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Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development Records

Call Number: UA009

Scope and Contents

This collection is composed of administrative material including annual reports, correspondence, meeting minutes of the Board of Managers and the faculty, financial reports, and office files which document the development of the school from its association with the Women's Education Association, through its self-governance, to its eventual merger with Tufts University. Also included in the collection are Child Development student records; syllabi and course listings; audiovisual materials including photographs, slides, lantern slides, and videocassettes; licensure material for the department; and historic material about and kept by the department, including scrapbooks. The primary focus of this collection is the administrative records.


  • 1879 -- 2015



This collection contains some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Copyright to all materials created by Tufts University employees in the course of their work is held by the Trustees of Tufts University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred by the Eliot Pearson Department of Child Development, 2008-2017.


This collection is organized into eleven series: Women's Education Association; Ruggles St. Nursery School and Nursery Training School of Boston; Board of Managers, Trustees, and Corporation records; Financial records; Annual and self-study report; Faculty meeting minutes and reports; Course materials; 2017 accessions; Office files; Audiovisual materials; and Student teacher files.


32.8 Linear Feet (43 boxes and 1 oversize folder)

122 Digital Object(s)

Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

In 1996, the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Studies became the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development. The department, already prominent in its field, grew between this date and the early 2010s in number of faculty members and lecturers, in courses offered, and in programs that serve students, researchers and families in the greater Boston area.

One landmark event that occurred during the period soon after the department's name change was the endowment of the Bergstrom Family Chair in Applied Developmental Science in 1997, which was described by Sol Gittleman in An Entrepreneurial University: The Transformation of Tufts 1976-2002 as "the nation's first professorship explicitly framed in ADS terms."

The department's facilities include the Eliot-Pearson Children's School, the Tufts Educational Day Care Center, and the Evelyn G. Pitcher Curriculum Lab. Students complement their course work with activities that take place in these facilities and, according to the course catalog for the academic year 2010-2011, with field work with children in a "wide range of applied settings, including schools, hospitals, clinics, day care centers, educational television studios, museums, and juvenile courts."

Undergraduates can choose either a major or a minor in Child Development. There are three Masters programs and a doctoral program in Applied Child Development. The catalog for 2000-2001 described ADS as "an emerging, interdisciplinary field that generates and uses theory and research about human development to improve the lives of children, youth, and families around the world." Students can follow a number of tracks throughout their education in Child Development, the three most common being preparation for a career in behavioral science, a career in human services, and a career in education. For those seeking the latter, the department offers a pre-K to 3 teacher certification program, and an elementary school teacher program in cooperation with the Department of Education. Another joint program is the M.A. in child and family policy, offered with the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy.

As of 2011, the department runs a number of research centers, institutes and special programs, including:Center for Applied Child Development Center for Reading and Language Research Child and Family WebGuide Developmental Technologies Research Group Healthy Families Evaluation Program Home-School Connection Program Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development. The International Adoption Project Tufts Adoption and Development Project

Information about these programs can be found on the department's website.

Every two years since 2001, the department, in partnership with the Communication and Media Studies Program, has presented the Eliot-Pearson Award for Excellence in Children's Media. These awards are nicknamed The Abbys, in honor of educator and co-founder Abigail Adams Eliot.

The Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development's mission is "to contribute to a more just, caring and inclusive society."

Custodial History

All material accessioned prior to 1997 was originally arranged by subject, and no attempt was made to recreate original order. Material relating to administering the collection was removed to the documentation files of the collection in the archives.

Processing Information

During processing of the first accessions, most of the newsclippings, photographs, press releases, and correspondence were separated from the subject files. These types of materials may still be found in later accessions of the subject files. When processing the second accession of material, several series were combined and one was moved to create its own collection.

Processing of the 2017 accessions was completed by Leah Edelman, Rose Koven, and Peter Lam in 2017. Materials were placed in archival boxes and oversize boxes if the orignal housing was damaged, and loose materials were placed in folders where needed. Received order was maintained. A box-level inventory and series-level description were created and the finding aid was updated at the time of processing.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States