Collection inventory

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Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) Records

An inventory of its records at Syracuse University

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

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 15 Jun 2009

Biographical History

The purpose of the Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) is to advance national and international adult education and literacy opportunities. It promotes, advocates for, and conducts literacy and lifelong education efforts. COABE was formed in 1971 to represent non-public adult education and literacy programs within the Adult Education Association (AEA) (public adult education and literacy programs were represented by the National Association for Public Continuing Adult Education, or NAPCAE). In 1982 NAPCAE and AEA merged to create the American Association for Adult Continuing Education (AAACE), and in 1999 COABE formally split from AAACE to become an independent organization.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) Records are subdivided into general files and financial files.

General files contains agenda and minutes from board meetings, correspondence, conference planning and programs, Historian's reports and essays, legislative reports, photographs, and other items relating to the functioning of the organization. Of particular interest here is the material preceding COABE's separation from AAACE ("AAACE/COABE relationship"), and material dating from 2008 in which COABE explored a merger with ProLiteracy Worldwide. The Historian folder also contains essays by Albert Campbell, COABE historian, including a brief history of the organization.

Financial files contains budget reports, scholarship and grant information, and paperwork relating to the establishment of an endowment.

Arrangement of the Collection

Material are arranged roughly alphabetically with the two main series.


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.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has numerous collections in the area of adult education; please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing. For COABE material in particular, see also the Adult Education Association/American Association for Adult and Continuing Education Records, Drew Allbritten Papers, William Langner Papers, and William S. Griffith Papers.

Subject Headings

Corporate Bodies

Commission on Adult Basic Education (U.S.)


Adult education -- United States.
Educators -- United States.
Elementary education of adults.

Genres and Forms

Agendas (administrative records)
Annual reports.
Manuals (instructional materials)
Minutes (administrative records)
Speeches (documents)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) Records,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Albert Campbell, COABE Historian, 2009.

Table of Contents

General records

Financial papers