Skip to main content

Orrin Edgar Klapp Papers

Identifier: MS-0341

Scope and Contents

The Orrin Edgar Klapp Papers documents the Klapp's career as a naval officer and professor of sociology at San Diego State College from 1949 to 1969. The collection is comprised of information pertaining to the history of the Hydrographic Office during WWII, correspondence to and from Klapp, newspaper clippings, and a handwritten manuscript of Klapp's work A Materialist Metaphysics. Other highlights include manuscripts from Scuttlebutt, a weekly humor magazine edited by Klapp, and Klapp's application for a John Simon Gugenheim Fellowship.


  • Creation: 1942 - 1998


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.

Biographical Note

Orrin Edgar Klapp (1915-1997) was one of San Diego State College's top sociological researchers and professors. A Chicago native, Klapp received his bachelors, masters, and doctorate degree in sociology from the University of Chicago. With the outbreak of World War II, Klapp left his doctoral program to enter the US Navy as a lieutenant and worked in the hydrographic office making maps for airplanes and ships. While in the Navy Klapp began to publish his writing and edited a humor magazine, Scuttlebutt, intended to be distributed throughout the fleet. The publication was discontinued after the irreverent material started to offend other officers. After leaving the military, Klapp finished his doctoral degree and joined the faculty at San Diego State College in 1949, where he remained for twenty years. Klapp published several works exploring sociological interaction in San Diego. His first book, Ritual and Cult, was published in 1956. His best known work, Heroes, Villains, and Fools, is a scholarly investigation about the changing American culture of the 1960s. Klapp left San Diego State College in 1969 to teach at the University of Western Ontario where he taught for 14 years and continued to produce sociological research.

Klapp died in 1997 after a struggle with Alzheimer's disease.


0.21 Linear Feet (One half-size Hollinger box)

Language of Materials


Source of Acquisition

Evelyn Klapp



Orrin Edgar Klapp Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • September 2022: The Orrin Edgar Klapp Papers were reprocessed in September 2022.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US