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Walter McCaslin Papers

Identifier: MS-198

Scope and Content

The collection is a chronicle of Walter McCaslin's life and death as recorded by his correspondence with his old high school history teacher, Mr. George Schooley, and newspaper clippings. The letters and newspaper clippings span the period from 1945 through 1981.

The McCaslin Collection includes newspaper clippings representative of Walter McCaslin's journalistic writings and they also document his death. Correspondence with George Schooley covers his army career as well as the time that he spent at Hampton Institute in Virginia as an instructor. The major part of the collection deals with McCaslin's newspaper work.

The Walter McCaslin Collection is divided into two series and three files. Files two and three comprise the McCaslin correspondence and are arranged chronologically.

File one is made up of newspaper clippings and photocopies illustrating McCaslin's work as a journalist and some also from the Journal Herald. One, dated April 18, 1981, contains a short biographical sketch of McCaslin and the other, dated September 19, 1973, is an article praising George Schooley. Most clippings are incorporated in file one, but a few, which are attached to the appropriate letters, can be found throughout the collection. Several clippings have been annotated by McCaslin while latter clippings record his death and funeral.


  • Creation: 1944-1984


Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing materials in this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biography of Walter McCaslin

Walt McCaslin was baptized Walter Wright McCaslin Jr. He was born in Zanesville, Ohio, June of 1923, and went to high school there.

Walter McCaslin had a multifaceted career beginning with his three-year army service in World War II, including nine months billeted near Paris. He received his higher education at the Ohio State University where he obtained a bachelor degree in English and History (1947) and a master degree in Theater with an emphasis on dramatic literature (1950). McCaslin spent a year at Hampton Institute in Virginia teaching Freshman English and Speech. Although he wrote reviews for the Saturday Review, most of his journalistic work took place at the Dayton newspapers, the Dayton Daily News, and the Journal Herald, as a book editor and art critic.

On April 17, 1981, Walter McCaslin was killed by his son, Walter "Wally" McCaslin, as local authorities arrived to accompany Wally to a psychiatric unit for observation and diagnosis.


0.5 linear feet

Language of Materials



McCaslin was a well-known Dayton journalist who was the art critic and book reviewer for both the Dayton Daily News and the Dayton Journal Herald. His papers consist primarily of letters written by McCaslin to an old friend in Zanesville where he grew up. Subjects covered include McCaslin's World War II experiences, his opinions about contemporary politics and political leaders, as well as his day to day activities. Also included in the collection is a selection of clippings of McCaslin's published writings.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is arranged by format and then chronologically thereunder.

Acquisition Information

The Walter McCaslin Collection was donated to Wright State University's Special Collections and Archives in March of 1990 by George A. Schooley of Zanesville, Ohio.

Related Material

MS-458 Dayton Daily News Archive

MS-461 D.L. Stewart Papers

Guide to the Walter McCaslin Papers (MS-198)
Finding aid prepared by Stephen Kahn, 1990
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA