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Edward Charles Ehrensperger papers

Identifier: MS-052

Content Description

The Edward Charles Ehrensperger papers contain materials from Ehrensperger's time as a professor of English, mainly at the University of South Dakota.

The Edward Charles Ehrensperger Collection is made up of five series: Correspondence, Manuscripts, Printed Materials, Typescripts and Ephemera. The bulk of material in the collection is scholarly and professional. There is little personal material in this collection.

The Correspondence series contains a small number of professional letters concerning linguistics and several scholarly publications.

The Manuscript series contains handwritten notes and note cards. The note cards are citations for various sources. The notes may have been preparation for a speech or a class lecture.

The largest series in this collection is the Printed Materials. This series contains booklets from the Correspondence courses and Independent Study programs at USD. They are mainly English Classes but there is one describing a Psychology class. Also included in this series are programs from the Vermillion Community Artists' Series and other various arts organizations, English and linguistics pamphlets; a religious newsletter entitled Pilgrims Herald, published by the Congregation Conference in Huron, SD, and news clippings about academic topics such as Basic English.

The Typescripts series contains assignments for correspondence courses, several essays, and other writings by several writers about English topics. Also include are eight Thesis Plans that Ehrensperger either directed or for which he was on the committee and a tribute booklet about Ehrensperger by Thomas Gasque.

The Ephemera series contains a pamphlet with the Ehrensperger family history. It gives dates and places for when and where immediate family was born. It also records the death of Ehrensperger’s mother. Also included are various items from the University of South Dakota and Vermillion Community Artists' Series.


  • Creation: 1925 - 1985
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1950 - 1959

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research without restriction. Researchers are advised to contact the Archives and Special Collections prior to visiting. Advance notice may be needed to retrieve items for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers must obtain a signed Permission to Publish Form if they wish to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information from published and unpublished works held by ASC. Permission to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information materials from ASC does not constitute permission from the holder of copyright or literary rights. The researcher is responsible for securing permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce content from materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Edward Charles Ehrensperger was born May 23, 1895, in Indianapolis, Indiana to Charles Louis and Louise Elvis Ehrensperger. Ehrensperger earned an A.B. in 1916, an A.M. in 1918 and a PhD in 1921 at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

After studying in Europe, Ehrensperger taught at Northwestern University and Wellesley College. In 1932 Ehrensperger came to Vermillion, South Dakota to teach at the University of South Dakota. He was head of the English department until 1964, when he became head of English department at Yankton College. He taught at Yankton College until 1972. A consummate professional, Ehrensperger helped established the South Dakota Council of Teachers of English and The American Name Society. He was the project leader for the Work Projects Administration publishing project South Dakota Place Names. Ehrensperger was also an involved member of the United Church of Christ and wrote a history of the church in Vermillion. He also served as editor of the church’s state history.

Ehrensperger married Helen Elizabeth Swezey on June 19, 1931 in Boston Massachusetts. They had two children Charles Dwight and Donald Edward, both born in Vermillion, South Dakota. Ehrensperger died on April 18, 1984.


.75 Linear Feet (2 document boxes)

Language of Materials



The Edward Charles Ehrensperger papers contain materials from Ehrensperger's time as a professor of English, mainly at the University of South Dakota.


The Ehrensperger papers are arranged into five series: Correspondence, Manuscripts, Printed Materials, Typescripts, and Ephemera.

Edward Charles Ehrensperger papers
Anne Hinseth
2000 November
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USD Archives and Special Collections Repository