|Title:||Alice I. Bryan Papers, 1921-1992 [Bulk Dates: 1935-1975].|
|Physical description:||8.65 linear feet (20 document boxes and 1 card file box).|
This collection is arranged in six series and several subseries. The first four series follow the outline of Bryan's personal filing code.
Dr. Alice I. Bryan was a professor in the School of Library Service (SLS), but she also held a PhD. in Psychology and had professional interests in both disciplines. Bryan's papers document her professional career, and include material on her work at Columbia University and in professional associations, research, and special projects.
Much of the material documents Bryan's career at Columbia University. Bryan kept files on her work both at SLS and within the larger University community. Her SLS records include correspondence, communications with the Dean's office, and material on committee work, curricula, examinations, and for her own courses. Her records related to work in the larger University community include correspondence, committee material, and meeting material for the Women's Faculty Club, School of General Studies, and the University Seminar on Public Communication.
The papers also document Bryan's professional career outside of Columbia University. The records' coverage is strongest from the late 1930s through the 1950s. They document Bryan's research interests, special projects, public speeches, and work in professional associations related to both psychology and librarianship. These associations include the Association of American Library Schools, American Library Association, American Psychological Association, International Council of Women Psychologists, and the National Research Council's Emergency Committee in Psychology. Bryan's files on research interests and projects are divided into three areas within Series II, III, and IV. Bryan kept material related to special projects with her Professional Activities files in Series III, with two exceptions: files related to the library film forum project and the legibility of the Library of Congress Catalog are in the Research--Special subseries of Series II. She also kept a set of Special Subject Files; these make up Series IV. Bryan also kept bibliographies, correspondence, and reprints related to her publications (1930-1952). There is some additional professional material filed in Series V.
There is some documentation of Bryan's academic work in her papers. There are a few research papers from her work on her bachelor's degree (1927-1928). She also kept notebooks and other material from her studies at the Graduate Library School at the University of Chicago (1949-1951).
There is a limited amount of personal material included in the papers. These materials include a few folders of personal correspondence, diaries (1976-1991), photographs, and a file on her personal travel immediately following her retirement (1972-1976).
Bryan had an elaborate personal classification and filing system. Copies of the outline are filed in Box 2. Series I-IV follow the order of this outline, however, many folders in the system did not contain records and have been removed from the collection.
This series consists of material that is related to Bryan's activities at Columbia University outside of the School of Library Service.Subseries I.1: General, 1938-1971
includes all of Bryan's employment contracts for Columbia University, as well as general correspondence.Subseries I.2: Institute of Arts and Sciences, 1942
contains correspondence on Dr. Russell Potter's film forum project.Subseries I.3: Teachers College, 1944
contains correspondence related to doctoral examinations at the college.Subseries I.4: Women's Faculty Club, 1941-1952
includes correspondence and files on club committees and on Bryan's service as president and vice-president.Subseries I.5: School of General Studies, 1947-1951
consists primarily of correspondence, but also includes material from meetings of the Board of Advisors.Subseries I.6: University Seminar, 1951-1974
Most of the material in this subseries is related to the University Seminar on Public Communication (1951-1965). Bryan chaired the seminar from 1964-1965. The material includes correspondence with the chairman, secretary, and several individual members. The subseries also includes a file on the University Seminar on Death (1971-1974).Series II: Columbia University--School of Library Service, 1938-1976
This series consists of material related to Bryan's career at the School of Library Service. It also includes material on two research projects undertaken in the 1940s on library film forums and the legibility of the Library of Congress catalog, respectively.Subseries II.1: General, 1939-1959, 1976
consists of general announcements, correspondence, and faculty meeting material.Subseries II.2: Dean's Office, 1939-1965
contains correspondence and memoranda sent between Bryan, individual deans, and the dean's office.Subseries II.3: Committees, 1938-1971
documents Bryan's committee work within the school, and includes files on her work on the curriculum, masters' theses, instruction, research and doctoral committees.Subseries II.4: Special Conferences, 1944
relates to the planning of a proposed SLS Summer Conference.Subseries II.5: Examinations, 1940-1970
includes material related to examinations given by the SLS - comprehensive examinations, qualifying examinations for the doctorate, and other graduate examinations. The subseries also includes examinations for Bryan's courses; however, additional course examinations are filed with the course materials in Subseries 9: Courses.Subseries II.6: Research--Special, 1940-1946
This subseries includes Bryan's research files on library film forums (1940-1946) and the legibility of the Library of Congress catalog (1944-1945). Copies of related publications are filed in Series III, Subseries 5: Publications.Subseries II.7: Student Research, 1938-1965
consists primarily of general correspondence, manuals, and memoranda on students pursuing masters' or doctoral degrees at SLS.Subseries II.8: Students, 1938-1969
consists of general correspondence and guidelines on student research and grading policies. The subseries also contains correspondence between Bryan and individual students on research issues.Subseries II.9: Courses, 1939-1971
includes course outlines, lecture notes, examinations, reading lists, and other material. The files were not kept together in good order, and much of the material is undated.Series III: Professional Activities--General
This series includes professional correspondence, public speeches, publications, and material related to Bryan's work with professional associations in both librarianship and psychology. The series also includes correspondence, research files, and other material related to several special projects. These projects include Bryan's work on the Public Library Inquiry, which resulted in The Public Librarian.Subseries III.1: General, 1939-1949
consists of general correspondence.Subseries III.2: Associations, 1935-1967
consists of correspondence, committee files, and other material related to Bryan's work with professional associations, including the National (later International) Council of Women Psychologists, of which she was a founder, and the National Research Council's Emergency Committee in Psychology (1941-1946).Subseries III.3: Special Projects
contains material on several of Bryan's special projects including the US Forest Service project, the Public Library Inquiry, her work at the Graduate Library School at the University of Chicago, and other projects on public communications, library education, and library personnel.Subseries III.4: Public Speeches, 1933-1960
includes general correspondence related to Bryan's public speeches. Most of the correspondence is filed chronologically. Material related to Bryan's 1992 speech at the American Library Association is filed with the Public Library Inquiry material in Subseries 3, above.Subseries III.5: Publications, 1930-1952
contains a bibliography, reprints, and correspondence related to Bryan's articles, book reviews, and other publications.Series IV: Special Subjects
This subseries includes bibliographies, correspondence, drafts, and other material related to five main subjects: Bibliography, Hospital Libraries, Values, The Professional Woman, Book on Research Methods, and Communications.Series VI: Personal Material
This series contains correspondence, diaries, and files on subjects of personal interest. Correspondents include Edwin G. Boring and Paul W. Gallico.
This collection has no restrictions.
This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least
twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and
Manuscript Library reading room.
More information and link to off-site request form
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Manuscripts Curator and University Archivist, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Alice I. Bryan Papers; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Finding aid in repository; folder level control.
Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division
Papers processed Catherine N. Carson
Finding aid written by Catherine N. Carson May 2008.
Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion September 2, 2008Finding aid written in English.
|Nat'l / Int'l Archives:|
|Bryan, Alice I. (Alice Isabel), 1902-||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Columbia University.--School of Library Service--Curricula.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Columbia University.--School of Library Service--Faculty.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Columbia University.--University Seminars.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Gallico, Paul, 1897-1976--Correspondence.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|International Council of Psychologists.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|National Research Council (U.S.).--Emergency Committee in Psychology.||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
|Public Library Inquiry (Project)||Portal||CLIO||ArchiveGRID|
Alice I Bryan was born Alice Isabel Bever on September 11, 1902. She was the second child and only daughter of Ewald Bever, a banker, and Caroline Bever née Lawrence. Bryan grew up in the Arlington section of Kearny, New Jersey.
After finishing high school in 1918, Bryan completed a two-year course of academic and secretarial studies at the extension division of Columbia University and then worked in the publishing industry. She also developed a lifelong interest in theosophy, mysticism, and parapsychology during this period. In 1921, she became an instructor for advertising courses offered by the Extension Division of the YMCA. She remained in this position when the program transferred to the Home Study Division of Columbia University.
Bryan continued to teach advertising courses until 1929. She also earned three degrees in psychology at Columbia University; a bachelor's (1929), a master's (1930) and a PhD. (1934). During the Great Depression, Bryan taught psychology at both Sarah Lawrence College and the Pratt Institute, and also taught a research methods course at the School for Library Service (SLS) at Columbia University. She was later invited to teach a course in psychology for practicing librarians at SLS, and was offered an assistant professorship in 1939. Bryan was also considered a leading theoretician in the field of bibliotherapy (which she defined as, "the prescription of reading materials that will help to develop emotional maturity and sustain mental health") during the 1930s.
During the next two decades, Bryan pursued her interests in psychology and librarianship. She helped to bring women into the mainstream of the profession of psychology, and was a founder of the National Council of Women Psychologists (which became the International Council of Women Psychologists) in 1940. She represented this organization on the National Research Council's Emergency Committee in Psychology during World War II. She also served as executive secretary of the American Association for Applied Psychology, and worked on the revision of by-laws of the American Psychological Association. She published articles on both psychology and on its intersection with librarianship.
Bryan pursued additional training to further her career at SLS and took a sabbatical to pursue a master's degree in library science at the University of Chicago, which she completed in 1951. At the same time, Bryan was recruited to conduct a study of library personnel being undertaken by the Public Library Inquiry (PLI) and the Social Science Research Council with funding from the Carnegie Corporation. Bryan's resulting report, The Public Librarian (1952), was a groundbreaking work for which she had interviewed more than 3,000 librarians in 60 libraries nationwide. The American Library Association (ALA) honored her on the 40th anniversary of its publication in 1992, and she delivered an address on the study and its significance at the ALA convention that year.
Bryan became an Associate Professor at SLS in 1953, and was the first woman to achieve a full professorship at SLS in 1959. She was also instrumental in the creation of its doctoral program, and was the chair of the doctoral committee for many years. She was designated as professor emerita upon her retirement in 1971
Bryan was married three times. Bryan's first marriage to Chester Ward Bryan in 1924 ended in divorce in 1934, but she continued to use his name professionally as it was the name in which she had established herself as a scholar and received her doctorate. Her second marriage to Frank Martin Blasingame, a sculptor and painter, ended in divorce after eight years in 1944. She married George Virgil Fuller, a retired colonel, in 1956. The marriage ended with Fuller's death in 1960. The George Virgil Fuller Award was established at Columbia University in his memory. Bryan had no children. She died on October 30, 1992, of leukemia.