Scope and Contents of the Materials
The papers include correspondence, subject files, teaching materials, educational reports, publications, and biographical information, as well as correspondence and records related to the New School for Social Research.
Alvin Saunders Johnson (1874-1971), noted educator, editor, author, and liberal activist, was born to Danish immigrants on a farm near Homer, Nebraska. He received his Bachelor's Degree (1897) and his Master's Degree (1898) from the University of Nebraska. After service in the army during the Spanish-American War, Johnson earned his Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University (1902). Johnson taught at several schools including Columbia, Bryn Mawr, Nebraska, Texas, Stanford, and Cornell. He was a founder and longtime President of the New School for Social Research in New York City, where he founded the Graduate Faculty, thus providing a permanent home for distinguished European scholars whose lives were disrupted by Nazism. Additionally, Johnson wrote novels, short stories, and essays, and was an editor of the New Republic and the working editor of the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Among Johnson's other significant activities were work for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, establishment of refugee settlements in North Carolina, and the Chairmanship of the New York State Commission Against Discrimination, which produced the Ives-Quinn Act. Alvin Johnson died at the age of 96 at his home in Nyack, New York.
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Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries
The Alvin S. Johnson Papers were received by the University Archives in December, 1991. They were donated to the University of Nebraska by his surviving children, encouraged by the efforts of UNL History Professor John Braeman.