Murray State University
200 Pogue Library
Murray, Kentucky 42071
Collection Title: Harry M. Sparks Papers
Series Number: RG003-12-07
Department: Office of the President
Processed and Cataloged by: Processed by Christy Leith in March of 2012.
Date Listed: April 25, 2012
Date Span: 1926-1999
Size of Collection: 9.0 linear feet.
Number of Boxes: 2 legal size document cases, 1 legal half size document case, 3 record center boxes and 3 oversize boxes.
Type of Material: Correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, photographs, ephemera and artifacts.
Condition of Material: Good.
Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically by subject; Chronological arrangement.
Historical Information: Harry Magee Sparks served as the fifth president of Murray State University from 1968 to 1973. He was born at Livingston, Kentucky on July 27, 1907. He received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Transylvania College in 1930 and a master’s degree in 1941 and Ph.D. in 1954 from the University of Kentucky. He taught at McDaniels Elementary School and Breckinridge County High School from 1930 to 1934. He was the Superintendent of Public Schools at Irvington, Kentucky from 1934 to 1941 and principal at Russell Senior High School in from 1941 to 1944. He served in the United States Navy from 1944 to 1946 and resigned at the rank of lieutenant commander. From 1947 to 1948 he served as the principal of Mayfield High School. He was hired by Murray State College in the fall of 1948 as a professor in the Department of Education. He later became department chair. In 1964, he was appointed Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Kentucky. He returned to Murray State in the spring of 1968 and served as president until his retirement on September 15, 1973. He ran for the state Senate in 1975 but lost. He died on May 20, 1996.
Scope and Content: Collection contains the correspondence, reports and memos of Harry M. Sparks, former president of Murray State University, from 1926 to 1999. The collection also consists of newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, photo albums, photographs, ephemera, memorabilia, artifacts and various awards, diplomas and certificates. The bulk of the materials cover the time period from 1960s to the 1990s. Included in the collection are the ceremonial robe and dress that Sparks and his wife wore during his inauguration.
Subject Headings / Descriptors:
Sparks, Harry Magee, 1907-1996
Murray State University – History.
Murray State University – Presidents.