The John Dewey papers date from 1858 to 1970 and consist of correspondence, financial records, recordings, and published and unpublished writings including original manuscripts which are published in The Poems of John Dewey. The majority of the correspondence is familial, including letters between Dewey and Alice Chipman before their marriage. Other personal letters include those Dewey wrote Roberta Dewey from Mexico in 1937, telling of the Trotsky hearings by the Preliminary Commission of Inquiry. Correspondence dating after Dewey's death (1952) is primarily Roberta Dewey's while she was acting as an executrix of Dewey's estate.
There is also a large portion of professional correspondence including several letters of administrative nature from Dewey's University of Chicago days, correspondence between Dewey and Arthur F. Bentley, and letters concerning the work of Adelbert Ames in Hanover, New Hampshire. Other miscellaneous, significant material includes: Abstract of paper of Dewey's "Essays in Experimental Logic"; Schedules of lectures and readings; The Ethical Theory of John Dewey; names of members of the National Committee to Honor John Dewey; and the death certificate of John Dewey.
The recordings in this collection consist of tapes of family conversations, interviews with Dewey, reminiscences of Dewey and some of his lectures as well as films of family trips in the United States and abroad, recordings of Dewey's telephone conversations, and interviews with Dewey at the University of Pittsburgh (1949).
Writings by Dewey, Albert Barnes, Arthur F. Bentley, Sidney Hook, and Toyohiko Kagawa are also in this collection as well as a number of personal artifacts including Dewey's academic regalia, miscellaneous artwork, and Underwood typewriter.