A Guide to the Paul B. Barringer Papers 1913-1919 Barringer, Paul B.. Papers RG 2/6

A Guide to the Paul B. Barringer Papers 1913-1919

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number RG 2/6


Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2001 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Clayton McGahee Special Collections Staff

Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Collection number
RG 2/6
Paul B. Barringer Papers 1913-1919
Physical Characteristics
3 boxes and 1 oversized folder (2.4 cubic feet)

Administrative Information


Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Paul B. Barringer Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Barringer, Paul B. Papers, 1913-1919, RG 2/6, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Biographical/Historical Information

The Board of Visitors elected Barringer as the sixth president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute on 17 May 1907. Accomplishments of his administration included: entrance requirements raised from four to fourteen units; a Farmer's Winter Course established; summer school expanded. Barringer's tenure as president was not a smooth one, hampered by several investigations. From the start, he was determined to develop the agricultural facet of the College until it was at least equal to the engineering component, which caused some dissatisfaction among certain alumni and faculty. In 1909, the Chairman of the Alumni Association Welfare Committee, Lawrence Priddy, attempted to have the Board of Visitors oust Barringer. The Board ordered an investigation and a public hearing was held 25 March 1910, at which Priddy's charges were dismissed as "unwarranted" and "inaccurate." However, this was not the end of Barringer's problems. In the fall of 1911, the Board again called for an investigation when a former Commandant of Cadets accused Barringer of "countenancing immorality" on campus. The investigation concluded that the charges were "without foundation." Having survived those investigations, Barringer next ran afoul of Governor Mann, who wanted the College to become involved in agriculture extension work. Barringer did not agree, so Mann said he would appoint a Board of Visitors antagonistic to Barringer if he did not resign. On 10 June 1912, Barringer resigned, but the Board asked him to remain in office another year until a new president was selected.

Scope and Content Information

This collection contains mainly incoming and outgoing correspondence (1907-13) concerning college activities and issues of Barringer's administration including: academic standards; hazing; Hog Cholera outbreak (1908); fires; prohibition; water/sewage system; refrigeration plant; advantages and dangers of football. A few letters from Barringer are to United States presidents: Theodore Roosevelt; William Howard Taft; Woodrow Wilson. Also included with the collection are the following items: ledger of Board of Visitors Executive Committee minutes, handwritten (24 September 1904 - 1 November 1904 and 2 October 1906 - 12 June 1908); inventories (1908-11); letters of application for faculty positions (1909); several items relating to charges against Barringer by Lawrence Priddy, president of Alumni Association, and ensuing investigation (1910); correspondence and other items concerning Mess Hall investigation (1911); purchase orders (1911); reports to the Board of Visitors (1911); leases and contracts; report by Barringer to Board of Visitors on professors, giving names, ages, teaching hours per week, salary, degrees, and Barringer's personal remarks on each (no date).


This collection is arranged according to subject matter.

Contents List

Paul B. Barringer
Paul B. Barringer
Paul B. Barringer