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Catherine L. Allen papers

 Collection
Identifier: M084

Scope and Content Note

The collection documents the professional and, to a lesser degree, the private life of Catherine Allen. The material on professional positions documents her educational appointments. Material on organizations and societies documents her interaction with the numerous professional organizations in the field of physical education and recreation, both national and international. The collection contains many awards and honors, along with the accompanying correspondence, that she received from those organizations and others. Allen's papers also include her speeches and writings, which document both professional ideas and her wit. Of particular interest is the material documenting her Red Cross activity during World War II, which includes background information about the war in the Pacific as well as voluminous correspondence. Personal information is largely to be found in correspondence. Such correspondence reveals that Allen fostered warm relationships with many of her colleagues, and they became personal friends as well.

Of additional interest are the visual materials in the collection, among which are a pastel portrait of Allen done during her Red Cross service and several watercolors of Guam that may have been painted by her. Photographs document Allen's travels and friendships, and a video tape recording of the 1999 American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance convention in Boston shows her keynote speech, presented as the inaugural Marjorie Bouvé memorial lecture.

Six microfilm reels from the 1970s preserve a wide range of documents some of which are duplicated in the collection. Included are Allen's drafts of speeches, research and reference files, and organizational documents. There is no apparent order to the filming.

Dates

  • 1928-2002

Creator

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.

Biographical Note

Catherine Louise Allen was born in Columbus, Georgia in 1909. She began her professional life as a grade school and high school teacher in Georgia, earning a bachelor of science degree in education from Georgia State College for Women in 1936. After earning a master's degree from Columbia University's Teachers' College in 1941, Allen was appointed a professor of physical education and recreation at the University of Tennessee. With the outbreak of World War II, she volunteered for the Red Cross and was appointed director of special activities in the Pacific theater from 1944 to 1946, based in Guam. After the war, Allen returned to the University of Tennessee to teach until 1955 when she received her PhD in Education from New York University and moved there to chair the women's physical education department. In 1957, she moved to the University of Pittsburgh as director of special activities. Allen left Pittsburgh to become the director of special activities at Tufts University in 1960.

While at Tufts, Catherine Allen became involved with the Bouvé-Boston School, both as director of special activities and as a professor of physical education and recreation. After Bouvé's move to Northeastern University, Allen chaired the new recreation education department from 1964 to 1967 when she became dean of the college. While dean, she directed the formative years of the Boston-Bouvé Graduate School. In 1977, Allen resigned as dean to become a special assistant to President Kenneth Ryder of Northeastern University, a post she held from 1977 to 1981.

An active member of the professional physical and recreational education community, Catherine Allen held many leadership positions in the field, including the presidency of the American Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. She also received numerous awards and honorary degrees, including an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Northeastern University and the Luther Halsey Gulick award, the highest recognition in her field. A firm believer in the linkage between health education and community activism, Allen was a major figure in charitable and activist works in and around her various schools and communities. An accomplished writer and musician, she also composed many songs and was for years the leader of "sing-ins" at national and local conferences, camps, and conventions. Catherine Allen died in 2000.

Extent

3.3 cubic feet (4 containers, 1 flat file)

Overview

Catherine Louise Allen was born in Columbus, Georgia in 1909. She began her career as an educator in Georgia schools in 1936. After receiving a master's degree from Columbia University, she was appointed professor of physical education and recreation at the University of Tennessee in 1941. During World War II, Allen served as director of special activities in the Pacific region for the Red Cross from 1944 to 1946. After the war, she returned to Tennessee to teach until 1955, when she moved to New York University to chair the women's physical education department. In 1957, she became the director of special activities at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1960, she moved to the Bouvé-Boston School at Tufts University in the same position. After the Bouvé-Boston School became part of Northeastern University in 1964, Allen served as chair of the recreation education department until 1967, when she assumed the deanship of Boston-Bouvé College. Allen resigned as dean in 1977 to become a special assistant to President Kenneth Ryder of Northeastern University, a post she held from 1977 to 1981. Catherine Allen died in 2000.

Overview

The collection documents the professional and, to a lesser degree, the personal life of Catherine Louise Allen. Material documents her educational appointments; interaction with the numerous professional organizations in the field of physical education and recreation, both national and international; and honors and awards received by Allen from those organizations and others. The collection also includes her speeches and writing, which reveal both professional ideas and her wit. Of particular interest is the material documenting Allen's Red Cross activity during World War II, which includes voluminous correspondences from Allen as well as background information about the war in the Pacific. Personal information is largely to be found in correspondence. Of additional interest are the visual materials in the collection, which include photographs of travel and friends, a video recording of Allen speaking, watercolor paintings of Guam, and a pastel portrait of her.

System of Arrangement:

Arranged in one alphabetical sequence, with the exception of Professional Positions, which are arranged chronologically. Microfilm and visual material follow.

Physical Location

64/3, FF4/D8
Title
Finding aid for the Catherine L. Allen Papers
Author
Finding aid prepared by Molly Overholt
Date
April 2003
Language of description
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US