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W. Leslie Barnette, Jr. papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: 22-4F-861

Scope and Contents

Papers include biographical information, notes for several talks given by Dr. Barnette, files containing correspondence with graduate students, and some correspondence concerning University matters (departmental recruiting, the emeritus college, faculty club, etc).


  • 1950-1979


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The bulk of W. Leslie Barnette's papers are open for research.

Student records, however, are closed for research until 2150.


Copyright is held by the State University of New York at Buffalo, University Archives. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Note

Born on July 8, 1910, W. (Warren) Leslie Barnett, Jr., an accomplished classical pianist and professor interested in the psychology of vocational behavior, graduated from Lafayette High School in 1928. He received his bachelor's degree from University of Buffalo in 1932. While completing his Masters degree, which he received from the University of Buffalo in 1936, he taught at Buffalo Collegiate Center and the State Teachers College, Buffalo and worked as an assistant in the University of Buffalo Personnel Office during recesses. The title of his Masters thesis (held in the Health Sciences Library) is "Prediction of Mechanical Ability and Relation to Success in Dentistry".

During World War II, Barnette served in the Army and rose to the rank of First Lieutenant. He served as a Psychological Research Assistant at the San Antonio Cadet Center (1942-1943) and an Occupational Rehabilitation Counselor at Camp Lee, Virginia, and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland (1943-1944). Between 1944-1946 he was a member of the Far East Planning Staff of the Office of Strategic Services, as well as the Assistant Operational Planning Officer for South-east Asia, Ceylon, and Singapore and the Chief of Research and Analysis Branch for those same areas. He was discharged in 1946.

While a PhD candidate at New York University (NYU), Barnette taught psychology courses at both NYU and Pace College. His dissertation, entitled "Occupational Aptitude Patterns of Counseled Veterans", was completed in 1949.

In 1950, Barnette took a position as Assistant Professor in the psychology department of the University of Buffalo. He also took on the post of Director of the Veterans Testing and Guidance Bureau (which was later known as the Vocational Counseling Center) at that time. Besides being a professor of psychology, Barnette was also a certified Psychologist and School Psychologist in New York State.

During the 1952-1953 academic year Barnette took at leave of absence from the University of Buffalo. He traveled to India on a Fulbright Award to serve as Visiting Professor in Psychology and Vocational Guidance at Central Institute Education, Delhi, India. During his time there he taught and sponsored graduate research in psychological testing and vocational guidance and conducted a workshop for the Indian Ministry of Education on aptitude testing, which led to a serious of recommendations for further work in India over the next few years. During the trip, Barnette also spent a week in Damascus at the invitation of US Officials to deliver lectures in psychology and vocational guidance and to consult with the staff of the Syrian University.

From 1953 to 1955 Barnette held the position of Director of the Student Counseling Center within the Office of the Dean of Students. He was appointed to rank of Associate Professor, Psychology in 1954 and Full Professor, Psychology in 1958. In addition, in 1955, he was appointed to the faculty of the Graduate School. During the 1963-1964 academic year Barnette took another leave of absence for a second Fulbright in India as a consultant to the United States Education Foundation in New Delhi. Barnette received a Chancellor's Award for Excellence in teaching 1977. He also received a Milton Plesur Award for Excellence in Teaching that same year.

Barnette died unexpectedly on April 11, 1980 at the age of 69.

He was a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues. He was also a member of the Eastern Psychological Association, the New York State Psychological Association, the American Personnel and Guidance Association, the Association of Measurement and Evaluation in Guidance, Phi Beta Kappa honor society, the Psychological Association of Eastern New York, the Western New York Personnel and Guidance Association, and the American Association of University Professors. Barnette also served on the Board of Directors of the University at Buffalo Faculty Club.

He was also active in the community. He served as the Vice President and Vice-Chairman of the Buffalo Chamber Music Society. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Young Audiences, Inc. , the National Citizens Committee for Broadcasting, New York City, and the Zoological Society of Buffalo.


.25 Linear Feet (1 half box)


The papers of W. Leslie Barnette, a professor of Psychology and accomplished classical pianist, document his life and work during the thirty years he was employed at the University at Buffalo.


The collection is organized alphabetically and the integrity of the original folders, as well as their titles, was maintained whenever possible.

Acquisition Information

The University Archives received Dr. Barnette's papers shortly after his death in 1980. One accession (number 80-029) was received on September 3, 1980 from Dr. Ira Cohen of the Psychology Department.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources

OH-41 Recording of Barnette's memorial service.
03/01/291 Faculty Club records (1953-1955, 1960's)

Processing Information

Processed by Karen Morse, December 2003.


Finding Aid for the W. Leslie Barnette, Jr. papers
Finding aid prepared by Karen Morse.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)