Collection inventory

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Colleen Wiessner Papers

An inventory of her 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: MRC
Date: 9 Jan 2017

Biographical History

Dr. Colleen Aalsburg Wiessner (1954-2009) was an American scholar specializing in adult education. She was an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Adult and Higher Education at North Carolina State University. Receiving her Master's and Doctorate from Teacher's College, Columbia University, she studied under Dr. Jack Mezirow, who originated the concept of transformative learning. While Mezirow's student, she helped to coordinate the First National Conference on Transformative Learning in 1998, and continued to be involved in the recurring conference until her death in 2009. Renamed the International Conference on Transformative Learning two years after its start, the conference still continues under the name of the International Transformative Learning Conference.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Colleen Wiessner Papers consists of audio recordings, computer media, documents related to Wiessner's conferences and professional work, Wiessner's writings, and miscellaneous photographs and other printed material.

Audio recordings consists of cassettes containing interviews with specific individuals such as Jack Mezirow, as well as on specific topics such as Work Place Learning and conferences.

Computer media contains items related to conferences, as well as notes, articles, and research, including work by and related to Jack Mezirow.

Conferences consists of documents related to Wiessner's work on the International Conference on Transformative Learning, including conference proceedings, participant feedback, and promotional material.

Professional work includes items related to Wiessner's research involving focus groups, completed feedback forms from the NCSU New Learning Project, and notes on education theory.

Writings contains papers written by Wiessner, including items written while a Master's student under Jack Mezirow.

Miscellaneous contains abstracts of education papers; photographs, including some from an unidentified conference; and printed material, primarily items advertising books and events related to transformative learning and social advocacy.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is divided into six series, with each series arranged alphabetically.


Access Restrictions:

Access to recordings requires advance notice to create a use copy.

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

See also the Jack Mezirow Papers.

Subject Headings


Mezirow, Jack, 1923-2014.
Wiessner, Colleen Aalsburg.

Corporate Bodies

International Transformative Learning Conference.


Adult education -- United States.
Education -- Philosophy.
Transformative learning -- Congresses.
Transformative learning.

Genres and Forms

Conference proceedings.
Floppy disks.
Presentations (communicative events)
Research notes.
Sound recordings.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Colleen Wiessner Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Victoria Marsick, 2016.

Table of Contents

Audio recordings

Computer media


Professional work