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Records of the Dean of Women, Claudine V. Mason

 Collection
Identifier: 30/9

  • Staff Only
History of the position:

The position of dean of women at Northwestern University has undergone several changes since 1873 when Frances E. Willard was the first to hold the title. From 1873 until 1924, the title of the position was dean of women. After a two-year leave of absence (1922-1924) Dean Mary Ross Potter returned to Northwestern with the title of Counselor of Women, which she held until her departure in 1929. The title of dean of women was continued in 1924 for Mrs. Winifred G. Richardson (who had been acting dean during Miss Potter's absence); Mrs. Richardson and Miss Potter overlapped form 1924 to 1928. Mrs. Florence S. Robnett was Dean of Women from 1928 to 1936. For the next sixteen years the title was counselor for women.

Mrs. Claudine V. Mason was appointed Counselor of Women in 1948. In 1952 the titles of counselor to women and counselor to men were changed to dean, as they have remained since.

From 1873 to 1905 the Dean of Women also held a faculty appointment, ranging from professor of aesthetics or of French to assistant professor of English literature. Since 1905 the position has been solely administrative.

Description of the collection:

The records of the Dean of Women, Claudine V. Mason, fill four and one-half boxes and are categorized accordingly: desk calendars, correspondence, housing, organizations, orientation, public relations, scholastic matters, and speech manuscripts. These are preceded by a folder of materials related to the history of the position, and succeeded by three folders of miscellaneous materials. Additional information relating to Dean Mason may be found in Series 30/10, the Claudine V. Mason Papers, and Series 30/11 (restricted), a tape recorded interview with Mason on July 16, 1986, conducted by Richard W. Leopold.

A list of incumbents, titles, and tenures may be found in Box 1 Folder 1.

The desk calendars (1948-1958) contain entries for Dean Mason's office appointments and related activities as well as for some family and social events. There are no notes on these meetings.

The small amount of general correspondence pertains primarily to training programs and vacancies in the field. Of special interest is a letter (Box 2 Folder 2) to Dean Mason from Mary Rose Potter, dated June 27, 1959.

The subject correspondence deals with Mason's speaking engagements, the families of several students, and daily activities in her office.

The largest component of the series relating to housing contains materials on the management of the sorority houses and women's dormitories, social regulations and penalties for the women students, and a report of a trip Mason took in 1950 visiting colleges and universities to see how they handled the housing of Negro students.

The organizations files includes materials relating to associations involved with personnel, counseling, and students. Of special interest is a folder (Box 3 Folder 15) of clippings and notes relating to a series of stories in the Daily Northwestern in May and June, 1957. This material deals with Mason's role in the formation of a student judiciary, and to freedom of the press. Materials on Mortar Board and Shi-Ai, two organizations in which Mason long maintained an interest, are filed here.

The public relations clippings tell of Mason's appointment and retirement as well as many of her speaking engagements.

Material relating to scholastic matters deal primarily with probation problems and the scholastic rankings of various sororities and dormitories.

The speech files contain notes and drafts (on cards or small sheets of paper) of speeches or talks Mason gave to various groups on or off the campus. In several instances there are Her notes of speeches given by others at meetings Mason attended.

The miscellaneous material includes reports on student withdrawals, student employment, and a student paper studying the problems of transfer students at Northwestern.

Dates

  • 1946-1961

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires 48 hours advance notice for retrieval. Please contact us at archives@northwestern.edu or 847-491-3136 to schedule an appointment to view the collection.

Extent

5.00 Boxes

Abstract

Mrs. Claudine V. Mason was appointed Counselor of Women in 1948. In 1952 the titles of counselor to women and counselor to men were changed to dean, as they have remained since. The records of the Dean of Women, Claudine V. Mason are categorized accordingly: desk calendars, correspondence, housing, organizations, orientation, public relations, scholastic matters, and speech manuscripts. These are preceded by a folder of materials related to the history of the position, and succeeded by three folders of miscellaneous materials.

Method of Acquisition

The records of the Dean, Claudine V. Mason, were formed by combining portions of three accessions, all donated to the University Archives by Claudine V. Mason. The bulk of these records came on July 27, 1987 (Accession #87-157). Small amounts came on July 27, 1987 (Accession #87-163) and May 3, 1988 (Accession #88-97).

Related Materials

See Series:

51/14, Box 431 (Alumni Bio Files) Series 30/9, Records of the Dean of Women Series 30/10, Claudine Mason Papers Series 55/26, Frank Mason Papers

Separated Materials

A small amount of duplicate and extraneous material has been discarded.

Processing Information

William K. Beatty; January-February, 1989.
Title
Guide to the Records of the Dean of Women, Claudine V. Mason
Author
William K. Beatty
Date
01/01/1989
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Contact:
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US
847-491-3354