Scope and Content of Collection
The Warner B. Ragsdale papers include material covering the years 1917 to 1985. The bulk of the material is evenly distributed between the years 1928 and 1970. Most of the papers were Mr. Ragsdale's reference files that he kept as a reporter and editor. These files were primarily composed of newspaper clippings, wire service reports, typescript news stories and office memoranda. But Mr. Ragsdale also kept a great number of interviews. Two of these stand out in the collection, the ones of John Nance Garner and Sam Rayburn; Mr. Ragsdale kept the transcripts as well as the revisions of the interview given by John Nance Garner. The majority of the remaining interviews are transcripts of telephone conversations whose contents were used as background information for Mr. Ragsdale's various books on the elections. There are also many drafts of Mr. Ragsdale's personal writings. The collection includes 5 bound volumes, created by Ragsdale's granddaughter, Becky Lallier, after his death. These volumes contain his Sunday school lesson plans as well as drafts for A Political History of the United States, a book that Ragsdale was working on throughout his life. Other materials in the collection include mementos from the 1928 and 1932 presidential campaigns, monographs, personal writings, reporter's notebooks, certificates, and photographs.