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Lyle W. Dorsett Papers

 Collection
Identifier: M052

Lyle Wesley Dorsett (1938- ) served as Professor of History at the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado from 1972-1983, specializing in urban history. He earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of Missouri in 1965. His dissertation on the political machine of Kansas City, Missouri Alderman Jim Pendergast was published in 1968 under the title The Pendergast machine. He taught at the University of Missouri, The University of Southern California and the University of Colorado at Denver before joining the University of Denver faculty. He wrote The Queen City: a History of Denver (1977) and The Pioneer Western Bank : First of Denver, 1860-1980. Students in Dorsett's classes at the University of Denver conducted interviews with people knowledgeable about the history of Denver and of Colorado. These interviews served as background for books and articles. In 1983 he accepted a position at the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill. A large portion of his writings from this time center on the life and philosophy of C.S. Lewis, which is one of the Wade Center's major collections. __The papers include notes, research materials, and manuscript for his book, The Queen City: a History of Denver; clippings, photocopies of journal articles, newspapers, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, photographs, a diary, scrapbook, annual reports, releases, oral history transcripts, audio cassette tapes, and microfilm.

Dates

  • 1887-1983
  • Majority of material found in 1972-1983

Creator

Language of Materials

Collection is predominately in English; some historic newspapers are in German.

Extent

6.5 Linear Feet (5 Record boxes and 2 flat boxes)

Scope and Contents

His papers primarily contain his research notes as well as articles related to Denver and Colorado politics and the First Bank of Denver, the subject of a 1984 book entitled The Pioneer Western Bank: First of Denver, 1860-1980. The first portion of the Dorsett papers contains his notes, research materials and the manuscript for his book, The Queen City : A history of Denver, published in 1977. The majority of the research materials from this book were donated to Denver Public Library's Western History Collection. The papers include several files of general research notes and articles on Denver and Colorado politics and business, including the First Bank of Denver, as well as those related to other cities and states. The next series contains newspapers from the early days of Denver and Colorado, including several German language editions. The remainder of the collection consists of student papers, including the audio tapes and written transcripts of oral interviews conducted by Dorsett’s students related to subjects regarding the history of Denver and Colorado. The collection also contains pamphlets, photographs, a diary, scrapbook, annual reports, releases and microfilm.

Biographical / Historical

Lyle Wesley Dorsett was born April 17, 1938 in Kansas City, Missouri. He received his B.A. in history (1960) and M.A. in history (1962) from the University of Kansas City. He earned his Ph.D. in History in 1965 from the University of Missouri. His expertise was in Urban History. His dissertation on the political machine of Kansas City, Alderman Jim Pendergast, was published by the Oxford University Press in 1968 under the title The Pendergast Machine. He began his teaching career at the University of Missouri. He also taught briefly at the University of Southern California and the University of Colorado at Denver before joining the University of Denver faculty in 1972. He maintained his focus on the urban experience of America and wrote his book, Queen City: A History of Denver in 1977. His prolific writing also resulted in several articles each year and a total of ten books that he published prior to his resignation. He was also a gifted and active teacher, achieving tenure in 1974. Several of his students went on to be collaborators on research projects. At least three students earned doctorates and pursued careers as university professors. Dorsett left the University in October 1983 to accept a position at the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Since that time he worked on a large portion of writings concerning the life and philosophy of the subject of one of the Wade Center’s major collections', C. S. Lewis. He has written several books on Lewis and his wife, as well as numerous articles.

Arrangement

The papers are partially arranged.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Lyle Wesley Dorsett, 1983 or 1984.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Contact:
2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428