Jordan, W. K. (Wilbur Kitchener), 1902-1980

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Wilbur Kitchener Jordan (also known as W. K. Jordan), (1902-1980) was an American historian, specializing in sixteenth and seventeenth century Britain.

Raised in Lynnville, Indiana, Jordan received a bachelor's degree from Oakland City College in 1923, before earning a master's (1926) and doctoral (1931) degree from Harvard University. Jordan went on to become a leading historian of sixteenth and seventeenth century England, accruing many honors, and producing books, including Men of Substance: Revolutionary Thinkers of 1640 (1942), Philanthropy in England, 1480-1660 (1959), and a two-volume study of the reign of Edward VI (1968, 1970).

Jordan's most enduring scholarly work, however, has been his four-volume The Development of Religious Toleration in England, published from 1932 to 1940, in which Jordan documented the origins of religious toleration in Elizabethan, Stuart, and revolutionary England and the evolution of these ideas into the late seventeenth century, following the English Civil War. Though sometimes criticized for attributing too great an importance to skeptical and secular motives for toleration, this capacious and well-sourced work continues to provide the foundation for contemporary studies of the history of religious toleration in England.

In 1943, Kitchener declined the presidency of the prestigious Scripps College, and chose instead to become the fourth President of Radcliffe College (1943-1960). As President of Radcliffe College from 1943-1960, Jordan presided over a period of dramatic change at this prestigious women's college, promoting greater integration with nearby Harvard University and the adoption of a liberal arts curriculum, and becoming an early advocate of providing education for women essentially identical to that traditionally provided for men. Jordan's students, including Natalie Zemon Davis, benefited from this teaching philosophy.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Park, Maud Wood, 1871-1955. Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1870-1960 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Jordan, Frances Ruml, 1899-1980,. Oral history interview with Frances Ruml Jordan, 1973 February 21. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. Records of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, 1942-2003 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Felix Frankfurter Letters to his sister Estelle, 1933-1964 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Howe, Mark De Wolfe. Mark De Wolfe Howe papers. 1933-1967. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Notable American women, 1607-1950, records, 1958-1973 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Cronkhite, Bernice Brown, 1893-. Transcript of oral history, 1976. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Embree, Edwin Rogers, 1883-1950. Edwin Rogers Embree papers, 1903-1956 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Radcliffe College. Radcliffe College Short Courses and Institutes Records, 1933-1988 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Van Waters, Miriam, 1887-1974. Papers, 1861-1971 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Radcliffe College. Letters, 1956, to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Maud Wood Park papers, 1844-1979 (bulk 1886-1951) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Smith, Margaret Earhart, 1902-1960. Papers, 1940-1978 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers and correspondence, 1884-1959 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Governing Board Records, 1878-1999 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Radcliffe College. Office of the President. Records of the Office of the President, 1884-1999 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Richardson, Robert Dale. Papers, 1920-1969. Andover-Harvard Theological Library
referencedIn Radcliffe College Archives sound recordings collection, 1951-1985 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Beard, Mary Ritter, 1876-1958. Papers, 1935-1958 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1940-1978 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Radcliffe College Short Courses and Institutes Records: Series 4, 1944-1988 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Papers of Wilbur Kitchener Jordan, 1943-1965 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Records of the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration, (inclusive), (bulk), 1936-1977, 1936-1963 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Notable American women, 1607-1950. Records, 1958-1973 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Radcliffe College Short Courses and Institutes Records, 1933-1988 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Embree, Edwin R. (Edwin Rogers), 1883-1950. Edwin Rogers Embree papers, 1903-1956 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Records of the President of Radcliffe College, 1943-1960 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Jordan, W. K. (Wilbur Kitchener), 1902-. Records of the President of Radcliffe College, 1943-1960 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Jordan, W.K. (Wilbur Kitchener), 1902-. Papers of Wilbur Kitchener Jordan [unprocessed accessions], 1957. Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn Radcliffe College Archives biography files, 1855-2007 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Wallace Notestein papers, 1899-1969 (inclusive) Yale University Library
referencedIn Comstock, Ada Louise. Papers, 1818-1982 (inclusive), 1887-1982 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Jordan, W. K. (Wilbur Kitchener), 1902-. Papers, 1954, 1974-1975 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1929-2007 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Radcliffe College governing boards records, 1878-1999 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Records of Radcliffe Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, 1907-1995 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Records of The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, 1942-2011 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1878-1972. Andover-Harvard Theological Library
referencedIn Hilles, Susan Morse, 1905-. Papers, 1839-1995 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Radcliffe College Archives biography files, 1855-2007 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Agassiz, Elizabeth Cabot Cary, 1822-1907. Papers, 1884-1959 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Phi Beta Kappa. Massachusetts Iota (Radcliffe College). Records of Radcliffe Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, 1907-1995 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Radcliffe College Archives oral histories collection, 1971-1993 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Jordan, W. K. (Wilbur Kitchener), 1902-. Papers of Wilbur Kitchener Jordan, ca. 1940-1973 (inclusive). Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
creatorOf Jordan, W. K. (Wilbur Kitchener), 1902-. Papers of Wilbur Kitchener Jordan, 1943-1965 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Records of the Radcliffe Seminars, (inclusive), (bulk), 1950-1985, 1950-1959 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965. Papers, 1903-2005 Harvard Art Museums. Archives
referencedIn Records of the Radcliffe College Health Center, (inclusive), (bulk), 1923-1961, 1942-1961 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Levin, Harry. Harry Levin Papers. 1920-1995. Houghton Library
referencedIn Records of the President of Radcliffe College, 1960-1972 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Perez, Madeleine Bagwell. 'Remember the Ladies....' the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America : its role in the collection and preservation of women's history source materials. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Radcliffe College. Radcliffe College Short Courses and Institutes Records: Series 4, 1944-1988 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration. Records of the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration, 1936-1977 (inclusive), 1936-1963 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Radcliffe College. Parental Income Survey. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Harken, Anne. Papers, 1940-1944 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Miller, Marian Blackall, 1887-1987. Letters to Marian Blackall Miller, 1927-1949. Concord Free Public Library, Special Collection
referencedIn Wallace Notestein papers, 1899-1969 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Daniels, Mabel W. (Mabel Wheeler), 1878-1971. Papers, 1884-1971 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Edwin Rogers Embree papers, 1903-1956 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Papers, 1862-1967 (scattered) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Dyer, Brainerd, 1901-. Papers in History 34, 1927-1928. Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn Park, Maud Wood, 1871-1955. Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1870-1960 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1884-1971 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Park, Maud Wood, 1871-1955. Papers of Maud Wood Park, 1844-1979 (bulk 1886-1951). Library of Congress
referencedIn Pease, Arthur Stanley, 1881-1964. Correspondence and compositions, 1870-1963 Houghton Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Agassiz, Elizabeth Cabot Cary, 1822-1907 person
associatedWith Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America corporateBody
associatedWith Beard, Mary Ritter, 1876-1958 person
associatedWith Berkeley Street School Association corporateBody
associatedWith Buck, Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973. person
associatedWith Bunting, Mary Ingraham, 1910- person
associatedWith Cam, Helen M. (Helen Maud), 1885-1968. person
associatedWith Cheek, Jeannette Bailey, person
associatedWith Comstock, Ada Louise. person
associatedWith Conant, James Bryant, 1893-1978. person
associatedWith Cori, Gerti. person
associatedWith Cori, Karl. person
associatedWith Cronkhite, Bernice Brown, 1893- person
associatedWith Daniels, Mabel W. (Mabel Wheeler), 1878-1971. person
associatedWith Dyer, Brainerd, 1901- person
associatedWith Embree, Edwin R. (Edwin Rogers), 1883-1950. person
associatedWith Emma Willard School (Troy, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Fairbank, John King, 1907-1991. person
associatedWith Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965 person
associatedWith Freud, Anna, 1895-1982. person
associatedWith Gaposchkin, Cecilia Helena Payne, 1900- person
associatedWith Hall, Constance H. (Constance Huntington), 1886-1973. person
associatedWith Harken, Anne. person
associatedWith Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard University corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard University. Dept. of History corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard University. Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Hilles, Susan Morse, 1905- person
associatedWith Hosmer, Harriet. person
associatedWith Howe, Mark De Wolfe, 1906-1967 person
associatedWith Jordan, Frances Ruml, 1899-1980, person
associatedWith La Piana, George, 1879-1971 person
associatedWith Laski, Harold Joseph, 1893-1950. person
associatedWith Levin, Harry, 1912-1994 person
associatedWith Miller, Marian Blackall, 1887-1987. person
associatedWith Moore, Elizabeth Jean Weichel, 1925-2007 person
associatedWith National Conference of Christians and Jews. corporateBody
associatedWith Notestein, Wallace, 1878-1969. person
associatedWith Park, Maud Wood, 1871-1955 person
correspondedWith Pease, Arthur Stanley, 1881- person
associatedWith Perez, Madeleine Bagwell. person
associatedWith Phi Beta Kappa. Massachusetts Iota (Radcliffe College) corporateBody
associatedWith Radcliffe, Ann, 1576-1661. person
associatedWith Radcliffe College corporateBody
correspondedWith Radcliffe College. Health Center corporateBody
associatedWith Radcliffe College. Office of the President. corporateBody
associatedWith Radcliffe College. Women's Archives. corporateBody
correspondedWith Radcliffe Seminars corporateBody
associatedWith Rich, Adrienne Cecile. person
correspondedWith Richardson, Robert Dale. person
associatedWith Sachs, Paul J., 1878-1965 person
associatedWith Schlesinger, Arthur M. (Arthur Meier), 1888-1965. person
associatedWith Smith, Margaret Earhart, 1902-1960 person
associatedWith Van Waters, Miriam, 1887-1974 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Indiana IN US
Cambridge MA US
England ENG GB
Subject
Women--Education (Higher)
Women--Education
Occupation
Educators
College presidents
Historians
Activity

Person

Birth 1902-01-15

Death 1980-06-03

Male

Americans

English

Information

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