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Minnesota Council for Adult Education Records

Identifier: M/A 0213

Description of Contents

The Minnesota Council for Adult Education Collection consists of two boxes containing various records of the organization. These include:

The constitution and By-laws, general information files, history, a list of officers, meeting minutes, surveys, treasurer's reports, and financial records.


  • 1919 - 1942


Access Restrictions

The collection is available for use in Special Collections during the department's open hours.


The Minnesota Council for Adult Education was founded in 1919 as the Minnesota State Americanization Council. It was originally conceived to provide education to recent immigrants so they could better integrate. At first various educational, state, and religious leaders used it as a way to implement an organized state wide Americanization process. However, after the first decade, the council began to recognize the educational needs of all adults. In 1929 they voted to broaden their mission, and met for the first time as the Minnesota Council for Adult Education in May of 1930.

With the broadening of their constituency their educational mission also broadened. The issues of adult higher education, educational psychology, the use of radio in education, and other issues began to come to the fore. Things moved slowly during the first few years after the name change, but began to pick up in 1932. Due to the large number of unemployed people with leisure time, the council attempted to create an emergency program. Educators and leaders in other fields met to discuss ways to bring adult education to every corner of every county in Minnesota. A formation of community councils was proposed to school superintendents in 1933. These councils would represent various educational interests in their localities. However, this plan was scrapped in favor of a federal plan which provided money for work relief projects.

From 1934 on they became involved in a number of teaching endeavors across the state. This included a number of programs including adult education classes, reader’s advisory services, and free work instruction for the unemployed. Also in 1935 they became engaged in a plan to provide education work and recreation to 2,000,000 men between the ages of 18 and 24. As they moved forward they focused both on teaching career skills to adults as well as continuing education and recreational education. These programs included such things as creative writing, drama, and even home making.

During the Second World War the council became less active. There was still a feeling by many though that there should be some organization to support adult education. To this end they kept their name and merged with the Minneapolis Council for Adult Education in 1944. Combined the groups continued to be active for the cause of adult education throughout the state.


0.67 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Related Materials in Hennepin County Library Special Collections

Minneapolis Council for Adult Education Collection M/A 2000.162.01-02

Minnesota Council for Adult Education Records
Benjamin Skinner
June 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.