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Jessie A. and W. W. Charters Papers

An inventory of their papers at Syracuse University

The adult education holdings are collectively known as the
Alexander N. Charters Library of Resources for Educators of Adults.

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Charters, Jessie Blount Allen, b. 1880
Title: Jessie A. and W. W. Charters Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1922-1953
Quantity: 2 linear ft.
Abstract: Jessie and W.W. (Werrett Wallace) Charters were pioneers in the field of adult education. Among other things, Jessie founded the Department of Adult Education at Ohio State University and W.W. was Director of Research at Stephens College in Colombia Missouri as well as the founding editor of the Journal of Higher Education. The collection includes correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, books and a manual, and primarily relates to Jessie Charters.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Jessie A. and Werrett Wallace (W.W.) Charters were both pioneers in the field of adult education. Jessie Charters was born in Texas, September 23, 1880. Her family moved to Seattle, Washington in 1890. She obtained both a bachelor's (1899) and masters degree (1901) from the University of Washington. She received a PhD in Psychology in 1904 from the University of Chicago, where she studied philosophy under John Dewey and James R. Angell. Mrs. Charters was the first female on the west coast to receive a Ph D., and also to receive the highest honors ever for a woman. Jessie Charters was instrumental in the founding of Pi Lambda Theta educational fraternity. Dr. Charters held positions at Carnegie Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago and Ohio State University. Her primary area of interest was parental education and working with girls and women. Mrs. Charters died in 1971.

Werrett Wallace Charters was born October 24, 1875 in Hartford, Ontario. He received degrees from MacMaster (1896), Ontario Normal School (1899) and the University of Toronto (1901). In 1904 he received a PhD at the University of Chicago. Dr. Charters held positions at the University of Missouri, Carnegie Institute of Technology, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Illinois. He retired from Ohio State University in 1942 at age 66. Upon his retirement he became Director of Research at Stephens College in Colombia Missouri. Mr. Charters was the founding editor of the Journal of Higher Education. Mr. Charters' area of particular interest was the development of curriculum from nursery school through graduate level and professional development. Dr. Charters died March 8, 1952.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

Material in the Jessie A. and W. W. Charters Papers covers the period 1922-1953, with the bulk of the material falling between 1922 and 1934. Material in the collection is arranged in alphabetical order by folder heading. Most of the material is related to Jessie Charters. Information related to W.W. Charters is indicated by his name on the folder.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

The library holds a considerable number of collections related to adult and continuing education. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

More information on Dr. Jessie Charters may be found in her papers housed at Ohio State University. Correspondence between W. W. Charters and his nephew, Alexander N. Charters will be found in the Alexander N. Charters Papers, housed at Syracuse University.

The bulk of W.W. Charters' papers are held by Ohio State University in their Rare Books and Manuscripts division.

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Subject Headings


Charters, Jessie Blount Allen, b. 1880.
Charters, W. W. (Werrett Wallace)


Adult education -- Illinois -- Chicago.
Adult education -- Ohio.
Adult education -- United States.
Parenting -- Study and teaching.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuals (instructional materials)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Jessie A. and W. W. Charters Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Alexander N. Charters, nephew.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: -
Date: -
Revision history: 5 Jun 2006 - converted to EAD (MRR); 2 Nov 2006 - added ref to Charters papers at OSU (MRC)

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Box 1 1952-1953
Box 1 Adult education, Ohio 1928-1934
Box 1 Alumni education 1929-1930
Box 1 Biographical material
Box 1 Chicago articles 1928
Box 1 Chicago newspaper articles 1928-1930
Box 1 Community activities 1932-1937
Box 1 Judge Baker Foundation Case Studies Series 1, 5-9, 14-19 1922-1923
Box 1 Leasure, Clara Lea 1929-1930
Box 1 Memorabilia 1929
Box 1 Ohio State Conferences on Adult Education 1929-1933 (2 folders)
Box 1 Ohio State University Oct-Dec 1928
Box 2 Ohio State University 1928-1932 (8 folders)
Box 3 Parent education scrap book 1935
Box 3 Parents Laboratory Pre-School 1931
Box 3 Parents study groups basic materials
Box 3 Personal/biographical
Box 3 Jessie Charters
Box 3 McCrimmon family
Box 3 Miscellaneous (2 folders)
Box 3 W.W. Charters
Box 3 Publicity articles 1930-1933
Box 4 School and society April 2, 1932
Box 4 Tenth Avenue Baptist Church Sunday School Discussion Group 1932-1934
Box 4 Training of children 1930 (2 folders)
W. W. Charters (Werrett Wallace)
Box 4 Biographical information including genealogy
Box 4 Miscellaneous
Box 4 Charters, Jessie A. Young Adults and the Church. Abington Press 1936
Box 4 Cutright, Prudence, W.W. Charters and Mae Knight Clark. Living Together in Town and Country. Macmillan Company 1944
Box 4 "Educational Engineering: A Conference honoring Dr. Werritt Wallace Charters On the Occasion of his Retirement As Director of Research at Stephens College." Oct. 17-18, 1949
Box 4 "Longfellow's Evangeline, Tales of a Wayside Inn, and Selections from Minor Poems." 1890
Box 4 The World Review 21 Sep - 23 Nov 1925

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