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MS 1000 - Cunningham Family Papers


The Cunningham family papers consist mainly of journals and scrapbooks, with some genealogical information, related to the family of Harriet McKnight Cunningham and Don A. Cunningham, between the years 1930 to 2008. The collection was donated to the Center for Archival Collections by two of their children, Scott Cunningham and Cheryl Windisch in September 2009.

No restrictions exist on the use of this collection. The collection was processed and register prepared by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts.

Biographical Sketch

Don A. Cunningham was born on October 16, 1921 in Lima, Ohio, son of Charles M. and Billie Lewis Cunningham. A graduate of Bowling Green State University in 1943, he maintained a close and continuing relationship with the University, serving as the first sports information director, coaching golf for seven years, and as assistant athletic director and business manager, receiving due recognition from BGSU in 1992 when the press-box at Doyt Perry Stadium was named in his honor. Married to Harriet L. McKnight on September 25, 1943, they raised a family of a son and two daughters. He continued to be an active member of the community, until his death on June 8, 2000 and was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery.

Harriet McKnight, born April 3, 1919, was one of four children (Mary, Harriet, Taylor, and Robert) of Henry Douglas McKnight and Mildred Taylor of Bowling Green, Ohio. A teacher of physical education and English in both Bowling Green and Genoa schools, she was a member of the congregation of First United Methodist Church and was active with Wheeled Meals and Lifeline as well as being involved with the Wood County Historical Society and Wood County Hospital Guild. Along with her husband, Harriet was also a charter member of the Falcon Club. She died October 8, 2003 in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Scope and Content

The collection of materials related to both Harriet McKnight Cunningham and Don A. Cunningham spans from 1930 through to just after World War II in the form of journals and scrapbooks, some compiled later by their children.

The diaries and journals in the collection start when Harriet was just starting Junior High School and include a typical view of adolescent life in Bowling Green in sporadic entries about school, sports, and boys.

The scrapbooks in the collection that were compiled by Harriet serve as a counterpoint to her journals during the same years, with an array of ticket stubs, programs, clippings, ribbons, and other memorabilia. The scrapbook from the war period highlights through photographs what it was like as the married couple moved to various posts and bases.

The collection also includes several contemporary compiled scrapbooks created by Scott Cunningham and Cheryl Windisch with clippings, photographs, correspondence and documents highlighting and honoring the lives and careers of their parents.

Series Description


Jan 1930-July 1937
Journals and diary entries kept by Harriet McKnight from age 12 through 19, including her years in junior high and high school in Bowling Green

Book of creative writing by Harriet and a story published in The Grey Griffin


Scrapbooks that document her years in high school and at BGSU

Family scrapbooks with material on the engagement and marriage of Harriet McKnight to Don Cunningham and their early family life

Scrapbook of photographs and other material following Harriet and Don through various bases and postings during World War II

Scrapbooks created by Scott Cunningham and Cheryl Windisch with clippings, photographs, correspondence and documents highlighting the lives and careers of their parents. Wrapped


Box 1


  1. Harriet McKnight calendar diary (scattered entries), Jan-Dec 1930
  2. Harriet McKnight 5-year diary (scattered entries), Jan 1933-Feb 1934
  3. Harriet McKnight journal, Mar 22-Aug 5, 1934
  4. Harriet McKnight journal, Aug 16-18, Sept 13-Oct 30, 1934
  5. Harriet McKnight journal, Oct 31, 1934-Jan 18, 1935
  6. Harriet McKnight journal, Jan 18-May 15, 1935
  7. Harriet McKnight journal, May 16-Oct 19, 1935
  8. Harriet McKnight journal, Oct 20, 1935-Feb 20, 1936
  9. Harriet McKnight journal, Nov 20-July 28, 1936, Nov 26, 1936-July 30, 1937
  10. Harriet McKnight Scribble Book (creative writings), 1930-1939
  11. The Grey Griffin (story by Harriet McKnight included), Feb 1935

Box 2 (Oversize)


  1. Harriet McKnight High School Scrapbook, Aug 1933-June 1937
  2. Harriet McKnight BGSU Scrapbook, Sept 1937-June 1941
  3. Harriet McKnight Engagement/Wedding Scrapbook, June-Sept 1943
  4. Harriet McKnight Cunningham family scrapbook, January 1944-June 1946
  5. Don Cunningham World War II scrapbook, 1944-1946


  1. Harriet McKnight Cunningham scrapbook (compiled by Scott Cunningham/Cheryl Windisch)
  2. Don A. Cunningham scrapbook, with Cunningham homes (compiled by Scott Cunningham/Cheryl Windisch)
  3. Don Cunningham World War II scrapbook (compiled by Scott Cunningham/Cheryl Windisch)