Dennis Glen Cooper Collection
Scope and Contents
The contents of the Dennis Glen Cooper Collection, including films, slides, and documents, were donated to the Wayne State University Libraries by David M. Gilin, trustee of the Charles J. Shuler estate. The 16mm films are primarily travel films shot by Mr. Cooper chronicling his travels in the Great Lakes, many of the country’s National Parks, Canada, the Southwestern United States, and the Caribbean. The 88 films in the collection are comprised of short segments, as well as full length documentary-type films. The slide portion of the collection includes 35mm glass and paper mounted slides, as well as 3 ¼ x 4 in. glass lantern slides. Many slides include images from World War II in the Philippines and New Guinea. Images of Saginaw, Michigan, Isle Royale, travels throughout the country, and family and friends, are also part of this collection. Printed matter includes newspaper and magazine articles relating to Isle Royal, primarily from the 1930s and 1940s as it was designated a National Park. Among the printed matter are also several typed and handwritten manuscripts by Dennis Cooper and Isle Royale pamphlets and travel information. Of particular interest is a document written by Dennis Cooper describing his meeting and ensuing friendship with Charles Lindbergh, whom he met during World War II. The document also includes several photographs of Lindbergh taken by Cooper and a signed photo of Lindbergh addressed to Cooper.
Biographical / Historical
Dennis Glen Cooper (1905-1995) was born in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. He was a Detroit science teacher, travel writer, lecturer, photographer, and filmmaker. He earned his bachelor of arts degree and Michigan State Life Certificate from the College of the City of Detroit and the Detroit Teacher’s College (now Wayne State University) in 1927. Mr. Cooper earned his master of arts degree from the College of the City of Detroit in 1933. His thesis, The Urban Geography of Saginaw, Michigan, is stored in Wayne State University Libraries. Mr. Cooper went on to become head of the Exact Science Department at Sherrard Intermediate School (now closed) in Detroit. Mr. Cooper served in World War II as an Air Force captain, and later major, in the Philippines and New Guinea. He was captain of the 475th Fighter Group (known at the time as “Satan’s Angels”) and later became the Chief Rescue Intelligence Officer for the Fifth Air Force. Mr. Cooper hosted a Detroit television travel program, “Real of the Wild,” in the 1950s and 1960s, and traveled around the country to present his travel films. Most of his films are silent, as he provided live narration during presentations. He was particularly interested in Isle Royale, a National Park in Lake Superior. Dennis Cooper died in 1995.
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Existence and Location of Copies
Portions of this collections have been digitized and are available in the Wayne State University Digital Collections.
- Dennis Glen Cooper Collection
- Finding Aid created by Diane Sybeldon, Shannon Rossi, and Tyler Cunningham
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Part of the Wayne State University Library System Special Collections Repository