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MC 00199 Guide to Philip Harvey Davis, Memoirs of a Small Town Boy, 1984

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Davis, Philip H., 1908-1992


0.25 Linear feet

General Physical Description note

1 archival half box


For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff external link.



Acquisitions Information

Gift of Philip Harvey Davis, 1990 December 18 (Accession no. 1990-0011).


Processed by: Will Andersen;machine-readable finding aid created by: Will Andersen

Scope and Content Note

"Memoirs of a Small Town Boy" is the unpublished reminiscences of Philip Harvey Davis, a professor of English at the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering (later North Carolina State University). The typewritten manuscript, from 1984, is in two volumes of four parts each. Davis's memoirs begin with his boyhood in Coshocton, Ohio. Davis then recalls his training in an Ohio National Guard field artillery battery; undergraduate and postgraduate years at Miami University in the 1920s and 1930s; and year as a doctoral student at Harvard University, from 1931 to 1932. The memoirs next move through Davis' varied work history during the Depression, and social life in Coshocton during the time; two years of doctoral work at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, from 1937 to 1939; engagement and marriage in 1940; and social and new family life in Raleigh, North Carolina, when Davis was an instructor at North Carolina State, beginning in 1939.

The second volume of Davis's memoirs begins with his experiences in the United States Navy during World War II, as an instructor of English at the Naval Academy Preparatory School at Bainbridge, Maryland, from 1944 to 1945. Davis then chronicles social life in Raleigh again; bird watching in the city and elsewhere in the state; his interest in astronomy; co-authorship of a textbook, Handbook of English, which was published in 1951; and various travels in the United States, as well as local nature excursions, in the 1940s and 1950s. In the next part of his memoirs, Davis details his five summers as director of the nature lore program at Camp Sea Gull in Arapahoe, North Carolina, from 1956 to 1960. The final part of Davis's reminiscences consists of notes on bird watching, astronomy, nature lore, and family travel and other activities from 1954 to 1963.

Biographical Note

Philip Harvey Davis was born on 1908 February 22 in Coshocton, Ohio. He was educated at Miami University in Ohio, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1930 and a master's in English in 1936. After pursuing doctoral studies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, Davis taught technical writing and business correspondence at the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering (later North Carolina State University), beginning as an instructor in 1939. He served in the United States Navy during World War II, and became an associate professor at North Carolina State in 1951. An avid bird watcher, Davis was a member of the Carolina Bird Club, and president of the Raleigh Bird Club. He retired as associate professor emeritus in 1973, and died in Raleigh, North Carolina, on 1992 June 3.

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Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111


(919) 515-2273


(919) 513-1787

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Philip Harvey Davis, "Memoirs of a Small Town Boy," MC 199, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

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