E.M. Standing Collection on the Montessori Method, 1895-1980

Overview of the Collection

Standing, E. M. (E. Mortimer), 1887-1967
E.M. Standing Collection on the Montessori Method
1895-1980 (inclusive)
1939-1970 (bulk)
19.5 linear feet, (18 boxes and 1 oversized box)
Collection Number
Mss 001 (collection)
Edwin Mortimer Standing (1887-1967) was the primary compiler of this collection that became the basis for the Montessori Teacher Training Program at Seattle University from 1968 to 1986. William J. Codd, SJ was the first director of the program.
Seattle University, Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons, Special Collections
Special Collections
Lemieux Library & McGoldrick Learning Commons
Seattle University
901 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2062966209
Fax: 2062966224
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Additional Reference Guides

A folder-level inventory of this collection is available.

English., Italian,, French,, Spanish,, Latin.
Funding for preparing the finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Edwin Mortimer Standing (1887-1967) was a close friend and assistant to pioneering Italian educator Maria Montessori for over thirty years. Born in Madagascar to Quaker missionaries Lucy and Herbert Standing, Standing was educated at Cambridge University. After working as a tutor in India in the early 1920's, Standing converted to Catholicism in 1923 and spent the next three decades directing Montessori teacher training courses in Italy, India and the United Kingdom. He authored several books, including The Child in the Church: Essays on the Religious Education of Children and the Training of Character (co-authored with Montessori; Sands Publishers, 1930), Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work (Academy Library Guild/Plume, 1957) and The Montessori Method: A Revolution in Education (Academy Library Guild, 1962). In the Summer of 1962, Standing came out of retirement from his home in Cork County, Ireland to accept an invitation from William J. Codd, SJ, Professor of Education at Seattle University. Originally, Fr. Codd invited Standing to the university to help teach a special four-week summer session on Montessori education. Standing and Fr. Codd decided instead to inaugurate a permanent center for Montessori studies at Seattle University. Their goal was to promote the Montessori movement in the Pacific Northwest. After his death in 1967, the bulk of Standing's notes, manuscripts and ephemera became the nucleus for scholarship and research for courses taught through the E. M. Standing Montessori Studies Center (circa 1968-1978). In the fall of 1973, Fr. Codd introduced a teacher-training program for undergraduates. Before the program ceased in 1986, three directors headed the program: Sister Christina Trudeau (ca. 1973-1976), Miss Karla Marken (1976-1977) and Professor John Chattin-McNichols (1979-1986).

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains correspondence, lecture notes, manuscripts, essays, speech texts, photographs, files, clippings, ephemera, sound recordings and publications. Materials document the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori as seen through the writings and correspondence of E.M. Standing and reflect the growing interest in Maria Montessori's teachings and pedagogy from Europe and South Asia to the United States in the 1920s. Also documented is the historical development and establishment of Montessori-based schools and teacher training programs in Seattle, WA and the greater Pacific Northwest and western United States. The collection includes early administrative records and correspondence pertaining to the formation of Seattle University's Montessori Teacher Training Program. The bulk of the materials in this collection are from circa 1939 to 1970. The collection is primarily in English, with some material in Italian, French, Spanish, and Latin. The folder numbering sequence shown in the finding aid is not reproduced on the folders themselves.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

E.M. Standing Collection on the Montessori Method, Special Collections, Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons, Seattle University.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Separated Materials

The bulk of this collection's educational pamphlets and books are located in the Seattle University Library Special Collections.

Acquisition Information

This collection was transferred from the Seattle University School of Education in 1973.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Description Dates
Series I: Correspondence
Includes incoming and outgoing general and subject correspondence primarily between Edwin Mortimer Standing (circa 1919-1967) and William J. Codd, S.J. (circa 1958-1980) and encompassing a wide variety of friends and associates. Correspondents include Mario Montessori (Maria's son), A.M. Joosten, Phyllis Wallbank, and Lady Carmen Bazely. Other correspondence relates to issues involving publishing royalty, reprint and citations between E.M. Standing, Fr. Codd (Standing’s literary executor) and various publishers. A portion of corrrespondence is between Mr. Standing and Donald Demarest, Academy Guild Press publisher (circa 1959-1962). The correspondence within this series is arranged chronologically by year.
circa 1895-1979
Series II: Literary Productions
Includes notes, drafts, essays, plays, poems and manuscripts primarily written by Standing. The series contains manuscript drafts of various religious and educational essays and draft chapters from two of Standing’s books, The Montessori Method and The Child in The Church. Also included within this series is Indian Twilight which is an unpublished 4-volume chronicle of Standing’s years as a Montessori tutor for the Saharabai family in India (circa 1920-1925). Included are reprints of Standing’s letters documenting his experiences, photographs of the people and architecture of India before its independence from England; and brief references to conversations with Mahatma Gandhi who was a close friend and neighbor of the Saharabai family. The items within this series are arranged by sub-series, by author and in chronological order.
circa 1919-1973
Series III: Lecture Transcripts
Includes transcripts of speeches given by Maria Montessori in London prior to World War Two. Documents are in Italian and English and are arranged chronologically as well as by lecturer.
circa 1921-1967
Series IV: Subject Files
Includes transcripts of speeches given by Maria Montessori in London prior to World War Two. Documents are in Italian and English and are arranged chronologically as well as by lecturer.
circa 1919-1979
Series V: Legal and Financial Documents
Documents within this series include publisher contracts, royalty statements, insurance policies, Standing’s will and passport
circa 1919-1973
Series VI: Datebooks and Address Books undated
Series VII: Article and Clipping Files
Includes copies of published articles written by Standing, Fr. Codd and their associates as well as news clippings of interest to Standing and Fr. Codd.
circa 1930-1973
Series VIII: Photographic Material
This series includes black and white original photographs of Maria Montessori and classroom activity in early Montessori schools. Also included in this series are early glass plate negatives depicting Montessori school scenes. The bulk of the materials within this series are uncredited and undated.
circa 1919-1973
Series IX: Religious, Instructional and General Ephemera undated
Series X: Sound Recordings undated
Series XI: Educational Pamphlets and Monographic Materials undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Montessori method of education
  • Montessori method of education--Washington (State)--Seattle

Personal Names

  • Codd, William J., SJ.
  • Montessori, Maria, 1870-1952
  • Standing, E. M. (E. Mortimer), 1987-1967

Corporate Names

  • Seattle University. College of Education
  • Seattle University. E.M. Standing Montessori Studies Center

Form or Genre Terms

  • Lecture notes
  • Printed ephemera
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts for publication
  • Photographs
  • Sound recordings
  • Speeches

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Codd, William J., SJ. (contributor)
    • Montessori, Maria, 1870-1952 (contributor)