Denice Bruce Collection

Collection Summary

Title: Denice Bruce Collection
Call Number: MS 2016-04
Size: 0.5 linear feet
Acquisition: Donated by Denice Bruce, 2015
Processed by: JZ, 11-2015
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher, to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

This collection contains correspondence, press clippings, speeches, interview transcripts, academic and professional reports, and corporate publications collected by WSU graduate student Denice Bruce during the research and writing of her master's thesis. The material largely deals with the Dow Chemical Company's manufacture of Agent Orange and napalm, both of which were used by the American military during the Vietnam War. Various items in the collection also show the evolution of Dow's public relations approach within this era and during the 1980s.

Administrative History

The Dow Chemical Company was founded by Canadian-born chemist Herbert Dow (1866-1930) in 1897. It became known for its diverse product line and gained major military contracts during the First and Second World Wars. In the 1960s Dow began making napalm, a chemical compound that adheres to and burns susceptible material when ignited, as well as the defoliant Agent Orange for the United States military. Knowledge of Dow's manufacture of these products led to consumer boycotts and widely publicized protests, particularly on college campuses. The company ceased making napalm in 1969, and Agent Orange sometime afterward. Dow maintains its status as one of the largest chemical companies in the world, creating products for a wide variety of uses.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1 FF 1-4 Company Correspondence, Speeches, and Reports. This series contains correspondence, speeches, and reports created and received by Dow executives regarding the manufacture of napalm and Agent Orange, as well as the public relations efforts to defend their products, 1966-1990, n.d. Arranged chronologically.
Series 2 Box 1 FF 5-8 Company Publications. This series contains company newsletters, public interest reports, and brochures, 1968-1992, n.d. Arranged alphabetically.
Series 3 Box 1 FF 9 Press. This series contains magazine and newspaper clippings, as well as interview transcripts regarding Dow's production of napalm and Agent Orange, 1966-1991. Arranged chronologically.
Series 4 Box 1 FF 10-11 Thesis Material. This series contains Denice Bruce's interview with company historian E. N. Brandt, and notes and writings used in the composition and defense of her master's thesis on Dow's public relations strategies concerning the public outcry over the manufacture of napalm and Agent Orange, 1966-1993. Arranged by record type.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ Company Correspondence, Speeches, and Reports

Box 1 FF 1 Correspondence, speeches, and reports, 1966-1968
Box 1 FF 2 Correspondence, speeches, and reports, 1969-1972
Box 1 FF 3 Correspondence, speeches, and reports, 1973-1985
Box 1 FF 4 Correspondence, speeches, and reports, 1987-1990, n.d.

Series 2 ‒ Company Publications

Box 1 FF 5 "Dow Today," 1976-1992
Box 1 FF 6 News releases, 1968-1980
Box 1 FF 7 "The Point Is . . .," 1979-1989
Box 1 FF 8 Various newsletters, reports and brochures, 1977-1990, n.d.

Series 3 ‒ Press

Box 1 FF 9 Clippings and interview transcripts, 1966-1991

Series 4 ‒ Thesis Material

Box 1 FF 10 Transcript and cassette tape of interview with E. N. Brandt, 1993
Box 1 FF 11 Thesis prospectus, notes, and Dow documents examined by Denice Bruce, 1966-1993