Warbeke, John M.
Manuscript Collection: MS 0731
Agency History/Biographical note:
John Martyn Warbeke was born on May 28, 1879 in Marion, New York. He
attended Knox College and Bradley Institute in Peoria, Illinois from
1898-1901 before transferring to Princeton University, where he
received a B.A. in 1903. He received his Ph.D. from the UniversitĄt
Leipzig in 1906 and married Norah McCarter of Castle Rock, Ireland in
1908. He studied at Oxford University from 1920-1921. From 1906-1912
he was an instructor of German and philosophy at Williams College. He
joined the faculty of Mount Holyoke College in 1912, where he taught
courses in ethics, aesthetics, the philosophy of religion and Greek
philosophy, and served as Philosophy Department Chair from 1936 until
his retirement in 1944. He was also a visiting professor of
philosophy at Amherst College, 1919-1923. He was a musician who
played the organ and composed music for the organ alone and in
combination with other instruments. He was a member of the American
Philosophic Association (serving as director 1937-1940), the
Association for the Advancement of Science, the New York Browning
Society, and he was founder and president of The Holyoke
(Massachusetts) League of Arts and Crafts. He wrote extensively and
contributed to magazines such as the "American Magazine of Art", the
"Forum" (Philadelphia), "Philosophia", and the "Journal of
Philosophy". His books include "The Searching Mind of Greece", and
"The Power of Art", published posthumously in 1952. He died on May
21, 1950 in South Hadley, Massachusetts at the age of seventy.
Scope and Content:
The John Martyn Warbeke papers consist of published and unpublished
writings, lecture and speech notes, research notes, notes on other
speakers, course records, correspondence, original music scores,
materials from The Holyoke (Massachusetts) League of Arts and Crafts,
memorabilia, biographical information, and photographs. Most of the
material relates to his work as a teacher and scholar at Mount
Holyoke, 1906-1944. His published and unpublished writings,
1907-1946, deal with philosophic questions such as "Religion and
Peace", "Are We Morally Delinquent?" and "The Limit of the Judgment
of Value". Writing across the span of two world wars, he was
particularly concerned with the question of peace as well as the
relationship between war and religion. Lecture and speech notes,
1913-1944, include notes for courses he taught at Mount Holyoke and
Amherst concerning "Aesthetics", "Ethics", "Philosophy of Religion",
and "History of Psychology". His research notes and notes on
speakers, ca. 1911-1944, include notes about books and about speakers
such as Bertrand Russell, Rudolph Eucken and Arthur Hass.
Correspondence, 1906-1944, includes several letters from friends and
a 1916 draft of a letter to the editor of the "New York Times"
arguing that liberal arts colleges should not be seen as businesses
but rather as tools for academic freedom. Also included are the
responses to his 1923 questionnaire asking "Has the Faculty of a
College of Liberal Arts a Religious Function?" and a copy of a letter
sent by Warbeke to the Mount Holyoke Board of Trustees in 1935
recommending the selection of a man to replace Mary Woolley as
president of the College. Three music scores in the collection are
original works composed by Warbeke between ca. 1910 and 1950.
Material from The Holyoke (Massachusetts) League of Arts and Crafts,
1925-1929, consists of membership lists, by-laws and constitution,
letters written by Warbeke to the members, and exhibition programs.
Course records date from Warbeke's years as a student, 1898-1906, and
consist of a course outline and two notebooks, one of them in German.
Memorabilia, 1907-1950, consists of programs from concerts and
recitals in which Warbeke played the organ, awards of recognition, a
passport, a court paper recognizing Warbeke's wife Norah as the
executrix of his will, a plaque recognizing ten years of service at
Mount Holyoke College, a 1907 diploma from UniversitĄt Liepzig, and
several 1911 letters of recommendation written for him by the faculty
and administration of Williams College. Biographical information,
1936-1965, consists of newspaper articles about him. Photographs, ca.
1930-1950, include both formal and informal pictures of Warbeke alone
and with others as well as negatives of photographs.
Cite as: John Martyn Warbeke Papers, Mount Holyoke College
Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley,
Access Restrictions: Unrestricted