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The Finding Aid of the B. Lamar Johnson Papers 0023
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Information

  • Title: B. Lamar Johnson papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 0023
    Contributing Institution: Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
    24255 Pacific Coast Highway
    Malibu, CA, 90263-4786
    (310) 506-4434
    Physical Description: 48.75 linear feet (39 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1930-1989
    Date (bulk): 1952-1983
    Abstract: B. Lamar Johnson was a highly distinguished educator known as the father of the community college due to his extensive contributions to the study and development of community college education. The collection contains correspondence, reports, speeches, administrative papers and publications from Johnson's tenure at Stephens College, UCLA, and Pepperdine University, as well as other educational organizations and activities with which Johnson was involved.
    Location note: Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language of Materials: Materials are in English.
    Creator: Johnson, B. Lamar (Byron Lamar), 1904-

    Conditions Governing Access

    Advance notice required for access.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], B. Lamar Johnson papers, Collection no. 0023, Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries, Pepperdine University.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    The bulk of the materials were donated by B. Lamar Johnson around 1986. Other materials, including books, were likely donated by one of Johnson's sons, possibly between 1989 and 1996.

    Biographical note

    Byron Lamar Johnson was born in Peterson, Iowa, on June 28, 1904. He received his B.S. in 1925, M.A. in 1927, and Ph.D. in 1930 from the University of Minnesota in Education and English. Johnson held a number of positions in education early in his career, serving as an English instructor at Minnesota College from 1925 to 1927, as principal of a high school in Buffalo, Minnesota from 1927 to 1928, as assistant-principal of the University of Minnesota High School from 1928 to 1930 and as an assistant professor at New Jersey State Teachers College at Montclair from 1930 to 1931.
    From 1931 to 1952, Johnson served as Dean of Instruction and Librarian at Stephens College, a two-year women's college in Missouri. While at Stephens, Johnson successfully combined library instruction with teaching practices to form a single unified instruction program. This work, along with publications authored by Johnson, brought him national recognition as an expert on college programming and curriculum. During his time at Stephens College, Johnson also taught as a visiting professor at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
    From 1952 to 1972, Johnson served as Professor of Higher Education at UCLA, where he specialized in the study of community and junior college education. During his tenure at UCLA, Johnson was a regular consultant to the California Master Plan for Higher Education Survey Team in helping develop and implement the state's community colleges. Johnson also founded and served as the Executive Director of the League for Innovation in the Community College from 1968 to 1972, as well as the Director of the UCLA Junior College Leadership Program from 1960 to 1972. Johnson was also a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grantee from 1960 to 1972, as well as a Danforth grantee from 1967 to 1972.
    During his career, Johnson also studied and developed international education programs. In 1959, he traveled as an American Specialist for the United States Department of State to assignments in New Zealand, the Philippines, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and South America. After leaving UCLA, Johnson worked as a consultant from 1973 to 1974 for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), traveling to Vietnam, Colombia and throughout South America. Finally, in 1976, Johnson worked in Iran on a joint program between UCLA and the University for Teacher Education in Tehran.
    In 1977, Johnson was appointed Distinguished Professor of Education at Pepperdine University, where he taught until his retirement in 1983. He married in 1928, and had three children. B. Lamar Johnson died on October 25, 1995.

    Scope and Content

    The B. Lamar Johnson papers include materials from 1930 to 1989 documenting Johnson's career and his research on community colleges. The bulk of the collection focuses on Johnson's work at UCLA and Pepperdine University from 1952 to 1983, and includes correspondence, notes, reports, articles, programs, and memorandums. Also included in the collection are copies of speeches, articles, and publications authored by Johnson spanning his entire career. There are also a number of bound copies of student dissertations.


    For the most part, the collection's contents have been kept within their original groupings. Series and sub-series titles were assigned based on the original folder titles. A folder list is available by request. The collection is arranged in seventeen series:
    • Series 1: Accreditation
    • Series 2: Advisory Council - UCLA Junior College Leadership Program
    • Series 3: Articles
    • Series 4: Community Colleges
    • Series 5: Consultant Work
    • Series 6: Foundations
    • Series 7: Miscellaneous
    • Series 8: Pepperdine University
    • Series 9: Personal Materials
    • Series 10: Publications and Printed Materials
    • Series 11: Speeches
    • Series 12: Student Dissertations
    • Series 13: Subject and Correspondence Files
    • Series 14: Training and Instruction
    • Series 15: Travel
    • Series 16: Utilization of Faculty Services
    • Series 17: Workshops, Seminars, and Conferences

    Processing Information

    This collection was processed and described by Jessica Geiser and Jamie Henricks in December, 2011.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Johnson, B. Lamar (Byron Lamar), 1904-
    Pepperdine University.
    Stephens College. -- History
    University of California, Los Angeles.
    Accreditation (Education)
    Community colleges--United States--History--20th century
    Curriculum planning--Research
    Education, Higher--Aims and objectives
    International education--Study and teaching
    Los Angeles (Calif.)--History
    Speeches, addresses, etc., American--20th century