William Sherman Minor papers, 1900-1991
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Brief Description:

The William Sherman Minor papers consist of biographical materials; materials such as lecture notes, minutes, bulletins, and pamphlets relating to his student and teaching careers at locations such as Washington and Jefferson College, University of Chicago, University of Missouri, West Virginia University, Earlham College, and Southern Illinois University; materials relating to his involvement in professional organizations such as the American Philosophical Association and the American Academy of Religion; writings by Minor from both his student and professional career, including both his undergraduate and graduate dissertations; writings by others, both published and unpublished, including periodicals, newspaper clippings, and poetry; materials from the Foundation for Philosophy of Creativity, including incorporation materials, correspondence, meeting minutes, grant proposals, writings, and interviews; correspondence to and from Minor, including academic, professional, political, and personal matters; and audio recordings of lectures and talks by Minor and other philosophers.

Dr. Minor was interested in the philosophy of creativity, creative communication, conscription, health issues, ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, religious philosophies and freedoms, education and pedagogy, especially religious education. His myriad research interests are well documented here, especially in Series 5.

As Dr. Minor was the founder of the Foundation for Philosophy of Creativity, this collection is especially useful for those interested in the philosophy of creativity, creative communication, or what Dr. Minor called “creative interchange.” Series 8 holds a recording of a creative interchange between Dr. Minor and Dr. John Modaff.

Correspondents of note include: Charles Hartshorne; Carl Hausman; Henry Nelson Wieman; Alfred North Whitehead; Martin Luther King Jr.; Peter Gunter; and John Modaff.

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] lib.siu.edu
Record Series Number: 3/RG 4/FP 17-19-F13
Created by: Minor, William Sherman, (1900-1991)
Volume: 39.0 Boxes
Acquired: 07/01/1993. Accession #1387
Arrangement: Arranged into 8 series: (1) Biographical Materials; (2) Career by location; (3) Professional Organizations; (4) Writings by Minor; (5) Writings by Others; (6) Foundation for Philosophy of Creativity; (7) Correspondence, and (8) Audio Recordings.
Biographical Note for Minor, William Sherman, (1900-1991) :

William Sherman Minor, born December 4, 1900 to Anna Elizabeth Russ and William Elsworth Minor, was most notably the founder and director emeritus of the Foundation for Philosophy of Creativity, a pioneer in the field of creative communication. He was a member of the Society for the Philosophy of Creativity, the American Philosophical Association, the American Academy of Religion, the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, the American Society for Aesthetics, the American Society for Value Inquiry, the Society for the Study of Process Philosophies, the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy, the Metaphysical Society of America, and the Illinois Philosophical Association. Minor was also heavily active in his local churches, from the Carbondale Church of the Good Shepard, the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, and the First Baptist Church in Morgantown, West Virginia. In addition to co-writing several books and articles in philosophy, religion, and ethics, he was an extremely active mentor during his teaching career and gave numerous lectures, speeches, and addresses.

Minor began his college education at Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, receiving his A.B. in 1924. He then attended The University of Chicago Divinity School, where he also began teaching philosophy of creativity at The University of Chicago Chapel in 1931. During his time in Chicago, he also taught at Hyde Park People’s College, focusing mostly on vocational and adult education. He received his B.D. from Chicago in 1931 after studying religious humility, especially in relation to Saint Augustine. He would receive his PhD in Philosophy and Religion from Chicago in 1971 after finishing his dissertation, Creativity in Henry Nelson Wieman.

In 1935, Minor began a Professorship of Philosophy and Psychology of Religion at The Bible College of Missouri at The University of Missouri in Columbia, where he stayed until 1943. In 1944, he began a Professorship of Philosophy at Earlham College, where he also served as Counselor to Students.

In 1946, Minor left Earlham to be an Associate Professor of Philosophy at West Virginia University, where he taught mostly Ethics and Aesthetics. He took a leave-of-absence for research in 1964 to continue his work as the Executive Director of the Foundation for Creative Philosophy, which he helped incorporate in 1957. He would resign from West Virginia University in 1966, after his paid leave ended.

Minor came to Carbondale with his sister, Galia, in 1964 to continue the work of The Foundation for Creative Philosophy, developing collaboration between the Foundation for Creative Philosophy and the Southern Illinois University Foundation. He was an active participant in the Society for Philosophy of Creativity, sponsored by the Foundation and meeting biannually with several divisions of the American Philosophical Association. The Foundation also published Monograph Serials and Festschrifts in the philosophy of creativity.

While in Carbondale, Minor also served as an adjunct professor in the College of Communications and Fine Arts, teaching creative and analytic communication courses, holding “creative interchanges” with other faculty, and providing lectures on the philosophy of creativity.

Minor retired in 1981, and died on November 3, 1991. At the time, he was survived by his two sisters, Galia Marie Minor and Faye Minor Magill, with both of whom he corresponded frequently.

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.
Subject Index
American Academy of Religion
American Philosophical Association.
Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship (Carbondale, Ill.)
Education - Philosophy
Foundation for Philosophy of Creativity
John Dewey Society.
Philosophy, American - 20th century
Philosophy teachers - Illinois - Carbondale
University of Chicago
West Virginia University
Whitehead, Alfred North, 1861-1947
Wieman, Henry Nelson, 1884-1975
Genres/Forms of Material
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 - Correspondence
Speeches, addresses, etc.
Whitehead, Alfred North, 1861-1947 - Correspondence
Wieman, Henry Nelson, 1884-1975 - Correspondence
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Russian [rus]
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.
Acquisition Notes: Galia Minor  Donation.
Related Materials: Foundation for the Philosophy of Creativity Records.
PreferredCitation: [Item], William Sherman Minor papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.