The George Jergenson papers offer an overview of his life, especially his career in industrial design. Organized during his retirement years, this collection consists of correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, and artwork. One of the highlights is the General Motors Train of Tomorrow that he designed, a three-year labor of love for Jergenson. From concept sketches to spec sheets to a film of the finished cars, the collection documents the entire project. Another focus of this collection is his surface development teaching materials which he used while at General Motors to share his expertise with young designers and engineers.
Series 1 contains personal materials including biographical notes with ancestral origins, lists of events, financial papers, and detailed accounts of his departure from Art Center.
Series 2 consists of letters from Jergenson's employment at General Motors Styling and Art Center School, as head of Industrial Design. Occasional course outlines, meeting minutes, and expense reports can also be found.
Series 3 contains course outlines, lecture notes, annotated bibliographies, speeches, and reports compiled by Jergenson while teaching at Art Center and in later years. A 1959 re-accreditation report from Art Center reviews curriculum, student services, demographics, school events, and a professional directory.
Series 4 contains materials related to Jergenson's freelance work from 1944-1968 for American Motors Corporation (AMC), Outboard Marine Corporation, and Pan Am. Included are correspondence, contracts, design evaluations, market research reports, meeting notes, and technical drawings.
Series 5 consists of work Jergenson did while at General Motors Styling. The earlier files relate to his design work for the Train of Tomorrow. The later files showcase his expertise in surface development.
Series 6 contains materials related to several professional industrial design organizations including IDEA, IDI and IDSA. This series also includes materials from the Society of Art Center Alumni such as articles of incorporation, correspondence about scholarships and contributions, and meeting minutes.
Series 7 consists of an array of images from throughout Jergenson's life. Included here are family photographs and slides of his paintings. There are images from Art Center and a surface development slide show. Of interest are photos of his design sketches for the Train of Tomorrow. There are also slides of Eero Saarinen's iconic Styling Administration Building at the General Motors Technical Center.
Series 8 contains seven scrapbooks which offer an overview of Jergenson's life, especially his careers in industrial design and education. Compiled by Jergenson in the 1980s, they consist mostly of clippings, photographs, and correspondence with some handwritten exposition.
Series 9 has five 8mm movies shot by Jergenson. The films cover the General Motors Train of Tomorrow, Art Center trips to Paris, London, and Japan, and the Catalina Project, a Product Design student project.
Series 10 contains original paintings by Jergenson, as well as a few items from other artists. Also included is a list of titles, dates, and other details for slides of Jergenson's paintings.