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Identifier: R-MC 092

Philip J. Greven Jr. Papers


  • 1954-2010, (bulk 1955-1999)

Scope and Content Note

The documents comprising the papers of Philip J. Greven Jr., Rutgers professor emeritus and anti-abuse advocate, span the period 1954-2010, although the bulk of them cover the years 1955 through 1999. The papers are primarily concerned with Greven's publications, research, and talks. There are materials relating to Greven's role as an anti-abuse advocate. Earlier material relates to his work as an historian. Later material, however, deal with Greven's focus on child abuse.

The Philip J. Greven Jr. Papers are arranged in six series. Included in the papers are correspondence, research notes, published and unpublished papers, lecture notes, presentation notes and speeches, book reviews and tearsheets, first drafts, and other miscellaneous file material.


6.75 Linear Feet (19 manuscript boxes, 1 cassette box, 1 videotape box)

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Some material in this collection has been restricted (student recommendations/records and sensitive materials pertaining to child abuse and Greven's personal files).


The Philip J. Greven Jr Papers contain materials related to Greven's years as an American history professor and his work campaigning against child abuse. Many the documents in this collection consist of drafts and correspondence regarding Greven's book Spare the Child. Other materials pertain to Greven's student years, papers written for journals and conferences, and his role as a trustee for the Keasbey Memorial Foundation.

<emph render="bold">Biographical Sketch of Philip J. Greven Jr.</emph>

Philip J. Greven Jr. was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on May 4, 1935. He graduated from Harvard College in 1957 receiving his AB in Government. In 1958, Greven earned his Master of Arts in History from Columbia University. He went on to receive a PhD in History from Harvard University. Greven was one of the first historians to combine psychology and history, creating a new idea of what social history could be. His research centered on the early American family.

In 1964, Greven began his teaching career at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. In 1967 he joined the Rutgers University history faculty rising through the ranks from Associate Professor to Professor II before retiring in 2000 and becoming Professor II Emeritus. Greven's teaching focus was on early American History. He taught classes on the history of child-rearing and family, biography and autobiography, the use of psychology in history, and religion and American culture.

Greven married Helen Stokes on November 30, 1963. They had two children, Philip J. Greven III born July 22, 1966, and Hannah Greven born November 18, 1969.

Greven became a noted historian for his first book Four Generations: Population, Land, and Family in Colonial Andover, Massachusetts (1970). Greven's next book, The Protestant Temperament: Patterns of Child-Rearing, Religious Experience and the Self in Early America (1977) explored aspects of Evangelical, Moderate, and Genteel Anglo-American lives in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The book received popular attention and earned great critical acclaim for Greven's new way of researching and writing about United States Colonial History. His research revolved around "regular" people. What is now commonly referred to as social history was a new idea for historians in the 1960s and 1970s. His last book, Spare the Child: The Religious Roots of Punishment and the Psychological Impact of Physical Abuse (1990) ranged from the seventeenth century to the twentieth century focusing upon the issue of corporal punishment of children.

Additionally, during his career at Rutgers, Greven was a highly respected and noted advocate for preventing child abuse, speaking out against child abuse, spanking, and paddling. Greven traveled the country raising awareness to combat the "corporal punishment" of children. Greven was also a major organizer for the group EPOCH-USA (End Physical Punishment of Children). His career as an advocate against child abuse is just as significant as his career as an historian.

Arrangement Note

The documents comprising the papers of Philip J. Greven Jr (1935- ) fall into four series and contain both published and unpublished papers. Some papers may be duplicated in Series I, ACADEMIC PAPERS, COURSES, REVIEWS AND CONFERENCE PAPERS, as he reused papers for different conferences. If a first draft existed it was retained. Sticky notes have been photocopied and are placed before the page the sticky note originally appeared on. Newspaper clippings have been discarded due to their poor condition. Thermafax pages have been photocopied and removed. Duplications have been removed as well.

The Philip J. Greven Jr. Papers are divided into four series as follows:

  1. I. Academic Work, Papers, and Reviews, 1954-2003
  2. II. Correspondence, General and Subject, 1962-1999
  3. III. EPOCH and Child Abuse Materials
  4. IV. Printouts (from disks)
  5. VI. 2010 Materials
  6. VI. Media Files

Processing Information

The Philip J. Greven Papers arrived in multiple formats and in more than one accession. The paper materials received in the first accession were processed as part of the Rutgers School of Communication, Information and Library Studies "Manuscripts and Archives" class in 2007. The disks were included in the initial processing project and finding aid, but the material on the disks was not printed out and included in the collection until a later date. The printed out material has been arranged into a series called "Printouts (from Disks)"

Greven supplied more material for the collection in 2010. In some cases, the material was integrated into an established series (for example, Greven's notebooks from when he was a student were place with other materials from this time). Other materials were placed in a "2010 Accessions" series.

This collection contained a number of duplicates, particularly in the Printouts series (presumably as certain files were copied onto multiple disks). These were generally discarded, although a copy of the same document may exist in ore than one file.

Guide to the Philip J. Greven Jr. Papers, 1954-2010 R-MC 092
Edited Full Draft
Dan Calandro and Caryn Radick
May 2007, revised May 2011
Language of description note
Finding aid is written inEnglish.

Part of the Rutgers University Archives Repository

Rutgers University Libraries
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
169 College Avenue
New Brunswick NJ 08901-1163
732-932-7012 (Fax)