Slater Newman Papers 1932-2014

Summary
Contents
Names/subjects
Using these materials
Please note that some historical materials may contain harmful content and/or descriptions. Learn how we’re addressing it.
Creator
Newman, Slater E., 1924-2015
Size
65.55 linear feet (125 boxes, 3 legal boxes, 2 half boxes, 1 flat folder)
Call number
MC 00340

The Slater Newman Papers, 1932-2014, contains notes, correspondence, administrative records, and other papers from the career of Slater E. Newman (1924-2015), academic cognitive psychologist and human rights organizer. The bulk of the materials in the collection were created between 1957, when Newman joined the North Carolina State University Department of Psychology, and 2014. Earlier papers relate to Newman's education and early career in research, teaching, and the United States military. Newman founded, led, and participated in many professional and human rights organizations; papers related to these organizational involvements, along with Newman's teaching and research files and his vast correspondence with fellow academics and activists, form the majority of the collection. Physically, most of the materials are typed and handwritten loose pages, notebooks, and computer printouts; there are also some newspaper clippings and bound volumes, and a small number of photographs and artifacts.

Academic psychologist and human rights activist Slater E. Newman (1924-2015) was a member of the psychology faculty at North Carolina State University from 1957 to his retirement in 2003. In his research in cognitive psychology Newman investigated learning and memory, focusing in his later work on how people learn Braille and other tactile alphabets. He was an active member and leader in several professional organizations of psychologists. In addition to his academic research, Newman was deeply involved in human rights organizing. His first political projects represented in this collection dealt with academic freedom, but a major theme of his activism was international human rights, in particular promoting United States ratification of United Nations conventions. Newman helped to found and lead a number of human rights organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union affiliate in North Carolina and the Human Rights Coalition of North Carolina. At NC State University, he advocated for annual campus events teaching about and celebrating human rights.

Biographical/historical note

Academic psychologist and human rights activist Slater E. Newman (1924-2015) was a member of the psychology faculty at North Carolina State University from 1957 to his retirement in 2003. Born in Massachusetts, he served in the United States Army during World War II and received his PhD in psychology from Northwestern University in 1951. In his research in cognitive psychology, first with the United States Navy and then at NC State University, Newman investigated learning and memory. Much of his later worked focused on how people learn Braille and other tactile alphabets. He was an active member and leader in several professional organizations of psychologists.

In addition to his academic research, Newman was deeply involved in human rights organizing. His first political projects represented in this collection dealt with academic freedom, but a major theme of his activism was international human rights, in particular promoting United States ratification of United Nations conventions. Newman helped to found and lead a number of human rights organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union affiliate in North Carolina and the Human Rights Coalition of North Carolina. At NC State University, he advocated for annual campus events teaching about and celebrating human rights.

Below is a list of organizations Slater Newman had a role in founding and/or organizing:

ACLU of North Carolina Committee on International Human Rights was founded in 1988 by Frank Goldsmith. Newman chaired the committee through most of its history.

Carolinas Conference for Undergraduate Research in Psychology was started in 1976 by Newman and co-founders, Lyn Aubrecht and Jack Huber of Meredith College.

Citizens Against Nuclear Power was founded in 1970 by Newman, his wife, Pat Newman, and several other individuals. The small group was formed and maintained for several years to protest the building of the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant.

Committee to Reverse the Arms Race was formed in 1982 by Newman, his wife Pat Newman and another couple to protest the Government's expenditure on armaments. Newman served as the organization’s coordinator from the time of its founding until the group’s 32nd anniversary in May 2014.

Human Rights Coalition of North Carolina, previously known as the North Carolina Committee for the Celebration of Human Rights, was founded in 1989 by Carroll McBrine of Salisbury, North Carolina. From its founding, Newman served with Carroll McBrine, Lynn Barber, Joyce Scapicchio and Josh McIntyre as co-chairs.

Human Rights Week at North Carolina State University was started in 1993. Newman initiated and served on the committee for the planning of activities for five years.

International Psychology Students Organization (IPSO ) was started in 1999 after Newman convened and chaired two gatherings which took place at successive annual national meetings of the American Psychological Association. The goal was to lay the groundwork for the establishment an all student-led ISPO, which was formed after the initial two meetings and lasted for several years as a student-run organization.

North Carolina Civil Liberties Union (later ACLU of North Carolina) was founded in 1965. Slater Newman was one of four invited by the founders, Charles Lambeth and James Mattocks, to form a committee to plan and convene the first meeting. He later served as the organization’s president for two years.

North Carolinians Against Apartheid was founded in 1985 by Newman and three others to protest the occurrence of apartheid in South Africa. The group operated as the steering committee for efforts over the organization's several year-long history.

North Carolinians Against the Death Penalty began in 1966. Newman attended the organizational meeting of the group and became a member of its first Board of Governors; a position he held for several years.

North Carolina Cognition Group (formerly called the Cognition Group of North Carolina) was founded in 1972 by Newman.

North Carolinians for the Ratification of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was formed in 1999 by Newman and a group of four politically-active local women. Newman served as Chair. The group’s goal was to have the North Carolina House of Representatives adopt a resolution requesting that the United States Senate vote to ratify CEDAW. The House did adopt the resolution and the group did not remain active much after ratification.

Southeastern Workers in Memory (SWIM), formerly known as Verbal Learning Southeast was founded by Newman in 1969. He served as the organization’s first Chair.

Student chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union was started in 1996 by Newman and Mark Wilson, who was also a colleague in psychology and an ACLU member. The chapter was short-lived, lasting only two or three years.

Wake County chapter of the North Carolina Civil Liberties Union (later, ACLU of Wake County). Newman chaired the committee that planned and convened the first meeting of this chapter in 1969. He was a member of the first board of directors and became chapter president when the first president resigned. He served as president for two years, and later he served as president again for another two-year term.

Scope/content

The Slater Newman Papers, 1932-2014, contain correspondence, research notes, conference proceedings, administrative records, reports, and other materials from Slater E. Newman’s work as a human rights organizer and academic cognitive psychologist. The bulk of the materials in the collection were created between 1957 (when Newman joined the North Carolina State University Department of Psychology) and 2014. Earlier papers relate to Newman's education and early career in research, teaching, and the United States military. Newman founded, led, and participated in many professional and human rights organizations; papers related to these organizational involvements, along with Newman's teaching and research files and his vast correspondence with fellow academics and activists, form the majority of the collection. Physically, most of the materials are typed and handwritten loose pages, notebooks, and computer printouts; there are also some newspaper clippings and bound volumes, and a small number of photographs and artifacts.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into series:

  • 1, Human Rights and Community Action Files, 1957-2014
  • 2, Research and Publication Files, 1950-2009
  • 3, Professional and Scientific Organization Files, 1957-2014
  • 4, NC State University Psychology Department and Teaching Files, 1948-2008
  • 5, NC State University and College of Education Administration and Service Files, 1958-2014
  • 6, General Correspondence, Notes, and Planners, 1954-2014
  • 7, Education and Personal Files, 1932-2014

Access to the collection

Collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

Use of these materials

The nature of the NC State University Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NC State University Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina State University assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Slater E. Newman Papers, MC 00340, Special Collections Research Center, NC State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC.

Related material

American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Records, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University

Source of acquisition

Gift of Slater E. Newman, 2003-2010 (Accession nos. 2003.0015, 2008.0039, 2010.0036)

Please note that some historical materials may contain harmful content and/or descriptions. Learn how we’re addressing it.

Access to the collection

Collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Slater Newman Papers, MC 00340, NC State University Libraries Special Collections Research Center

Use of these materials

The nature of the NC State University Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NC State University Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina State University assumes no responsibility.