Ralph H. Steele Papers, 1960-1990

University Archives #90-01

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Ralph H. Steele Papers
Repository: East Carolina University Archives
Languages: English
Abstract: The collection includes correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, brochures, and flyers related to the creation of the Parks, Recreation, and Conservation Program at East Carolina University in the late 1960s and the work of Ralph H. Steele while he was faculty member at ECU.
Extent: 1.0 Linear feet, 325 items.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public without restrictions.

Publication and Reproduction Rights

Property rights reside with the University Archives, East Carolina University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of the material or heirs. For permission to reproduce or to publish please contact the University Archivist. The reader must also obtain permssion of the copyright holder.


The collection is arranged in the order established by Ralph H. Steele after he retired from East Carolina University. He divied the collection into two parts which are now reflected by two series: 1) A Chronology of the Planning and Development of East Carolina University's Bachelor of Science Degree in Parks, Recreation, and Conservation, and 2) Scrapbook. The titles of files correspond with the titles of divisions given by Ralph Steele within the two parts.

Preferred Citation

[Item description and date]. Ralph H. Steele Papers. UA90-01. University Archives, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.

Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Ralph H. Steele was born May 20, 1929 in Hamilton, Ohio. He grew up in Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Gage Park High School in 1947. After high school, Steele attended Wilson Junior College for two years before transferring to the University of Illinois in Urbana. Steele received both a B.S. in 1952 and a M.S. in 1955 from the University of Illinois. In 1966, he earned a Doctorate in Recreation and Park Administration from Indiana University.

Ralph Steele joined the faculty at East Carolina College in 1960. From 1960 through 1968, Steele taught general courses in the Department of Health and Physical Education. In the late 1960's, he developed a new multi-disciplinary B.S. in Parks, Recreation, and Conservation. He helped develop and taught Coastal Recreation and Tourism courses with faculty in various academic departments at East Carolina University. Steele is considered the founder of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at ECU. Upon his retirement from East Carolina University in 1990, Dr. Steele was awarded emeritus status.

On March 6, 2009, Dr. Ralph H. Steele passed away. In his memory, the Department of Health and Human Performance established the Dr. Ralph Steele Memorial Lecture Series.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The Ralph Steele Papers are divided into two series. The first series documents the creation of the Parks, Recreation, and Conservation Degree at East Carolina University and includes Ralph Steeles notes on the program, correspondence with Texas A&M about their Recreation and Parks program,

The second series documents Ralph Steeles work at ECU in scrapbook form. The material was titled "A Personal Retrospective: Three Decades of An Ever-Changing Profession as Practiced by an Action-Minded Professor." The first decade, 1960-1969, covers his work in Health and Physical Education. The second decade, 1970-1979, covers cross-disciplinary Parks, Recreation, and Conservation and Coastal and Oceanic Arts and Sciences. The third decade, 1980-1990, covers his work in Apostrophe Theory, Systemantics, Principles of Basic Research, and World Leisure. All three decades of the scrapbook include his notes on his work during the decade, news paper clippings, photographs, brochures, correspondence with collegues and students, flyers, and postcards.

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

  • Box 1#UA90-01.1
    A Chronology of the Planning and Development of East Carolina Universitys Bachelor of Science Degree in Parks, Recreation, and Conservation, 1967-1970
    • Definitions, Concepts, and Horizontal Matrix, 1967
    • Correspondence with Texas A&M, 1967-1968
    • Curriculum Committees and Procedures, 1968-1969
    • National Recreation and Park Association Challenges and Survey, 1968
    • Support and Suggestions, 1968-1969
    • Cynthia Mendenhall, 1968
    • Drafts of Proposed Curriculum, 1968
    • Approved Draft of Proposed Curriculum, November 1968
    • Job Openings and Salaries, 1968
    • Proposed New Courses,
    • Correspondence and Proposal Abstract, 1968
    • Final Proposal for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Park, Recreation, and Conservation Administration, 1968-1970
    • Initial Dialogue between PRC and NC Outward Bound School, 1969-1970
    • Idealistic Concepts, Dreams, and Reality, 1969-1970
    • ECU Scences of First Earth Day, April 22, 1970
    • The PRC-NCOBS Practicum, 1970
    • US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Recreation Program Leadership, 1969
  • Box 2#UA90-01.2
    Scrapbook, 1960-1990
    • Introduction, 1960-1990
    • Decade #1, 1960-1969
    • Decade #2, Overview, 1970 - 1979
    • Inquiries Articulation of Education Programs with NCOBS, 1970-1971
    • PRC-NCOBS Study of People and Places, NCOB Board Business, 1971-1972
    • Long Range Plans and the SOLC,
    • SOLC and Interpretive Center, Making One's Own Mistakes, 1972-1973
    • Sustained Application of NCOBS Principles and Philosphy, 1973
    • PRC to SEA Grant and ICMR; Evaluation of Professional and PRC Curriculum, 1974
    • Promotion. WLRA to USSR. "Witt." Transition to Marine Studies., 1975-1976
    • Conflicts in Policies, Etc. Caribgean Slides for WSB Film., 1977
    • PRC Curricular Audit of NCOBS, 1978
    • PRC Society and Status of Curriculum, 1979
    • Notes, Word-Play and Sketches from Scotland, 1979
    • Square-Riggers' Celtic Journey. ICMR Workshop. Thoughts., 1979
    • Decade #3 Overview, 1980-1990
    • Decade #3, 1980-1981
    • Decade #3, 1982-1983
    • Decade #3, 1984-1985
    • Decade #3, 1986-1987
    • Decade #3, 1988-1989
    • Decade #3, 1989-1990

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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