Jerry Tarver Elocution, Rhetoric and Oratory Collection

Delsarte Elocution book


Jerry Tarver, a retired Professor of Speech Communication from Richmond, Virginia, has donated his collection of rhetoric, oratory and elocution books and manuscripts to the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library of the Ohio State University Libraries.  The Tarver Collection currently numbers over 4,000 items and is a unique resource for the study of the teaching of rhetoric and elocution in the United States prior to roughly 1900. Many rare and some unique items exist in the collection, notably, extensive paper ephemera dealing with elocutionary performance. The collection has complete runs of such periodicals as the 58 numbers of Edgar Werner’s READINGS AND RECITATIONS, manuscripts such as a student’s 1837 lecture notes from Indiana College President Andrew Wylie’s rhetoric class, and a small number of elocution books for American students in languages other than English. This world class resource contains a wealth of material that addresses current research in the areas of publishing history, literacy studies, reading practices and varieties of reading experiences, public presentation and civic literacy, literacy learning theories and more. The collection is available to scholars worldwide and will be of particular value to doctoral candidates.

Geoffrey D. Smith

Tarver Ephemera - Miss Helen Potter

Access to the Collection:

Books and serials have been cataloged and may be found via a title search of OSU Libraries catalog under "Jerry Tarver Elocution, Rhetoric and Oratory Collection." 

The ephemera items are housed separately in a boxed collection.  Please see the finding aid for details.

Alternatively, the content of Dr. Tarver's personal database of these materials has been exported into an Excel file for easy sorting by author, date, etc.  Please note that the records have been pre-sorted first by author, then by title.  However, due to the use of brackets and other symbols in these fields the alphabetical sort may begin again after those records including such characters.