Select Page


RG2644.AM:  Ernest Glenn Callen, 1894-1964

Papers:  1928-1962

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.:  Sociology & Political Science Professor

Size:  1.0 cu.ft.; 2 boxes


Ernest Glenn Callen, son of Samuel and Dora Callen, was born at McCook, Nebraska, on September 11, 1894.  Callen graduated from McCook High School in 1914 and went on to receive his A.B. degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1919.  He then attended the University of Nebraska where he received his Masters (1921) and eventually, his Ph.D. (1932).

Ernest Callen taught at Nebraska Wesleyan University in various capacities, including as a critic teacher in Wesleyan’s Teachers’ College (1919-1922); assistant professor of economics and sociology (1922-1927); and as professor of sociology and political science from 1927 until his death in 1964.  Allen was a member of the American Political Science Association, the American Sociological Society, the American Labor Legislation Association and the American Association of University Professors.  At the time of his death, Callen was the chairman of Wesleyan’s Division of Social Sciences, a Woods Distinguished Teacher, and head of the Department of Political Science and Sociology.

Dr. Callen was a longtime member and chairman of Lincoln’s City Personnel Board.  He was active in labor and public welfare work in Nebraska and had served as past president of the Nebraska Welfare Association.  He was also known as the “father of Nebraska’s merit system,” for his work towards adopting Nebraska’s Merit System in 1937.

Dr. Callen was injured in an automobile accident in Lincoln on May 30, 1964.  He remained in a local hospital where he eventually died on June 28, 1964.  He was survived by his wife, Frances; a brother, Robert; and a sister, Ruth.


The E. Glenn Callen collection consists of two boxes of papers arranged in three series:  1) Correspondence; 2) Manuscripts and notes, and 3) Printed matter.  These papers date from 1928 to 1962 and are arranged chronologically within each series.  The bulk of the material falls within the 1930’s and 1940’s.

The first folder contains correspondence dating from 1934-1946.  Most of the letters are from officials of the Works Progress Administration or editors of the Oxford Book Company.  Manuscripts and notes form the bulk of the Callen collection.  These date from 1929 to 1947 and include such subjects as unemployment, federal aid, public welfare, and labor law.  The remainder of the collection consists of printed matter dating from 1928-1962.  These materials include published articles of Professor Callen, Lincoln City Council appeals and copies of correspondence of the Personnel Board of the City of Lincoln.

The Callen papers relate to many governmental and social problems in Nebraska, but particularly to unemployment, workmen’s compensations, labor law, public welfare, taxation, and Lincoln city government.  The Ernest Glenn Callen papers were received by the Nebraska State Historical Society in October of 1964 from Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Note:  See the NSHS library for various publications by E. Glenn Callen.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1934-1946

Box 1


  1. Correspondence, 1934-1946

Series 2 – Manuscripts and notes, 1929-1947

  1. “Agencies for the Adjustment of Labor Disputes,” Political Science Seminar, 1929

  2. “The Universal Postal Union,” Political Science 163, 1929

  3. Workmen’s Compensation Problems in Nebraska, a paper presented to the Social Science Section of the Nebraska Academy of Science, May 3, 1929,” (3 drafts)

  4. “Some Constitutional and Administrative Aspects of Unemployment Relief,” Seminar in Public Administration, Dept. of Political Science, University of Nebraska, 1930

  5. “Federal Relief in Nebraska,” read before the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, 1933 (2 copies)

  6. “The Legal Control of Fee-Charging Agencies,” (3 copies)  Published in Information Service (Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America) as “The Control of Employment Agencies in the United States and Abroad,” v.XIII, No.7, February 17, 1934

  7. The T.V.A. It’s [sic] Governmental Bearings,” 1934

  8. Workmen’s Compensation; Miscellaneous notes, speeches and manuscripts, 1934

  9. “Recent Developments in Nebraska Public Welfare Administration,” read to the Nebraska Academy of Science, Lincoln, 1935 (2 copies)

  10. “Child Labor Amendment,” 1936

  11. Pension Study, 1936

  12. Outline of proposed study, 1936

  13. Citizens Planning Committee minutes, 1936

  14. “Personnel for Public Welfare,” Read before the Local Public Welfare Committee, 1939 (3 drafts)

  15. “There is No Place like Nebraska,” Outline and notes for the projected survey of Nebraska government, 1942

  16. Nebraska labor law; notes, etc.; includes a 38 pp mss entitled “Chapter III:  The Adjustment of Labor Disputes in the Railroad Industry,” 1943

  17. Institute on Social Legislation, Nebraska Welfare Association, Omaha, May 1944; notes, etc.

  18. “Nebraska Construction Industry,” Norfolk, Oct. 27, 1947

  19. “Bonds in Nebraska,” n.d. (2 copies)

  20. “Defects of the General Property Tax,” n.d. 

  21. “The Organization and Function of Agencies Administering Labor Laws in selected states,” n.d.

Series 3 – Printed Matter

Box 2


  1. Report of the Nebraska Compensation Survey Commission, E. Glenn Callen, Secretary, 1928 (3 copies)

  2. Published articles by E. Glenn Callen, 1932-1936

  3. Cases before Regional War Labor Board VII, 1943

  4. Unemployment Insurance, 1944-1945

  5. Lincoln City Council Appeals, 1946

  6. Unemployment Insurance, 1948-1949

  7. Survey of Minority Housing in Lincoln, Nebraska, 1959

  8. Personnel Board, City of Lincoln, copies of correspondence, etc., 1961-1962

  9. Miscellaneous


Subject headings:

Callen, Ernest Glenn, 1894-1964

Citizens Planning Committee of Nebraska

Educators — Nebraska

Labor laws and legislation

Lincoln City Council (Lincoln, Neb.)

Lincoln Personnel Board (Lincoln, Neb.)

Political science

Public welfare

Teachers — Nebraska


Workmen’s compensation


Revised TMM  01-11-2017