Wooley, Elmer O. (Elmer Otto)

Variant names

Hide Profile

Indiana University professor of German.

From the description of Elmer O. Wooley correspondence and publications, 1935-1952. (Indiana University). WorldCat record id: 62111979

Elmer Otto Wooley was born on 15 September 1883 to Cary Allen Wooley and Sarah Louisa Laws in Flora, Indiana. He earned the nickname “Professor” while he was growing up due to his serious demeanor. Dr. Wooley began his educational journey at the Indiana State Normal Teachers College in 1902. He transferred to Indiana University a few years later and received his A.B. in 1907. He went to Germany for the first time in 1910 and studied at the University of Leipzig for one year. He earned his A.M. from Harvard University in 1913 and his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1915. Dr. Wooley taught on a part-time basis throughout his time as a student in order to pay for his education.

Dr. Wooley began his career at Denison University as a German instructor. He also worked as an instructor at the University of Alberta, Canada. He returned to Bloomington in 1922 and became a critic teacher at Bloomington High School under the auspices of the Indiana University School of Education. He taught both German and French at the high school until 1930. Dr. Wooley was also a German Instructor at Indiana University during this time. He was made assistant professor in 1930, associate professor in 1944, and full professor in 1953. Dr. Wooley retired from IU in 1954 after 38 years of service. He continued to tutor young students in both German and music after his retirement.

Dr. Wooley had three passions in his life: teaching, choir, and the German poet Theodor Storm. Outside of teaching, he devoted the majority of his time to studying the life and works of Storm. Dr. Wooley first became interested in Theodor Storm when he read his novel Immensee as a college student. Wooley traveled extensively to the German town of Humsum, a province in Schleswig-Holstein, where Theodor Storm lived most of his life. He became acquainted with Storm’s son and daughter, and he collaborated with Storm’s daughter to create an illustrated book depicting Storm’s life. Storm’s daughter died before the book was finished, and Dr. Wooley continued the work by himself. In August of 1953, Wooley published the illustrated book Theodor Storm’s World in Pictures . Amongst Dr. Wooley’s many publications, he also published Studies in Theodor Storm in 1943.

Dr. Wooley also had a passion for music. He was the choir director of the Bloomington First Baptist church for 24 years. In addition, he also was a choir member in the First Christian Church in Bloomington. He joined this choir in 1947, and it has been said that he was never late to a choir practice or church service.

Dr. Wooley celebrated his eightieth birthday by donating his library of first editions, articles, and manuscripts regarding Theodor Storm to the Indiana University Lilly Library in Bloomington. Dr. Wooley died on 7 July 1964 at the age of eighty.

From the guide to the Elmer O. Wooley correspondence and publications, 1935-1952, (Indiana University Office of University Archives and Records Management http://www.libraries.iub.edu/archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Wooley, Elmer O. (Elmer Otto). Elmer O. Wooley correspondence and publications, 1935-1952. Indiana University
creatorOf Elmer O. Wooley correspondence and publications, 1935-1952 Indiana University Office of University Archives and Records Management
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Storm, Theodor, 1817-1888. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
German teachers--Archives
German teachers--Correspondence


Active 1935

Active 1952


Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6d01rnj

Ark ID: w6d01rnj

SNAC ID: 63980992