Skip to main content

Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education correspondence

1907-1945
 Collection
Accession: 1955

Abstract

The Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education, which was founded in 1893 and became part of the American Society for Engineering Education in 1946, was a professional society of engineering school deans, professors, practicing engineers, and industry executives. During the 1930s and 1940s, Dugald C. Jackson (1865-1951), Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT, served as executive director. MIT president Karl Compton (1887-1954) and Gerard Swope (1872-1957) from the General Electric Company were active members. This collection of correspondence consists largely of letters between Jackson, Swope, and Compton, which document their efforts to shape the curriculum at major engineering schools.

Dates

  • 1907-1945

Creator

Extent

0.25 Linear Feet

Historical Note

The Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education, which was founded in 1893 and became part of the American Society for Engineering Education in 1946, was a professional society of engineering school deans, professors, practicing engineers, and industry executives. Its aim was to advance research in engineering, promote cooperative programs between industry and the academy, and sensitize its various constituencies to the relationship between "engineering and economics." For most of its fifty-two-year existence, the society was based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During the 1930s and 1940s, Dugald C. Jackson (1865-1951), Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT, served as executive director. MIT president Karl Compton (1887-1954) and Gerard Swope (1872-1957) from the General Electric Company were active members.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Contents

The correspondence of the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education consists largely of letters between Dugald Jackson, Gerard Swope, and Karl Compton, which document their efforts to shape the curriculum at major engineering schools. The Society was particularly interested in encouraging engineering schools to teach courses that focused on the business and economic aspects of engineering. Jackson and Compton appear to have been concerned with separating the engineering schools from the liberal arts colleges, which they viewed as being overly concerned with abstractions and lacking constructive approaches to industrial problems. The correspondence also documents the Society's efforts to develop standards for professional ethics, raise funds for scholarships and fellowships for needy students, and develop library collections. The files contain a good deal of information about the Engineering department at MIT--its structure, curriculum, funding sources, and relationships with industry.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education correspondence
Status:
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2022: Angela Schad

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400