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Finding Aid of the Alexander J. Stoddard papers

Finding aid prepared by Rebecca Hirsch, 2010

The processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid was funded by the generous support of the National Historic Publications and Records Commission.

Summary Information

USC Libraries Special Collections
Stoddard, Alexander J. (Alexander Jerry), 1889-1965
Alexander J. Stoddard papers
Collection no.
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1936-1954
Date [inclusive]
11.08 Linear feet, 11 boxes
This collection contains the papers of Alexander J. Stoddard (1889-1965). His papers include correspondence, reports, speeches, photographs, and clippings documenting his tenures as Superintendent of Schools in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Denver.

Preferred Citation

[Box/file# or item name], Alexander J. Stoddard papers, Collection no. 0013, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

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Biographical Note

Alexander J. Stoddard was born in 1889 in Auburn, Nebraska. He graduated from Auburn High School in 1905 and married Sadie Gillan in 1916. They had one son and one daughter. Stoddard began his career as a school teacher in Nebraska, receiving a BS from the University of Nebraska and a Master's degree from Columbia University's Teachers College in 1924. He moved to Los Angeles in 1948 after having spent nine years as the superintendent of schools in Philadelphia. Stoddard served as Superintendent of Los Angeles City Schools from 1948 until his retirement in 1954. Stoddard was actively involved with a number of national education organizations, including the American Association of School Administrators, the Educational Policies Commission and Superintendents of Larger City School Systems. In the 1950s, he was a strong advocate for the new field of educational television. Before working in Philadelphia, Stoddard served as Superintendent of Schools in Denver, Colorado; Providence, Rhode Island; Schenectady, New York; and Bronxville, New York. Stoddard died on October 18, 1965 in Los Angeles.

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Scope and Content

This collection contains speeches, reports, photographs, personal and business correspondence and newspaper clippings documenting Alexander J. Stoddard's tenure as the Superintendent of Los Angeles City Schools (1948-1954). Also included are correspondence and reports from Stoddard's tenures as the Superintendent of Schools in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and in Denver, Colorado.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

USC Libraries Special Collections
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California, 90089-0189

Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection contains published materials; researchers are reminded of the copyright restrictions imposed by publishers on reusing their articles and parts of books. It is the responsibility of researchers to acquire permission from publishers when reusing such materials. The copyright to unpublished materials belongs to the heirs of the writers. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.


The Alexander Stoddard papers were donated to USC by Mrs. Sadie Stoddard in 1966.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Los Angeles City School District. -- Archives


  • Books
  • Clippings
  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Reports
  • Speeches
  • Textbooks

Personal Name(s)

  • Stoddard, Alexander J. (Alexander Jerry), 1889-1965 -- Archives


  • Education--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources
  • Education--Colorado--Denver--Archival resources
  • Education--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--Archival resources
  • Educational television programs--Archival resources
  • School superintendents--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources
  • School superintendents--Colorado--Denver--Archival resources
  • School superintendents--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--Archival resources

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Other Finding Aids

An index to Stoddard's speeches is available on-site.

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Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Correspondence 

Scope and Content

Series consists of Stoddard's personal and business correspondence. Much of the material is letters of appreciation, thanks, or congratulations. Also present in this series is Stoddard's correspondence with the Ford Foundation about the use of money from the Foundation's Fund for the Advancement of Education and with the American Book Company about the publication of the English textbooks he authored.



 By City 




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Series 2:  Speeches 

Scope and Content

Series contains the texts of speeches given by Stoddard over the course of his career. Included in each file is a table listing when and where that speech was given. An index to the speeches is available on-site.


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Series 3:  Reports, Clippings and Business Papers 

Scope and Content

Series contains reports and small publications, newspaper clippings, and other miscellaneous business papers found in the collection. Included in this series are a few publications by the Los Angeles City Schools, one by the Educational Testing Service and a report on the National Program ETV [Educational TV] Workshop held in 1959 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


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Series 4:  Photographs, Scrapbooks and Ephemera 

Scope and Content

Series contains photographs documenting Stoddard's career as Superintendent of the Los Angeles City Schools and ephemera. Photographs include two photograph albums from 1949 PTA Milk Fund Football Carnival held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and a framed photograph. Ephemera include Stoddard's business cards and his War Department photo identification card from 1946. Scrapbooks contain clippings, event programs, and photographs.


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Series 5:  Artifacts 

Scope and Content

Series contains 4 gavels.


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Series 6:  Books 

Scope and Content

Series consists of 17 volumes of English textbooks for various levels written by Stoddard and 4 volumes of publications of the Educational Policies Commission bound together.


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Series 7:  Film Reels 

Scope and Content

Series contains two film reels of educational television programming.


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