University of Washington Department of Philosophy records, 1917-2006  PDF

Overview of the Collection

University of Washington. Department of Philosophy
University of Washington Department of Philosophy records
1917-2006 (inclusive)
1.91 cubic feet (3 boxes plus 1 oversize folder)
Collection Number
UW Resource No. 00299
Records of the University of Washington Department of Philosophy
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Open to all users, but access to portions of the collection is restricted. Contact Special Collections for details.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Department of Philosophy and Psychology was established at the University of Washington in 1902 with the appointment of William Savery as its chair and only professor. Savery slowly augmented the department, and many of these professors went on to have distinguished careers. By 1915 Psychology became a separate department. William Savery died in 1945 after having chaired the department for 43 years. A gift of six hundred books from his personal collection formed the nucleus of the philosophy library, and in 1947, Philosophy Hall was renamed in his honor.

Savery's legacy is also perceptible in the philosophy department's emphasis on the position of philosophy in contemporary culture and the lives of its students. Savery, along with his colleagues Vernon Parrington and J. Allen Smith, participated in the campus's intellectual and progressive movements, and often advocated for liberal policies in Washington State. Later faculty members also vocalized their political ideals, generating controversy and leading to criticism of the department. During the Joseph McCarthy era of the 1950s, Herbert Phillips was fired by the university for his acknowledged communism, and Melvin Rader was tried and acquitted of perjury for denying charges of communist activity alleged by the Washington State Joint Fact Finding Committee on Un-American Activities (also known as the Canwell Committee). During the 1960s and 1970s, Professor Frederick Adrian Siegler became a popular but contentious figure on campus for his unorthodox pedagogy, and Professor Michael Lerner garnered attention for his involvement in anti-war protests with the Seattle Liberation Front.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Departmental reviews and self-studies, annual reports, salary and tenure policies, faculty files, teaching assistant training handbooks, graduate student handbooks, and brochures and publicity.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Public Records (Use is unrestricted after access has been granted).

Preferred Citation

University of Washington Department of Philosophy records. Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, Washington.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Accession No. 05-027: University of Washington, Department of Philosophy records, 1917-1996Return to Top

1.48 cubic feet (2 boxes plus 1 oversize folder)

Scope and Content: The Philosophy Department's records span the years 1917-1996. Departmental reviews and self studies from the 1970s through the 1990s, annual reports from the 1940s through the 1990s, and policies regarding salary and tenure comprise the bulk of the records. Also included are faculty files on several members of the department: Michael Lerner, Melvin Rader, John H. Randall, and Frederick Adrian Siegler. Among these files are letters, memos, writings, biographical information, lists of publications, and clippings. Major correspondents in the records include chairman Arthur Edward Murphy, visiting professor Herbert Wallace Schneider of Columbia University, and William Savery.

Restrictions on Access: Access to records that are exempt from public disclosure (box 2) is restricted.

Restrictions on Use: Use of these public records is unrestricted when access is granted.

Acquisition Info: Transferred from the Department of Philosophy, August 21, 2003.

Container(s) Description Dates
1/1 05-027
Departmental history
General correspondence
1/2 05-027
Arthur Edward Murphy
1/3 05-027
Everett John Nelson and Herbert Wallace Schneider
1/4 05-027
William Savery
1/5-9 05-027
Annual reports
1/10 05-027
Untitled report
Faculty files
1/11 05-027
Lerner, Michael
1/12-13 05-027
Rader, Melvin Miller
1/14 05-027
Randall, John Herman
1/15 05-027
Savery, William
1/16-19 05-027
Siegler, Frederick Adrian
1/20 05-027
Course material
Subject series
1/21 05-027
2/1-2 05-027
Restrictions on Access:Restricted.
1/22 05-027
Chairmanship searches
2/3-4 05-027
Clatterbaugh complaint
Restrictions on Access:Restricted.
1/23-25 05-027
Department review
1/26-28 05-027
Department review self study
1/29 05-027
Department seven year plan
1/30 05-027
Promotion and tenure
2/5-12 05-027
Promotion and tenure
Restrictions on Access:Restricted.
1/31 05-027
1/32 05-027
Renaming Philosophy Hall
1/33-34 05-027
Salaries and tenure
1/35 05-027
Salary complaints
Misc. Oversize Box 9 05-027
Drawings, Philosophy Hall
1917, 1946, undated

Accession No. 16-042: University of Washington, Department of Philosophy records, 1957-2006Return to Top

0.43 cubic feet (1 box)

Scope and Content: Teaching Assistant manuals and training handbooks, graduate student handbooks, graduate and PhD program brochures and publicity, and teaching assistantship application information.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Public Records (Use is unrestricted after access has been granted)

Acquisition Info: Barbara Mack, 2007-08-17

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Philosophy teachers--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Philosophy--Study and teaching (Higher)--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Psychology and philosophy--Study and teaching (Higher)--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Corporate Names :
  • University of Washington. Department of Philosophy--Archives
  • University of Washington--Faculty
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Administrative records
  • Annual reports
  • Architectural drawings
  • Biography files
  • Business correspondence
  • Handbooks and manuals
  • Instructional materials
  • Organization files
  • Records (Documents)
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Lerner, Michael, 1943- (associated name)
    • Murphy, Arthur Edward, 1901-1962, (associated name)
    • Rader, Melvin (Melvin Miller), 1903-1981, (associated name)
    • Randall, John H. (John Herman), 1923- (associated name)
    • Savery, William, 1875- (associated name)
    • Schneider, Herbert W. (Herbert Wallace), 1892-1984, (associated name)
    • Siegler, Frederick Adrian, (associated name)
    • Corporate Names :
    • University of Washington. University Archives (creator)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • University Archives/Faculty Papers (University of Washington)