Jeanne L. Noble papers
Scope and Contents
Types of materials include appointment books, audiotapes, awards, clippings, correspondence, essays, magnetic disks, memorabilia, notes, photographs, proposals, publications, reports, speeches, and videotapes.
Dates of Materials
- 1955 - 2002
- Noble, Jeanne L. (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Biographical / Historical
Jeanne Noble earned a B.A. in psychology and sociology from Howard University in 1946, then an M.A. from Columbia University in 1948. She fell in love with teaching during a two-year appointment (1948-50) at Albany State College, in Albany, Georgia. From 1950 to 1952, Noble was dean of women at Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma. She returned to Columbia in 1952 to continue graduate study in educational psychology and counseling psychology, earning her Ph.D. in 1955.
For her dissertation and first book, The Negro Woman's College Education (published in 1956), Noble examined the lives of 1,000 African-American women graduates who had been out of college at least five years. An early nonfiction book written by an African-American woman about African-American women for a white audience, it was one of the first studies to consider gender in concert with race. The work won the Pi Lambda Theta, National Association for Women in Education Research Award.
Noble held various research assistant and administrative posts, including Assistant Dean of Students, at City College before joining the faculty at New York University around 1959, teaching first in the Department of Educational Sociology of the Center for Human Relations and later in the School of Education. In 1960 she and co-author Margaret Fisher published College Education as Personal Development, a book written to be used in college orientation courses by first-year college students.
Outside of the classroom, Noble served on many boards and commissions. From 1958 to 1963 she was national president of the sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., a public service organization she joined while an undergraduate at Howard University. Noble later served Delta as Chair of its Arts and Letters, and Rituals and Ceremonies Commissions.
From 1960 to 1963 Noble served on the Defense Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Defense. In 1962 she was part-time director of Training for the Harlem Domestic Peace Corps. She was appointed to the Committee on Federal Employment of the President's Commission on the Status of Women in 1963. In 1964 Sargent Shriver asked Noble to serve on a committee to develop plans for a Girls' Job Corps. She was also on the board of directors of the Urban League of Greater New York, the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., and the National Social Welfare Assembly.
In the late 1960s Noble began work on the book Beautiful, Also, Are the Souls of My Black Sisters: A History of the Black Woman in America. Described by Noble as a "psycho-social look at black women," the book was eventually published in 1978.
In 1972 Noble took a leave of absence from NYU to function as Executive Vice President of the National Council of Negro Women under a grant from the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Around 1975 Noble moved from NYU to Brooklyn College of the City College of New York where she taught in the education department, eventually becoming a professor of guidance and counseling in the graduate school.
Noble ventured into television, appearing on "The Learning Experience," a weekly educational show broadcast in New York City in 1977 and served as co-host of "Straight Talk" in the summer of 1979.
In 1996 Noble helped to launch the Dorothy I. Height Leadership Institute of the National Council of Negro Women with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Institute was conceived to foster a cadre of young leaders to assist traditional African-American women's organizations to meet the challenges of the 21st century. For a variety of reasons, the Institute was not able to sustain funding once its initial three-year grant was exhausted.
In addition to her teaching, Noble also had a small fashion design business and worked as an educational and organizational consultant.
Jeanne L. Noble died of congestive heart failure after a long battle with breast cancer on October 17, 2002.
36 boxes (15.5 linear feet)
Language of Materials
- I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS AND PHOTOGRAPHS
- II. CORRESPONDENCE
- III. PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
- IV. SPEECHES
- V. WRITINGS
- VI. SUBJECT FILES
- VII. AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS AND COMPUTER MEDIA
- VIII. ARTIFACTS
- OVERSIZE MATERIALS
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The contents of computer media in this collection has been copied to networked storage for preservation and access; the original directory and file structure was retained and file lists were created.
- African American women
- African American women -- Education
- African American women -- Societies and clubs
- African American women in the professions
- Appointment books
- Computer media
- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
- Electronic records
- Guest registers
- National Council of Negro Women
- Noble, Jeanne L.
- Women -- Societies and clubs
- Women authors
- Women in the professions
- Women, Black
- Jeanne L. Noble papers
- Finding Aid
- Finding aid prepared by Maida Goodwin.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Processing of the Jeanne L. Noble Papers was made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities
- 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
- 2017-07-26T17:48:21-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
- 2020-07-13: Description added for born-digital content.
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
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