Archives and Special Collections
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Boston, MA 02115
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Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids

Printable Finding Aid. Back to Browsing Version.

Collection Overview
Title:Catherine L. Allen papers
Date:1928-2002
Location Code:64/3, FF4/D8
Reference Code:M84
Extent:3.3 cubic ft. (4 boxes, 1 flat folder)
Scope and Content Abstract: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.
Biographical Abstract: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.
Language and Scripts:
Arrangement:Arranged in one alphabetical sequence, with the exception of Professional Positions, which are arranged chronologically. Microfilm and visual material follow.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Allen, Catherine Louise, 1909-2000
  • Ryder, Kenneth L.

  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Boston-Bouvé College
  • Bouvé-Boston School of Physical Education

  • Physical education for women—Massachusetts
  • Physical education and training -- Massachusetts
  • Physical education and training -- Societies and clubs
  • Red Cross
  • Women educators
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Guam

Restrictions:The collection is unrestricted.
Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.
Processor:Finding aid prepared by Molly Overholt, April 2003

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.

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.

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BoxTitleDate
Biographical Information
1General1934, 1960, 1977-1978
1Curricula Vitae1977-1989
1Memorials and Obituaries2000-2001
1Memorial Lecture2002
1Oral History of American Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Retired Leaders (3 folders)n.d., 1989
1Student's Biographical Essay on Catherine L. Allen1967
Correspondence
1A-Z (4 folders)n.d., 1944-1990
1Plaudits and Recommendations1946, 1957, 1975-1989
Honors and Awards
1, FF4/D8Other Awardsn.d., 1936, 1955-1999.
1Dorothy Sears Ainsworth Award1989
1American Academy of Physical Education Creative Award1949
1American Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Awardsn.d., 1957-1985
1American Association for Leisure and Recreation Awards1976-1986, 1999
Beta Sigma Phi Awards
1Awards1950-1957
4International Honorary Member Champagne Bucket1955
4Knoxville First Lady Trophy1950
1Council on Physical Education for Children, Distinguished Service1989
1Delta Kappa Psi Patroness1980
1Eastern District Association of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Awards1957-1979
1Genealogical Orders (2 folders)n.d.
1Georgia College Distinguished Service1990
1Georgia State College for Women Alumnae Achievement1958
Luther Halsey Gulick Award (2 folders)1970
1General (2 folders)1970
4Medallion Paperweight1970
1Clark W. Hetherington Award1984
1International Association for Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women Pioneer Member1988
1Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Awards1965-2000
Joseph McKenny Award
4Footed Silver Bowl1996
1General1996
R. Tait McKenzie Award1980
1General (2 folders)1980
4Medallion1967
1Northeastern University: Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (2 folders)1980
1, FF4/D8Northeastern University: Other Awards1967-1985, 1998
1Red Cross Service1946, 1998
Organizational Affiliations
1Other1973-1987
1American Academy of Physical Education1983-1989
American Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance
1Generaln.d., 1963-1966, 1978, 1988
180th Convention1965
4Bicentennial Medallion1976
1Correspondence1963-1985
4Engraved Lapel Pin1965
4Engraved Silver Plate: Assistance to President Minnie L. Lynn1961
1Past Presidents' Letters1986-1989
4Presidential Needlepoint Paperweight1965
1Sing-Alongs1982-1988
American Association for Leisure and Recreation
1General1980-1986
1Correspondence1976-1989
1Sing-Ins1980-1989
1Eastern Association for Physical Education of College Women1975-1983
1Eastern District Association of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance1959-1966, 1984
International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women
1General1971-1987
15th International Congress1965
16th International Congress (Audio Tape)1969
International Council on Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
18th International Conference1965
1Resolutions1965
1Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dancen.d., 1983-1985
1National Association for Physical Education of College Women1971-1974
1Phi Kappa Phi1973
1Tennessee Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance1981-1985
1World Confederation of Organizations of the Teaching Profession (2 folders)1965
Professional Positions
Early Teaching
1Generaln.d., 1936-1941
4Spoon: University of Tennessee Distinguished Servicen.d.
1Social Director, S.S. Ana Salen1952
1Professor of Education and Coordinator of Special Activities, University of Pittsburgh1957-1959
1Professor of Physical Education, Bouvé-Boston Schooln.d., 1963
1Chairman, Department of Recreation Education, Boston-Bouvé College1966-1967
Dean, Boston-Bouvé College
2Correspondence1967-1976
2News Clippings1967-1974
2Open Letter to Studentsn.d.
2Testimonial Dinner1977
Dean Emerita, Boston-Bouvé College
2Bouvé Archival Preservation Society1977-1978, 1990, 1998
2Correspondence1977-1980
2Library and Archival Donations1981
Special Assistant to the President, Northeastern University
2General1977-1978
2Correspondence1977-1978
Red Cross
2Correspondence (2 folders)1944-1946, 1956
2Director of Special Activities, Pacific Ocean Areas1944-1946, 1990, 1994
4Enameled Lapel Pinca. 1944
Reference Files
2Accounts of the Invasion of Guam1941
2Accounts of War with Japanca. 1941-1945
2Diary of a Japanese Soldierca. 1941
2, FF4/D8General Information on Guamca. 1944-1945
2Pacific Theater War Correspondent Filingsca. 1945
2Songs and Performances (2 folders)ca. 1944-1946
2Women in Military Service1997
Speeches
2Speech Publicityca.1943, 1957-1976
2American Academy of Physical Education1968
2American Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dancen.d., 1965, 1983-1985
4Amy Morris Homans Lecturer Pin1974
2Bouvé 75th Anniversary1989
2Bouvé Alumni1977-1978, 1989-1991
2Bouvé Honors Assembly1980
Eastern District Association of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance
2Marjorie Bouvé Memorial Scholar Lecture (VHS Video Tape)1999
2Speech Notes1979-1989
2Flint Community Schools, Michigan1964
2Florida Association for Physical Education of College Women1978-1979
2General Subcommittee on Education of the House Committee on Education and Labor1965
2International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Womenn.d., 1973-1981
2Mars Hill College1966
2Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance1978-1985
2National Association for Physical Education of College Women1970-1980
2North Carolina Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation1962
2Other State Associations for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance1964-1965
2Retirement of Madge Phillips1985
2Sam Houston State University1971
2Sigma Phi Alpha, Pi Chapter, Forsyth Schooln.d.
2Tennessee Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation1964, 1981
2University of Iowa, Department of Physical Education and Dance1981
2University of Rhode Island, Department of Physical Education, Health, and Recreation1966, 1977-1983
2Unidentifiedn.d.
Writing
2Journal Articles1944-1988
2Personal1965, 1977
2Recreation Guides1954-1959
2Songbooksn.d., ca. 1960s
2Othern.d.
3Microfilm (6 reels): Personal and Professional Documentsca. 1970s
Visual Material and Memorabilia
2American Association for Health, Physical Fitness, and Recreation
4Presidential Gavelca. 1965
2Presidential Plaque1965
4Bookend: Georgia State College For Womenca. 1920s
Jewelry: National Recreation Association of Japan
4Enameled Lapel Pinca. 1968
4Enameled Pendantca. 1968
FF4/D8Pastel Portrait: Catherine L. Allenca. 1945
2Photographs (2 folders): Catherine L. Allen, Friends, and Colleaguesn.d., 1928-2000
FF4/D8Watercolors: Guamca. 1945