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Center for Youth Development and Research records

Identifier: uarc 114; uarc 2002-09

Scope and Content

The collection contains meeting minutes, correspondence, concept papers, notes, funding requests, speeches and handbooks for the social work programs at the University of Minnesota. This collection was taken from the personal papers of Jerome (Jerry) Beker, director of the Center for Youth Development and Research (CYDR) since 1978. Every effort was made to separate the CYDR items from Mr. Beker's personal papers on the field of youth work in a national context. Other materials in the collection that were donated separately from Mr. Beker's papers include course materials, lectures by Gisela Konopka and project materials.


  • 1975-1999


Language of Materials


Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Historical Note

The Center for Youth Development and Research (CYDR) was established at the University of Minnesota in January, 1970 as a division of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA). Funding was provided by various agencies including the Bush Foundation, Surdna Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health NIMH) and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW). University of Minnesota social work professor, Gisela Konopka served as director from its inception until 1978 when she retired. Jerome Beker then served as director from 1978-1988. The goal of the center was to bring together knowledge and skills from various disciplines, professions and experiences to better work with youth. Members of the staff had backgrounds in education, social work, psychology, sociology and criminal justice. The Youth Studies program, also part of CYDR, offered courses to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a variety of majors, who were interested in working with young adults in their professional careers. CYDR also offered in-service training for community groups and organizations involved with youth and provided outreach activities such as workshops, conferences and institutes that were open to the public. In 1975 the Eli Lilly Endowment funded a research project directed by Gisela Konopka to study the needs, concerns and aspirations of adolescent girls. It was called Project Girl. This study resulted in Konopka's seminal book Young Girls: A Portrait of Adolescence.

In 1974 the Center for Youth Development and Research was moved to the College of Home Economics (later renamed the College of Human Ecology) to strengthen its emphasis on quality of human relations and service to the state. In 1983 the School of Social Work was transferred from the College of Liberal Arts to the College of Home Economics and faculty from the Center for Youth Development and Research moved to the School of Social Work, also taking with it, the Youth Studies program. In the late 1880's the functions of the Center were transferred to other departments and were carried out by other programs and centers in the University such as the Children, Youth and Family Consortium, established in 1991. The Youth Studies program remained in the College of Human Ecology until its closure in 2005 when it was moved to the College of Education and Human Development.


19 boxes


Collection contains the records of the Center for Youth Development and Research at the University of Minnesota.

Other Finding Aid Available

A finding aid with detailed contents is available in University Archives.

Source of acquisition

Part of the collection was donated by Jerry Beker, director of the Center for Youth Development and Research, on April 9, 2002.

Related Materials in University of Minnesota Archives

Gisela Konopka papers

Children, Youth and Family Consortium records

Related Material in Social Welfare History Archives

Project Girl records

Processing Information

Collection has not been processed.

Center for Youth Development and Research Records, 1975-1999
Karen Spilman; revised by Karen Klinkenberg
2005; 2007
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area