Theodore W. Schultz Papers

Identity elements

Reference code

MA 022

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Theodore W. Schultz Papers


  • 1932-1991 (Creation)


2.52 linear feet [6 document cases]

Name of creator


Biographical history

Theodore William Schultz was born in Arlington, South Dakota, April 30, 1902. He was the oldest of eight children. During World War I, with labor scarce, he worked on the family farm instead of going to high school. The agricultural depression that blighted farms during the 1920s prompted him to go to college to study the underlying causes of what had happened. He studied economics at South Dakota State University and received his bachelor's degree in 1926. He then went on to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin where he received his master's and doctoral degrees in 1930. / After graduation, Schultz began his teaching career in agricultural economics at Iowa State University. Four years later he became head of the Department of Economic Sociology. During World War II, scholars at the school collaborated with outside specialists on reports demonstrating how government policy could promote the national interest by influencing agricultural production. One report recommended that margarine be substituted for butter. The Iowa Dairy Industry and the college administration tried to prevent publication. While Dr. Schultz successfully led the charge against censorship, he and several others resigned in protest in 1943. / Dr. Schultz went on to the University of Chicago. He soon became department chairman, and his leadership was credited with helping Chicago become an academic center for innovative theory. He became a Charles L. Hutchinson Distinguished Service Professor in 1952 and gained emeritus status in 1972 upon his retirement. / Schultz popularized the idea of "human capital"--the idea of treating educational spending as an investment. He was also known for his view of agriculture as a contributor to a nation's economic development, not simply a way to feed the work force in other areas of the economy. For this he war presented with the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1979, a prize he shared with Arthur Lewis. / Schultz authored several books and edited others during his long career, and he gained worldwide recognition for his investigations into investment in human resources as a means toward economic progress. He won the Francis A. Walker Medal in 1972, which is given only once every five years by the American Economics Association. He received five honorary doctoral degrees during his career from various universities, including one from South Dakota State University. His long and varied career has included serving as adviser and consultant to some of the nation's largest foundations, numerous federal agencies, the White House, and branches of the military. / Theodore married Esther Werth, a native of Frankfort, South Dakota and a graduate of South Dakota State University. They had two daughters; Elaine and Margaret and one son; T. Paul. / Theodore W. Schultz formally retired in 1972 but remained an active researcher until he fractured his hip in 1990 and became bedridden. He died February 26, 1998 in an Evanston, Illinois nursing home after suffering from pneumonia.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection is composed mainly of Schultz's personal collection of articles he authored. Most are offprints from the journal in which the article appeared and many bear Schultz's signature. Also included are a few articles not authored by Schultz which are review articles or contain biographical material about Schultz.

The collection is composed of correspondence and a few collected works include either articles about Schultz or items that Schultz reviewed. The correspondence contains a letter from Schultz to Dr. Leon Raney, Dean of Libraries, South Dakota State University discussing writing a bibliography about Schultz.

Publications comprise the bulk of the collection and consist of Schultz' personal collections of articles, books and reports that he wrote. Most are off-prints from the journal in which the article appeared and many bear Schultz's signature.

The Dale Hoover collection on Theodore Schultz consists mainly of article drafts and conference papers, with a small amount being article reprints. This material was collected by Dale Hoover, a member of North Carolina State University Department of Agricultural and Resources Economics faculty. The items include highlighted passages and notation by Hoover. Some items have notes from Schultz to Hoover. It appears that Schultz would occasionally send drafts of articles to Hoover for opinions before publication.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

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Conditions governing reproduction

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

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Finding aids

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Related archival materials


Miscellaneous Committees, Centennial Steering Committee
South Dakota State University Archives, South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D.
Call number: Archives: UA 51.1

South Dakota State University's Schultz-Werth award manuscript: correspondence 1964-
South Dakota State University. Schultz-Werth Award Committee
Call number: Archives: LB2383.S61

Schultz-Werth Award Committee, South Dakota State University's Schultz-Werth award manuscript: list of papers and award winners, 1964-
South Dakota State University
Call number: [Archives: LB2383.S612

Schultz-Werth Award Committee, South Dakota State University's Schultz-Werth award manuscript: papers, 1964-
South Dakota State University
Call number: Archives: LB2383.S6

Theodore W. Schultz papers, University of Chicago, Library. Dept. of Special Collections
Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Library, 1997?.
Call number: [Books/Upper Level: HD1771.5 .S38 1997


Agriculture in an unstable economy
New York, McGraw-Hill, 1945.
Call number: Books/Upper Level: HD1761.S27

Crisi economiche nell'agricoltura mondiale
Roma: Instituto nazionale di economia agraria, 1967.
Call number: Archives: HD1415.S3316

Distortions of agricultural incentives
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, c1978.
Call number: Books/Upper Level: HD1405.D57 1978

Economic crises in world agriculture
Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press [1965].
Call number: Books/Upper Level: HD1415.S34e

Economic growth and agriculture
New York: McGraw-Hill, c1968.
Call number: Books/Upper Level: HD1415.S342 1968

The economic organization of agriculture
New York, McGraw-Hill, 1953.
Call number: Books/Upper Level: HD1411.S35e

The economic value of education
New York, Columbia University Press, 1963.
Call number: Archives: LB41.S35e

The economics of being poor
Oxford, UK; Cambridge, Mass., USA : Blackwell, 1993.
Call number: Books/Upper Level: HC79.P6 S335 1993

The economics of research and agricultural productivity
[New York]: International Agricultural Development Service, [1979].
Call number: Books/Upper Level: S540.A2 S36

Economics of the family: marriage, children and human capital: a conference report of the National Bureau of Economic Research
Chicago: Published for the National Bureau of Economic Research by the University of Chicago Press, 1974.
Call number: Archives: HQ728.E3

Food for the world
Chicago, University of Chicago Press [1945].
Call number: Books/Upper Level: TX353.S35f

Human resources
New York, National Bureau of Economic Research, distributed by Columbia University Press, 1972.
Call number: Books/Upper Level: HB501.5 .F5 1971

Investing in people: the economics of population quality
Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, c1981.
Call number: Archives: HD4904.7. S37

Investment in human capital; the role of education and of research
New York, Free Press [1970, c1971].
Cal number: Archives: HB501.5 .S35i

La organización ecn>onómica de la agricultura
México, Fondo de Cultura Económica [c1965].
Call number: Archives: HD1411.S4318 1965

Lectures in agricultural economics, [Washington]: Dept. of Agriculture
Economic Research Service, 1977.
Call number: Archives: HD1761.L42 1977

O capital humano : investimentos em educação e pesan-quisa
Rio de Janeiro: Zahar Editores, 1973.
Call number: Archives: HB501.5 .S32

Production and welfare of agriculture
New York, Macmillan, 1949.
Call number: Books/Upper Level: HD1761.S278

Redirecting farm policy
New York: Macmillan, 1943.
Call number: Books/Upper Level: HD1761.S28

Restoring economic equilibrium : human capital in the modernizing economy
Oxford, UK; Cambridge, MA : Blackwell, 1990.
Call number: Books/Upper Level: HD75.S38 1990

Selected presentations from a symposium with Theodore W. Schultz, nobel laureate in economics: a centennial event at South Dakota State University concerning the importance of investing in people
Brookings, South Dakota, September 21-22, 1981, Brookings, S.D.: South Dakota State University, 1981.
Call number: Archives: HD1417.S38

Training and recruiting of personnel in the rural social studies, prepared for the Committee on rural social studies of the American council on Education
Washington, D. C., American council on education, 1941.
Call number: Books/Upper Level: HT411.S35

Transforming traditional agriculture
New Haven, Yale University Press, 1964
Call number: Books/Upper Level: HD1411.S35t

Vanishing farm markets and our world trade
Boston, World Peace Foundation, 1935.
Call number: Books/Upper Level: HD1761.S3

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MA 22

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