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Dorothy C. Stratton papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 366

Scope and Contents

The Dorothy Stratton Papers (1935-2012; 1.5 cubic feet) predominately document Stratton’s work as Dean of Women at Purdue and as Director of the United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve (also known as SPARS) through correspondence, pamphlets and photographs. Also of interest are a number of speeches and essays by Stratton about the role of women’s education in a democratic post-war world. Materials from later in Stratton’s life are generally secondary sources such as clippings about her birthdays, legacy, and obituaries.


  • 1935-2012
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1943-1947
  • Other: Date acquired: 11/09/1980


Conditions Governing Access

The processed collection is open for research.


1.20 Cubic Feet

1.00 mss._boxes

1.00 mss._boxes

1.00 mss._boxes

1.00 flat_box

Language of Materials



This collection contains papers, clippings and photographs documenting Dorothy Stratton’s life, especially her role as Purdue Dean of Women and Director of the USCG SPARS.

Arrangement Note

The papers are organized into five series. 1. Biographical Information 2. Correspondence 3. Speeches and Written Materials 4. SPARS Related Items 5. Photographs.

Custodial History

Although Dorothy Stratton made the original donation creating the Dorothy C. Stratton papers, the majority of the material was donated by Sarah J. Watlington. Watlington inherited several boxes of material relating to Purdue Deans of Women Dorothy Stratton, Helen Schleman, and Beverley Stone after their deaths. Watlington donated that material to Purdue Archives and Special Collections starting in 2008 and relevant material from that donation was added to the existing Dorothy Stratton Papers.

Source of Acquisition

Dorothy C. Stratton

Method of Acquisition


Accruals and Additions

Donation by Sarah J. Watlington, Mar. 7, 2008 20121203.3, Transfer from the Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance via Alyssa Pollock, December 3, 2012

Processing Information

The papers relating to Purdue Deans of Women Dorothy Stratton, Helen Schleman, Beverley Stone and Barbara Cook, have had a unique history. Although Stratton personally donated an album of WWII photographs to Purdue University Library in 1979, most of the materials in the Stratton Papers were transferred from Dorothy Stratton to Helen Schleman to Beverley Stone to Barbara Cook before finally coming under the stewardship of Sarah J. Watlington and Betty Nelson, who donated the combined materials to the Karnes Archives and Special Collections. The close friendships between these women and their shared histories as Deans of Women/Deans of Students at Purdue make determining the intended recipient of photographs, letters and other shared documents difficult. The archivists have attempted to restore the provenance of these materials and arrange them into appropriate individual collections to the extent possible. However, due to the intertwined histories of the women on professional and personal levels, the organization may not show exact provenance. Researchers studying Dorothy Stratton may want to also examine the papers of Helen Schleman, Beverley Stone, and Barbara Cook for additional insight into Stratton’s life and career.
Dorothy C. Stratton papers
In Progress
Archives Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States