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Charles Dewey Tenney Papers

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

Subject Files

Biographical

Teaching

Writings

The Centennial Period

Correspondence


Charles Dewey Tenney Papers, 1906-1993 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

By Elizabeth C. Hartman

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Collection Overview

Title: Charles Dewey Tenney Papers, 1906-1993Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1923-1973

ID: 3/RG 4/FP 17-19-F12

Primary Creator: Tenney, Charles D. (Charles Dewey) (1906-1983)

Extent: 29.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Arranged into 6 series: (1) Subject Files; (2) Biographical; (3) Teaching; (4) Writings; (5) The Centennial Period; (6) Correspondence.

Date Acquired: 09/01/1990. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Education - Philosophy, Foundation for Philosophy of Creativity, Philosophy - Study and teaching, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale - Administration, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale - Faculty, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. School of Journalism, Whitehead, Alfred North, 1861-1947

Languages: English, Russian

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Charles Dewey Tenney Papers consist of correspondence to and from Dr. Tenney, biographical information and personal photographs and art collections, materials relating to his teaching career and the organization of the department of philosophy including the Collected Works of John Dewey and The Library of Living Philosophers, documents concerning his administrative roles in the university, writings authored by Tenney as well as other scholars, and documents relating to the Centennial Period and the project Resources for Tomorrow.

Correspondence concerns both professional and personal matters; notable and frequent corresponders include Paul Schilpp, Burnett Shryock (first Dean of the School of Fine Arts, son of University President Henry William Shryock), William S. Minor (Director of the Foundation for the Philosophy of Creativity), and University President Roscoe Pulliam. Biographical materials include transcripts, appointment contracts and descriptions, and letters of recommendation. Teaching materials include student writings, exam questions and answers, as well as personnel files and other departmental documents; included in the same series are files concerning the Library of Living Philosophers, for which Tenney wrote one articles, as well as files concerning the Collected Works of John Dewey. Writings include materials by Tenney, both published and unpublished, as well as writings by others. The subject files span the length of Tenney’s administrative career, and deal primarily with university organization and matters concerning the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Materials concerning The Centennial Period cover event planning and publication stipulations, as well as Tenney’s directing of the Resources for Tomorrow, a project primarily focused on the writing, compiling, and editing of his manuscript, The Discovery of Discovery.

Collection Historical Note

Born September 19th, 1906, Charles Dewey Tenney came to Southern Illinois University Carbondale, then known as Southern Illinois Teachers College, in 1931. During the next 42 years, Tenney served his institution in an almost countless number of capacities, spanning from coach to professor to administrator. He was not only instrumental in the organization of the university as it expanded rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s, but was also a prolific writer, publishing works in English and philosophy. In 1969, he was named University Professor, becoming but the fourth person to garner the title; in 1979, he received the University's Distinguished Service Award. Tenney retired in 1973, and died in April of 1983 in Carbondale after suffering a stroke.

Tenney began his life in Helena, Montana; he moved to Idaho in 1923 to earn his undergraduate degree from Gooding College, where his father served as president. There he studied English and Philosophy, participated in the debate team, and met his wife, Maude. The research interests he cultivated there, mostly concerning aesthetics and creativity, followed him throughout the rest of his life; some of his writings from this time period were later featured in his work The Discovery of Discovery. After completing his undergraduate studies in 1927, Tenney gained his Master’s at University of Oregon in 1927; he continued his doctoral studies there, also spending a year at Harvard University so as to study under the great Alfred North Whitehead. By the time he completed his student career in 1931, Tenney was already a noted scholar, publishing materials in chemistry, philosophy, and English, specializing in the thought of George Meredith and Whitehead’s cosmology.

Tenney immediately began his teaching career as Professor of English at Southern Illinois in 1931. He soon began organizing philosophy courses, eventually developing the Philosophy Department and serving as the Acting Chairman for several years; he also served as Acting Head for the Art Department for a time, possibly helping out his close friend, Burnett Shryock (son of University President Henry Shryock). During this time, he also served as tennis coach, debate coach, and adviser for student publications.

In 1945, following the death of President Roscoe Pulliam, Tenney considered leaving his post for other openings in philosophy or administration, unsure of a future for himself at Southern. However, Tenney decided to stay, and became Administrative Assistant to the new president, Delyte Morris, in addition to teaching. In 1952, he was designated Vice-President for Instruction. During these administrative years, Tenney was heavily involved in university organization and planning.

After 25 years of administrative work, Tenney stepped down to begin his work as Project Director for Resources for Tomorrow, a division of the University’s Centennial Celebration proceedings and publications. This allowed him to work on the next aspect of his legacy, a mammoth manuscript on the processes of creativity and insight: The Discovery of Discovery, which was to be published as part of the Centennial Celebration. Part of this work involved the assistance of other scholars, collecting quotes elucidating discovery in virtually every branch of knowledge; these quote became interspersed throughout the series of essays authored by Tenney.

Throughout his life, Tenney was a prolific writer, composing many short stories, poems, speeches and articles, many of which were published. Most notable of these works is “Aesthetics in the Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre,” which became part of Volume XVI of the Library of Living Philosophers. He also kept detailed journals of life events and musings on readings.

Unfortunately, Tenney’s failing health prevented the completion of his project before the end of the Centennial Period. However, Harold M. Kaplan, Ralph E. McCoy, and Lewis E. Hahn, all previously involved in the project, completed editing the manuscript, and published it in 1991. In the Editor’s Preface, they wrote: “This work is presented as a memorial to Charles D. Tenney, in recognition of his distinguish career as university administrator, scholar, teaching, and writer… He had the all too rare ability to present complex and abstract ideas with simple eloquence.” Such ‘simple eloquence’ can be found in his statement of University Objectives, emblazoned in stone within Morris Library’s Hall of Presidents and Chancellors.

Biographical Note

Born September 19th, 1906, Charles Dewey Tenney came to Southern Illinois University Carbondale, then known as Southern Illinois Teachers College, in 1931. During the next 42 years, Tenney served his institution in an almost countless number of capacities, spanning from coach to professor to administrator. He was not only instrumental in the organization of the university as it expanded rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s, but was also a prolific writer, publishing works in English and philosophy. In 1969, he was named University Professor, becoming but the fourth person to garner the title; in 1979, he received the University's Distinguished Service Award. Tenney retired in 1973, and died in April of 1983 in Carbondale after suffering a stroke.

Tenney began his life in Helena, Montana; he moved to Idaho in 1923 to earn his undergraduate degree from Gooding College, where his father served as president. There he studied English and Philosophy, participated in the debate team, and met his wife, Maude. The research interests he cultivated there, mostly concerning aesthetics and creativity, followed him throughout the rest of his life; some of his writings from this time period were later featured in his work The Discovery of Discovery. After completing his undergraduate studies in 1927, Tenney gained his Master’s at University of Oregon in 1927; he continued his doctoral studies there, also spending a year at Harvard University so as to study under the great Alfred North Whitehead. By the time he completed his student career in 1931, Tenney was already a noted scholar, publishing materials in chemistry, philosophy, and English, specializing in the thought of George Meredith and Whitehead’s cosmology.

Tenney immediately began his teaching career as Professor of English at Southern Illinois in 1931. He soon began organizing philosophy courses, eventually developing the Philosophy Department and serving as the Acting Chairman for several years; he also served as Acting Head for the Art Department for a time, possibly helping out his close friend, Burnett Shryock (son of University President Henry Shryock). During this time, he also served as tennis coach, debate coach, and adviser for student publications.

In 1945, following the death of President Roscoe Pulliam, Tenney considered leaving his post for other openings in philosophy or administration, unsure of a future for himself at Southern. However, Tenney decided to stay, and became Administrative Assistant to the new president, Delyte Morris, in addition to teaching. In 1952, he was designated Vice-President for Instruction. During these administrative years, Tenney was heavily involved in university organization and planning.

After 25 years of administrative work, Tenney stepped down to begin his work as Project Director for Resources for Tomorrow, a division of the University’s Centennial Celebration proceedings and publications. This allowed him to work on the next aspect of his legacy, a mammoth manuscript on the processes of creativity and insight: The Discovery of Discovery, which was to be published as part of the Centennial Celebration. Part of this work involved the assistance of other scholars, collecting quotes elucidating discovery in virtually every branch of knowledge; these quote became interspersed throughout the series of essays authored by Tenney.

Throughout his life, Tenney was a prolific writer, composing many short stories, poems, speeches and articles, many of which were published. Most notable of these works is “Aesthetics in the Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre,” which became part of Volume XVI of the Library of Living Philosophers. He also kept detailed journals of life events and musings on readings.

Unfortunately, Tenney’s failing health prevented the completion of his project before the end of the Centennial Period. However, Harold M. Kaplan, Ralph E. McCoy, and Lewis E. Hahn, all previously involved in the project, completed editing the manuscript, and published it in 1991. In the Editor’s Preface, they wrote: “This work is presented as a memorial to Charles D. Tenney, in recognition of his distinguish career as university administrator, scholar, teaching, and writer… He had the all too rare ability to present complex and abstract ideas with simple eloquence.” Such ‘simple eloquence’ can be found in his statement of University Objectives, emblazoned in stone within Morris Library’s Hall of Presidents and Chancellors.

Subject/Index Terms

Education - Philosophy
Foundation for Philosophy of Creativity
Philosophy - Study and teaching
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale - Administration
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale - Faculty
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. School of Journalism
Whitehead, Alfred North, 1861-1947

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Accruals: 8 accessions added in Summer 2014: #1248 (7/1/1991, donated by Maude Tenney); #1481 (1/7/1992, donated by Ralph McCoy); #1671 (6/14/2000, no donor identified); #1703 (11/2/2000, donated by Maude Tenney); #1984 (3/10/2006, no donor identified); #1987 (no date or donor identified); #818 (2/24/2006, no donor identified); #1697 (10/29/2000, donated by William S. Minor)

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

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 Source: Accession #1205

Preferred Citation: [Item], Charles Dewey Tenney Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Processing Information: Processed by Elizabeth C. Hartman from April to June of 2014.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Subject Files, 1927-1980],
[Series 2: Biographical, 1906-1993],
[Series 3: Teaching, 1930-1976],
[Series 4: Writings, 1921-1977],
[Series 5: The Centennial Period, 1967-1974],
[Series 6: Correspondence, 1930-1977],
[All]

Series 6: Correspondence, 1930-1977Add to your cart.
Series 6 is fully comprised on correspondence to and from Dr. Tenney. Most correspondence is filed by date, though any corresponder prolific enough is contained within their own folder.  Box 15 is organized by date and the files in box 16 are organized by correspondent.
Box 15Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence, 1939, 1941Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Correspondence, 1942Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Correspondence, 1943Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Correspondence, 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Correspondence, 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Correspondence, 1946Add to your cart.
Includes correspondence with Dr. Russell F. Moore, the American-Institute for Philosophical Studies (Tenney was offered and accepted an invitation to membership in the Council of the Institute and the chairmanship of the Committee on Awards).
Folder 7: Correspondence, 1947Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Correspondence, 1948Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Correspondence, 1951-1952Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Correspondence, 1953Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Correspondence, 1955Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Correspondence, 1956Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Correspondence, 1958Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Correspondence, 1959Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Correspondence, 1960Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Correspondence, 1961Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Correspondence, 1962Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Correspondence, 1963Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Correspondence, 1964Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Correspondence, 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 21: Correspondence, 1966Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Correspondence, 1967Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Correspondence, 1968Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Correspondence, 1969Add to your cart.
Folder 25: Correspondence, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Correspondence, 1971Add to your cart.
Folder 27: Correspondence, 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 28: Correspondence, 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 29: Correspondence, 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 30: Correspondence, 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 31: Correspondence, 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 32: Correspondence, undatedAdd to your cart.
Box 16Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence - personal, to Tenney, 1930-1983Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Correspondence to members of University Faculty, 1960, 1963Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Correspondence - Bohrod, Aaron, 1939-1948Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Correspondence - Cramer, C.H. (Red), 1942-1949Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Correspondence - Fair, Eugene R., 1945-1948Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Correspondence - Keene, Roland, circa 1967Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Correspondence - Hahn, Lewis E., 1975-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Correspondence - Jarrett, Hazel M., 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Correspondence - Lanphier, Charles G., 1947-1948Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Correspondence - Lawson, Douglas E., 1948-1954Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Correspondence - concerning Lay, Chester F., 1944-1948Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Correspondence - Leasure, J.K., 1974-1975Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Correspondence - Morris, Delyte W., 1949-1965Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Correspondence - Pulliam, Roscoe, 1938-1944Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Correspondence - Shryock, Burnett H., circa 1940s-1950sAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Correspondence - Shryock, Burnett H., circa 1950s-1960sAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: Correspondence - Simon, Paul, 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Correspondence - Thompson, Frank G., 1948Add to your cart.
Concerning the inauguration of Morris, university changes, and public relations

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Subject Files, 1927-1980],
[Series 2: Biographical, 1906-1993],
[Series 3: Teaching, 1930-1976],
[Series 4: Writings, 1921-1977],
[Series 5: The Centennial Period, 1967-1974],
[Series 6: Correspondence, 1930-1977],
[All]

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