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Marie F. and James S. Peters II Papers

Identifier: 2002-0062

Scope and Content

The collection contains primarily the professional papers associated with the careers of Marie F. and James S. Peters II, in their respective areas of specialization. Dr. James Peters wrote several books later in his life, as well as his memoirs, which are also represented in the collection.


  • undated, 1948-2005


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


Marie Ferguson Peters was born in Lincoln, Nebraska on 9 April 1918. She graduated as valedictorian from Tuskeegee Institute High School in 1934 and attended Fisk University (A.B., Chemistry, 1938), Atlanta University (M.A., Chemstry, 1941), Purdue University (M.S., Sociology, 1955) as well as graduate work in sociual work at the University of Chicago and her Ph.D from Harvard University in 1976. Prior to her employment at the University of Connecticut in 1963 as a part time instructor on the Hartford and Torrington campuses, Ms. Peters was an instructor at Virginia State College (1942-1945); editor at Science Research Associates (1950-1956); sociologist for the Hartford Neighborhood Centers (1957-1958); writer, for educational consultants Glick and Loren (1959-1961); and instructor at the University of Hartford (1961-1963). Peters transferred to the Storrs campus of UConn in 1966 as an Assistant Professor in the School of Home Economics.

James Sedalia Peters, II, was born on 11 May 1917, on his grandmother's farm in Ashdown, AR. The son of Edward Walter Lee Peters and Ardell Peters Merrit (Duckett), he grew up in Monroe, LA. After graduating from Southern University, where he was captain of the football team and a T.H. Harris Fellow, he taught high school in Natchitoches, LA. He came to Hartford in 1940 to attend the Hartford Seminary. During World War II, Peters served in the Navy at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. After the war he lived in Chicago, where he worked as a counselor for the Veterans Administration and pursued graduate studies in psychology at the University of Chicago and the Illinois Institute of Technology. After receiving a fellowship from the VA, he completed his doctorate at Purdue University in 1954. He was the first African American to receive a faculty appointment at Springfield College. In 1957, he was appointed director of the State of Connecticut's vocational rehabilitation program. He and his family moved to Hartford that year and to Avon in 1960. In Avon, he served on the Republican Town Committee. After his wife received a faculty appointment at the University of Connecticut, the family moved to Storrs in 1976. In 1982, Dr. Peters retired from the State as Deputy Commissioner of Education and established a private practice in psychology in Windsor. He was adjunct faculty at the University of Hartford for many years, served in that capacity at the University of Connecticut, and was a visiting distinguished professor of rehabilitation at Southern Illinois University. He was a commissioner of the Hartford Housing Authority and served on the boards of American School for the Deaf, the Hartt School of Music, the Greater Hartford Urban League, which he helped to found, and the Greater Hartford YMCA. He served on the vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church, Hartford. He was a member of Rotary International, Civitan, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and Sigma Pi Phi Boule. Dr. Peters was especially proud that his research was used to help support the racial integration of the Navy and that he was inducted into the first class of the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame by Governor M. Jodi Rell. Dr. James Peters passed away 12 December 2008.


5.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains the professional papers of Marie Ferguson Peters, the first African American Professor at the University (Home Economics, 1963), and her husband, psychologist James S. Peters II. Drafts and proofs of Dr. James Peters' work is also included in the collection.


The collection has not been arranged and the inventory represents materials as they were separated from the monographs that were also donated at the same time.

Series I: Inventory (undated, 1948-2005)

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated in two parts, the first by Dr. James Peters in 2002 and the remainder by the executor of the estate in 2009.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to the University, its history, administration, faculty, staff and students. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

Marie F. and James S. Peters II Papers
Archives & Special Collections staff
2010 December
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US