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Dr. David A. Talbot Papers

Identifier: 2008.043

Scope and Contents

The David A. Talbot Papers consists primarily of papers related to the business of the Center for Counseling and Student Development Services, colleagues and fellow staff members at the Center, and other administrative and teaching roles Dr. Talbot maintained at East Texas State University. The collection is divided into eight series: Professional Papers, Student Papers, Essays, Administrative Papers, Correspondence and News, Publications and Presentations, Student Papers (Accrual), and Programs.

Series I. Professional Papers contains reports from the Texas 2000 Commission, the ETSU Affirmative Action Plan and university budges and reports, information about the Minority Faculty Identification Program, student and employee policies, and promotional materials for the university.

Series II. Student Papers includes dissertation proposals, notes and articles from Guidance 311, papers from Guidance 511, and a list of basic study techniques for students.

Series III. Essays includes copies of draft chapters of an autobiographical manuscript written by Dr. Talbot. The chapters cover his life from his birth in Guyana and family history through his experience in World War II.

Series IV. Administrative Papers forms the largest part of the collection and is comprised primarily of papers related to the Center for Counseling and Student Development Services and its staff. It includes staff reports and meeting minutes; reports of the Task Force on Admissions, Retention, and Academic Standards; job applications and recommendation letters; work schedules and action forms; travel applications, vouchers, and correspondence; veteran counseling materials; and studies using psychological rating scales. (Some materials are restricted due to sensitive information)

Series V. Correspondence and News consists of letters of David Talbot and other Counseling Center staff as well as war news and letters.

Series VI. Publications and Presentations contains unpublished book chapters on school guidance and counseling, an assertion training workshop manual, a conference paper on dysfunctional families, and a bibliography on marriage and divorce.

Series VII. Student Papers (Accrual) contains dissertation proposals, notes and essays for Guidance 311, and article summaries for Guidance 511.

Series VIII. Programs includes text depicting the history of African American and Mexican people as well as pamphlets with InterRacial Living Experience Events.


  • Creation: 1966 - 2002


Conditions Governing Access

Some items included sensitive information. Items that included sensitive information, such as date of birth, social security number, and student grades, were separated into a restricted container. Items with research value and limited sensitive information were copied with the copies having sensitive information redacted and the originals added to the restricted material box.

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection are protected by applicable copyright laws.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. David Arlington Roberts Talbot was born on January 25, 1916 in British Guyana (now Guyana) to David Patterson and Maude Roberts Talbot. He attended Queens College in Guyana before coming to the United States at age 18 to study at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he received a bachelor's degree in 1939 and taught mathematics. He earned a master's degree from Columbia University in 1951 and a doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1966.

While pursuing his master's degree, he put his studies on hold and served as a personnel officer and interpreter for the Third U.S. Army under General George S. Patton during World War II and received a bronze star. Shortly after the war, he married Phyllis Willis in Powhatan, Virginia. They had three sons, David Jr., Jim, and Eric.

Dr. Talbot began his lifelong career in education by accepting a faculty position at Shorter College in North Little Rock, Arkansas. He spent five years as Dean of Students and head of the English Department before joining the English faculty at Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College, now known as the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He was later promoted to Dean of Students and Associate Vice President of Student Affairs.

Dr. Talbot joined the faculty of East Texas State University in 1968 after receiving a request to visit and interview from President D. Whitney Halladay, with whom Talbot had interned while obtaining his doctorate. By accepting the offer, Dr. Talbot became the first black faculty member at the university. At ETSU, Dr. Talbot served as Professor of Counseling and Guidance, counselor and director of the Center for Counseling and Student Development Services, and Special Assistant to the University President for Affirmative Action. He established university programs including the Inter-Cultural Living Experience, where students of different cultural backgrounds lived, studied, and socialized together, and a multi-cultural Teacher Training Institute. He also served as advisor for many organizations, including Omega Psi Phi fraternity, which included Dr. Talbot among its membership. Dr. Talbot retired from ETSU in 1987.

After his retirement, he received the Spirit of Mayo citation, which recognizes outstanding service to the university community. In 2017, the Hall of Languages was renamed the David Talbot Hall of Languages in his honor.

Dr. Talbot participated in many other community efforts. An ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, he served congregations in Pine Bluff and Blytheville, Arkansas, and he taught Sunday school and played the organ at First United Methodist Church in Commerce. He also served as a member of the Commerce Independent School District Board of Trustees, Kiwanas, Norris Community Club, Commerce Literacy Commission, and Hunt County Family Services Board. The City of Commerce honored him by observing "Dr D. Arlington Talbot Day" in November 1997.

Dr. Talbot passed away on March 9, 2003.


2.5 Linear Feet (3 records boxes)

Language of Materials



The original accession and the accrual are arranged separately. Items within folders are arranged chronologically, if possible. Student papers and dissertations are arranged alphabetically by last name.

Custodial History

Original accession was collected by Barbara Tutt and donated to Special Collections by Janet Williams circa 2008. Accrual was donated to Special Collections by Eric Talbot, son of David Talbot, in 2019.

Dr. David A. Talbot Papers
Sawyer Magnus
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, Waters Library, Texas A&M University-Commerce Repository