Papers of the Late Dr. Robert David Ward Now Processed

Dr. David Ward

Dr. David Ward

Within Henderson Library’s Special Collections is a collection of papers of the late Dr. Robert David Ward.  Dr. Ward – always called “David Ward” – taught History here at Georgia Southern from 1955-1986, but he maintained ties and participated here as speaker or host until his death in 2006.

     He was born in Montevallo, Alabama, in 1929, son of a professor at Alabama College for Women (now the University of Montevallo). Memories of his upbringing figure in his later books, Lamar and Me, and Time Has Made a Change in Me (an anthology of nostalgic pieces about growing up in Montevallo by Dr. Ward and others, including the “Lamar” (Appleton) of the previous book. He received his M.S. in History at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) in 1951, and his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1957. His dissertation was on the movement for Universal Military Training in this country from 1942-1952 – a subject on which he continued to do research for the rest of his life. But his main research field was not national but the history of his native Alabama. He co-authored several books and a number of articles with his Auburn friend William Warren Rogers, Professor of History at Florida State University, culminating in Alabama: The History of a Deep South State (1994), written also with two Auburn professors, Leah Rawls Atkins and Wayne Flynt, which won the four authors the Alabama Award for Humanities. It remains the standard history of Alabama and is used as a textbook in the subject.

    The 16 boxes of the Ward papers are mostly taken up by his extensive research materials, notes, and drafts (often handwritten) of his books and articles. But the collection also includes correspondence and the humorous jeux d’esprit which he liked to write, often mocking campus and departmental affairs here. Dr. Ward’s wife Jane worked in the Library from 1980-1993. He died in 2006.

Marvin Goss

Head of Special Collections

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ZACH S. HENDERSON LIBRARY • P.O. Box 8074 • Statesboro, Georgia 30460-8074 • (912) 478-5647