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Katherine Thorn papers

 Collection — Box: 1-4
Identifier: 22-10F-121

Scope and Contents

Professional papers of Dr. Katherine Thorn, pertaining primarily to her work on speech disorders at the Speech Clinic and in the Department of Speech Communication at the University at Buffalo. Includes tape recordings of speech disorders used for class instruction, a card file index to books and articles on speech and student grade books.

Also includes Thorn's papers as a member of the Committee on the Evaluation of the Student Constitution (1958-1960) at the University at Buffalo.


  • 1940-1969


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

Katherine Thorn papers, 1940-1969 are open for research. The original format audiotape recordings are restricted from playback; digitized mp3 files are open to researchers. Because rights release forms nor transcripts were completed, the recordings may only be accessed onsite within Special Collections at this time.


Copyright is held by the State University of New York at Buffalo, University Archives. Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Note

Dr. Katherine "Kay" Thorn (1908-1977) was a founder and a leader in the professional activities associated with speech pathology. She earned her undergraduate degree from Elmira College and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She worked as a speech therapist in the East Aurora public school system before working at Elmira College and University of Minnesota. The rest of her career was spent at the University at Buffalo.

When hired in 1949, Thorn was UB's first professor of Speech Communications. In 1950, she established the University's Speech and Hearing Clinic and served as its director until her retirement in 1971. Additionally, Thorn served as president of the UB Chapter of the American Association of University Professors and as secretary of the University Senate; as well as acting as faculty advisor and as Assistant Dean of Students.

Thorn was Founder and Vice President of the New York State Speech and Hearing Association, Fellow of the American Speech and Hearing Association, and Diplomat of the American Psychological Association. Her research is widely published in speech communications journals. Among them is the Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, for which she spent time as an editorial consultant.

In the Buffalo community, Thorn served as Director of the YWCA of Buffalo and Erie County and acted as a speech pathology consultant at the Veterans Administration Hospitals in Buffalo and Bath. For additional biographical information, see the appended obituary from the Reporter (April 28, 1977).

For additional background information about the Speech Clinic, see appended article from the Alumni Bulletin (February 1959).


1.75 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box, 1 half manuscript box, 2 audiotape boxes, 14 reel-to reel tapes)

6.717 Gigabytes (19 files)


Professional papers pertaining primarily to Thorn's work on speech disorders at the Speech Clinic and in the Department of Speech Communication. Collection includes tape recordings of speech disorders used for class instruction and Thorn's papers as a member of the Committee on the Evaluation of the Student Constitution at the University of Buffalo.


The collection is arranged into two series: I. Professional and II. Tape recordings.

Acquisition Information

George Thorn, Katherine's brother, donated the papers in 1977.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Archives staff, circa 1980. Audio tapes were digitized by George Blood Inc., 2019.

Finding Aid for the Katherine Thorn papers
Finding aid prepared by Archives staff.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)