1.5. linear ft.
Arranged into seven series: 1. Correspondence, 1891-1913; 2. Addresses, 1891, 1894, and undated; 3. Book, 1890; 4. Financial records, 1893 and undated; 5. Lectures, 1906, 1911, and undated; 6. Notebook, 1897; 7. Research notes, 1862-1941 and undated.
The bulk of the records are correspondence; the collection also contains a copy of MacAlister's book, Manual Training in the Philadelphia Public Schools; addresses and a set of lectures by Dr. MacAlister; a brief set of financial records; and Dr. MacAlister's personal notebook. The correspondence was arranged and heavily annotated by Harriet E. Worrell, who worked as a research assistant for a book about Drexel's history, and the collection includes her research notes as well.
James MacAlister served as the first president of the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry from its opening in 1891 until his retirement in 1913. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1840 and emigrated with his family to Wisconsin in 1850. He was chosen to become the first superintendent of the Philadelphia public school system in 1883. During his tenure as president of Drexel and throughout his career, MacAlister was an advocate for technical and vocational education. He played a significant role in the shaping of the early curriculum of the university.
The collection is open for research use.
James MacAlister Administration Records, Drexel University Archives.
Consult University Archivist regarding copyright restrictions.