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John Perry Miller papers

Call Number: MS 1717

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of materials relating to John Perry Miller's career as an economist and academic administrator, including correspondence, clippings, and writings. The bulk of the papers date from 1961 to 1969, during Miller's tenure as the dean of the Yale Graduate School. Although the writings comprise the smallest portion of the collection, they are the most interesting. They include a number of unpublished essays, or "personal statements" by Miller on various topics related to higher education, and to graduate education in particular.


  • 1938-1992
  • Majority of material found within 1961 - 1969


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research, with the exception of sensitive information about an individual's tenure case in box 4. For this reason, it is restricted until January 1, 2040.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by John Perry Miller has been transferred to Yale University. These materials may be used for non-commercial purposes without seeking permission from Yale University as the copyright holder. For other uses of these materials, please contact

Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Perry Miller, 1997.


Arranged in three series: I. Personal and Correspondence, 1933-1991. II. Clippings, 1938-1983.III. Writings, 1951-1992.


1.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist of correspondence, clippings and writings which document John Perry Miller's career as an economist and academic administrator. The majority of these materials relate to his tenure as dean of the Yale Graduate School during the period 1961-1969.

Biographical / Historical

John Perry Miller, economist and academic administrator, was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, on March 26, 1911. The son of Fred and Hilda Wagner Miller, he was educated at Harvard University, receiving his B.A. in 1932, M.A. in 1934, and Ph.D. in 1937. Dr. Miller joined the Yale faculty as visiting lecturer in economics after teaching briefly at Harvard and Princeton. He was appointed professor of economics in 1950, and served as the director of Social Sciences, one of three major faculty divisions, from 1959 to 1961. Dr. Miller was named dean of the Graduate School in 1961 and held that post until his resignation in 1969.

Dean Miller's tenure saw a number of major changes in graduate education at Yale. He established the joint M.D.-Ph.D. program, as well as the Master of Philosophy degree, the latter of which was the first of its kind in the United States. Dr. Miller also instituted a combined degree program allowing students to receive a Bachelor's and Master's degree in the same course of study. In 1962, Dean Miller served on the faculty committee that recommended admitting women as undergraduates.

Following his resignation as dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Miller was named Director of Yale's Institution for Social and Policy Studies, where he played a major role in the planning and negotiations leading to the establishment of the Yale School of Organization and Management. He resigned his directorship in 1974. During this time, he also led the Campaign for Yale, a capital fund-raising drive aimed at collecting $370 million for the university, as its chief executive officer from 1973 to 1977. Dr. Miller served as deputy provost from 1977 to 1978, then briefly resumed teaching economics before his retirement in 1981.

Dean Miller married Dorothy Marie Willard in 1942, and they had two children, Perry and Ann. He died on February 9, 1997, in Hamden, Connecticut.

Guide to the John Perry Miller Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Julie Ann Ludwig and Christine Weideman
September 1997
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
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