John Dewey papers, 1858-1970
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Brief Description:

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Dewey papers date from 1858 to 1970 and consist of correspondence, financial records, recordings, and published and unpublished writings including original manuscripts which are published in The Poems of John Dewey.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.

Held at:
Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
605 Agriculture Dr.
MC 6632
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: 618-453-2516
Fax: 618-453-3451
Email: speccoll [at]
Record Series Number: 1/2/MSS 102
Created by: Dewey, John (1859-1952)
Volume: 73.0 Boxes
Arrangement: The collection is arranged into nine series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Manuscripts and Lecture Notes, (3) Financial Records, (4) Tapes, Films, and Compact Discs, (5) Published Material, (6) Memorabilia, Notes, Art, and Personal Effects, (7) Poetry, John Dewey, (8) Archivist Notecard Indexes, and (9) Roberta Dewey Materials.
Biographical Note for Dewey, John (1859-1952) :

John Dewey was born on October 20, 1859 in Burlington, Vermont and graduated in 1879 from The University of Vermont. Although he taught and remained primarily at Columbia University, he also taught or lectured at the University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of California, Imperial University in Tokyo, National University in Peking, and the University of Mexico. He retired from active service, and was appointed as Professor Emeritus of Philosophy in Residence at Columbia University in 1930. He also worked for the Turkish government and as an educational ad visor for the Barnes Foundation, served as chairman of the Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky and was elected president of the League for Industrial Democracy.

In 1935 the John Dewey Society was formed by a group of professional educators in New York City. Their mission was to promote the study of education and culture. John Dewey died in New York City on June 1st, 1952.

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.
Subject Index
Barnes, Albert.
Bentley, Arthur Fisher, 1870-1957.
Chicago (Ill.)
Chipman, Alice Shaw, 1832-1921.
Dewey, John, 1859-1952
Hook, Sidney, 1902-1989
Kagawa, Toyohiko, 1888-1960
Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940.
University of Chicago
Genres/Forms of Material
Clippings (information artifacts)
Dewey, John, 1859-1952 - Correspondence
Ledgers (account books)
Manuscripts for publication.
Records (documents)
Sound recordings
Speeches, addresses, etc.
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.
Related Materials: John Dewey Syllabi and Lectures (MSS 22); Sidney Hook collection of John Dewey manuscript (MSS 23); John Rothman collection of John Dewey (MSS 93); Joseph Ratner papers and collection of John Dewey (MSS 142); Sidney Hook collection of John Dewey (MSS 142); Myrtle McGraw collection of John Dewey correspondence (MSS  155); John Dewey Society (MSS 251)
PreferredCitation: [Item], John Dewey papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.