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Gene McCreery collection

Identifier: MSS-303

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of records ranging from 1790 to 2009 documenting the personal and professional life of Dr. Gene Sharp McCreery of Harrison Township, Delaware County, Indiana. Records include personal documents (transcripts, certificates and diplomas, land deeds, membership cards, daily planners, yearbooks, greeting cards, and correspondence); international records documenting McCreery’s humanitarian work in various countries (program administrative records, foreign language study materials, lecture notes, and publications); sheet music and song books; newspaper clippings; scrapbooks; photographic slides, prints, and negatives; 16mm films; and artifacts including paintings and art prints.

The majority of the records in the collection pertain to McCreery’s international aid work with People to People International (PTPI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1940 to 2005. The People to People International records include local chapter by-laws, Board of Trustees documents, publicity, national mission trip goals, and information about their Student Ambassador program. The USAID records pertain to language and cultural exchange programs in Egypt in the 1950s and education development programs in Vietnam during the 1960s. Also included within this collection are genealogical and historical research materials documenting the McCreery, MacCreary, Sharp, Woodring, and Robbins families. Records related to Gaston Methodist Church and Gaston High School were collected by Gene's father, Harry McCreery, who was involved in the establishment of the school.

Photographic prints include personal images of McCreery’s friends and family as well as images taken during his travels in Europe, Egypt, and Asia. Slides are grouped by educational lecture or workshop, particularly those from People to People International in Europe, Vietnam, and Ethiopia. Negatives include images of McCreery`s family, friends, activities, and travels.


  • Creation: 1790-2009

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Biographical Note

Gene Sharp McCreery was born on May 14, 1912 in Harrison Township, Delaware County, Indiana to Harry D. and Hazel (Sharp) McCreery. He graduated from Harrison Township High School in 1930, received a Bachelor of Arts from Ball State Teacher's College in 1935, a Master of Arts in Education from Columbia University in 1940, and a Doctorate of Education from Indiana University in 1953. In 1942, he married Mary Jane Robbins in Bluffton, Indiana. The couple had two sons, Richard A. McCreery and John T. McCreery.

McCreery was inducted into the United States Army Air Corps in 1943 and served as a pilot and flight instrument instructor until the end of World War II. After his military service, McCreery served as the Principal of Harrison School and later taught at Burris Laboratory School. Over the course of his career he taught at Ball State University, the Illinois State College-Normal, Quincy College in Illinois, and Haile Selassie I University in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He also served as Director of Student Teaching and Placement at Newark State Teacher’s College in New Jersey. McCreery was a recognized leader in educational theory and practice and served as an advisor to various governments and universities in Egypt, Thailand, Vietnam, and Ethiopia.

Through his involvement with humanitarian organizations like People to People International (PTPI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), McCreery participated in educational development projects in various countries. PTPI was established on September 11, 1956 by President Eisenhower as part of the U.S. Information Agency and is dedicated to enhancing cross-cultural communication within and across communities and nations. USAID was established on November 3, 1961 by President Kennedy to administer aid to and promote social and economic development in foreign countries. McCreery participated in mission trips to several countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Australia where he often gave lectures and presentations on language and culture. While in Egypt, McCreery worked for the Egyptian American Joint Committee for Education, the Rural Education Program, and the Health and Mental Health Program.

In addition to his work abroad, McCreery was also actively involved in several local organizations. He was a member of the Gaston Methodist Church, the Muncie Club, Phi Delta Kappa International, Rotary International, Indiana Retired Teachers Association, Lifelong Learners Association, Muncie Teacher's Federation, Society for the Preservation and Encouragement for Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA), Harmonizer Choral Group, Half Century Club, and the Delaware County Republican Party. McCreery was also an avid genealogist and photographer.

In 1989, the Ball State University Alumni Association bestowed on Dr. McCreery the honor of the Distinguished Alumni Award. Gene McCreery died on September 7, 2009. Funeral services were held at the Gaston United Methodist Church and he was buried in the Thompson Cemetery in Gaston, Indiana.


35 Cubic Feet (35 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in the following series and subseries:

Series 1: Personal papers, 1790-2009

...Subseries 1.1: Personal documents, 1902-2009

...Subseries 1.2: Genealogy and history documents, 1790-2009

...Subseries 1.3: Affiliated organization documents, 1932-2000

Series 2: International documents, 1940-2005

...Subseries 2.1: People to People International administrative documents, 1940-2005

...Subseries 2.2: People to People International mission trips, 1956-2004

...Subseries 2.3: Vietnam documents, 1944-2004

...Subseries 2.4: Vietnam books, 1960-1970

...Subseries 2.5: Asian books, 1960-1970

...Subseries 2.6: USAID Egypt documents, 1954-1957

...Subseries 2.7: People to People International Ethiopia documents, 1950-1967

...Subseries 2.8: Miscellaneous books, 1897-1997

Series 3: Travel guides, 1951-2002

...Subseries 3.1: Africa travel guides, 1951-1994

...Subseries 3.2: Middle East travel guides, 1952-2000

...Subseries 3.3: Asia travel guides, 1962-1998

...Subseries 3.4: New Zealand and Australia travel guides, 1968-2000

...Subseries 3.5: Europe travel guides, 1966-1999

...Subseries 3.6: Americas travel guides, 1958-2002

Series 4: Yearbooks, 1928-1994

...Subseries 4.1: Gaston, Indiana Aurora yearbooks, 1928-1964

...Subseries 4.2: Hartford City, Indiana The Retro yearbook, 1942

...Subseries 4.3: The Gaston School yearbooks, 1943-1944

...Subseries 4.4: Melvin, Illinois, Melvin-Sibley High School Mirror yearbooks, 1973-1980

...Subseries 4.5: Ball State Teachers College reunion albums, 1929-1994

...Subseries 4.6: Newark State College yearbooks, 1958-1962

...Subseries 4.7: Quincy College yearbooks, 1974-1977

Series 5: Sheet music and music books, 1816-1992

...Subseries 5.1: Christmas sheet music and music books, 1816-1992

...Subseries 5.2: Church hymns, 1816-1937

...Subseries 5.3: Classic American sheet music and music books, 1913-1992

...Subseries 5.4: Musical production sheet music and music books, 1893-1964

...Subseries 5.5: Organ sheet music and music books, 1930-1976

...Subseries 5.6: Instructional sheet music and music books, 1893-1964

...Subseries 5.7: Male quartettes and barbershop sheet music and music books, undated

...Subseries 5.8: Miscellaneous sheet music and music books, 1915-1992, undated

Series 6: Newspapers and newspaper clippings, 1903-2000

Series 7: Slides and film, circa 1940-2009

...Subseries 7.1: International travel slides, circa 1940-2009

...Subseries 7.2: Family slides, circa 1940-1970

...Subseries 7.3: Film, undated

Series 8: Scrapbooks and photograph albums, 1880-2002

...Subseries 8.1: Vietnam international travel photograph albums, 1964-1998

...Subseries 8.2: International travel photograph albums, 1930-1998

...Subseries 8.3: Family and friends photograph albums, 1880-2002

Series 9: Photographs, 1790-2007

...Subseries 9.1: Personal photographs, 1790-2000

...Subseries 9.2: Asia travel photographs, 1937-1998

...Subseries 9.3: People to People International photographs, 1997-2007

Series 10: Negatives, 1910-2004

...Subseries 10.1: People to People International negatives, circa 1930-2004

...Subseries 10.2: International travel negatives, 1998-2000

...Subseries 10.3: Personal negatives, 1910-2003

Series 11: Cards, 1937-2009

Series 12: Artifacts, undated; 1950-2004

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from John McCreery on 2010/09/10.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection inventory completed by Josh Vance. Collection processing completed 2012/02/20 by Melanie Baugh. EAD finding aid created 2012/02/12 by Melanie Baugh. EAD finding aid revised 2012/04/02 by Bethany Fiechter and 2014/10/13 by Brandon Pieczko.

Gene McCreery collection
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Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA