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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Donald E. Stewart Papers 1923-2001

© 2016 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Stewart, Donald E. Papers

Dates:

1923-2001

Size:

2 linear feet (4 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

Donald Edwin Stewart (1927-2005) managing editor at Encyclopædia Britannica. The collection contains letters, memos, photographs, publications, and news clippings pertaining to Encyclopædia Britannica and its staff, from 1923 to 2001

Information on Use

Access

The collection is open for research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Stewart, Donald E. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Donald Edwin Stewart was born on August 26, 1927, in Chicago, Illinois, to Charles and Lillian Stewart. He had two siblings, Lillian and James. As a young boy, Stewart grew up listening to the University of Chicago’s radio-broadcast roundtable discussions on the Great Books. With a well-developed interest in literature, he enrolled at the University in 1947. Prior to his entry into UC, Stewart had spent one year at Wright Junior College and one year in the Army as a teenager. While at the University, Stewart was a student of the Great Books program, officially created only a year prior in part by university president Robert Hutchins and Mortimer J. Adler.

Stewart graduated from UC in 1950. With his sights set on the editor-in-chief position of the Encyclopædia Britannica, Stewart applied for and was granted a position as an editorial assistant. Within a few years, he was promoted to assistant to the managing editor. While at Britannica, Stewart met Barbara Fletcher. The two married in 1955, and had two children, Judith and Jeanne. After moving to Evanston, Illinois, both Stewart and his wife became involved in the nuclear disarmament movement and protests against the Vietnam War.

By 1951, Stewart had been promoted to the editorial staff of the Britannica. In 1965, he became managing editor. One of Stewart’s lasting contributions to the Encyclopædia was the reorganization from the traditional A-Z format to the current Micropedia and Macropedia. Following the philosophy of Britannica chairman, Mortimer Adler, Stewart and the rest of the editorial staff at Britannica sought to expand the reach of the work beyond a mere reference book to a systematic categorization of omne scibile (everything knowable). The effort received mixed reviews, but the overhaul to the Micro- and Macropedia format has endured. Stewart later left Britannica in 1973.

In 1974, Stewart became the associate executive direction for publishing at the American Library Association. He retired in 1981, but continued to perform freelance work and consulting for various publishing companies. He died in his home in Evanston on June 8, 2005.

Scope Note

The Donald E. Stewart papers contain a wide range of material including internal memos, various correspondence, reports, articles, books, manuscripts, catalogues, oral history transcripts, magazine and newspaper clippings, and physical artifacts (such as a section of brick from the Mandel Building, the Britannica’s head offices).

The collection follows the alphabetical subject and name organization established by Stewart, who grouped together original and copied materials documenting the work of individual Britannica editors, contributors, and staff. Documents in the collection date from 1923 to 2001, but the bulk are from Stewart’s years at the Encyclopædia, from the 1950s into the 1970s. The final box in the collection contains the two artifacts, a medal which was crafted to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the company and a sample of brick from the building which housed the original offices of EB.

Related Resources

Browse finding aids by topic.

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Box 1   Folder 1

Adler, Mortimer, 1961- 2001

  • Clipping: “Name Mitchell and Adler to Board of Editors”, EB News, November 1961
  • Report: Mortimer Adler to Board of Editors, Operation Table of Contents, October 1966
  • Summary: “Plan B and Its Alternatives,” outline for 15th edition of Encyclopædia Britannica, December 1967
  • Manuscript: “Editorial policy Encyclopædia Britannica: Plan B,” c. 1969
  • Memo: Mortimer Adler to Institute for Philosophical Research, September 14, 1972
  • Memo: Mortimer Adler, Don Stewart to Tom Goetz,” February 28, 1973
  • Letter: Unpublished letter to UC magazine, Donald E. Stewart re: Mortimer Adler’s death, undated.
Box 1   Folder 2

Benton, William, 1900-1973

  • Memo: William Benton to Mr. Morgenstern, January 9, 1953
  • Clipping: “The Failure of the Business Schools,” Saturday Evening Post, by William Benton, undated reprint, 1961
  • Clipping: “Education in Red China,” The Saturday Review, by William Benton, July 15, 1961
  • Clipping: “Observer of the Soviet,” New York Times, 1964
  • Memo: William Benton to Donald Stewart, October 7, 1964
  • Memo: Don Stewart to John V. Dodge, March 30, 1967
  • Memo: John Robling to William Benton, June 5, 1967
  • Memo: Bruce Felknor to Francis Nipp, July 20, 1967
  • Manuscript: “UNESCO: The Dream Comes of Age,” presented at UC, October 11, 1967
  • Correspondence: William Benton and Dr. Philip Gove (Editor of the Merriam-Webster Third Edition) an answering critics; note to Donald Stewart on transformational grammar, November 6, 1967- January 4, 1968
  • Letter: Bruce Felknor to Earnest Kafka, January 26, 1968
  • Manuscript: “The Record of a Tribute to the Honorable William Benton,” presented at reception at UC in honor of Benton, February 1, 1968
  • Letter: William Benton to Warren Preece, January 6, 1969
  • Letter: Warren Preece to William Benton, January 13, 1969
  • Memo: Mrs. William (Helen) Benton to EB Employees, re: transfer of stock to the Benton Foundation, March 17, 1969
  • Clipping: “Just Plain Bill,” New York Review of Books, October 22, 1970
  • Correspondence: Richard Smellie and William Benton, December 1971
  • Letter: Drafts of Letter to unknown recipient re: gift of 1972 edition of EB, January 1972
  • Letter: William Benton to Warren Preece, March 7, 1972
  • Memo: Warren Preece to EB Offices, March 21, 1972
  • Clipping: “U.C. Aide’s Action Saves Britannica Bonanza,” Chicago Tribune, October 8, 1972
  • Memo: Charles E. Swanson re: death of William Benton, 3 copies, March 19, 1973
  • Clipping: “William Benton Dies Here at 73,” New York Times, March 19, 1973
  • Clipping: “Senator Benton’s Legacy,” New York Times, March 27, 1973
  • Memo: Helen Benton to EB employees, April 12, 1973
  • Letter: Helen Benton to Donald Stewart, April 27, 1973
  • Clipping: “A Personal Remembrance of Senator Benton,” Britannica Ink, April 1973
  • Press Release: “William Benton,” EB PR Division, undated (1973)
Box 1   Folder 3

Board of Editors, 1956-1962, undated

  • Minutes: EB Board of Editors Meeting, April 10, 1956
  • Minutes: EB Board of Editors Meeting, June 12, 1956
  • Minutes: EB Board of Editors Meeting, January 8, 1957
  • Report: Role of the Board, Warren Preece, April 25, 1957
  • Report: On Reading Vol. 21, pg 729-779, Robert Redfield, August 20, c. 1957
  • Minutes: EB Board of Editors Meeting, January 11 and 12, 1960
  • Minutes: EB Board of Editors Meeting, April 11 and 12, 1960
  • Members: as of October 23, 1961
  • Letter: C.F. Stover re: EB Conference on the Technological Order, December 20, 1961
  • Memo: Harry S. Ashmore to Board of Editors, re: appraisal of five new specialized encyclopedic volumes published in the Soviet Union, December 22, 1961
  • Memo: Harry S. Ashmore to Board of Editors, re: illustrations in EB, January 2, 1962
  • Memo: Harry S. Ashmore to Board of Editors, re: summary report of editorial matters, January 4, 1962
  • Misc: Details for Board of Editors January Meeting, January 4, 1962
  • Minutes: EB Board of Editors Meeting, January 8 and 9, 1962
  • Minutes: Agenda for January 8-9 Meeting of Board of Editors; minutes for EB Board of Editors Meeting, January 8 and 9, 1962
  • Supplement: East-West Study, undated
  • EB Release: biography of Dr. Robert M. Hutchins, undated (c. 1977)
  • Report: Ralph Tyler to Editorial Board, re: reading pg. 257-338, Vol. 18, undated
Box 1   Folder 4

A Chat With the Editors, 1972-1973

  • Excerpts: Remarks by John V. Dodge, March 10, 1972
  • Excerpts: Remarks by John V. Dodge, Kathleen Ray, September 27, 1973
  • Excerpts: Remarks by John Armitage, Christopher Kent, June, 1972
Box 1   Folder 5

Circle of Knowledge, 1968-1979

  • Manuscript: The Circle of Knowledge, 200th Anniversary of EB at Newberry Library, 1968
  • Manuscript: The Circle of Knowledge, Library of Congress Exhibit, 1979
Box 1   Folder 6

Contributor Guides, 1950s-1960s

  • Guide: “A Guide for Contributors to the Encyclopædia Britannica,” 6 copies, undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Medicine for Encyclopædia Britannica,” undated
  • Guide: “A Plea for the Lay Reader,” Warren E. Preece, undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Biographical Article for Encyclopædia Britannica,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Religion for Encyclopædia Britannica,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Plants for Encyclopædia Britannica,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Mineralogy for Encyclopædia Britannica,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Law for Encyclopædia Britannica,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Industrial Products and Processes for Encyclopædia Britannica,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Aeronautics for Encyclopædia Britannica,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Geography for Encyclopædia Britannica, Countries,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Geography for Encyclopædia Britannica, States,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Geography for Encyclopædia Britannica, U.S. Cities,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Geography for Encyclopædia Britannica, Metropolitan Areas, U.S.,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Continents, Regions and Countries for Encyclopædia Britannica,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Geography for Encyclopædia Britannica, Geographical Features,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Geography for Encyclopædia Britannica, Continents,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Agriculture for Encyclopædia Britannica,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Biology for Encyclopædia Britannica,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Art for Encyclopædia Britannica,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Architecture for Encyclopædia Britannica,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Archaeology for Encyclopædia Britannica,” undated
  • Guide: “Preparation of Articles on Animals for Encyclopædia Britannica,” undated
  • Guide: Hebrew Translation guide, undated
Box 1   Folder 7

Dodge, John V., 1955, 1995

  • Correspondence: John V. Dodge and Robert Hutchins, June 21 - July 7, 1955
  • Letter: Helen L. Carlock to Donald E. Stewart, June 8, 1995
Box 1   Folder 8

Einbinder, Harvey, 1963

  • Clipping: “1963 Edition of Britannica Is Called Completed: But Encyclopædia’s Editor Challenged by a Critic,” New York Times, February 25, 1963
  • Memo: Maurice B. Mitchell to EB Executives and Associates, re: critical Einbinder book, December 30, 1963
Box 2   Folder 1

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Conversations, 1973-1995

  • Letter: Donald Stewart to Terry Miller Passaro (EB, Inc.), re: transcribed conversations, December 14, 1995
  • Transcript: Conversation; John V. Dodge and Donald Stewart, March 10, 1972
  • Transcript: Conversation; Donald Stewart, John V. Dodge, and Mae Mac Kay, April 12, 1972
  • Transcript: Conversation; John Armitage, June 1972
  • Transcript: Conversation; Christopher Kent, June 7, 1972
  • Transcript: Conversation; Donald Stewart, September 12, 1973
  • Transcript: Conversation; John V. Dodge, Donald Stewart, and Kathleen Ray, September 27, 1973
Box 2   Folder 2

Encyclopædia Britannica, History, 1950s – 1974

  • Draft: “Editorial Apologia,” Marilyn Munson, c. 1950s.
  • Manuscript: “Editorial Department,” EB News, July 1960
  • Memo: Herman Kogan to Donald Stewart, re: Editor’s report of revisions to EB, February 3, 1961
  • Manuscript: “Britannica Goes to Press,” EB News, July 1961
  • Memo: John V. Dodge to Edward Doyle, re: editorial changes to 1963 edition of EB, November 30, 1962
  • Letter: James A. Grenzebach to John C. Byrnes, re: materials used in printing EB books, December 28, 1962
  • Clipping: “53-millionth volume off the press…,” Unknown Source, c. 1963
  • Letter: Pierre Salinger (Press Secretary to President Kennedy) to W. Ralph Perry, re: reproduction of presidential seal for EB, June 17, 1963
  • EB Release: “A History of Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,” c. 1964
  • Misc.: “Various Printing of Encyclopædia Britannica,” March 3, 1966
  • Misc.: “The Number of Sets and Volumes of EB Publications from 1768 to 1966,” March 10, 1966
  • Misc.: Various Printing of Enciclopedia Bars,” March 22, 1966
  • Manuscript: Britannica Phone Directory, August 23, 1973
  • Manuscript: “The Story of Encyclopædia Britannica,” c. 1974
  • Manuscript: “News, Views, and Reviews about Britannica 3,” 1974
Box 2   Folder 3

Encyclopædia Britannica, History, 1975-1985, undated

  • Manuscript: Britannica Phone Directory, 1975
  • Manuscript: Editor’s Report, 1985
  • Misc.: “Encyclopædia Britannica Publications,” undated
  • Misc.: “Major Publications of Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,” undated
  • Misc.: “Other Publications of Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries,” 2 copies, undated
  • Misc.: “Books and Pamphlets Published by EB, Inc. in the Library Archives,” undated
  • Misc.: List of EB Publications 1940-1972, undated
  • Misc: “History of Britannica Junior Encyclopædia,” undated
  • Draft: “A Tribute to John F. Kennedy,” undated
Box 2   Folder 4

Encyclopædia Britannica, Reports and Publications, 1961-1967

  • “The Booklist,” American Library Association, December 15, 1961
  • “To Advance Knowledge,” Encylopedia Britannica, Inc., 1962
  • “Notes and Examples for the A.L.A. Subscription Books Committee,” Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1967
Box 2   Folder 5

Encyclopædia Britannica, Reports and Publications, 1967-1968

  • “Report on the 1967 Edition,” Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1967
  • “Report on the 200th Anniversary Edition,” Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1968
  • Manuscript: A report to the ALA review committees,” Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1968 – 1972
Box 3   Folder 1

Encyclopædia Britannica, Reports and Publications, 1969-1970

  • Manuscript: “Encyclopædia Britannica in 1969,” Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1969
  • Manuscript: “Encyclopædia Britannica in 1970,” Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1970
Box 3   Folder 2

Encyclopædia Britannica, Miscellaneous, 1951-1991, undated

  • Manuscript: “A Quadrimestrial of Typography and Graphic Arts,” Signature, 1951
  • Report: “Who Was Who in the Encyclopædia Britannica; and notes on possible re-use of some retired material,” Alexander McQueen, March 5, 1958
  • Clipping: “The Voice of the Readers or…EB Subscribers Talk Back,” EB News, c. 1962
  • Misc.: Fact Sheet for Balloons and Britannica, April 1, 1964
  • Clipping: Entry for “Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions,” Encyclopædia Britannica, 1974
  • Clipping: Entry for “Dodge, John V(ilas),” Encyclopædia Britannica, 1974
  • Report: Reader’s letters to the Editors, prepared by Helen Carlock, March 1, 1974
  • Photo: “The Makers of Britannica 3,” featuring Robert M. Hutchins, Warren E. Preece, Mortimer J. Adler, and William Benton, 1974
  • Photo: “30-volume EB Set,” 1974
  • Manuscript: Know Magazine, Fall 1991
Box 3   Folder 3

Fadiman, Clifton (Kip), 1963, undated

  • Correspondence: William Benton, Clifton Fadiman, and John V. Dodge, re: preservation of Britannica manuscripts for posterity, 1963
  • Clipping: “Clifton Fadiman; Noted Anthologist and Essayist,” New York Times News Service, undated
Box 3   Folder 4

Goetz, Philip W. (Tom), 1966-1982

  • Memo: Tom Goetz to Assistant Editors, re: role of editorial team, September 15, 1966
  • Letter: Tom Goetz to Donald E. Stewart, July 2, 1982
  • Misc: Editorial Division Organization Chart, c. 1982
Box 3   Folder 5

Haley, Sir William, 1968-1969, undated

  • Letter: Mortimer Adler to Sir William Haley, February 3, 1968
  • Correspondence: Donald E. Stewart and Sir William Haley, re: history of the thistle as a symbol for EB, June 26-27, 1968
  • Clipping: “Overruled at Britannica,” Newsweek, May 5, 1969
  • Clipping: “Encyclopædia Britannica Feud Seen,” New York Times, April 20, 1969
  • Clipping: “Sir William Haley,” Unknown Source, comments by Sir Edward Pickering, undated
Box 3   Folder 6

Hooper, Franklin H., 1923-1939

  • Letters: Sigmund Freud to Franklin Hooper, re: poor quality of translation of Freud’s work from German to English, (photocopies, 3 letters) October 21, 1923 – January 30, 1924
  • Letter: William Lyon Phelps to Franklin Hooper, (photocopy) January 17, 1928
  • Letters: Allan Nevins to Franklin Hooper, (photocopies, 4 letters) November 5, 1928 – January 27, 1933
  • Letter: Emily Post to Franklin Hooper, (photocopy) April 4, 1929
  • Letter: Roscoe Pound to Franklin Hooper, (photocopy) May 14, 1929
  • Letter: Robert Hutchins to Franklin Hooper, (photocopy) September 22, 1930
  • Letter: Irving Langmuir to Franklin Hooper, re: review of EB, (photocopy, review attached) October 4, 1930
  • Letter: James Harvey Robinson to Mr. Cox, December 18, 1932
  • Manuscript: “The Story of the Encyclopædia Britannica,” by Franklin H. Hooper, 19390
Box 3   Folder 7

McDavid, Raven I., 1971

  • Manuscript: “False Scents and Cold Trails: The pre-publication criticism of the Merriam Third,” Journal of English Linguistics, reprint, vol. 5, March 1971.
Box 3   Folder 8

McKeon, Richard, c. 1956

  • Manuscript: “The History of Encyclopaedias and the Functions of Encyclopaedias Today,” unpublished, presented to EB Board of Editors, c. 1956
Box 3   Folder 9

Phillips, Professor W. Alison, undated

  • Manuscript: Excerpt from unpublished autobiography, concerns conversations and correspondence with EB owner Horace Hooper and other anecdotes from author’s time as editorial staff member, undated
Box 3   Folder 10

Preece, Warren E., 1963-1974

  • Memo: Robert M. Hutchins to Board of Editors, re: report of first eight volumes of 1963 printing (report attached), April 1, 1963
  • Minutes: EB Board of Editors Meeting, April 8 and 9, 1963
  • Memo: Warren Preece to Editorial Department, re: American focus of EB, November 22, 1965
  • Manuscript: “The Organization of Knowledge and the Planning of Encyclopaedias: The Case of the Encyclopaedia Britannica,” Journal of WOrl History, reprint, vol. 9, no. 3, 1966
  • Memo: Warren Preece to Assistant Editors, re: article submission policy, August 22, 1966
  • Draft: “Third Encyclopædia Britannica Lecture,” delivered at UC, October 25, 1967
  • Manuscript: “Memo From a Curious World,” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, reprint, vol. 12, no. 3, Spring 1969
  • Memo: Warren Preece to Sir William Haley, re: defense of Board of Editor’s plan for 15th edition, March 7, 1969
  • Draft: Sample Invitation Letter for EB Contributors, October 7, 1969
  • Memo: Warren Preece to Senior and Associate Editors, re: contributor problems, payment and article length, October 9. 1969
  • Memo: Warren Preece to Editors, re: contributor problems, article length, October 24, 1969
  • Memo: Warren Preece to Mortimer Adler, re: contributor fees and problems, January 21, 1970
  • Memo: Warren Preece to Mortimer Adler, re: potential production problems, January 8, 1970
  • Memo: Warren Preece to Mortimer Adler, re: further production problems, January 12, 1970
  • Memo: Warren Preece to Robert M. Hutchins, Mortimer Adler, and Charles Swanson, re: publishing timeline for Plan B, February 9, 1970
  • Memo: Warren Preece to Plan B Editorial Staff, re: editorial notes, February 1972
  • Memo: Warren Preece to Editors, re: updating articles before press, April 13, 1972
  • Memo: Waren Preece to All Principal Editors, June 12, 1972
  • Memo: Warren Preece to Editors, June 19, 1972
  • Memo: Warren Preece to Mortimer Adler, re: recalling pages, July 9, 1973
  • Manuscript: “The New Britannica,” Scholarly Publishing, reprint, January 1974
Box 3   Folder 11

Stewart, Donald E., 1961-1974, undated

  • Clipping: “EB Census Man Completes Big Job,” EB News, c. 1961
  • Misc.: Notes on dictionaries and subscription sales, December 1962
  • Clipping: “Birth of a Set of Books,” Know Magazine, Fall 1963
  • EB Release: on the promotion of Donald Stewart to Associate Editor, c. 1964
  • Memo: William Benton to Donald Stewart, October 7, 1964
  • Manuscript: Report of the Subcommittee on Computer Typesetting, July 1965
  • Memos: Donald Stewart, Howard Goodkind, and Charles Swanson, re: EB’s connection to UC on advising, October 9, 1967
  • Clipping: “Encyclopaedia,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, early 1970s
  • Memo: Charles Swanson to All Editorial Personnel, re: editorial organization, February 14, 1973
  • Memo: Donald Stewart to Julie Mellow, July 25, 1973
  • Misc.: Letter of Recommendation by Philip W. Goetz for Donald Stewart, October 12, 1973
  • Letter: Warren E. Preece to Donald Stewart, Novermber 8, 1973
  • Clipping: “Hutchins, Robert M.,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1974
  • Letters: Sir William Haley to Donald Stewart, February 9, 1974
  • Clipping: “Britannica Names Stewart, Krueger,” Evanston Review, undated
  • Draft: “I Remember Warren Preece,” by Donald Stewart, unpublished memoir, undated
  • Draft: “I Remember Dr. Adler,” by Donald Stewart, unpublished memoir, undated
  • Draft: “I Remember Robert Hutchins,” by Donald Stewart, unpublished memoir, undated
  • Draft: “I Remember Sir William Haley,” by Donald Stewart, unpublished memoir, undated
  • Draft: “A Visit with General Robert E. Wood,” by Donald Stewart, unpublished memoir, undated
  • Draft: “Learning to ask questions: Attending the University of Chicago,” by Donald Stewart, unpublished memoir, undated
  • Draft: “Part One: Britannica Days – I find a Career,” by Donald Stewart, unpublished memoir, undated
Box 3   Folder 12

Wells, H.G., 1925

  • Manuscript: “A Forecast of the World’s Affairs,” by H.G. Wells, reprint of one of the chapters of These Eventful Years, 1925
Box 3   Folder 13

Wood, General Robert E., 1963

  • Manuscript: “A Monument for the World: Building the Panama Canal,” Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1963
Box 4

Medal struck to celebrate 20th anniversary, 1968

Box 4

Sample of Brick from Mandel Building, 1988