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Horton B. Knoll papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 521

Scope and Contents

The Horton B. Knoll papers document Knoll's research, working papers, notes and typescripts for his books, A record of a university in the war years, 1941-1945, published in 1947, and The Story of Purdue Engineering, published in 1963. Also included among the papers is research material, working papers, notes and information related to Purdue presidents Owen, Smart, Stone, Elliott, and Hovde. There is also information Knoll compiled for his intended biography of John Purdue, and historical documents reflecting Purdue's history. Lastly, many often corresponded with Knoll and asked for his knowledge about the Purdue family genealogy. Knoll kept the correspondence found in these papers. He often learned more about the Purdue family from those he corresponded with.

The papers include but are not limited to, brochures, correspondence, glass plate negatives, historical documents, manuscripts, notes, photographs, typescripts, and working papers.


  • 1865 - 1981
  • Majority of material found within 1940 - 1963


Language of Materials

Collection material is in English.

Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Portions of material in this collection are in the public domain. Other material copyrights held by Purdue University. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Biographical Information

Horton B. Knoll was born to Frank P. and Frances Budd Knoll on May 26, 1906 in State College, Pennsylvania. He received his bachelors of arts and master's degrees from Penn State. He was then employed by Penn State's Department of Engineering Education.

He became a member of the Purdue English Department in 1929. He was the author of two books; A record of a university in the war years, 1941-1945 (1947), and The story of Purdue engineering (1963, along with various articles). Knoll had done extensive research on John Purdue and the various Purdue presidents. He was often a resource for those seeking information on matters related to Purdue history, due to his extensive knowledge on the topic. Knoll also served on the Committee on Standard English at Purdue, and had published articles on the growth of State College.

Per the book jacket of one of his books, "In summer vacations of his school days, he acquired a background in manual training, farming, dairying, carpentry work, and jazz-band playing."

He married Beatrice Bellinger in Lafayette, Indiana in 1935. They had two sons, John P. and David B. Knoll.

Knoll retired from Purdue University in 1972. He died of a heart attack at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Lafayette on February 13, 1985.


5.086 Cubic Feet (Thirteen letter-size full-width manuscript boxes, and three letter-size half-width manuscript boxes)


The papers are arranged into four series.
  1. Historical Information – Purdue University College of Engineering
  2. Purdue University and Purdue Engineering Brochures, Posters, and Information on Purdue Engineering Staff
  3. Purdue Presidents Research Material
  4. John Purdue Biographical and Purdue Family Genealogical Research Material

Acquisition Information

The three boxes of working papers related to John Purdue and the history of Purdue University were donated by Horton Knoll's son, John Knoll, on March 27, 1985. The donor of the remaining material is unknown.

Processing Information

The original order of the material and folder titles have been retained whenever possible. All materials have been housed in acid-free folders and acid-free boxes. Photographs were placed in polyester sleeves. were used
Horton B. Knoll papers
Mary A. Sego
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
First edition.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States