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SC 45

Jordan, W. K. (Wilbur Kitchener), 1902-1980. Papers of Wilbur Kitchener Jordan, 1943-1965: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: SC 45
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: W. K. (Wilbur Kitchener) Jordan, 1902-1980
Title: Papers of Wilbur Kitchener Jordan, 1943-1965
Date(s): 1943-1965
Quantity: .83 linear feet (2 file boxes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Speeches by Wilbur Kitchener Jordan, Radcliffe College President.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: R80-25
Received prior to 1978.

Processing Information:

Processed: July, 1980
By: Eric N. Lindquist

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by [xx] as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Wilbur Kitchener Jordan Papers, 1943-1965; item description, dates. SC 45, folder #. Radcliffe College Archives, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Records of Radcliffe College President Wilbur Kitchener Jordan, 1943-1960 (RG II, Series 3).


Wilbur Kitchener Jordan, son of William and Emma (Shepard), historian and college administrator, was born on January 15, 1902 and brought up in Lynnville Indiana, Jordan received his degree from Oakland City College, Indiana in 1923, his AM (1926) and Ph.D (1931) from Harvard University. He was appointed tutor in History, Government and Economics, and taught History I under Roger B. Merriman. In 1937 he was appointed Professor of History at Scripps College in California. In 1940 he was appointed general editor of the University of Chicago Press. He was named President of Radcliffe in 1943 and served in that position until. [February 1960]. At the same time he was Professor of History at Harvard, remaining in that position until he retired in 1970.
Jordan's great interest was in the Tudor period. He wrote Development of Religious Tolerance in England, 1650-1660 (1932-1940); Men of Substance: Revolutionary Thinkers of 1640; and later Philanthropy in England, 1480-1660; (1959). Jordan's last work was a two volume study of the reign of Edward VI from 1547-1553.
Jordan as President of Radcliffe in 1943, put into effect the new Harvard/Radcliffe agreement which opened the door to joint instruction for Radcliffe undergraduates and graduates. He participated in the Committee for the Higher Education of Women (1944-1945) which established general education for Harvard and Radcliffe. He was responsible for several new programs and initiatives in women's education: The Radcliffe Seminars established in 1950 to provide non-credit courses for older women; the Training Course in Personnel Management (1937) that was expanded into the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration (1954); the Publishing Procedures Course begun in 1947, offering graduates an introduction to publishing and the Institute of Historical and Archival Management, 1954-1960, offering an introduction to archival and historical management.
In 1943 Maud Wood Park '98 gave her suffrage collection to the college, and under the guidance of Jordan and Arthur M. Schlesinger these records became the corner stone of the Women's Archives and were developed into a major collection of books and manuscripts documenting the history of women in America, renamed the Schlesinger Library in 1966. During Jordan's presidency, three new dormitories, Comstock, Holmes, and Moors halls and the Jordan Coops were built and the percentage of resident students rose from 45% to about 90%. The Cronkhite Graduate Center was built in 1955, and in 1959 the endowment of the college was tripled by the capital campaign started in 1956.
Jordan married Frances Ruml in 1929. She served under President Ada Comstock Notestein as Dean of students and actively supported her husband during his Presidency. Jordan received several honorary degrees including one from Oxford University in 1964. He was trustee of Emma Willard School, member of the Winsor School Corporation, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of England, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and one of the directors of the Protein Foundation. He was a member of the American Council on Nato, and served on the Advisory Council to the Folger Library in Washington. He was an Honorary member of the Harvard Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Jordan died on June 3, 1980, and his wife Frances Ruml Jordan died August 10, 1980.


The collection consists of Wilbur K. Jordan's speeches on a variety of occasions. Among them are academic lectures, addresses to Radcliffe Clubs and Alumnae organizations, addresses to students on the opening of college and other occasions, and dedication and inaugural addresses as well as some speeches given outside the college. The speeches contain general observations on liberal education, women's education, on the history of Radcliffe and on the state and finances of the college. Also includes speeches and papers concerning Jordan's inauguration as President of Radcliffe, November 22, 1943.


Partial index of subjects

Container List

Additional Index Terms

College presidents
Comstock, Ada Louise
Conant, James Bryant, 1893-1978
Cronkhite, Bernice Brown, 1893-1983
Hall, Constance H. (Constance Huntington), 1886-1973
Radcliffe College--Buildings
Radcliffe College--Funds and scholarships
Radcliffe College--History
Radcliffe College--Presidents
Schlesinger, Arthur M. (Arthur Meier), 1888-1965