This collection consists of 29 boxes of records relating to all aspects of the College of Arts and Sciences. Materials date from 1937 to 1973, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1963 to 1973. While the exact origin of these records is not known, it is assumed that these materials were collected and maintained by the administration of the College of Arts and Sciences. Most of the records bear the names R. Balfour Daniels or Alfred R. Neumann, both of whom held the position of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Materials in the collection include correspondence, reports, forms, reading files, minutes, and a large variety of other reference and background items relating to the College of Arts and Sciences and its various departments and divisions. The Folders appear originally to have been filed alphabetically, and this original order has been maintained or restored when necessary. Within files, items are arranged chronologically, with a few exceptions where an alphabetical arrangement is more appropriate.
This collection reflects almost all the events occurring on the University of Houston campus during this period. Not only are most of the College of Arts and Sciences divisions and departments represented within the collection, but also many programs that had bearing on the activities of the college are represented. University-wide committees are strongly represented, numerous national associations and organizations are included, and a variety of local and state issues have materials within the collection. Additionally, the construction of buildings related to the college, including Agnes Arnold Hall, Science and Research I, and the Fine Arts Center, are covered thoroughly.
From its inception as a four-year institution in 1934 until the 1942-1943 academic year, the University of Houston consisted of the General College and the Junior College. All areas of academic study at the upper levels were pursued within the General College, while the Junior College provided more vocational and technical training. With the 1942-44 catalog, a new organizational plan was announced. This plan divided the General College into seven schools, based primarily on different academic disciplines.
The College of Arts and Sciences, created in 1942, consisted of three divisions: the Division of Cultural Arts, the Division of Sciences, and the Division of Social Sciences. The departments within the College of Arts and Sciences were as varied as the divisions, with students able to pursue both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in areas ranging from drama and music to mathematics and physics.
The College of Arts and Sciences continued as the central instructional unit of the University of Houston through the mid-1970s. The curricula encouraged students to explore many fields of intellectual interest, while examining one field in depth. In late 1972, President Philip Hoffman appointed a committee to investigate a possible reorganization of the university's administration. One area of investigation was the possible division of the College of Arts and Sciences.
The study found that the areas of responsibility of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences were "too broad," making the "offering of dynamic leadership to the college almost impossible because of the numerous departments and special programs, which report to this office." With the recommendations of the study group and President Hoffman, the Board of Regents authorized the reorganization of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1975 the College of Arts and Sciences was divided into three colleges: the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the College of Social Sciences.
To gain a complete picture of the campus during this time, the researcher may want to examine other collections with related material, including the President's Office Records and the Business Manager Office Records. The Board of Regents Minutes and the Historical Photographs Collection may also be of interest.
Sarah E. Frazer, Bobby Marlin, and Silvia Martinez, August 2002
University of Houston Libraries Special Collections MD Anderson Library 4333 University Drive
College of Arts and Sciences Records. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. To cite a specific item from this collection, please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting. See the Citing Special Collections Materials page for more information. https://findingaids.lib.uh.edu/repositories/2/resources/59 Accessed May 31, 2020.