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Florence Laura Goodenough papers

Identifier: uarc 967

Scope and Content

This collection consists primarily of Florence Goodenough's personal professional correspondence from 1936-1959. The correspondence chiefly discusses publications and developments in the field of child welfare during the 1930s and 1940s, with many letters soliciting Goodenough's opinion. A smaller number of letters pertain to thesis work being done by graduate students under Goodenough. The bulk of the correspondence dates from 1936-1959; it constitutes most of the material available on Goodenough, with the exception of a few letters found in other collections at the University of Minnesota. Correspondence dating from 1936-1947 is of a professional nature, but does give some insight into Goodenough's character and interests, as well as to development in the field of child welfare.

One folder consists almost entirely of correspondence between Dr. Goodenough and Dale B. Harris who was associated with the Institute of Child Development from 1939-1959. It was written during the years of Goodenough's retirement until her death (1947-1959). The letters reflect Harris's collaboration with Goodenough on various projects, most notably a revision of the Draw-A-Man Test. Due in part to Miss Goodenough's failing eyesight and increased duties brought upon Dr. Harris when he became director of the Institute of Child Welfare (1954-1959), the revision entitled, Children's Drawings as Measures of Intellectual Maturity, was not completed until after Goodenough's death. Other topics of note in the correspondence are of a personal nature and discuss Goodenough's health and life in New Hampshire as well as Harris's family life, and University of Minnesota matters, especially concerning the Institute of Child Welfare and people that they knew in common.

Biographical information on Goodenough was primarily collected by Theta Wolf, a former student of Goodenough's, in preparation for an article in Notable American Womenon Goodenough. Additional biographical information can be found in the University Archives' biographical file.

In 1942 Goodenough conducted a test taken by members of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corp known as the Speed of Association Test. The papers contain the raw data that was divided into three sections, based on the test takers' marital status (single, married, and divorced). Keys to the test consist of a Commonality Key, Leadership Key and M-F Key (Masculine-Feminine). See the Biography File of Florence Goodenough for a list of publications regarding the Speed of Association Test.

Outlines of lectures for courses given by Goodenough, that were found with the papers, have been placed in the Curriculum Collection (uarc 827).


  • 1936-1959, 1969-1978


Language of Materials

Collection materials in English

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.

Biographical Sketch of Florence L. Goodenough (1886-1959)

Florence Laura Goodenough, B.S. (1920), M.A. (1921) Columbia University, Ph.D. (1924) Stanford University. Chief psychologist, Minneapolis Child Guidance Clinic (1924-1925), assistant professor (1925-1928), associate professor (1928-1930), professor (1930-1947) Institute of Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota. Best known for her development of the Draw-A-Man Test, used as an index of a child's intelligence.

Florence Goodenough was born in Hoensdale, Pennsylvania on August 6, 1886. She received her B.A. in 1920, and her M.A. in 1921 from Columbia University, while simultaneously working as director of educational research in the New Jersey School system. In 1924, she received her Ph.D. from Stanford University, developing as her thesis, the Draw-A-Man Scale. While at Stanford, she served as a chief research assistant under Dr. Lewis Terman, known for his studies of gifted children.

After working with the Minneapolis Child Guidance Clinic from 1924-1925, Goodenough joined the staff of the newly formed Institute of Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota in 1925. She spent the remainder of her career at the Institute, where she advanced from assistant professor to professor, and due to a disability retired as Professor Emeritus in 1947. Goodenough is perhaps best known for her Draw-A-Man Test, used as an index of a child's intelligence. In addition, she wrote several texts, and numerous articles dealing with exceptional children and mental testing, among other things. Goodenough was president of the Society for Research in Child Development in 1946 and 1947, and held various positions in the American Psychological Association and the National Council of Women Psychologists. Upon her retirement, she moved to Lisbon, New Hampshire, becoming increasingly deaf and blind due to an earlier illness. On April 4, 1959, she died at her winter home in Lakeland, Florida.


1 box (1.0 cubic foot)


This collection consists of correspondence of Florence Laura Goodenough, professor emeritus of the Institute of Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota.

Florence Laura Goodenough Papers, 1936-1959, 1969-1978
Lois Grell; updated by Karen Klinkenberg
Sept. 1981; updated Feb. 1997
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area