Guide to the Amber Arthun Warburton Papers, 1917-1976 and undated
Teacher, librarian, specialist in economics, labor, and education; New Deal administrator. Correspondence, diaries, writings, interviews, drafts of studies and reports, scrapbooks, printed material, photographs, and other papers, relating to Warburton's leadership in the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth (AGRY), 1947-1963; and to Affiliated Schools for Workers, Atlanta University, Brookwood Labor College, Columbia University (M.A., 1927), Institute of Social and Religious Research, Mount Holyoke College, Summer School for Women Workers in Industry, Spelman College, U.S. Children's Bureau, U.S. Federal Emergency Relief Administration, and the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. Topics include the rural youth guidance movement, training programs for unemployed teachers in the 1930s, women workers in the 1920s, African Americans in the early 1930s, industrial home work in the Northeast in the late 1930s, migrant farm workers in the Southwest and Florida in the 1940s to 1950s, socioeconomic conditions in coal mining villages in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois in the late 1920s, and in Harlan County, Ky., and Green Sea, S.C., in the late 1940s, and the effects of the National Defense Education Act on guidance in rural high schools.
- Collection Number
- Amber Arthun Warburton papers
- 1917-1976 and undated
- Warburton, Amber Arthun, 1898-1976
- 35 Linear Feet, circa 31,400 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Personal Series, 1920-1976
- Brookwood Labor college Series, 1923-1933
- Columbia University Series, 1917-1932
- Mount Holyoke College Series, 1928
- Southern Summer School for Women Workers in Industry Series, 1927-1935
- Institute of Social and Religious Research Series, 1929-1930
- Spellman College and Atlanta University Series, 1928-1932
- Federal Emergency Relief Administration Series, 1934-1935
- Affiliated Schools for Workers Series, 1932-1935
- Fairfax County Series, 1938-1947
- U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture Series, 1942-1947
The Amber (Arthun) Warburton Papers consist of the personal and professional papers of Warburton from 1917 to 1976. The bulk of the material comes from the organizational files of the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth during Warburton's tenure as executive secretary and director of research, 1947-1963. Other organizations and institutions represented include Atlanta University, Brookwood Labor College, Columbia University (where she received her M.A. in 1927), Mount Holyoke College, Spelman College, Institute of Social and Religious Research, Southern Summer School for Women Workers in Industry, Affiliated Schools for Workers, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, and the U.S. Children's Bureau.
The Warburton Papers contain correspondence, financial statements, writings, interviews, notes, drafts of studies and reports, newspaper clippings, newsletters, printed material, books, magazines, photographs, diaries, and scrapbooks. Most of the papers are printed material. Also includes her diploma from Columbia (1927), and an oversize photograph of the Three Fates Greek scuplture.
The papers are divided into the following thirteen series:
- Brookwood Labor College
- Columbia University
- Mount Holyoke College
- Southern Summer School for Women Workers in Industry
- Institute of Social and Religious Research
- Spelman College and Atlanta University
- Federal Emergency Relief Administration
- Affiliated Schools for Workers
- U.S. Children's Bureau
- Fairfax County
- U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture
- Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth
Warburton's connection with these organizations and institutions is noted in the description of each series.
The largest series is the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth Series (AGRY). The series is arranged by subject, in keeping with the arrangement pattern of a 1949 office files index. There are three major subjects within the series: Harlan County (Kentucky), Green Sea (South Carolina), and the National Defense Education Act Study. Each subject contains correspondence, notes, drafts of reports and studies, reports and studies, newspaper clippings, and printed material.
There is overlap among series, especially within the AGRY series. For instance, Warburton might correspond with one person in Green Sea about the Green Sea Institute and later about an upcoming guidance convention. Each letter would probably be found in different subjects: the Green Sea letter under Green Sea Institute, and the convention letter under material about guidance conventions.
The Warburton Papers are a rich source of information on the growth and development of the youth guidance movement in America, especially guidance in rural areas. If combined with the Duke Library's collection of early AGRY papers, a researcher could follow the American rural youth guidance movement from inception to maturation. Furthermore, the numerous surveys conducted in Harlan County and Green Sea contain much material on the socio-economic status and attitudes of people in those communities in the 1940's and 1950's, which may be valuable to the sociologist or historian studying Appalachia or the rural South.
Other highlights include considerable information on the creation, growth, and management of workers' schools and federal training centers for unemployed teachers in the 1930's; in-depth studies of industrial home-work in the Northeast and migrant workers in Texas, Arkansas, and Florida; and excellent pictures of schools, houses, and people in Harlan County and Green Sea. There are also photographs in the Personal, Columbia University, Spelman College and Atlanta University, U.S. Children's Bureau, and Fairfax County series.
Specific subjects are discussed in more detail in the inventory.
This collection is arranged topically. Because all non-AGRY material was unorganized, series of related material had to be created. Consequently, there is some overlapping within the collection, especially among printed material from the 1930's and 1940's. For instance, printed material from New Deal programs is found in both the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and Affiliated Schools for Workers series. Still, each series corresponds to a job or period in Warburton's life, so there is a definite pattern and coherency to the arrangement of the collection.
There are several aids to the content and arrangement of the collection. First, when a folder has a heading like Printed Material, 1928-1935 (p. 13), the heading means that there is general or miscellaneous printed material in the folder from 1928 to 1935. Secondly, some subjects in a series are lengthy enough to require a centered heading, sometimes followed by an explanatory note. At the end of the material under this heading, two lines are skipped before returning to the continuation of the series. Thirdly, the years for which there is material pertaining to a series is noted under the series title. The years, however, do not necessarily correspond to Warburton's association with the organization or institution. Finally, the term “Family Schedules” refers to printed forms that list such things as the number of people in a family, their ages and occupations, their schooling, and so on. These schedules are found in several series.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, please consult the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], The Amber Arthun Warburton Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
This series contains correspondence, writings, printed material, clippings, photographs, and volumes. The correspondence spans most of Warburton's life, but offers few special glimpses into her personal life. Interesting material in this series includes Warburton's employment applications (they provide good descriptions of her many positions), an assortment of articles on labor and unions in the 1920's and 1930's, and a series of articles by Agnes Meyer on conditions in the postwar (1946) South. There are four Warburton diaries, none of which is particularly long or revealing. There are also many photographs of Warburton and her friends and relatives.
The subject files are arranged first chronologically, then alphabetically by topic. They cover a wide range of materials reflecting Amber Warburton's personal and professional interests. The bulk consists of printed materials and clippings with some letters and other miscellaneous items; there is also one folder of photographs of the Warburton family, a large photograph of a classical sculpture, and a set of diaries. Some of these materials relate to time Amber Warburton spent in Europe.
This series consists of printed material from the Brookwood Labor College. The Brookwood Labor College was an educational institution for workers founded in 1921 in Katonah, New York. Warburton was the school librarian for two years, 1923-1925.
Within the series are pamphlets about Brookwood; articles, plays, and poems by Brookwood faculty members and students; and nine issues of the school newspaper, The Brookwood Review. There are several memorandums addressing the problem of the split between the faculty of the college and some prominent trade unionists. In general, a split developed because William Green, president of the A.F.L., accused the faculty of espousing communism. The faculty denied the charge.
Warburton was a graduate student at Columbia University from 1926 to 1929. This series contains printed material from courses, Warburton's master of arts thesis (1927) and drafts of her doctoral dissertation, and reports, notes, and printed material for her dissertation. Also includes her 1927 diploma.
This series consists of notes, outlines, and bibliographies for courses taught by Warburton at Mount Holyoke College in 1928.
This series contains course reports, notes, and outlines, scrapbooks, pamphlets, booklets, and three issues of The News from the Southern Summer School for Women Workers in Industry. Warburton taught at six-week summer sessions held in Sweet Briar, Virginia in 1927, and Burnsville, North Carolina, in 1928 and 1929. Warburton also taught in a similar program in the summer of 1935, the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women in Industry held in Mount Ivy, New York. Printed material from that program is included in this series. Additional material about this organization is in the Alice Mary Baldwin Papers in the Duke University Archives. Researchers interested in social history would find the student scrapbooks, where students often wrote short essays on their youth and work experiences, a rich source of information on Southern women workers in the late 1920's and early 1930's.
This series contains correspondence, notes, reports, schedules, and printed material pertaining to Warburton's field study of coal mining villages in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois in 1929 and a rural-industrial county in Georgia in 1930. Warburton was one of several investigators sent out to small industrial villages to study the churches and their roles in the villages. Though researchers were supposed to concentrate on churches, Warburton devoted much attention to social and economic conditions in the villages. Consequently, there is some revealing descriptive and statistical information on the villages Warburton visited. There is also printed material from the United Mine Workers.
This series has correspondence, notes, family schedules, drafts of reports and studies, printed material, and photographs from Warburton's work for the Children's Bureau, 1939-1942. The bulk of the material is printed reports, either done or received by the Children's Bureau. While at the Bureau, Warburton supervised two studies that eventually were published: Industrial Homework Conditions in the Candlewick-Bedspread and Lace Industries, and Work and Welfare of Children of Agricultural Laborers in Hidalgo County, Texas. Material from the Hidalgo County study provides a penetrating view of social and economic conditions in south Texas in the early 1940's. Besides the copious printed material from the study, there are many photographs, some of which are quite good.
This is the largest series in the Warburton collection. It contains correspondence, reports, studies, clippings, printed material, photographs, and volumes from Warburton's sixteen-year tenure as executive secretary and director of research of the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth. The organization disbanded in 1963.
Approximately sixty percent of this series came to the library already organized. The remaining forty percent of the material was unorganized and had to be integrated into the organized material. With modifications and additions, the integration of the material was done using the original (1949) index to the office files as a guide.
Material in the collection is arranged by subject, and within subject by type (correspondence, printed material, etc.) The subjects are not arranged alphabetically or chronologically, so researchers should carefully study the subject entries for the entire series before plunging into the material. Also there is considerable overlapping of material in the series. For instance, correspondence from Glyn Morris of Harlan County, Kentucky, could be found under Harlan County or under Board of Trustees, depending on the subject. Consequently, researchers should expect to examine several subject headings if the topic is broad.
Once the inventory is studied, researchers will find rich sources of information on socioeconomic conditions in several rural or rural-industrial communities: Harlan County, Kentucky, Green Sea, South Carolina, and Belle Glade, Florida. Much of the work done in these and other communities was compressed into terse, lucid studies that can be found under the heading "Publications" in boxes 26 and 27. There is also much material on the day-to-day operations of several guidance organizations: Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth, Council of Guidance and Personnel Associations, and the National Council of Agricultural Life and Labor.
In 1952 the CGPA changed its name to American Personnel and Guidance Association. Consequently, all material from 1952 and after should be under the heading APGA, but for ease of organization, the material from the APGA has remained under the heading CGPA.
In 1947 the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth helped the people of Harlan County, Kentucky, set up programs to deal with educational and vocational guidance, health, nutrition, child welfare, and the prevention of juvenile delinquency. The programs were a county-wide continuation of a much smaller guidance and health program started at the Pine Mountain Settlement School in 1935. Material from Harlan County is divided into three broad categories: Guidance Institutes, community programs generated by the Institutes, and material related to the book written about the work in Harlan County, Guidance in a Rural-Industrial Community. A copy of the book is in Box 27.
Some of the photographs in this and the following folders were published in Warburton's Guidance in a Rural-Industrial Community. Negatives are in the Negative File.
In 1949 the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth helped the people in the Green Sea School District in northern Horry County, South Carolina, set up programs to deal with educational and vocational guidance, health, nutrition, child welfare, and the prevention of juvenile delinquency. Material from Green Sea is arranged differently than material from Harlan County: papers from the Youth Guidance Institute are not separated from the community-generated material, but rather incorporated within it. Material related to the book written about the work in Green Sea, Guidance in a Rural Community, is at the end of the papers from Green Sea. Although there is no copy of the book in the collection, there are several complete manuscripts. A copy is available in the East Campus Library.
In 1952 the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth gave a copy of Guidance in a Rural Community to a veteran who had won a free farm along the Columbia River in a contest sponsored by Columbia Valley business and civic organizations and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
In 1947 a group of individuals and organizations formed a council to study problems of migrant labor, the National Citizens Council for Migrant Labor. The council not only studied the problems of migrant labor, but also lobbied Congress, monitored federal and state agencies, and publicized key issues on behalf of migrant laborers. Warburton was a founding member of the council, and served on its board of directors from 1947 to 1960 . In 1953 she supervised a field study of migrant laborers in the Belle Glade section of Palm Beach County, Florida. Her findings were incorporated into the book, The Education of Migrant Children, by Shirley E. Greene. A copy of the book is in Box 27.
In 1950 the council expanded its scope to include problems of everyone involved in agriculture in the United States. Consequently, the council changed its name to the National Citizens Council on Agricultural Life and Labor. For ease of organization, all material has been grouped under the heading, National Citizens Council for Migrant Labor.
The Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth received a great deal of miscellaneous printed material. This printed material has been arranged by agency (e.g. Department of State) and subject (e.g. Health). The categories are arbitrary and consequently there is considerable overlapping.
Between 1960-1963 Warburton conducted a study of the effects of the National Defense Education Act Title V-A on guidance programs in rural secondary Schools. Title V-A allocated 15 million dollars a year (from 1958 to 1961) to stimulate guidance programs in secondary schools. This study was the last major project sponsored by the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth.
Material from the study is divided into four groups: general, state, local, and material related to the book written about the study, Stimulating Guidance in Rural Schools (1964). A copy of the book is in Box 27.
Warburton taught labor and economics at Spelman College and Atlanta University from 1929 to 1932. Material from this period includes speeches, course materials such as outlines, bibliographies, and student essays, printed material, ten issues of Crisis magazine, and clippings. The series also has correspondence, minutes, reports, printed material, and clippings from the Atlanta Forum Association, an organization devoted to bringing liberal speakers to Atlanta.
Researchers would probably find the student autobiographies and a survey of standards of living in black districts in Atlanta the most fascinating primary material in the series. There is also a good group photograph of some students and faculty of Atlanta University (undated, but taken sometime during Warburton's tenure). The photograph is not in the series, but rather in an oversize folder.
Contains drafts of speeches given by Warburton to local groups in 1929-1930.
This series has correspondence, reports, printed material, and clippings from Warburton's work with the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. In 1934 Warburton directed training centers for teachers in Atlanta, Georgia, and Gulfport, Mississippi. In 1935 she directed a similar center in Logan, Utah. Interesting material includes letters and reports that highlight the difficulties of running programs designed to train unemployed teachers how to teach “worker's education,” as well as autobiographies of unemployed teachers.
In 1935 Warburton studied an Affiliated Schools for Workers program in Detroit, Michigan. This series has material from her study, as well as a great deal of material concerned with other programs sponsored by the New Deal. There are reports, pamphlets, clippings, and printed material in the series. The bulk of the series is printed material, the most interesting of which is probably the reports of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Researchers should use this series in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Relief Administration Series.
This series contains correspondence, notes, reports, press releases, clippings, printed material, and photographs from Warburton's involvement in several school organizations in Fairfax County, Virginia, in the mid-1940's.The material is organized by type (correspondence, printed material, etc.) within alphabetically arranged subjects.
This series has correspondence, notes, reports and drafts of reports, clippings, and printed material from Warburton's 1946 study of education for migrant children in the Cotton Belt. The study was part of a larger report on postwar agricultural and economic problems in the Cotton Belt. The report was prepared for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture and formally presented to Congress in July, 1947. Besides the report, probably the most interesting material is the field reports on social and economic conditions in northwestern Arkansas in 1946.
Born in Seattle, Washington
Graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor of business administration degree.
Taught social science at a high school in Kimberly, Idaho.
Taught social science at a high school in Fairfield, Washington.
|Sept., 1923 - Oct., 1925||
Librarian at Brookwood Labor College, Katonah, New York.
|Oct., 1925 - June, 1926||
Traveled and studied in Europe.
|June, 1926 - Feb., 1929||
Studied at Columbia University. Received M.A. in Economics in 1927 and completed resident requirements for the Ph.D. in 1929.
|Feb., 1928 - June, 1928||
Taught economics and sociology at Mount Holyoke College.
|Summer of 1927, 1928, and 1929||
Taught labor problems at Southern Summer School for Women Workers in Industry.
|March, 1929 - Aug., 1929||
Investigated social and economic conditions in coal mining villages of Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania for study sponsored by the Institute of Social and Religious Research.
Married Clark Warburton, an economist.
|Sept., 1929 - June, 1932||
Taught economics at Spelman College and Atlanta University.
Investigated social and economic conditions in a rural-industrial Georgia county for the Institute of Social and Religious Research.
|July, 1932 - July, 1933||
Assisted in preparation of Dr. Louis Lorwin's American Federation of Labor: History, Policies, and Prospects.
|June, 1934 - July, 1934||
Directed Federal Teacher Training Center in Workers' Education in Atlanta, Georgia.
|Aug., 1934 - Sept., 1934||
Directed Federal Teacher Training Center in Workers' Education in Gulfport, Mississippi.
|Apr., 1935 - May, 1935||
Evaluated workers' education program and helped train teachers in Detroit, Michigan.
|June, 1935 - July, 1935||
Taught economics at Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women in Industry in Mount Ivy, New York.
|Aug., 1935 - Sept., 1935||
Directed Federal Teacher Training Center in Workers' Education in Logan, Utah.
|Oct., 1935 - Aug., 1939||
Active in Washington civic organizations.
|Sept., 1939 - Aug., 1943||
Associate researcher in Special Studies Unit of the Children's Bureau, United States Department of Labor, Washington, D.C. Supervised field work and wrote reports for two published studies: Industrial Home-Work Conditions in the Candlewick Bedspread and Lace Industries (1940) and Work and Welfare of Children of Agricultural Laborers in Hidalgo County, Texas (1943).
|Sept., 1943 - Jan., 1946||
Active in Fairfax County, Virginia, school and civic affairs.
|Feb., 1946 - Sept., 1946||
Wrote report on Education for Migrant Children in the Cotton Belt for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture.
|Feb., 1947 - Sept., 1963||
Executive secretary and director of research for the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth (AGRY). She held the positions until the organization disbanded in Sept., 1963. During her tenure, she wrote three books on AGRY-sponsored projects: Guidance in a Rural Community (1952), Guidance in a Rural-Industrial Community (1954), and Stimulating Guidance in Rural Schools (1964).
Retired in McLean, Virginia.
Died in Washington, D.C.
- The Records of the Alliance for the Guidance of Rural Youth, 1887-1963 21.2 Linear Feet; circa 15,900 Items (Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript LibraryDurham, NC 27708 )
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth (U.S.)
- Affiliated Schools for Workers
- Brookwood Labor College (Katonah, N.Y.)
- Institute of Social and Religious Research
- Southern Woman's Educational Alliance (U.S.)
- Appalachian region -- Economic conditions -- 20th century
- Black-and-white photographs
- Education -- United States
- Education, Rural -- Appalachian Region
- Education, Rural -- United States
- Migrant agricultural laborers -- United States -- Economic conditions
- Miners -- United States -- Economic conditions
- New Deal, 1933-1939
- Women -- Employment -- Regional disparities
- Women government executives -- United States
- Women -- United States -- Diaries
- United States -- Economic conditions
- United States -- Race relations
- United States -- Rural conditions
- United States -- Social conditions
The Warburton Papers were presented to Duke University by Clark Warburton, husband of Amber Warburton, in 1977.
Processed by: Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library Staff
Completed May 1, 1983
Encoded by Stephen D. Miller