Archives and Special Collections
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Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

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Collection Overview
Name of Creator:Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Office of the President.
Title:Office of the President (Knowles) records
Date:1935-1984
Reference Code:A03
Location Code:22/1-4, FF2/D5
Extent:48.60 cubic ft. (52 boxes, 1 oversized item)
Scope and Content Abstract:The records document Asa Smallidge Knowles' (ASK) tenure as third president of NU in 1959-75. The collection contains ASK's chronological files and incoming and outgoing correspondence; ASK's files on NU's colleges and departments, including departmental files, departmental meeting minutes, budgets, correspondence, proposals, pamphlets, and reports; ASK's files on organizations, committees, and councils, including correspondence, meeting minutes, and reports of the NU Corporation and Board of Trustees, as well as other internal and external entities; ASK's subject files, including the records of the Assistant to the President, records for revising the "Handbook of College and University Administration" and editing the "International Encyclopedia of Higher Education," and information on campus events, student unrest, proposed academic programs, and honorary degrees; and articles and speeches written by ASK.
Historical Abstract:Asa Smallidge Knowles (ASK) was the third president of Northeastern University (NU) from 1959 to 1975. Under ASK's leadership, NU expanded its academic offerings, and all of its programs were accredited. Enrollment doubled, and the number of resident students increased dramatically. NU's physical plant grew to include five campuses, and its financial assets experienced significant growth. Between 1967 and 1972, NU faced various student protests concerning student rights, the Black Power movement, and the Vietnam Conflict.
Language and Scripts:
Arrangement:Organized into 5 series: Series 1. Correspondence and Memoranda; Series 2. Colleges, Departments and Other Units; Series 3. Organizations, Committees and Councils; Series 4. Subject Files; and Series 5. Writings and Speeches.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Knowles, Asa Smallidge, 1909-1990.

  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Office of the President.
  • Northeastern University--Boston, Mass.--Accreditation.
  • Northeastern University--Boston, Mass.--Administration.
  • Northeastern University--Boston, Mass.--Presidents.
  • Northeastern University--Boston, Mass.--Buildings.

  • College buildings.
  • Universities and colleges--Administration.
  • Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Protest movements.
  • Student strikes.
  • Greek letter societies.
  • Education, Cooperative.
  • Universities and colleges--Accreditation.
  • College presidents--Massachusetts--Boston.

Restrictions: Records are closed for 25 years from their date of creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office. Student records (box 41, folders 1780-1781, 1811; and box 37, folders 1665-1667) and personnel records (boxes 40-41, folders 1748-1776 are closed for 75 years from their date of creation.
Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.
Processor:Finding aid prepared by Ilona Kirilova and Patrica Mulderry, April 1995