Collection inventory

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Alexander A. Liveright Papers

An inventory of his papers 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: -/KW
Date: Oct 1976, Jun 1991

Biographical History

Alexander A. Liveright was born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1907. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin (1929), an M.A. in Guidance and Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University (1930), and a Ph.D. in Adult Education from the University of Chicago (1956). Over his thirty-year career he was a professor, consultant, researcher and director for various institutions and universities specializing in adult and continuing education.

Liveright was director of the Center for the Study of Liberal Education for Adults (CSLEA) from 1956 until its dissolution in 1968. (The Center was independently located in Chicago from 1951 until 1965, and then was affiliated with Boston University.) In 1966 he spent four months on a round-the-world study sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation. As director of CSLEA, and in his own right, he was involved in a wide range of adult and continuing education programs in the United States, had many contacts with adult education in other countries, and was a leader in international activities such as the International Congress of University Adult Education (ICUAE), of which he was a founding member and, at the time of his death, secretary.

He was on the faculty of George Williams College, Columbia College, University College of the University of Chicago, and the University of Michigan; a member of the Visiting Committee for Summer Schools and Extension Division of Harvard; Executive Director, American Council on Race relations; Director of Labor Education, University of Chicago; consultant to the Research Bureau, U.S. Office of Education; consultant to the Academy for Educational Development; consultant to the Air Line Pilots Association; consultant to the Montana Farmers Union; and Conference Coordinator for the 1956 AEA Conference. From 1967 until his death in 1969, Liveright was Associate Professor of Adult Education at Syracuse University.

Dr. Liveright authored numerous articles, monographs, and book chapters and served on the editorial boards of Convergence and Adult Education.

He died in 1969.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Papers reflecting Liveright's activity in both the CSLEA and ICUAE, as well as his wide-ranging national and international involvement in adult education, form the bulk of the Alexander A. Liveright Papers. Notable in this portion of the collection are papers from the Sagamore Conference (September, 1960) marking the inception of the ICUAE. The CSLEA (with Liveright as its Director) was one of six adult education organizations sponsoring the Conference; Liveright became Secretary of the ICUAE.

Subjects covered include travels associated with the First World Conference and European Study Tour, adult education in Africa, Latin America, and Australia, as well as UNESCO meetings and conferences. The folders pertaining to the CSLEA International Comparative Education Conference at Exeter, New Hampshire are of note, since they form the basis of The Exeter Papers, published by Liveright (1966).

The bulk of the remainder of the collection is from the years 1968-1969, incorporating the phase-out of the CSLEA, Liveright's move to Syracuse University, and his ensuing illness. At Syracuse University, Liveright became associated with the ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Education, plus numerous research and publication projects (Liveright had hoped to complete a book on leaders in adult education before he died). During his illness and at the time of his death, some of Liveright's administrative duties were shared by James Whipple and Robert Blakely; in addition, John Ohliger, Robert Theobald and David Mosconi completed publication projects in progress.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is divided into series based on the various organizations and projects: Boston University, CSLEA, ICUAE, the New Institutional Forms Project, and Syracuse University. Travel includes material relating to trips to Australia, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Thailand and the Philippines. A final division covers Other activities while Miscellaneous includes photographs, clippings, and two audio tapes by Dr. Manet Fowler. The tapes record her interview with C. B. Ratchford, and refer to Liveright in two brief interchanges on Tape 1: on Side A of (after about 5 mm of tape), and on Side B (after about 10 mm of tape).

Because the collection was received as two separate donations several years apart and the two sections were processed separately, the intellectual order of contents shown in the finding aid is not necessarily the same as the physical order. For example, the CSLEA material is located in boxes 1, 2 and 8. Refer to the box numbers given in the finding aid for the correct location of a particular item.


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

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.

The following are particularly closely related to the Alexander A. Liveright Papers:


Subject Headings


Blakely, Robert J.
Charters, Alexander N.
Liveright, A. A. (Alexander Albert), 1907-
Sheats, Paul H., 1907-
Whipple, James B.

Corporate Bodies

Boston University, School of Education.
Center for the Study of Liberal Education for Adults.
ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Education
Highlander Folk School (Monteagle, Tenn.)
International Conference on University Adult Education (1960: Sagamore, N.Y.)
International Congress of University Adult Education.
New Institutional Forms Project.
Syracuse University. -- ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Education.
Syracuse University. -- School of Education.
United States -- War Manpower Commission.
University Council on Education for Public Responsibility.


Adult education.
Continuing education -- Study and teaching.
Continuing education -- United States.
Educators, United States

Genres and Forms

Minutes (administrative records)
Speeches (documents)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Alexander A. Liveright Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents

Boston University

Center for the Study of Liberal Education for Adults (CSLEA)


New Institutional Forms Project

Syracuse University


Other Activities