Document Type



Fall 1991


Syracuse University Special Collections, Adult Education Collection, SUPCE, adult literacy, civic education




American Studies | Education | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education


Since 1949 Syracuse University has assembled historical documents, including manuscript, print, visual, and media materials, related to adult education. The Adult and Continuing Education Collections, housed in the George Arents Research Library, now form one of the world's largest compilations of English-language materials in this field. They occupy 900 feet of shelf space and contain more than 50 groups of personal papers and records of organizations, all of which reveal much about the development of adult education as a field of study and as a practice in such areas as literacy and civic education.

These papers document efforts to define educational authority, to establish creditable standards for learning, and to build programs that teach people to read, to plant better crops, and to adapt to new technologies. One can trace in them the strong threads of anti-intellectualism ironically paired with the equally strong threads of civic mindedness that are part of our cultural fabric, and take note of the perennial conflict between individualism and bureaucracy.


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