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Thomas Blossom Papers

Collection ID: RG 17-5B1

Scope and Contents

The collection contains material related to the professional life of Thomas Blossom, a professor in the Department of History at Old Dominion University. The collection also contains some genealogy information on Blossom's family. An oral history with Thomas Blossom is available on the Old Dominion University Libraries Digital Collections website.


  • 1925-1977, undated
  • Other: Date acquired: 10/12/1976



2.00 Linear Feet

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Biographical or Historical Information

Thomas Blossom was born on February 15, 1912, to Harold H. and Mary Dawson Blossom in Dedham, Massachusetts. His secondary education was at the Boston Latin School (1926-1929) and at the Beacon School in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Blossom received his BA from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1934, his M. A. in 1935 from Columbia University in New York and his Ph.D. from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, in 1956. Blossom taught history at the secondary level from 1935 to 1940 when he entered the U.S. Navy for the duration of World War II. Blossom served with the Interior Department at Cherokee, North Carolina, as Naval Convoy Liaison Officer for the Atlantic and Mediterranean and with the Naval Separation Center interviewing separatees. From 1946 until 1963 Blossom served as a reserve officer with the U.S. Navy. From 1946 to 1956 Blossom was assistant and then associate professor of history at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1956 Blossom accepted the position of chairman with the Social Studies department at Southern State College in Magnolia, Arkansas. In 1958 Blossom became assistant professor of Humanities at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Blossom wrote three books: The Americas (1964), Narino (1967), and a biography of Santander. He was a contributor to the 1972 edition of the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia. Blossom also wrote many book reviews and scholarly articles. He was listed in Who's Who Among American Authors and International Who's Who. Thomas Blossom married the former Mildred Underwood, (1940). They resided in Virginia Beach, Virginia. They had four children: Frances (Mrs. John L. Caughey), Katherine Eleanor, Mary (Mrs. Terry Springle) and Martha (Mrs. James Medeiros). Dr. Blossom died in 1992.

Note written by Sonia Yaco

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The papers are organized into two series: Series I Personal; and Series II, Professional.

Source of Acquisition

Dr. Thomas Blossom

Method of Acquisition

Gift.  Accession #A76-57

Related Materials

Oral Histories in the Perry Library: Dr. Thomas Blossom

A Guide to the Thomas Blossom Papers
Sonia Yaco
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the ODU University Archives Repository

3000 Perry Library
4427 Hampton Blvd.
Norfolk VA 23529 US