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Warren Benjamin Catlin papers

Identifier: M026

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Scope and Contents

The Warren Benjamin Catlin papers date from 1905 to 1969 and measure 9.5 linear feet. The papers are arranged in seven series: Course Material, Academic Administrative Records, Correspondence, Talks and Lectures, National War and Labor Board, Research and Subject Files, and Writings and Publications.

The Course Material series (1923-1953) contains lecture notes, exam questions, resources, and other content from Catlin’s tenure as a professor of Economics and Sociology at Bowdoin College. They are arranged by course number and provide an insight into his teaching methods and the Economic theories taught at the time.

The Academic Administrative Records series (1929-1951) consists of correspondence, committee meeting minutes, and tuition reports from Bowdoin.

More general correspondence can be found in the Correspondence series (1918-1967). This includes personal letters to family members as well as professional correspondence from organizations like the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Shoe Worker’s Protective Union along with other research institutions.

The Talks and Lectures series (1932-1943) is made up of finished and draft versions of various speeches, lectures, and talks that Catlin gave while a professor at Bowdoin. Much of them deal with organized labor, the early twentieth century American economy, and his perspective on the major labor and economic issues of the day.

Catlin served on the War and Labor Board during World War II and his records of his time in service can be found in the National War and Labor Board series (1943-1945). Much of the material is the official reports created by the Board during the war as well as records of issues and cases of contention within the Board.

The Research and Subject Files series (1905-1968) contains an alphabetical collection of Catlin’s personal and academic topical files, including material on foreign trade, Marxism, minimum wage, pensions, tariffs, and newspaper clippings on unionism, socialism, and labor politics. The series also includes biographical information, additional professional correspondence, and material from Catlin’s organizational involvement such as committee work and conferences.

Catlin’s published and unpublished writings can be found in the Writings and Publications series (1910-1967). Much of the series is made up of drafts of his book manuscripts, book reviews, and handwritten notes (often written on the back of mass-produced correspondence that he had received and saved to use as scratch paper). Most of the writings are on the topics of labor, capitalism, class, unions, profits, and the study of economics. A complete revision copy of his monograph "The Labor Problem" can be found in the series. This edition includes Catlin's handwritten revision notes for its 1935 re-printing.


  • Creation: 1905 - 1969


Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

Born in Nemaha, Nebraska on November 3, 1881, Warren Benjamin Catlin graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1903 and went on to attend Columbia University. He taught high school in Iowa for three years before moving to Cornell University in 1909 where he was an instructor in Economics and Political Science. In 1910, he moved to Brunswick, Maine, and began teaching Economics and Sociology at Bowdoin. He was a member of the American Economic Association and American Association for Labor Legislation and lectured in the 1920s on the merits of legislations that restricted the number of hours women and children could work. Catlin was named the Daniel B Fayerweather Professor of Economics and Sociology in 1912. During the second world war, he served as a public panel member on the regional War Labor Board. Catlin made speeches and lectures across Maine in favor of the 1935 Wagner Act and other pro-union and organized labor stances. He authored “The Progress of Economics: A History of Economic Thought” (1962) and “Labor Problems in the United States and Great Britain” (1926, revised 1935). He became a professor emeritus of Economics in 1952. He died in Brunswick in 1968. Catlin’s estate established the Warren B Catlin Scholarship Fund at Bowdoin, as well as the Adams-Catlin Professor of Economics, in 1969.


9.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Economics professor at Bowdoin College from 1910 to 1952.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was bequeathed by Warren B. Catlin's Estate in 1969.

Warren Benjamin Catlin papers
Emma Barton-Norris
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011 Repository

3000 College Station
Brunswick Maine 04011 USA
(207) 725-3288