Collection inventory

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David W. Stewart 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: MRR
Date: 4 Aug 2006

Biographical History

David W. Stewart

David W. Stewart is a consultant, columnist and author, university instructor, policy analyst, workshop leader, and public speaker in adult education. He was Director of Program Development at the Center for Adult Learning and Educational Credentials at the American Council on Education and President of the Coalition of Adult Education Organizations (CAEO) in 1988-1989. He served as a member of the Planning Committee for the First World Conference on Lifelong Learning held in Rome in 1994.

As President of CAEO, he helped organize the New Sweden '88 Adult Education Conference in celebration of 350 years of Swedish settlement in America, and organized an exchange visit of Soviet adult educators to the United States under an agreement concluded with Znanie, the official Soviet adult education agency.

He is widely published and the recipient of the Imogene Okes Award for Outstanding Research in Adult Education in 1987 and the Philip Frandson Award for Literature in 1988. He is the principal author of the "Bill of Rights for the Adult Learner" and "Guidelines for Developing and Implementing a Code of Ethics for Adult Educators," and the author of Adult Learning in America: Eduard Lindeman and His Agenda for Lifelong Education.

Eduard Lindeman

Eduard Christian Lindemann (he later dropped the final "n") was born May 9th 1885, in St Clair, Michigan, the tenth child of German-Danish immigrant parents Frederick and Frederecka Johanna Von Piper Lindemann. He attended Michigan Agricultural College (later Michigan State University) where he became involved in the YMCA, developed a writing society and helped to found the Ethnic-Sociological Society. After graduation, he worked with the Boys and Girls Clubs and 4-H as a youth worker and community organizer. He taught at the YMCA College of Chicago for a year and briefly at the North Carolina College for Women in Greensboro, then joined the New York School of Social Work (later the Columbia University School of Social Work) in 1924, where he remained until his retirement in 1950. He became closely associated with the leftist New Republic (whose writers included H. L. Mencken, John Dos Passos, Willa Cather and Michael Gold), served on various commissions, was advisory editor to Mentor Books and was Chair of the American Civil Liberties Union Commission on Academic Freedom (1949).

Over the course of his career, Lindeman published some 200 articles, 107 book reviews, five books, 16 monographs, and 17 chapters in other works. He edited four books, shared joint authorship of another, and gave at least 44 lectures of which some written record remains.

Lindeman's life and work (for he did not separate the two) were not confined within traditional borders; his writing displays a broad viewpoint that encompassed adult education, community organization, politics, sociology and philosophy. Much of his philosophical outlook was shaped by his friend and colleague John Dewey, by Danish philosopher/educator/theologian Nikolai Grundtvig, and by Ralph Waldo Emerson. In her book on him, his daughter Betty writes:

Not only could he relate education, social sciences and social problems to the problems of the day; he could combine concepts from social sciences with both natural sciences and philosophy. He was a pioneer on many interlocking fronts – a pioneer social scientist with an allegiance to both science and to society and its processes, and also a pioneer in adult education and social philosophy. (Leonard 1991: xxiii)

Lindeman was a Progressive; his theories and allegiances did not sit well with some in 1940s America. When he was invited to speak before the Texas State Teachers' Association, a faction attempted to have him removed from the program on the grounds that he was a member of the ACLU and the Committee to Free Earl Browder, and therefore must be a Communist.

Lindeman was not one to separate education from the rest of life. "Education is life," he wrote in The Meaning of Adult Education. He saw adult education not as an end in itself but as a continuous process, arising not from formalized, structured classrooms but from every situation encountered, which had as its purpose to relate the individual to his community and to put meaning into the whole of life. Above all, adult education was a social effort, central to the health and maintenance of democracy. His life and work demonstrate his abiding concern for social justice, a belief in the possibilities of education and human action, and a deep commitment to democracy.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Apart from a single folder of columns that Stewart wrote for Adult and Continuing Education Today, the David W. Stewart Papers consists of Stewart's voluminous notes and research materials for his book on Eduard Lindeman. Much of it is photocopies (of Lindeman's correspondence, articles, book excerpts, etc); the remainder is Stewart's own notes and drafts, some handwritten and some typed.

Lindeman biography contains material related to the research, writing and publication of Stewart's biography of Eduard Lindeman.

Material related to specific chapters of Stewart's book comprises Chapter files. Folder titles are those supplied by Stewart; corresponding chapter numbers have been added in brackets.

Subject files cover Lindeman's family (including Denmark and Danish ancestry, Lindeman's wife Hazel and daughter Betty), friends, and colleagues; aspects of education (discussion method, importance of life experiences, workers education; other adult educators (Basil Yeaxlee, Malcolm Knowles, Mary Parker Follet); and various general topics (capitalism, Germany, Russia, politics, propaganda, religion, racial discrimination).

Lindeman was close friends for many years with social activist and philanthropist Dorothy Straight Elmhirst. Dorothy and her first husband, Willard Straight, founded New Republic; with her second husband, Leonard, she founded Dartington Hall, an experiment in progressive education and rural reconstruction in Totnes, Devon. Material on Dorothy can be found in the Dorothy and Dartington Hall folders. Other individuals of interest in the collection include Mary Parker Follett (social worker, consultant, and author of books on democracy, human relations, and management); Herbert Croly (journalist and another friend of Dorothy Straight); Betty Leonard (daughter of Lindeman and author of a biography of him -- a manuscript of her book is included); and Max Otto (atheist, pacifist and professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin).

Photographs includes photographs of Lindeman, his family, and a few other individuals, including several of Dorothy Straight Elmhirst.

Miscellaneous contains two doctoral dissertations, several audiocassettes of interviews, an audiocassette of Hazel Taft Lindeman's memorial service, and approximately two thousand index cards of Stewart's research notes, divided by subject.

Awards, critiques, prospectus sent to publishers, publisher correspondence, and reviews are found in Reactions to the book.

Other writings consists of a single folder containing clippings of "Trendlines," a regular column Stewart wrote for Adult and Continuing Education Today.

Arrangement of the Collection

Subject file folders are arranged in alphabetical order, their titles and contents exactly as supplied by Stewart. Folder titles for the most part are self-explanatory; where necessary additional information is provided in brackets [ ]. "See also" references have been added where appropriate. The contents of the folders are as Stewart had them, apart from the few correspondence files whose contents have been arranged by date.

Some of the subject files contain note cards. These have been left as Stewart had them. In some cases the cards are clipped together into sections, in others they are loose. Some were rubber-banded but the rubber bands had decayed or disintegrated so have been removed.

The bulk of the note cards were in a single carton. These have been kept in the divisions given them by Stewart as much as possible, though divisions may not always be accurate as the cards shifted about during shipment.


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. Collections particularly related to this one include:

Subject Headings


Elmhirst, Dorothy Payne Whitney Straight
Grundtvig, N. F. S. (Nicolai Frederik Severin), 1783-1872
Lindeman, Eduard
Stewart, David Wood, 1929-

Associated Titles

Adult Learning in America: Eduard Lindeman and His Agenda for Lifelong Education


Adult education

Genres and Forms

Drafts (documents)
Research notes.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

David W. Stewart Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of David W. Stewart

Table of Contents

Lindeman biography

Other writings


All folder titles are as supplied by Stewart. Additional clarification added as applicable during processing appears in brackets [ ].