Alvin Marcus Fountain Papers 1889-2002

Creator
Fountain, Alvin Marcus, 1899-
Size
2 linear feet (4 archival boxes)
Location

For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff.

Call number
MC 00007

The Alvin Marcus Fountain Papers (1889 - 2002) contain records relating to Fountain's career at North Carolina State College and North Carolina State University as a student, faculty member, and alumnus. Although a majority of the documents relate to the university, the Papers also include records describing Fountain's community involvement. A small number of the documents concern Fountain's wife Maxine and other family members.

Alvin Marcus Fountain (1900-1989), was an educator, technical writer, author, and statistician. He was a member of the English faculty at North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering (later North Carolina State University), 1925-1965, and developed courses in technical writing and public speaking for engineering students. Fountain received the Watauga Medal from North Carolina State University in 1985.

Biographical/historical note

Alvin Marcus Fountain was born in Onslow County, North Carolina, in 1900. He entered North Carolina State College in 1919 after having heard the stories of his cousin Kit Bryan, who had graduated from the college in 1911. Fountain majored in electrical engineering and participated in a number of extracurricular activities: he was an Intersociety debater, a member of the Leazar Literary Society, a member of the Quill Club, and the 1923 class poet. When the student newspaper, the Technician, was started in 1919, Fountain became a regular writer for the newspaper. He wrote both serious stories and humorous pieces, which he wrote under a pen name, Zippy Mack. Fountain eventually became editor-in-chief of the Technician as well as commencement orator in 1923.

After graduation, Fountain became a statistician for the Carolina Power and Light Company. The following year, while putting his older brother Robert Roy (R.R.) through school at N.C. State, Fountain decided to return to N.C. State as well and received a fellowship to do graduate work. Fountain received a master's degree in sociology in 1925 but found himself without any job prospects. Therefore, he wrote to N.C. State's president explaining his situation and offering to teach freshman courses, whereupon the president offered him a job teaching freshman English. At the same time, during summers, Fountain took English courses at the University of North Carolina to acquire the credentials necessary to teach college-level English. During this same period, in 1925, Fountain composed the lyrics to N.C. State's new alma mater, still in use 80 years later.

From 1929 to 1930, Fountain took a year off from teaching to acquire a master's degree in American literature from Columbia University in New York. He returned to teaching duties for several years and then, from 1935 to 1938, again returned to school, this time to receive a doctorate in technical writing from Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee. While researching for his dissertation, Fountain came across the American Society for Engineering Education, an organization with which Fountain would be associated for over 30 years.

Upon returning once more to N.C. State, Fountain began developing courses in technical writing and in public speaking for engineering students. In 1943, Fountain co-authored the third edition of The Engineer's Manual of English. Later, he co-authored The Manual of Technical Writing. Fountain retired from teaching in 1965, but remained active in the N.C. State community by researching and composing a book on the history of place names at the university.

Fountain was also involved in the community outside the university. He was an active member and church elder in the Hillyer Memorial Christian Church, which he joined in 1923. He also was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was deeply committed to his family history, doing a great deal of genealogical research and organizing annual family reunions. Fountain married Maxine Taylor, a native of Halifax County, North Carolina, in 1937. They had two children, Marcia and Alvin II (known as Mark). Fountain died in 1989.

Scope/content

The Alvin Marcus Fountain Papers include correspondence, writings, publications, poetry, minutes, programs, brochures, reports, newspaper articles, photographs, memoranda, newsletters, notes, and slides. The Papers are organized into three series: North Carolina State University, Personal, and Writings and Publications.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into three series:

  • MC 00007 Series 1. North Carolina State University Papers
  • MC 00007 Series 2. Personal Papers
  • MC 00007 Series 3. Writings and Publications

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Alvin Marcus Fountain Papers, MC 00007, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Source of acquisition

Gift of Alvin Marcus Fountain, 1968, 1974, 1977, 1984, 1985, 1987; Harlan Brown, December 3, 1970; Maxine Taylor Fountain, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1993; and Ben Horne, 1991.

Processing information

Processed by Special Collections Research Center Staff

Re-processed by Stephanie A. Horowitz

Encoded by Stephanie A. Horowitz

Updated by Aaron Cusick, 2009 November

The collection is organized into three principal series:

North Carolina State University Papers 1889-1991 (MC 00007 Series 1)
Size: 1.5 linear feet

This series contains the records of Alvin Marcus Fountain's career at North Carolina State College (later North Carolina State University) as a student, faculty member, and alumnus. It is divided into subseries based on the aforementioned delineations. Within subseries, folders are arranged alphabetically.

2.5 boxes

Student 1919-1923 (MC 00007Subseries 1.1)
Commencement Program 1923
Box 1, Folder 1
Coursework, Drawings for Mechanical Engineering 1920, undated
Box 1, Folder 2
Coursework, Drawings for Mechanical Engineering 1919-1920, undated
Flat box 5
Grade Reports 1920, 1922
Box 1, Folder 3
Recommendation Form undated
Box 1, Folder 4
State College Record 1919 Mar.
Box 1, Folder 5
Writings 1921, 1923
Box 1, Folder 6
Writings, Agromeck 1921, 1923
Box 1, Folder 7
Writings, Technician 1920-1923
Box 1, Folder 8
Faculty 1938-1974 (MC 00007 Subseries 1.2)
American Society for Engineering Education, Annual Meeting 1952
Box 1, Folder 9
American Society for Engineering Education, Annual Meeting 1953
Box 1, Folder 10
American Society for Engineering Education, Annual Meeting 1957
Box 1, Folder 11
American Society for Engineering Education, Annual Meeting 1958
Box 1, Folder 12
American Society for Engineering Education, Papers by Alvin Marcus Fountain 1958, 1961, undated
Box 1, Folder 13
American Society for Engineering Education, Technical Writing Articles 1950-1952
Box 1, Folder 14
Correspondence 1953-1974
Box 1, Folder 15
Faculty Publications Form circa 1938
Box 1, Folder 16
Phi Kappa Phi 1942, undated
Box 1, Folder 17
Alumni 1889-1991 (MC 00007 Subseries 1.3)
Alumni News 1934-1968
Box 1, Folder 18
Attractor, 84th anniversary of North Carolina State University 1973 Sept. 28
Box 1, Folder 19
Article on Yugoslav classmates 1980
Box 1, Folder 20
Buildings and Grounds Committee, Minutes and Report 1961, 1970
Box 1, Folder 21
Committee on the History of the College, Annual Reports 1955-1957
Box 1, Folder 22
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Memoranda 1972-1973
Box 1, Folder 23
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Minutes 1972-1977
Box 1, Folder 24
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Reference Material 1967-1973
Box 1, Folder 25
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Reference Notebook 1 undated

File 1 of 3

Box 1, Folder 26
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Reference Notebook 1 undated

File 2 of 3

Box 1, Folder 27
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Reference Notebook 1 undated

File 3 of 3

Box 2, Folder 1
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Reference Notebook 2 undated

File 1 of 4

Box 2, Folder 2
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Reference Notebook 2 undated

File 2 of 4. Also contains information about genealogy and Sons of the American Revolution.

Box 2, Folder 3
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Reference Notebook 2 undated

File 3 of 4

Box 2, Folder 4
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Reference Notebook 2 undated

File 4 of 4

Box 2, Folder 5
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Bureau of Mines Building undated
Box 2, Folder 6
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Burlington Engineering Laboratories 1972-1973
Box 2, Folder 7
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Case Athletic Center 1966, 1972
Box 2, Folder 8
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Cell Library undated
Box 2, Folder 9
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Chamberlain Street 1972, 1982, undated
Box 2, Folder 10
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Cox Hall 1970, undated
Box 2, Folder 11
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Culbreth Drive 1971
Box 2, Folder 12
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Danforth Chapel 1966-1972
Box 2, Folder 13
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Dunn Avenue 1972
Box 2, Folder 14
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Forster Library 1972
Box 2, Folder 15
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Fraternity Housing 1966, undated
Box 2, Folder 16
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Gardner Arboretum 1972
Box 2, Folder 17
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Greaves-Walker Reading Room 1946-1972
Box 2, Folder 18
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Greenhouse #1 undated
Box 2, Folder 19
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Grinnells Animal Health Laboratory 1972
Box 2, Folder 20
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Harrelson Hall 1932, 1936
Box 2, Folder 21
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Heating Plant undated
Box 2, Folder 22
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Hill Library 1916
Box 2, Folder 23
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Holladay Hall 1895, 1972-1975
Box 2, Folder 24
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, King Religious Center 1955, 1962, undated
Box 2, Folder 25
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Leazar Hall undated
Box 2, Folder 26
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Lee Dormitory 1966
Box 2, Folder 27
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Lyons Design Library 1968, 1972
Box 2, Folder 28
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Magnum Hall 1972
Box 2, Folder 29
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Mann Hall 1972
Box 2, Folder 30
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, McKimmon Room 1972, undated
Box 2, Folder 31
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Old Mechanical undated
Box 2, Folder 32
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Pate Drive 1971
Box 2, Folder 33
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Patterson and Peele Halls 1908, 1972
Box 2, Folder 34
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Poe Hall 1971, undated
Box 2, Folder 35
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Polk Hall undated
Box 2, Folder 36
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Power Plant 1972
Box 2, Folder 37
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Price Drive 1971
Box 2, Folder 38
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Pullen Hall undated
Box 2, Folder 39
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Pullen Road undated
Box 2, Folder 40
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Randolph Reading Room 1961
Box 2, Folder 41
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Robertson Laboratories undated
Box 2, Folder 42
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Scott Hall 1972
Box 2, Folder 43
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Stephens Room undated
Box 2, Folder 44
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Student Supply Store 1973
Box 2, Folder 45
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Summer House undated
Box 2, Folder 46
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Watauga Hall undated
Box 2, Folder 47
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Winston Hall 1899-1987
Box 2, Folder 48
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Yates-Mill Laboratories 1972
Box 2, Folder 49
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Research, Unnamed Buildings 1972-1973, undated
Box 2, Folder 50
Committee on Institutional History and Commemoration, Place Names, Progress Reports 1971-1972
Box 3, Folder 1
Founders' Day, Program and Articles 1957
Box 3, Folder 2
Fraternity, Alpha Lambda Tau 1932-1933
Box 3, Folder 3
Fraternity, Mu Beta Psi undated
Box 3, Folder 4
Reunion, Class Directory 1973 May 4
Box 3, Folder 5
Reunion, Correspondence and Notes 1973
Box 3, Folder 6
Reunion, Invocation and Salute 1973 May 4
Box 3, Folder 7
Reunion, Photographs undated
Box 3, Folder 8
Reunion, Research on Classmates, Correspondence and Notes 1972-1973
Box 3, Folder 9
University History Research, "Bear in the Chapel" Oral History Project 1914, 1984, undated
Box 3, Folder 10
University History Research, Newspaper Articles 1889-1991, undated
Box 3, Folder 11
University History Research, Pullen Land Grant undated
Box 3, Folder 12
University History Research, Textile Plant Fire 1889, 1914
Box 3, Folder 13
Writings 1926-1981
Box 3, Folder 14
Writings, Agromeck 1927-1928
Box 3, Folder 15
Writings, Alma Mater 1925
Box 3, Folder 16
Writings, Technician 1924-1978, undated
Box 3, Folder 17
Personal Papers 1911-1992 (MC 00007 Series 2)
Size: 0.5 linear feet

This series contains records regarding Alvin Fountain's community involvement and his research into his family history. It also includes his personal correspondence and the records of Maxine Taylor Fountain. The series is divided into five subseries: Community Involvement, Family History, Correspondence, General, and Maxine Taylor Fountain. Within the subseries, folders are arranged alphabetically.

1 box

Community Involvement 1954-1981 (MC 00007 Subseries 2.1)
Cane Ridge Revival, Christian Church undated
Box 3, Folder 18
D.H. Hill Library, Donation 1981 Apr. 21
Box 3, Folder 19
Danforth Scholars, Seminar on General Education and Religion and Moral Values, University of Chicago 1957 June
Box 3, Folder 20
Duke Players, Experimental Theatre undated
Box 3, Folder 21
Hillyer Memorial Christian Church, Convention, Charlotte, Visual Records 1972
Box 3, Folder 22
Hillyer Memorial Christian Church, Newspaper Articles 1974, undated
Box 3, Folder 23
Hillyer Memorial Christian Church, Writings 1974-1978
Box 3, Folder 24
International Ecumenical Institute, Participation 1954 Sept.
Box 3, Folder 25
National Benevolent Association of the Christian Church, Donation 1972 Feb. 24
Box 3, Folder 26
North Carolina Council of Churches Legislative Seminar 1975 Jan.
Box 3, Folder 27
Sons of the American Revolution 1976, undated
Box 3, Folder 28
Sons of the American Revolution, Photographs undated
Box 3, Folder 29
Sons of the American Revolution, Writings 1973 July 1
Box 3, Folder 30
Union Chapel Christian Church, Writings 1979 July 24
Box 3, Folder 31
Wake County Association of Retired Persons, Introduction of Burton F. Beers 1979 Feb. 15
Box 3, Folder 32
Correspondence 1922-1989 (MC 00007 Subseries 2.2)
1922-1989
Box 3, Folder 33
Holiday and Special Occasion Letters 1954-1987, undated
Box 3, Folder 34
Family History 1911-1992 (MC 00007 Subseries 2.3)
Family Reunion Newsletters 1924, 1970-1986
Box 3, Folder 35
Genealogy Research Notes 1920-1986, undated
Box 3, Folder 36
The John R. Fountain Family 1952 Nov. 11
Box 4, Folder 1
The John R. Fountain Family of Onslow County, North Carolina 1992
Box 4, Folder 2
John R. Fountain Family Reunion Assembly Area Dedication undated
Box 4, Folder 3
John R. Fountain Memorial Plaque Dedication 1962 Sept. 9
Box 4, Folder 4
Kit Bryan 1911
Box 4, Folder 5
Mattie Ella Moore Taylor: 1879-1962 1963 Jan. 1
Box 4, Folder 6
Newspaper Articles 1971-1988
Box 4, Folder 7
Tom McCrea Poetry 1925
Box 4, Folder 8
People and Events Contemporary with John R. Fountain and Molsey A. Fountain 1952
Flat folder 1
General 1927-1962 (MC 00007 Subseries 2.4)
Louisburg College, The Oak Yearbook Page 1927
Box 4, Folder 9
Newspaper Articles about Alvin Fountain 1956-1984
Box 4, Folder 10
Notes, Political Ideas undated
Box 4, Folder 11
Place Card undated
Box 4, Folder 12
Playbills and Play Scripts undated
Box 4, Folder 13
Publications, collected by Fountain 1931, 1962
Box 4, Folder 14
Maxine Taylor Fountain 1947-1989 (MC 00007 Subseries 2.5)
Correspondence 1948-1949, 1988-1989
Box 4, Folder 15
Daughters of the American Revolution, Constitutional Drama 1987
Box 4, Folder 16
Newspaper Articles 1949, 1969, undated
Box 4, Folder 17
North Carolina State College Women's Club 1947-1956, undated
Box 4, Folder 18
Writings and Publications 1929-1988 (MC 00007 Series 3)

This series contains Alvin Fountain's writings and publications that do not concern North Carolina State University or his professional and personal affiliations. Folders are arranged alphabetically.

6 folders

Eulogy, Ralph Swann undated
Box 4, Folder 19
Letters to the Editor, Drafts undated
Box 4, Folder 20
Newspaper Articles and Letters to the Editor 1972-1988, undated
Box 4, Folder 21
Obituary, Cat 1973 Nov. 21
Box 4, Folder 22
Poetry 1929-1984, undated
Box 4, Folder 23
William Norwood Hicks II: An Appreciation 1974
Box 4, Folder 24

Access to the collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Alvin Marcus Fountain Papers, MC 00007, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.