Merrill-Palmer Institute: Dr. Pauline Park Wilson Knapp Records

Accession Number: 
23.75 linear feet (23 SB, 1 MB, 1 reel)

Dr. Pauline Park Wilson Knapp was the president and director of the Merrill-Palmer
Institute from 1952-1967. Knapp received her B.S. in Home Economics from the
University of Kentucky and M.A. and Ph. D in Psychology from Columbia University.
She established the first Child Development Center in Georgia in 1928, was head of the
Department of Family and Life at the University of Alabama from 1941-45 and the Dean
of the School of Home Economics at the University of Georgia from 1946-52. In 1952
she rejoined the Merrill-Palmer Institute as president, returning to the school where she
was previously a student (1920s) and a staff member (1932-41). During her years as
president, Knapp broadened the school’s emphasis on parent education to incorporate
research on human development and increased research on applied child and family
issues. Under her leadership she increased the schools scope, built two new facilities,
The Program Center and the Skillman Center, and oversaw the largest increase in student
enrollment and faculty appointments in the history of the institute.

Knapp’s records cover day-to-day activities and long range programs, as well as the shift
in emphasis the institute underwent during Knapp’s tenure. Included are programs and
correspondence which highlight Knapp’s close relationship with students and supporters
through which she increased the influence of Merrill-Palmer and ensured continued
student enrollment. The collection also covers committees and boards Knapp served on,
as well as research conducted by the Institute, as a whole.

1950-1968, bulk 1952-1967
Attachment(click to download)
UR002120.pdfUR002120_guide.pdf106.77 KB