The University of Toledo Archives
Manuscript Collection


Finding Aid

Brenton W. Stevenson Papers, ca. 1935


Size: .5 linear feet

Provenance: Unknown

Access: Open

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Processing Note:

Condition: Fair

Copyright: The literary rights to this collection are assumed to rest with the person(s) responsible for the production of the particular items within the collection, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion.

Completed by: Janice Colwell, October 15, 1997

Historical/Biographical Sketch

Brenton W. Stevenson, a professor and administrator at the University of Toledo for over forty years, was employed in a wide array of capacities: director of Evening Sessions; University Editor; Alumni Executive Secretary; Association of University Professors (AAUP) officer; and as the first University Archivist.

B.W. Stevenson was born in Chicago in January 1900. He graduated from the University of Chicago Phi Beta Kappa with departmental honors in English, also receiving his M.A. from the university in 1925. He later did advanced studies at Ohio State University and the University of Michigan. Prior to the University of Toledo, Stevenson taught at the University of Chicago and Denison University. He joined the UT faculty as an instructor of rhetoric in 1930, when the University was under the presidency of Henry J. Doermann.

From 1935 to 1937, Stevenson directed UT’s Opportunity School. Financed by President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA), the school offered non-credit self-improvement courses on campus. As director of Evening Sessions from 1935-1951, Stevenson was head of all adult education at the University, then undergoing significant expansion. In 1946, Stevenson was elected to a leadership post in the adult education section of the Ohio College Association. Stevenson was also actively involved with the Association for Adult Education, an organization formed to lobby for state support of colleges and universities.

Evening Sessions and Publications were both under Professor Stevenson’s direction; however, as the university grew, the two offices were separated. Assuming the title of University Editor in 1952, Stevenson directed all university publication activities, including the Bulletin of the University of Toledo which he edited from 1934-1964. Stevenson continued to serve on various committees and as executive secretary of the Alumni Association.
B.W. Stevenson, together with two other University of Toledo professors, was author of three texts: University Term Papers with John R. Spicer and Edward C, Ames (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1935); English in Business and Engineering, also with Spicer and Ames (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1936); and Questions and Exercises for English in Business and Engineering (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1938).

By the Time English in Business and Engineering was published, Stevenson was professor of English at UT. Charles F. Kettering, general director of Ford Motor Company’s research division, wrote the text’s forward, which became widely utilized in colleges and universities across the country. Stevenson also served as an advisor to Sigma Rho Tau, the honorary engineering debate society.

In Fall 1966, preliminary work began on the university of Toledo’s centennial project. B.W. Stevenson was appointed University Archivist and worked along with Professor Frank R. Hickerson (appointed University Historian) to compile the first hundred-year history of the University. In 1967, University Archives was instituted as a division of the library. As the first University Archivist, Stevenson prepared an inventory and filing system for all University records and publication, provided a reference service based on university records, and intermittently published “The Story of the Archives”.

B.W. Stevenson retired emeritus in 1970. He died May, 1980 after a brief illness.

Scope and Content Note

Collection contains a copy of Stevenson, et al.’s book, English in Business and Engineering, arranged by chapters.

Folder List



Item Description



English in Business and Engineering



Chapter 1- “The Business Letter”



Chapter 2- “Letters of Inquiry”



Chapter 3- “Credit Letters”



Chapter 4- “Letters of Application”



Chapter 5- “The Press Release”



Chapter 6- “The Spoken Word”



Chapter 7- “Construction of the Paragraph”



Chapter 8- “Integration”



Chapter 9- “Mechanics”



Chapter 10- “Basic Materials”



Last Updated: 7/1/19