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COLLECTION Identifier: HUG 4758.xx

Papers of Phillip J. Rulon

Overview

Phillip Justin Rulon (1900-1968), psychologist and educator, worked at Harvard University from 1930 until his retirement in 1966. He began teaching at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education as an instructor in 1930, then became a full professor in 1944. Rulon was also acting dean of the Graduate School of Education from 1943 to 1948. His papers contain correspondence, research notes, data, and reports from consultant projects, including for the United States Air Force, the Harvard Vocational Study, the Motion Picture in Science Teaching Carnegie study, and the Educational Research Corporation, including research on script shorthand.

Dates

  • Creation: 1930-1968

Creator

Researcher Access

The Papers of Phillip J. Rulon are open for research with the following exceptions: Personnel, student, and human subject records are closed for 80 years. Restrictions are noted at the series and folder level. Requires further review by the archivist; please see reference staff for details.

Extent

28.7 cubic feet (82 document boxes)

The Papers of Phillip J. Rulon document his teaching and research activities. It contains letters with a variety of correspondents, including some related to the United States Air Force, of which Rulon was a member of the Human Resources Research Advisory Board from 1949 to 1956, and its Chairman from 1952 to 1954.

The collection contains research notes, including for the United States Air Force during World War II and consultant work for a VFL computer, the Sound Motion Picture in Science Teaching study (1932), the Harvard Vocational study (1935), and on script shorthand from the Educational Research Corporation. There is also a 1939 conference report from the American Council on Education.

Rulon’s papers also contain teaching materials from his career at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, including course notes, examinations, and reading lists.

Biographical note on Phillip J. Rulon

Phillip Justin Rulon (1900-1968), psychologist and educator, worked at Harvard University from 1930 until his retirement in 1966. He received his AB in 1926 and his AM in 1928 from Stanford University, then his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1932. He began teaching at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education as an instructor in 1930, then became a full professor in 1944. Rulon was also acting dean of the Graduate School of Education from 1943 to 1948. He is credited with shifting the Graduate School of Education’s focus from vocational training to scholarly research. Rulon specialized in educational measurements and statistics, and was involved with several important educational studies throughout his career. In 1932, Rulon conducted a study with Harvard's Graduate School of Education and Harvard's University Film Foundation to investigate the use of sound motion pictures in teaching science. In 1935, Rulon designed a questionnaire, known as the Harvard Vocational study, "in an effort to determine the mortality of the vocational plans among Juniors and Seniors" at the University. He took a leave of absence from Harvard in 1939 to complete a Study of Educational Evaluation, which studied different types of scholastic aptitude tests and examinations given at schools and colleges across the United States.

He was also involved with many professional educational organizations. In 1938, Rulon and a group of colleagues founded the Educational Research Corporation, for which he served as president from 1954 to 1958 and as treasurer until his death. After his retirement from Harvard, Rulon worked with the American Institute for Research and the Educational Reference Bureau. He also worked with the federal government in several capacities; he was a special consultant to the Secretary of War from 1940 to 1948. Rulon was also a member of the Human Resources Research Advisory Board of the United States Air Force from 1949 to 1956, and its Chairman from 1952 to 1954. Additionally, he was a member of the psychological and social sciences advisory panel and study group for guided missiles training at the Department of Defense from 1958 to 1959.

Rulon was also an aviator who held a commercial pilot’s license. In 1944, he led a committee of aviation psychologists who posited that airplanes should be equipped with devices to warn of impending stalls, which then became mandatory in private planes. He also published several books throughout his career. Rulon died in 1968.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in ten series:

  1. General correspondence, 1930-1950 (HUG 4758.5)
  2. General correspondence, 1950-1968 (HUG 4758.10)
  3. Pamphlet file, 1930-1968 (HUG 4758.15)
  4. Course notes, reading lists, exams, etc., 1930-1968 (HUG 4758.20)
  5. Research notes, 1930-1968 (HUG 4758.25)
  6. Special projects, 1930-1968 (HUG 4758.30)
  7. [Sound Motion Picture in Science Teaching] Carnegie study, 1932 (HUG 4758.35)
  8. American Council on Education, Conference Report, 1939 (HUG 4758.40)
  9. Educational Research Corporation, 1930-1968 (HUG 4758.50)
  10. Harvard Vocational Study, 1910-1938 (HUG 4758.60)

Related Materials

The Harvard University Archives also holds:

  1. [A collection of papers by Phillip J. Rulon, mainly cuttings and reprints from various periodicals] (HUH 757)
  2. Harvard University Graduate School of Education deans' records, 1892-1972 (inclusive), 1920-1972 (bulk) (UAV 350.30): https://id.lib.harvard.edu/ead/hua24017/catalog
  3. Harvard University News Office photographs: faculty and staff portraits, 1909-1972 (inclusive), 1942-1968 (bulk) (UAV 605.270.5): https://id.lib.harvard.edu/ead/hua39016/catalog

Inventory update

This document last updated 2022 April 22.

Processing Information

This finding aid was created by Olivia Mandica-Hart in March 2021. Information in this finding aid was assembled from legacy paper inventories and container management data. The collection was not re-examined by the archivist.

Title
Rulon, Phillip Justin, 1900-1968. Papers of Phillip J. Rulon, 1930-1968 : an inventory
Status
completed
Author
Harvard University Archives
Date
March 10, 2021
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
und
EAD ID
hua19021

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

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