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William Nisbet Chambers Papers

Identifier: WUA-03-wua00115


  • Creation: 1896-1974


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


10.00 linear feet

10 boxes

Biographical Information

William Nisbet Chambers was born November 30, 1916 in Joplin, Missouri. He attended John Burroughs School, graduating 1934, then Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa 1939. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis in 1949, and progressed from Lecturer to Professor in the department until 1964. He then transferred from the Political Science Department to the History Department and served as Department Chair from November 1964 to January 1965, greatly helping develop that department’s graduate program. In 1967 he was awarded the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professorship.

During his career, Chambers received various appointments to visiting professorships, including the “Visiting Fellow in General Education” at Harvard in 1956 – 1957, and the “Visiting Associate Professor of Political History” at Columnbia University in 1959 – 1960.  He also had the opportunity to teach at the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies in the summer of 1972.  Throughout his career at Washington University he was an active teacher, respected author, visible community leader, lifelong political enthusiast, and renowned scholar.


This collection is divided into eight series:

Series 01: Scholarly Material, includes research material, papers, professional correspondence, reviews, and conference material (arranged by material type then chronologically)

Series 02: Teaching Materials, includes teaching materials for various classes (correspondence arranged alphabetically by subject, course material arranged alphabetically by course name)

Series 03: Professional/Administrative Material, includes materials concerning departmental programs and proposals, especially those for the History and Political Science Departments (arranged by departmental affairs and university affairs, then chronologically)

Series 04: Personal Material, includes personal correspondence, grants, and job offers (arranged chronologically)

Series 05: Other Activities, includes materials about the Democratic and Republican parties, political pamphlets, and correspondence (arranged alphabetically by subject)

Series 06: Awards and Honors (one folder)

Series 07: Ephemeral Material, includes photographs, microfilm and magnetic tape (arranged by material type)

Series 08: Research Note Cards, includes notes on WNC’s various book projects (arranged alphabetically by subject)

Method of Acquisition

This material was donated to the University Archives by Professor William Nisbet and Mrs. Chambers.

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Pabarcus in June 2006. Updated in Spring 2016 by Miranda Rectenwald.

William Nisbet Chambers Papers
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 March 5: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the University Archives Collecting Area

Sonya Rooney
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495