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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 601656

Miriam Van Waters papers

Papers from studies of juvenile delinquency directed by Dr. Van Waters for the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement (Wickersham Commission) and for Harvard Law School's Survey of Crime and Criminal Justice in Boston. Bulk of the material relates to the work of courts, social agencies, and public institutions with juvenile offenders in Boston and other cities and states, particularly California, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, and Tennessee.

Dates

  • 1844 - 1931

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law School Library. This collection is open to the public, but is housed off-site at Harvard Depository and requires 2 business-day advance notice for retrieval. Consult the Special Collections staff for further information.

In addition, researchers are required to sign a special form relating to photocopying and use of names [copies of this form are kept in the Special Colletions' CASE FILES under Van Waters, Miriam: "Conditions for Use of the Collection."] Open to the public without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard Law School Library holds copyright on some, but not all, of the material in our collections. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be directed to the Special Collections staff. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Harvard Law School Library are also responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations who hold copyright.

Extent

31 boxes

This collection contains correspondence, memoranda, reports, interviews, case histories, statistical summaries, printed matter, and other papers from studies of juvenile delinquency directed by Dr. Van Waters for the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement (Wickersham Commission), and for Harvard Law School's Survey of Crime and Criminal Justice in Boston. The bulk of the material relates to the work of courts, social agencies, and public institutions with juvenile offenders in Boston and other cities and states, particularly California, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, and Tennessee.

Historical/Biographical Information

Van Waters, Miriam, social worker, penologist.

b. October 4, 1887, Greensburgh, Pennsylvania.

s. George Brown and Maude (Vorgurg) Van Waters.

A.B. University of Oregon, 1908 (Phi Beta Kappa).

M.A. University of Oregon, 1910.

Ph.D. Clark University, 1913.

LL.D. Smith College, 1934.

Superintendent, Juvenile Court Detention Home, Los Angeles, 1917-1920.

Superintendent, El Retiro (school for delinquent girls), San Francisco, 1919-1920.

Referee, Los Angeles County Juvenile Court, 1920-1930.

Director, juvenile delinquency section, Harvard Law School Crime Survey, 1926.

Consultant in juvenile delinquency, National Committee on Law Observance and Enforcement, 1928-1931.

Superintendent, Massachusetts Reformatory for Women, Framingham, 1932-1957.

International Committee on Penal Affairs of the United Nations, 1948.

d. January 17, 1974, Framingham, Massachusetts.

Author:
  1. Parents on Probation, 1927.
  2. Problems Presented to the Federal System of Justice by the Child Offender, N.C.L.O.E. Report No. 6, 1931.
  3. Why Hickman Hung, 1928.
  4. Youth in Conflict, 1926.

Series List

  1. Series I. Harvard Law School Crime Survey, boxes 1-15

    The material in this Series pertains to Dr. Van Waters' participation in the Harvard Law School Survey of Crime and Criminal Justice in greater Boston. The Harvard Crime Survey attempted to understand the problems subsumed under the term "crime" by projecting its inquiries in three major directions: (1) the identification of various types of crime; (2) the reason for the existence of various types of crime; and (3) the ways in which society was handling the various types of crime. As part of a study of juvenile delinquency the Harvard Crime Survey undertook an intensive inquiry into the methods and treatment of child offenders under seventeen years of age, and it is this latter inquiry that Dr. Van Waters directed. Her investigation considered the process of handling delinquency in courts, schools, and through social agencies, as well as the preventive measures available at that time and the community aspects of juvenile delinquency, including public opinion.

    The material in this Series consists of transcripts of interviews, case histories, memoranda, correspondence, holographic notes, statistical summaries, and some printed matter.

  2. Series II. National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement, boxes 16-26

    Dr. Van Waters was a Consultant to the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement. In this capacity she directed (a) a study of the child offender in the Federal System of Justice, and (b) a study of the problems presented by the child offender to the states. This study was made under the joint auspices of the Committee on Juvenile Delinquency of the National Committee on Law Observance and Enforcement and of the White House Conference on Child Health and Probation. Dr. Van Waters' "Report on the Child Offender in the Federal System of Justice" was Part I of her study. It was published on May 28, 1931 as No. 6 of the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement Reports (175 p. U.S. Government Printing Office).

    The file contains studies made at individual institutions and of social agencies and court systems that handle juvenile delinquents. The Series includes case histories, transcripts of interviews, memoranda, reports, correspondence, statistical summaries, holographic notes, and some printed matter.

  3. Series III. Addenda, boxes 27-29
  4. Series IV. National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement, boxes 30-31

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of the papers of Miriam Van Waters (1887-1974) concerning the Harvard Crime Survey and the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement were transferred to the Harvard Law School Library from the so-called Women's Archives (the precursor of the Schlesinger Library) of Radcliffe College on April 3, 1958; the Director of the Women's Archive at that time was Elizabeth B. Borden. An additional group (now MS boxes 27 through 31) was transferred from the present Schlesinger Library to the Harvard Law School Library in July 1979.

Processing Information

Prepared by John J. Feeney, Jr., March 1975.
Link to catalog
Title
Van Waters, Miriam. Papers, 1926-1931: Finding Aid.
Author
Harvard Law School LibraryCambridge, MA 02138
EAD ID
law00090

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Law School Library, Historical & Special Collections Repository

Harvard Law School Library's Historical & Special Collections (HSC) collects, preserves, and makes available research materials for the study of the law and legal history. HSC holds over 8,000 linear feet of manuscripts, over 100,000 rare books, and more than 70,000 visual images.

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