Clair V. Mann Collection


Description of the Collection

Clair Victor Mann Collection
ca. 1850-1974
167 cubic feet

Scope and Content Note

        This collection contains the personal and professional papers and photographs of Dr. Clair V. Mann spanning his lifetime of work and interests. His wife, Bonita, was an equal partner in collecting in his historical endeavors from the 1920s-1970s. The Manns worked to produce a history of the Maramec Iron Works, “A Source Materials History of the Frisco Railroad,” a series of local history broadcasts on KTTR radio in Rolla (1951-1956), “Yesterday Lives Again” (a centennial history of Phelps County, 1957), an unpublished three-volume history of Rolla, and The Story of Rolla, Missouri, that was edited by Sally White from the Mann Collection and published in a magazine format as a Bicentennial project in 1975.

        A significant portion of the collection consists of Clair Mann’s work as Professor of engineering drawing 1920-1946 at the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy (MSM), his development of engineering aptitude testing and education in the 1930s, the writing of the history of MSM in the 1930s, and Bonita and Clair’s long term interest in local history and genealogy. The Manns were founding members of the Phelps County Historical Society and he was secretary and historian of the society for most of his life. The Phelps County Historical Society published in 1941 "The History of the Missouri School of Mines,"  written by Clair and Bonita Mann.

         The collection includes correspondence, publications, reports, speeches, interviews, local genealogical and historical data, recordings, maps, blueprints, tracings, graphs, photographs and glass plate negatives, artifacts, and memorabilia. There are many original documents and photographs that will be of interest to researchers. The collection is housed at the Missouri University of Science and Technology Archives, Room G-2 of the Curtis Laws Wilson Library. The Archives can be contacted by phone: (573) 341-6954 or email: The material is arranged topically, chronologically and alphabetically, and is divided into eight series.


History of Clair V. Mann Collection

Biographical Note:

        Clair Victor Mann (1884-1974) born in Marshall County, Kansas and was educated at the University of Colorado where he received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in 1914 and his Professional Civil Engineering degree in 1921. He received his Ph.D from the University of Iowa in 1929. He was professor of engineering drawing and chairman of that department of the Missouri School of Mines & Metallurgy at Rolla from 1920-46. He was Highway Engineer and Phelps County Surveyor from 1951 to 1964. His interests included engineering education, music, travel, and historical research. He published Objective Tests in Engineering Education 1930 and the History of the Missouri School of Mines (MSM) in 1941. He died in 1974 and is buried in the Rolla Cemetery, Rolla, Missouri. Bonita Hunt was born in Windsor Colorado in 1888, married Clair in 1906, and died in 1982 and is also buried in Rolla Cemetery. She had many interests including being co-partner with Clair in historical research and writing, and was the driver for their many expeditions in search of local historical information.


        The Mann Collection, consisting of personal and professional papers, maps, blueprints, graphs, drawings, photos, and memorabilia was donated by the estate of Bonita Hunt Mann to the Missouri University of Science and Technology Archives in 1982. This collection was removed from the Mann residence in Rolla and is now housed in Room G-2 of the Curtis Laws Wilson Library on the Missouri University of Science and Technology campus.

                           Biography of Clair V. Mann          Biography of Bonita Hunt Mann            


Finding Aids for Mann Collection