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Glenn G. Bartle papers

Identifier: BUA-0026

Scope and Contents

The Glenn G. Bartle papers include personal and professional meterials related to his education, geological career, years at Harpur College and promoting higher education, his post-retirement volunteeer work, travel, and press.

Although Bartle is best known for his many years of service establishing Harpur College, which would eventually become Binghamton University (SUNY), his long career extended far beyond Binghamton. Particularly well documented in the collection is his work in oil and gas exploration before he came to Harpur College. This material includes maps, geological reports, correspondence, articles Bartle wrote, and drilling logs. bartle travelled all over the world for consulting jobs, and his geological records reflect this travel.

The rest of the collection is largely related to Bartles years at Harpur College and the decade after his retirement. These files include lecture notes, writing, speeches, correspondence, articles, college contracts, formal photographs, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, awards, assorted ephemera and realia.

There is also a large volume of travel photos in the form of slides.


  • Creation: 1911 - 1978


Conditions Governing Access

This collection has been reviewed for restrictions and is open for research.

Biographical Note

Glenn G. Bartle was the founding president of what is now Binghamton University. He came to the region in 1945 to serve as dean of the newly established Triple Cities College (TCC), in Endicott, N.Y.

Glenn G. Bartle was born in Borden, Indiana, on February 7, 1899. He attended public schools and graduated from high school in 1916. He then entered Indiana University, where he earned all three of his degrees: Bachelor of Arts in geology (1921), Master of Arts in geology (1923), and Ph.D. in stratigraphy and economic geology (1932). He did, however, spend at least one academic year at the University of Chicago (1924-1925). From the beginning it seems Bartle was torn between his passion for geology and his interest in higher education. He participated in a number of natural gas exploration ventures, usually as a consulting geologist, throughout the Midwest and West during the 1930s. At the same time, Bartle was teaching science and geology for most of the 1920s. Then, in 1933, he became Professor of Geology at the University of Kansas City; in 1937, he became Dean of Liberal Arts at the same institution. This would be his first experience in a long career in college administration.

It was during the Second World War that Bartle began to gravitate more fully toward college administration. As a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, he was stationed at Swarthmore College and placed in charge of a V-12 Unit. The V-12 program was designed to speed up the training of commissioned naval officers during the war. Most interesting, however, is the fact that Swarthmore was also one of the schools designated for training Chinese Nationalist officers who were fighting the Japanese alongside the United States. Bartle was tasked with developing their English-language skills so that they would be able to continue their studies in either naval administration or shipbuilding. In 1946, Bartle received the Medal of the Cloud Banner from Chiang Kai-shek for his role in this special program.

After the war, Bartle was offered the position of Dean of Triple Cities College (TCC) in Endicott, New York. TCC was an extension of the more established Syracuse University. Bartle immediately embraced his role as leader of this fledgling institution, and it was not long before he rallied the local community behind his efforts to make TCC a four-year, liberal arts college in the emerging State University of New York (SUNY) system. In 1950, Bartle’s dream came true. TCC became Harpur College, part of SUNY and no longer affiliated with Syracuse University. Throughout the 1950s, Bartle worked relentlessly to establish Harpur College as a premier liberal arts college. He simultaneously worked with SUNY officials, local and state politicians, and community leaders such as Johnson family members (of Endicott-Johnson) and Thomas J. Watson (of IBM) to relocate the campus to its current location in Vestal. Eventually, Bartle realized that the small, liberal arts college he had envisioned needed to expand into a university that offered graduate-level programs and degrees. While this did not officially take place until after Bartle retired in 1964, he had laid the groundwork for the transformation and ensured it would be successful.

Bartle became President of Harpur College in 1954, although he led the institution as “dean” and then “provost” prior to that. When he retired in 1964, Harpur College was transitioning into one of the four university centers within the SUNY system. Bartle had truly built the school from the ground up, having been in charge from 1946-1964. Upon retirement, he worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development until 1966. He revived his natural gas exploration ventures and consulting, travelled around the globe—even visiting some of his Chinese students from Swarthmore during a trip to Taiwan. He attended several International Geological Congresses (1956-1968), participated in Comparative Education Society trips (1964-1966), and took a number of personal trips (1964-1973). His wife, Wanda Bartle, accompanied him on many of these trips. Glenn G. Bartle died on September 14, 1977.


20 Linear Feet (34 boxes, 10 map case drawers, and 2 rolls)

Language of Materials



The Glenn G. Bartle papers include personal and professional meterials related to Bartle's education, geological career, years at Harpur College, post-retirement volunteeer work, travel, and press. Glenn G. Bartle was the founding president of Harpur College (now Binghamton University). He came to the region in 1945 to serve as dean of the newly established Triple Cities College (TCC), in Endicott, N.Y.


The collection is arranged into 8 series.


  1. Geological career
  2. Harpur College
  3. Personal correspondence
  4. Professional life after Harpur College
  5. Photographs
  6. Newspaper clippings
  7. Awards and recognition
  8. Scrapbooks
  9. Memorabilia

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was gifted from Glenn G. Bartle's family at an unkown date. In 2018, the family added several of Bartle's diplomas to the collection.

Related Materials

There is a portrait of Glenn G. Bartle in the Special Collections, as well as portraits of Glenn and Wanda Bartle held by the Bartle Library that hang near the information desk. The Special collections also holds the journals of Bartle's paternal grandfather in the Reuben Lewis Bartle journals.

Separated Materials

During processing in 2023, Madison White (Archival Processing Manager) removed articles not written by or about Bartle, travel memoribilia and souvenirs, comercial and government maps, and 2 plaques that were given to Wanda Bartle.

Processing Information

Around 2019, Joe Schill (student assistant) and Yvonne Deligato (Univeristy Archivist) began processing the collection. They weeded duplicates, foldered materials, arranged material into sub-series, and began creating the description. They were close to completing processing when Deligato retired in 2021.

After Deligato's retirement, the collection sat for several years partially processed. In 2023, Madison White (Archival Processing Manager) wrapped up the prior processing project. She weeded travel memorabilia, put the small amount of loose material left into folders and into sub-series, created description for undescribed portions, and created collection level description.

Glenn G. Bartle papers
Joe Schill (Student Assistant), Yvonne Deligato (University Archivist), and Madison White (Archival Processing Manager)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections Repository

Binghamton NY 13902 USA