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William Sherman Minor papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

Biographical Materials

Career by Location

Professional Organizations

Writings by Minor

Writings by Others

Foundation for Philosophy of Creativity


Audio recordings

William Sherman Minor papers, 1900-1991 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

By Elizabeth Caitlin Hartman

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Collection Overview

Title: William Sherman Minor papers, 1900-1991Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1919-1991

ID: 3/RG 4/FP 17-19-F13

Primary Creator: Minor, William Sherman (1900-)

Extent: 39.0 Boxes

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.

Date Acquired: 07/01/1993. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: American Academy of Religion, American Philosophical Association., Baptists, Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship (Carbondale, Ill.), Education - Philosophy, Foundation for Philosophy of Creativity, John Dewey Society., Philosophy, American - 20th century, Philosophy teachers - Illinois - Carbondale, Religion, University of Chicago, West Virginia University, Whitehead, Alfred North, 1861-1947, Wieman, Henry Nelson, 1884-1975

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: English, Russian

Scope and Contents of the Materials

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career, including both his undergraduate and graduate dissertations; writings by others, both published and unpublished, including periodicals, newspaper clippings, and poetry; materials from the Foundation for Philosophy of Creativity, including incorporation materials,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.

Biographical Note

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.

Subject/Index Terms

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

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Accruals: Accession #1387

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: Galia Minor

Acquisition Method: Donation.

Separated Materials: Some miscellaneous papers moved to the Foundation for the Philosophy of Creativity records, MSS160, 1995 August.

Related Materials: Foundation for the Philosophy of Creativity Records.

Preferred Citation: [Item], William Sherman Minor papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Processing Information: Preliminary inventory completed upon donation in 1993. Some papers removed from William S. Minor collection and moved to the Foundation for the Philosophy of Creativty records, MSS160, 1995 August. Another inventory completed by Lenore Langsdorf and Jason Del Gandio of the Department of Speech Communication from 1998-2000. Processed by Elizabeth Caitlin Hartman, University Archives, 2014 Fall-2015 Summer.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1919-1990],
[Series 2: Career by Location, 1920s-1990],
[Series 3: Professional Organizations, 1935-1990],
[Series 4: Writings by Minor, 1924-1990],
[Series 5: Writings by Others, 1920-1990],
[Series 6: Foundation for Philosophy of Creativity, 1957-1990],
[Series 7: Correspondence, 1919-1990],
[Series 8: Audio recordings],

Series 8: Audio recordingsAdd to your cart.
Box 38Add to your cart.
Item 1: Magnetic tape reel, unidentified church sermon, undatedAdd to your cart.
Item 2: Magnetic tape reel, "Harry Laidler", 1966 May 19Add to your cart.
Item 3: Magnetic tape reel, sermons by Minor, Salem, West Virginia, 1956Add to your cart.
Item 4: Cassette tape, interview of Janusz Kuczynski and Charles Hartshorne, 1976 October 9Add to your cart.
Bicentennial conference, Creative Interchange in the Life of a Nation, Biltmore Hotel, New York City.
Item 5: Cassette tape, Minor-Modaff Creative Interchange, 1987 March 30Add to your cart.
Item 6: "Prolegomena to the Reconstruction of the Public Interest", 1975 January 17Add to your cart.
Item 7: XVII World Congress of Philosophy: Darrell E. Christensen and Janusz Luczynski, 1983 August 24Add to your cart.
Item 8: XVII World Congress of Philosophy: Herbert Horz and end of meeting, 1983 August 24Add to your cart.
Item 9: Creative Interchange on Faculty Unionization at SIU, 1988 April 7Add to your cart.
Item 10: Cassette tape, Award for Distinguish Serve to the Cause of Liberal Religion for Henry Nelson Wieman, 1975 June 26Add to your cart.
Item 11: Cassette tape, John Dewey, "Art as Our Heritage"Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1919-1990],
[Series 2: Career by Location, 1920s-1990],
[Series 3: Professional Organizations, 1935-1990],
[Series 4: Writings by Minor, 1924-1990],
[Series 5: Writings by Others, 1920-1990],
[Series 6: Foundation for Philosophy of Creativity, 1957-1990],
[Series 7: Correspondence, 1919-1990],
[Series 8: Audio recordings],

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