retired in 1954 and died on February 17, 1958.

Betty Louis (néeacute;e Mary Elizabeth) O'Shaughnessy was born to parents Louis and Ida Surface O'Shaughnessy in Philadelphia in March, 1917. The following year, she moved with her parents to Blacksburg, Virginia. She graduated early from Blacksburg High School and is listed as a freshman biology major in the 1932-1933 list of VPI students. By her junior year, O'Shaughnessy had switched majors to general science. She graduated with honors from VPI in 1936, and is listed as a graduate student in 1936/1937 but seems not to have completed her graduate studies. In 1942, she joined the VPI faculty as a mathematics instructor, teaching courses in algebra, calculus, trigonometry, and analytic geometry. In December, 1944, she married Arthur E. Bock (1916-1989), who had earned his master's degree in engineering at VPI in 1940. The Bocks moved to Annapolis, where Arthur Bock was employed as an engineering instructor at the U. S. Naval Academy. Betty Louis Bock died in 1989.

Scope and Content

Collection includes grade reports for O'Shaughnessy from a public school in Ohio, cancelled checks signed by G. Thomas Surface (a VPI professor in 1895), fourteen postcards of campus scenes, and an 1894 Maury Literary Society Debate Program.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the papers of Louis O'Shaughnessy, a long-time professor of mathematics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; his wife Ida Surface O'Shaughnessy; their daughter Betty O'Shaughnessy Bock, a VPI mathematics instructor; and the Surface family, parents and siblings of Ida Surface O'Shaughnessy. The collection includes correspondence, schoolwork, diaries, photographs, and printed materials.

Arrangement

The O'Shaughnessy Family Papers are arranged in the following series:

Series I: Louis and Ida Surface O'Shaughnessy Papers, 1886-1965. This collection contains both personal and professional papers of Louis O'Shaughnessy and personal and financial papers of Ida Surface O'Shaughnessy. Included in Louis O'Shaughnessy's papers are a few pieces personal correspondence, written to various family members and relating personal news. Among these are two postcards, both postmarked in 1906: one shows children sledding down a street in Christiansburg, Virginia; the other is an illustrated postcard listing the wins and losses of the VPI football team that year. Also among O'Shaughnessy's personal papers are examples from his years as a student, including schoolwork, graded exams, and grade reports, as well as an account book he maintained while a student at VPI. The notepad provides an account of every expenditure made by O'Shaughnessy during his sophomore, junior, and senior years. The series also includes a file of material on the Coming Men of America, a junior secret society to which O'Shaughnessy belonged. Among the few materials in the series relating to O'Shaughnessy's professional career is a folder of VPI announcements and forms, including--among other items--a 1943 University Club financial statement, a circular letter sent to freshmen regarding the honor system, and a 1932/1933 register of students that includes religious affiliation of each.

For Ida Surface O'Shaughnessy, the series includes cards and letters of congratulations on the birth of the O'Shaughnessy's daughter, as well as other pieces of personal correspondence. The series also contains some of Ida O'Shaughnessy's personal financial documents from the years following her husband's death.

Series II: Betty O'Shaughnessy Bock Papers, 1887-1958. This series contains both personal and professional papers of Betty O'Shaughnessy Bock, who served as an instructor of mathematics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in the 1940s. The series includes a large collection of Bock's letters to her parents. A frequent correspondent, she writes chatty letters of her social activities, home life, and travel. The majority of the letters are written from the Bocks' home in Annapolis, Maryland, during the 1940s and 1950s. The series also contains three diaries, written while Betty O'Shaughnessy Bock was a student at Blacksburg High School. The diary entries revolve almost entirely around the many boys that she liked and little else. Also among her personal papers are several mementos from VPI dances, a small collection of family photos, and the text of a speech that O'Shaughnessy delivered in 1936 to urge the inclusion of women students in the VPI annual. A large portion of the series is devoted to Betty Bock's schoolwork, particularly at VPI, and includes class notes, essays, and exams. From Bock's years as a mathematics instructor at VPI, the series includes her course plans, exam questions, a selection of students' graded exam books, and grade reports.

Series III: Surface Family Papers, 1857-1933. This series includes papers of the parents of Ida Surface O'Shaughnessy. Of F. D. Surface, father of Ida, the collection includes two notebooks, devoted almost entirely to Bible study notes. The series includes two letters written by Betty Surface (one co-written with her husband), touching on local news from Blacksburg, one mentioning the campus death of Stockton Heth Jr. at the hands of Charles Vawter. Accompanying these is a letter from Vawter's father, asking for Betty Surface's prayers for his son. Included also in this series are papers of Fanny and George Thomas Surface, siblings of Ida Surface O'Shaughnessy. Among these are a number of letters from George Surface. Several of these consists only of fragments, as they were seemingly retained only as scrap paper that F. D. Surface used for notes. The series also includes George Surface's student notebooks and the Surface family Bible, published in 1857 and purchased in Christiansburg in 1863.

Series IV. Textiles and Personal Effects, n.d. This series includes a few textiles, origin unknown, though they likely belonged to Betty O'Shaughness Bock. Among these items are an infant's dress, and some women's dress gloves. The series also includes some cosmetics compacts and a miniature bar of soap from the Hotel Roanoke.

Related Material

Ms1993-010, Louis O'Shaughnessy Letters, 1903-1905

Separated Material

The following items were removed from the collection to be cataloged for the rare book collection:

Andrews, E. A. Selections from the Metamorphoses and Heroides of Ovid. Boston: Crocker and Brewster, 1869.(Includes inscription: "F. D. Surface, Preston & Olin Inst. Blacksburg Va. Feby. 6, 1871" on first free end paper.

Foster, R. S. Objections to Calvinism As It Is in a Series of Letters Addressed to Rev. N. L. Rice, D. D. Cincinnati: Hitchcock and Walden, 1849. (Includes inscription "F. D. Surface, Auburn, Montgomery Co. Va. on first free end paper.)

Griffis, William Elliot. Corea, Without and Within. Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1885.

Gudheim, H. Differential Equations for Engineers. 3rd ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Edwards Brothers, 1928.

Kuhner, Raphael. Grammar of the Greek Language, for the Use of High Schools and Colleges. Boston: B. B. Mussey, 1849.

Laboratory Manual (Virginia Polytechnic Institute Sophomore Physics Laboratory). 3rd rev. Ann Arbor, MI: Edwards Brothers, n.d.

Lucas, J. B. and J. A. Addlestone. Laboratory Outline of Introductory Qualitative Analysis. rev. Ann Arbor, MI: Edwards Brothers, n.d.

Robeson, F. L. Notes on Physics. Ann Arbor, MI: Edwards Brothers, 1932-1934. [in 3 parts]

Robeson, F. L. Notes on Physics, pt. 3. Ann Arbor, MI: Edwards Brothers, 1935.

Stevens, Wm. Bacon. The Parables of the New Testament Practically Unfolded. Philadelphia: Bradley, 1887. (Includes the inscription "J. T. Olinger, Montgomery County Va" on first free end paper.)

Surface, George Thomas. The Story of Sugar. New York: D. Appleton, 1910.

Tigert, Jno. J. The Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Nashville, TN: M. E. Church, South, 1894.

Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences. Ribbon Trimmings: Instruction Paper with Examination Questions. pt. 4. Scranton, PA: The Institute, 1920. Carefree Washing: the Frigidaire way! Dayton, OH, 1948.

"Housewares Harvest." Roanoke, VA: Pugh's, n.d.

Also separated from the collection was the VPI cadet uniform of Louis O'Shaughnessy, transferred to the collections of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets (VTCC) Museum.


Index Terms

    Persons:

  • O'Shaughnessy, Louis
  • O'Shaughnessy, Mary Elizabeth, 1917-
  • Family Names:

  • Surface family
  • Subjects:

  • Faculty
  • University Archives
  • Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College
  • Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute

Container List

Series I. Louis and Ida Surface O'Shaughnessy Papers, 1886-1965
  • Box-Folder 1
    1
    Louis O'Shaughnessy - outgoing correspondence, 1907-1945, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 1
    2
    Louis O'Shaughnessy - incoming correspondence, 1896-1954, n.d.
    [2 folders]
  • Box-Folder 1
    3
    Louis O'Shaughnessy - get well cards, 1956
  • Box-Folder 1
    4
    Louis O'Shaughnessy - guardianship (John M. Lucas), 1886-1890, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 1
    5
    Louis O'Shaughnessy - schoolwork, 1890-1896
    [2 folders]
  • Box-Folder 1
    6
    Louis O'Shaughnessy - exams, 1899
  • Box-Folder 1
    7
    Louis O'Shaughnessy - grade reports, 1900-1903
  • Box-Folder 1
    8
    Louis O'Shaughnessy - account book, 1900-1903
  • Box-Folder 1
    9
    Louis O'Shaughnessy - Coming Men of America, 1896-1899, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 1
    10
    Louis O'Shaughnessy - teacher's certificates, 1895
  • Box-Folder 1
    11
    VPI reports, announcements, and forms, 1894-1943, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 1
    12
    VPI printed material, 1935-1937
    • Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute commencement program, 1935
      [2 copies]
    • Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute commencement program, 1937
    • "Virginia Tech Follies" program, 1937
  • Box-Folder 1
    13
    Ephemera and general printed materials, 1896-1957
    • Virginia Tech football postcards, 1905
      [2 items]
    • "Around the World" booklet, ca. 1900
    • "Holiday Greetings from De Jarnette State Sanatorium, Staunton, Virginia", 1957
    • Roanoke Theatre / Madame Orva flyer, ca. 1930
    • U. S. Department of Agriculture Weather Bureau explanation of weather signals (form no. 4010-mis.), 1896
  • Box-Folder 1
    14
    Letters of congratulations on Betty O'Shaughnessy's birth, 1917
  • Box-Folder 1
    15
    Ida Surface O'Shaughnessy - correspondence, 1917-1964, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 2
    1
    Ida Surface O'Shaughnessy - get well cards, 1947
    Physical Location: [2 folders]
  • Box-Folder 2
    2
    Christmas greeting cards, 1958, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 2
    3
    Ida Surface O'Shaughnessy - financial documents, 1959-1965
  • Box-Folder 2
    4
    Ida Surface O'Shaughnessy - notes and ephemera, 1917, n.d.
Series II. Betty O'Shaughnessy Bock Papers, 1887-1958
  • Subseries I. Personal / Student Papers, 1887-1958
    • Box-Folder 2
      5-10
      Letters to parents, 1936-1950
    • Box-Folder 3
      1-4
      Letters to parents, 1951-1958, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 3
      5
      Incoming correspondence, 1933-1951, n.d.
      [2 folders]
    • Box-Folder 3
      6
      Diaries, 1931, n.d.
      [2 folders]
    • Box-Folder 3
      7
      Virginia Tech dance mementos, 1935-1942, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 3
      8
      Photographs, 1887-1937, n.d.
      [2 folders]
    • Box-Folder 4
      1
      McCall's dress pattern (8514), 1951
    • Box-Folder 4
      2
      Printed materials, 1912-1954, n.d.
      [2 folders]
      • Books in Mathematics (Ginn and Company), n.d.
      • Daily Highroad (Virginia Conference Youth Assemblies), 1940
      • Hafer, Eugene G. The Attorney for the Defense. Chicago: Dramatic Publishing, 1924
      • Punky Dunk and the Spotted Pup. Chicago: P. F. Volland (for Philadelphia Public Ledger), 1912
      • Puzzle Numbers Drawing Book. New York: Charles E. Graham, ca. 1920
      • Sampley, Ethelene. A Guide to a Study of Jesus' Teachings Concerning Women. Woman's Division of Christian Service, Board of Missions, The Methodist Church, 1954
      • The Tattle Tale (Blacksburg High School), 1930
      • Tressler, J. C. Grammar Minimum Essentials: Diagnostic and Practice Tests. Boston: D. C. Heath, 1931
    • Box-Folder 4
      3
      Coed Bugle representation speech, [1936]
    • Box-Folder 4
      4
      Notes and essays, 1933, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 4
      5
      Biology drawings, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 4
      6
      Cicero composition, ca. 1932
    • Box-Folder 4
      7
      Cicero translation, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 4
      8
      German science reader notes, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 4
      9
      "In Deutschland" class assignment, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 4
      10
      Biophysics class notes, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 4
      11
      Calculus class notes, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 4
      12
      Chemistry class notes, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 4
      13
      Comparative literature class notes, 1936, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 4
      14
      Contemporary literature class notes, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 5
      1
      English literature class notes, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 5
      2
      History class notes, 1929, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 5
      3
      Organic chemistry class notes, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 5
      4
      Organic chemistry (advanced) class notes, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 5
      5
      Quantitative analysis class notes, 1933-1934
    • Box-Folder 5
      6
      Secretarial English class notes, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 5
      7
      Spanish class notes, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 5
      8
      Vocabulary building class notes, 1935-1936, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 5
      9
      "Suggestions on Writing Reports and Term Papers" - C. F. De La Barre, 1933
    • Box-Folder 5
      10
      Themes, term papers, and book reports, 1933-1936
      [2 folders]
    • Box-Folder 5
      11
      Exams, 1928-1941, n.d.
      [2 folders]
    • Box-Folder 5
      12
      Exam questions, 1933-1935
    • Box-Folder 6
      1
      Arthur Bock - Kansas State University Hydraulics Laboratory experiment paper, 1937-1938
  • Subseries II. Professional Papers, 1942-1944
    • Box-Folder 6
      2
      Course plans, ca. 1943
    • Box-Folder 6
      3
      Exam questions, 1942-1944, n.d.
    • Box-Folder 6
      4
      Graded student exam books (algebra), 1942-1944
      [2 folders]
    • Box-Folder 6
      5
      Graded student exam books (trigonometry and analytical geometry), 1943-1944
    • Box-Folder 6
      6
      Student grade records, 1942-1944
    • Box-Folder 6
      7
      Virginia Tech forms (blank), n.d.
Series III. Surface Family Papers, 1857-1933
  • Box-Folder 6
    8
    F. D. Surface - correspondence, 1932-1933
  • Box-Folder 6
    9
    F. D. Surface - notebook, 1883-1891, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 6
    10
    F. D. Surface - Bible study notebook, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 6
    11
    F. D. Surface - Bible study notes, n.d.
    [2 folders]
  • Box-Folder 6
    12
    Betty Surface - correspondence, 1916-1917
  • Box-Folder 6
    13
    Fannie Surface - correspondence and shorthand tablet, 1902-1903, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 6
    14
    George Thomas Surface - correspondence, 1903-1916, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 6
    15
    George Thomas Surface - notes on psychology
  • Box-Folder 7
    1
    George Thomas Surface notes and essays, 1902-1903, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 7
    2
    George Thomas Surface obituary and ephemera, 1897, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 7
    3
    Surface Family Bible, 1857
Series IV. Textiles and Personal Effects, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 8
    1
    Infant's dress, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 8
    2
    Infant's detachable collar, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 8
    3
    Woman's dress gloves, n.d.
    [4 items]
  • Box-Folder 8
    4
    Man's detachable collar, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 8
    5
    Choker, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 8
    6
    Compacts, n.d.
    [42 items]
  • Box-Folder 8
    7
    Keychain, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 8
    8
    Hotel Roanoke mini soap bar, n.d.
Oversize Materials, n.d.
  • Folder 1
    Plat of land sold by F. D. Surface to Louis O'Shaughnessy (bearings as of 1893), n.d.

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • O'Shaughnessy, Louis
  • O'Shaughnessy, Mary Elizabeth, 1917-