The David W. Minar Papers comprise twenty three boxes and are arranged in eleven main subseries: biographical material; graduate school files (University of California, Berkeley); correspondence; teaching files; department chairman's (political science) files; papers and speeches; publications; and miscellaneous. Arrangement within each subseries is basically chronological.
The biographical material includes curriculum vitae, short sketches, questionnaires, lists of publications, and clippings. Three diaries detail primarily daily expenses, appointments, and meetings.
The graduate school files consist principally of lecture notes, exams, and student papers. There are small amounts of material on his master's thesis and his doctoral dissertation. In addition to material on his study at Berkeley, this subseries includes a small amount of material from his military training and a substantial file of lecture and reading notes and student papers from his undergraduate education at Reed College.
The general correspondence includes material concerning Minar's appointment, faculty rank, salary, teaching, departmental activities, writing, consulting work, and travel. Here also is filed most of the small amount of material resulting from his work with Northwestern's Center for Metropolitan Studies. Some letters concern various administrative and teaching positions offered to Minar. There is very little personal correspondence. Also present are recommendations for students wanting to enter graduate programs, and colleagues seeking postgraduate support and academic positions.
The teaching files consist primarily of lecture and reading notes, problems and exams, reading lists, and class schedules. Half a box concerns Minar's work at Columbia (Box 3 Folders 5-9). Of some interest are folders 6 and 7 in Box 4 concerning Political Science B43, The Political Life of Mankind, a new course designed and organized by Minar. Included are evaluations and reports on the class. Minar gave lectures and taught some courses outside the department of political science, and this subseries includes material pertaining to his teaching in the Evening Division, Institute on Urban Affairs, and Traffic Institute. He also taught a course for the Harris Trust. Additional material deals with Minar's teaching at the University of Washington. Of some interest is the folder on SIMSOC, (Box 7 Folder 1) a course in which students functioned in a simulated society.
The department chair subseries includes a small amount of material consisting of letters from Minar to Dean Laurence Nobles supporting propositions for members of his department. These contain substantial amounts of factual and personal material concerning the individuals involved.
The professional organizations files documents Minar's active work, especially in the American Educational Research Association and the American Political Science Association. He participated in meeting programs and served on committees in these organizations. The files consist primarily of correspondence, programs, and notes.
The research files include correspondence, data, notes and reports documenting Minar's various research interests. Material on projects in the files include an analysis of voting and opinion in the San Francisco and Oakland area on right to work laws, interviews and reports on the relationships between school boards and municipalities; and a study for the United States Office of Education on educational decision-making in suburban communities. The files on this last study deal primarily with Glencoe, Park Ridge, Niles. and Forest Park, Illinois, and includes interviews, observations at school board meetings, analyses of newspaper stories, and drafts and the submission copy of the report to the USOE.
The consultant files pertain to a variety of projects, including a study of the Bloomington, Illinois school system. Minar also consulted for educational institutions, governmental agencies, foundations, and publishers. Box 17, Folder 6 includes a small amount of material related to the Chilean Census Project undertaken by the Center for Metropolitan Studies.
The papers and speeches subseries consists of notes, drafts, and correspondence pertaining to many speeches, addresses, and seminars Minar gave before educational, professional, and lay groups.
The publications subseries includes correspondence, notes, drafts, and contracts. The subseries is divided into sections for books, chapters, and articles. A major portion of this subseries pertains to two books (dealing with education and state politics) Minar wrote with Michael Usdan and Emanuel Hurwitz, both published in 1969. The subseries concludes with a small collection of reprints.
The miscellaneous subseries consists of material related to two community activities Minar undertook in Wilmette. In 1966-1967 he served as petitions chairman for the non-partisan Wilmette Harmony Party to obtain candidates for village trustees and library board directors. In 1967-1968 he served the Wilmette School Board as an elected member, resigning when he moved to the University of Washington.