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Dean of Women records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 41

Scope and Contents

The Dean of Women Office records (1958 – 1986; 6.35 cubic feet) document the official records of the Office of the Dean of Women, including correspondence, budgets, organization records, annual reports, and affiliated professional organizations. The Date File, which is a copy of outgoing mail from the Dean, offers researchers a glimpse into the day-to-day duties of the Dean of Women. However, any Date File that may have existed prior to 1960 is not included in these records, and there is a sizable gap between 1961 and 1969. The Annual Reports offer summaries of and statistics about the office’s responsibilities. Purdue’s Deans of Women were important contributors to the National Association of Women Deans, Administrators, and Councilors (NAWDAC), and Series 4 documents the history of that organization and its relationship with Purdue.


  • 1960-1974
  • Other: Date acquired: 11/04/2009


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Access Information

Collection is open for research. Access to privileged student information, including grades, recommendations and discipline records is restricted until 70 years from their date of creation.

Copyright and Use Information

Some material in this collection are in the public domain, while other material copyrights are held by Purdue University. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Historical Information

In 1933 Purdue hired its first full-time Dean of Women, Dorothy Stratton. Prior to this, the Dean of Women duties were carried out by Professor of English Literature Carolyn Shoemaker. When Helen Schleman took over as Dean in 1947, the office staff consisted of her, a placement officer, and an assistant dean seeing to the counseling, discipline, and administration needs of Purdue’s women students. As the number of women students at Purdue grew steadily, so did the size and responsibilities of the dean’s office, including placement services for women students, the SPAN Plan program to help nontraditional women return to education, and minority outreach programs to help the expanding diversity in the student body. Beverley Stone took over as Dean of Women after Schleman’s retirement in 1956, and in 1974 Stone became the first Dean of Students at Purdue when the Dean of Women and Dean of Men offices were combined.


5.78 Cubic Feet (Three cubic foot boxes, six letter-size full-width manuscript boxes, one letter-size half-width manuscript box, and one flat box)

Arrangement Note

1. Annual Reports, 1958 – 1973 (1.2 cubic feet) The form and content of the annual report changes over the years, but in general it includes an overview of the Office of the Dean of Women’s philosophy and role in University administration, demographic information about women students as a group, statistics about office visits and discipline issues, and detailed reports from individual office staff. 2. Date File, 1960 – 1974 (1.2 cubic feet) This series is composed of carbon copies of outgoing correspondence from the Dean of Women. The records include approximately a year of correspondence (1960 – 1961) when Helen Schleman was Dean of Women, and then there is a significant break in the record until 1969 – 1974 during Beverley Stone’s tenure. Any document including privileged information, such as discipline records, grades, or letters of recommendation has been restricted. 3. Budgets and Miscellaneous Material, 1968 – 1975 (0.2 cubic foot) This series includes official Dean of Women program budgets, information about the Freshman Conference Program, and other miscellaneous documents. 4. NAWDAC Records, 1948 – 1991 (3.0 cubic feet) Started in 1916 as a National Association of Deans of Women, the organization that would eventually be the National Association of Women Deans, Administrators, and Councilors (NAWDAC) was important in developing the professional and social community of women college administrators, especially through its quarterly journal and annual meeting. Helen Schleman and Barbara Cook both served as president of NAWDAC. Beverley Stone was on the executive board as treasurer. This series contains a wide variety of NAWDAC historical material, including correspondence, publications, notes, and manuscripts. Series 4 NAWDAC Records is organized by date. 5. Artifacts (0.75 cubic feet) This series includes the Shoemaker and Deans’ Bibles and a Dean of Women sign.

Custodial History

These records were created by Helen Schleman and Beverley Stone while serving as Deans of Women at Purdue University. The records were inherited by Barbara Cook and then donated to Purdue University Karnes Archives and Special Collections by Betty Nelson and Sally Watlington, along with other personal papers.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Betty Nelson and Sally Watlington, April 23, 2008
Dean of Women records
In Progress
Jonathan McConnell
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Third edition

Revision Statements

  • 09099999: Collection identifier updated from UA 12.05.02-6 to UA 41 as of October 28, 2016.
  • 2020-05-08: Collection description updated by Adelle Rogers.
  • 2024-02-08: Extents updated by William Niner.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States