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Calder Smith Sherwood, III Papers

Collection ID: RG 22-7B1

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the life of Calder Smith Sherwood, III, a chemistry professor at Old Dominion University, and his family. Materials include personal correspondence from family members, faculty, students, and organizations, daily planners, wall calendars, pocket diaries, newsletters and newspapers, blueprints, speeches, faculty reports, department surveys, a recorded lecture, and photos. Due to Sherwood’s involvement with summer camps, the collection also includes brochures, photos, and correspondence from several boys’ camps in North Carolina. There is also much information on planetariums and projectors that Sherwood gathered in preparation for designing the Pretlow Planetarium at Old Dominion.


  • 1899-1976, undated
  • Other: Date acquired: 10/13/1977



5.00 Linear Feet

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researches 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

Calder Smith Sherwood, III was born on November 1, 1911 in Portsmouth, Virginia, to Calder Smith Sherwood, Jr. and Lessie Wallace Sherwood.  He was commonly known throughout his life as C.S.  The Sherwood family owned a successful jewelry business and lived in the area throughout C.S.’s adolescence. Sherwood graduated from Portsmouth’s Woodrow Wilson High School in 1929.  Afterwards he attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 1933.  He spent 1934 working as lab assistant at the college before pursuing his master’s degree in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Chicago, which he obtained in June of 1937.  He then returned to Virginia, this time to the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary, as an assistant professor.  After one year, Sherwood returned to Chicago to pursue his doctorate, but then decided to return to Norfolk to assume a full time teaching position at William and Mary in 1939. Sherwood taught freshman Chemistry courses along with a variety of other courses during his teaching career, and he introduced geology and astronomy courses into the curriculum.  In 1942 Sherwood left to teach chemistry and sailing courses at the United States Naval Academy in Baltimore, Maryland, as a Lieutenant of the United States Navy Reserves.  Four years later, after a promotion to Lieutenant Commander in 1945, he returned to Norfolk.  Sherwood remained in the Navy Reserves until 1953. Upon his return to the Norfolk Division of William and Mary in 1946, Sherwood was made the Chairman of the Chemistry Department.   During this time, he also occupied the chair for the division of Natural Sciences from 1950 to 1954.  When Sherwood resigned the Chair of Chemistry in 1969, he assumed a position in Student Academic Advising as well as a part time position teaching Astronomy.  In 1971 he served as Chairman of the Department of Geophysical Sciences until his retirement in May 1977. While teaching at William and Mary, Sherwood was involved in many campus councils and departmental groups.  He was part of the Honors Council in 1941 and aided in editing revisions to the Honor Code.  He helped design the new science building in 1950 and organize the building of the Pretlow Planetarium in 1965.  In 1968, Sherwood also taught summer courses and helped with summer orientation for new students. Off campus, Sherwood was a member of many community organizations and clubs such as the Portsmouth Torch Club, the Seaboard Lodge, and the American Camping Association.  He was an Eagle Scout sponsor in the Boy Scouts of America and possessed a great love of camping.  This led to a lifelong connection with Camp Sequoyah in Ashville, North Carolina as a camper, a counselor, and a visitor.  He was on the Board of Deacons for the Court Street Baptist Church of Portsmouth and was a part of the Baptist Student Union in the 1930’s.  In line with his profession, he served as the chairman of the local committee for the Virginia Academy of Science conferences in Norfolk.  He advised various local high school science programs and helped open a planetarium at the Portsmouth Manor High School in 1970.  Sherwood established a trust that now funds the C. S. Sherwood Portsmouth Community Trust Scholarship and the C.S. Sherwood III Endowed Scholarship, for Geology or Chemistry majors at Old Dominion University. He was a Professor Emeritus until his death on August 9, 1977.

Note written by Joanna Ruedisueli

Language of Materials



Calder Smith Sherwood, III was a chemistry professor at Old Dominion University who served as faculty member in the College of Sciences from 1939-1977, teaching chemistry, astronomy, and geophysical sciences at the university.

Arrangement Note

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Personal; II. Navy Reserves; III. Professional; IV. Photographs; V. Oversized Documents.

Source of Acquisition

Estate of C. S. Sherwood III

Method of Acquisition


Accruals and Additions

Additional accessions made in November 1977 and 1979.

Related Materials

Oral Histories in the Perry Library: C.S. Sherwood III

Processing Information

The collection was processed and finding aid created by Joanna Ruedisueli.

A Guide to the Calder Smith Sherwood, III Papers
Joanna Ruedisueli; Revised by Kathleen Smith, May 2014
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