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National Council on Religion and Public Education Records

Call Number: RG 262
Scope and Contents
The Archives of the National Council on Religion and Public Education consist of 250 files, plus 30 issues of the journal, Religion and Public Education, in 26 archival boxes and about 13 linear feet of material. The NCRPE records date from 1971 to 1994, but there are many projects, programs and publications dealing with the relation between religion and public education before the NCRPE was founded. For example, there is a sampling of material in what was called “character education” in 1941, “moral and spiritual values” in the 1940s and 1950s, “released time” courses in biblical literature, “dual enrollment” or shared time, controversial issues such as tax support for non-public schools. In addition, there are the complete texts of U.S. Supreme Court decisions on released time, prayer and Bible reading in the public schools. Included are some of the conferences in the 1960s which sought to respond to the Supreme Court rulings. These materials came from the files of Richard U. Smith, the first NCRPE executive director.

This collection completes and supplements Record Group No 74, which covered the development of the Religious Education Association from 1903 to 1982 (although the call to the founding convention was issued in 1902) and record Group No 74-A, which brings the organization’s records up to 2004 when it merged with the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education. Record Groups 154 and 154-A cover the history of the APRRE from 1970 to 2004. Both the R.E.A. and APRRE were organizational members of the NCRPE. It is very appropriate that these archives are stored at Yale, since the R.E.A. had its headquarters on the campus of Yale Divinity School from 1973 to 1997, and the General Secretary of the R.E.A., Boardman Kathan, was an alumnus. It is important to point out that there is some overlap and repetition in the files. Many came from the Editors and the Presidents and have not been precisely separated by categories.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Religious Education Association, 2014
  1. I. Early Developments
  2. II. Pre-NCRPE Programs
  3. III. History, Organization, and Policy
  4. IV. Committees and Board of Directors
  5. V. Secretarial Records and Correspondence
  6. VI. Annual Meetings
  7. VII. Publications
  8. VIII. Foundations, Finances, and Membership
  9. IX. Curriculum
  10. X. Other Organizations
13 Linear Feet (26 boxes)
Related Names
National Council on Religion and Public Education (U.S.)
Language of Materials