The Ernest R. Mowrer papers fill twelve boxes (one of which, a dropfront, contains maps and graphs drawn for use in his book, Disorganization: Personal and Social). The papers are arranged in six subseries: correspondence, teaching files, research files, professional organization files, speeches and papers, and publications. These are preceded by eight folders of biographical and education materials.
The biographical and education materials contain vitae, entries for biographical works, clippings, financial records, and the 1963 Northwestern University Alumni Association Award of Recognition. The one folder of education materials contains a term paper Mowrer wrote in 1922 for a course in advanced social psychology at the University of Chicago.
The papers relate primarily to Mowrer's teaching, research, speeches, and publications. There is little personal material here.
The correspondence files, for the most part chronologically arranged, contain letters dealing with Mowrer's teaching, research, publications, and professional activities. Also included is a folder of correspondence, reports, and related materials concerning the Mowrers' investment in Kansas oil wells.
The teaching files, arranged sequentially by course number or alphabetically by topic, are composed primarily of reading and lecture notes, many, many on 3x5” and 4x6” card stock.
The research files contain pertinent correspondence and raw and analyzed data as well as notes and drafts for reports authored by Mowrer. Of considerable interest are the folders of materials pertaining to role differentiation and twins. Where research data have led to a specific publication they are filled in the publications subseries. The research files are arranged according to topical headings.
A few folders relating to professional organizations primarily document Mowrer's work as a research investigator or a participant at various meetings.
The speeches and papers, arranged alphabetically by title, represent mainly reports on Mowrer's research projects; many deal with the family, especially marital relationships.
The publications subseries, forming the bulk of the papers, includes manuscripts, correspondence, both raw and analyzed data, and notes. Five of Mowrer's major studies, including the published work, Disorganization: Personal and Social, as well as “Facts and Figures,” “The Family: A Psychological Interpretation,” “Life Styles in Suburbia,” and “Social Crisis” are well represented by one or more drafts and by research data. Articles, arranged in folders alphabetically by title, frequently include, along with drafts, correspondence, notes, and other relevant materials. The two Delphian Quarterly folders contain correspondence and drafts relevant to eighteen articles Mowrer wrote for that journal between 1962 through 1979.