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Arthur W. Calhoun Papers

Identifier: LP000503

Scope and Content

The Calhoun papers are comprised of his personal reminiscences, biographical materials, correspondence with friends and colleagues, his student papers, his lecture notes, subject files, and, mostly, the manuscripts of his writings. For some of Professor Calhoun's personal letters and other material about him, please consult the Clarice Campbell Papers. This collection reflects his personal views on many subjects, during his last decade.

Important subjects in the collection include: Brookwood Labor College; Radicalism; Classical Learning; Religion; General Humanities; Social Psychology; Gerontology; Social Theories; History of The Family; Socialism; History (Academic); Sociology; Marxian Economics; Workers Education; Writings of Arthur W. Calhoun;

Important correspondents include: Heinrich Bergmann; Edward A. Ross; Clarice Campbell; Eunice Stackhouse; Mary & Floyd Dill; Aubrey Williams; Stanley Dziengielowski; William Zeuch; A.J. Muste

Many notable correspondents who have only a letter or two are included. The correspondence, however infrequent, is often remarkable in subject content.
Series Description: Series I, I-A. Personal Life and Professional Career, Boxes 1-4: Biographical and career material, including Professor Calhoun's unpublished autobiography in several forms; his dissertation manuscript, reviews of his books, testimonials and other personal papers.

I-B. Correspondence, Boxes 5-8: Correspondence by date; letters on controversies, letters from colleagues, students, and family, and folders of special correspondents.

Series II, Class Notes, Boxes 9-11: Notes taken by AWC as a student; translations of foreign and classical literature, and analyses of books. Notes go back to 1900. Some were taken in courses under still-famous professors of the past.

Series III, Lecture Notes, Boxes 12-26: Notes and materials for classes ranging through Professor Calhoun's entire career, including some church classes.

Series IV, Workers Education: Brook wood Labor College and other schools for workers, Boxes 27-29: Correspondence, course outlines, curricula, notes, minutes and publicity material are included; of special interest are memos and notes on Calhoun's dismissal from Brook wood Labor College.

Series V, Arthur W. Calhoun's Notes, Box 30: A copious note-taker and note-maker, who never threw one away, Professor Calhoun classified his notes by subject. Many are notes on books, or notes for new courses. He was especially skilled in epitomizing the contents of books.

Series VI, Subject File, Boxes 31-34: Includes notes, clippings, and a few leaflets, on subjects of interest to Professor Calhoun.

Series VII, Clipping Files, Boxes 35-38: These clippings were kept (some for over 70 years) on subjects of interest to Professor Calhoun, many, apparently, for classroom use.

Series VII, Writings of Arthur W. Calhoun, Boxes 39-43: Series VIII-A. Published articles and reviews, Boxes 39-40.

Series VIII-B. Short manuscripts of articles, speeches and reviews,Boxes 41-43.

Series VIII-C. Manuscripts ob books, monographs and textbooks, Boxes

Series IX, Calhoun Pamphlet Collection, 1890-1975, Boxes 48-52

Series X, Serial Publications: Special issues with articles of interest, Boxes 53-55.


  • 1899 - 1975


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Born on January 29, 1885, in Dayton, Pennsylvania, Professor Calhoun was an author, scholar, and teacher at an extraordinarily large, number of American Colleges. He received his BA in 1906 from the University of Pittsburgh; his MA from the University of Wisconsin, in 1913, and a PhD from Clark University in 1916. He did additional graduate work at Columbia University. He was the author of many published books, including the Social History of the American Family, 3 vols., 1916-1919; The Worker Looks at Government, 1927, The Social Universe, 1932; Social Regeneration, 1945; The Cultural Concept of Christianity, and others. He was a contributor to and he wrote short books such as American Labor Dynamics, 1928; The New Generation, 1930; Behold America, 1931; and The Early American Family, 1932. He also published other monography and many articles.

Professor Calhoun taught English and Philosophy at New Windsor College, Md., 1906-07; Latin and History at St. Petersburg, Florida, High School, 1907-09; German and History at Florida State College for Women, 1910-11; Social Science at Lenox College, Ia., 1912-13 and at Maryville College, Tenn., 1913-15. He became a Fellow in Sociology at Clark University, 1916-18, when he received his doctorate, then Assistant Professor of Economics.

He was Assistant Professor of Sociology at The University of Kentucky, 1918-19; Teacher of Cooperatives at The Rand School of Social Science, 1920-21; Professor of Economics at Grove City College, Pa., 1921-22; Teacher of Latin and Spanish, Orlando, Fla., Jr. High School; 1922-23; Teacher of Social Science at Brookwood Labor College, Katonah, N.Y., 1923-29; Professor of History, Limestone College, S.C., 1929-32; Professor of German and Greek, Erskine College, S.C., 1933-36; Dean of Sterling College; Sterling, Kansas, 1936-55, Professor of Sociology, Illinois College, 1957-58; and Professor of Social Science, Cloflin College, 1958.

In addition, Professor Calhoun was a summer visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, 1907; Ohio State University, 1919; Alabama College, 1923, 1924 and 1928; Asheville Summer School, 1930; Winthrop College, 1931; University of Wisconsin, 1933-38; and Friends University, 1944. He was active in Workers' Education in many places. He was a lifelong active Christian and wrote many articles and monographs on that subject as well as on economics and sociology.

Because of his socially radical opinions or because of his pacifist beliefs, and also because he could not in conscience sign any loyalty oaths, Professor Calhoun lost or never attained many positions, although he was well known as a superb teacher and successful author.

He married Mildred Tourtellot in 1916, and was the father of two sons, Dr. Donald Wallace Calhoun, (1917-) a sociologist, and Dr. Robert Allan Calhoun (1921-), a health specialist and social worker. Professor Calhoun died in 1978.


27.5 Linear Feet (55 MB)


Arthur Calhoun was an author of many published books, a scholar, and a teacher at a large number of American universities, focusing largely on economics and sociology. His papers reflect both his personal and professional interests and are mainly comprised of manuscripts of his writings on subjects as diverse as religion, history, workers education, gerontology, and the humanities.


Arranged in 10 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-8), Series 2 (Boxes 9-11), Series 3 (Boxes 12-26), Series 4 (Boxes 27-29), Series 5 (Box 30), Series 6 (Boxes 31-34), Series 7 (Boxes 35-38), Series 8 (Boxes 39-43), Series 9 (Boxes 48-52), and Series 10 (Boxes 53-55). Folders are arranged alphabetically, or in original order depending on the series.

Series 1 and 7 are each further arranged into 3 subseries.


Professor Arthur W. Calhoun (1885-1978) placed his papers in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in 1971, and additions were made during the next four years.

Related Materials

Clarice Campbell Papers


Runs of serials and books were placed in the Archives Library. They are listed at the end of this guide. A few photographs were filed in the audiovisual collections.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in 1983.
Guide to the Arthur W. Calhoun Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA