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R. Oliver Gibson papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 17-5F-1283

Scope and Contents

The R. Oliver Gibson papers contain research, writings and journal/magazine articles written by the creator, as well as others, collected during his time as a professor at the University at Buffalo. The Writings series consists of research, drafts and correspondence with editors regarding absenteeism, draft and bound copies of the book Theory Based Method in Educational Administration, bound books and unbound papers of general notes and drafted papers for years spanning Gibson's term at the University, and reference articles on educational administration.

The audiovisual series consists of presentations given at conferences and other gatherings.


  • Majority of material found within 1941-2003
  • 1892-2003


Terms of Access

The R. Oliver Gibson papers are open to researchers.

Special Viewing Instructions

Access to digital material provided via the University Archives’ Digital Archives online repository.


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

Educator and scholar R. Oliver Gibson (1914-2002), also known as “Ollie”, was born in Nova Scotia, Canada and received his BA from Mount Allison University in 1941, and both his MA (1950) and PhD (1955) in Education from Harvard University. He began his teaching career at a one-room schoolhouse in rural Nova Scotia where he later served as an elementary school principal. After service as a research associate and lecturer at Harvard, Gibson joined the University at Buffalo faculty in 1961 as a professor in the department of Educational Administration and continued until his retirement in 1984. Within this time he also served as chair within his department, acted as dean of the School of Social Policy and Community Services (now the School of Social Work), director of the Clinical Conference for School Personnel Administrators, president of the Collegiate Association for the Development of Educational Administration, and president of the Buffalo chapter of United University Professions, the union representing SUNY faculty and professional staff.

Gibson was editor of two significant journals, Urban Education and Educational Administration Abstracts, and published more than 40 journal articles, monographs, and book chapters. His most notable work was The School Personnel Administrator," with Harold C. Hunt of Harvard (1965, Houghton Mifflin). This text was the benchmark against which all other works on personnel administration in education are measured.

Among Gibson’s accolades are his awards of the Queen’s Medal in 1953, the Distinguished Educator Award from the UB chapter of Phi Delta Kappa in 1984 and in 2001 the Graduate School of Education recognized Gibson's lifetime of achievements with the Dedicated Educator Award.


2.08 Linear Feet (1 carton, 2 manuscript boxes)

0.697 Gigabytes (2 files, 2 folders)

Language of Materials



Collection of materials from R. Oliver Gibson, created while Gibson was a professor at the University at Buffalo. The collection includes academic papers, correspondence, journal articles written by R. Oliver Gibson and others, magazines, newspaper articles, DVDs, U-matic cassette tapes and VHS tapes.


The collection is organized into two series: I. Writings, 1892-1998; II. Audiovisual materials, 1984-2003.

Related Digital Material

Acquisition Information

The R. Oliver Gibson collection was donated to the University Archives by Jean Fee, a secretary in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University at Buffalo in April 2016.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Stephanie Barrett, July 2016.
Finding aid encoded by Stephanie Barrett, July 2016.
Digital material processed by Grace Trimper, April 2019. Digital files created by R. Oliver Gibson were transferred to the University Archives on compact discs. Digital content saved on storage media was migrated from the storage media, normalized to preservation and access-standard formats, and transferred to a stable preservation environment following the University Libraries' Digital Preservation guidelines. This collection was processed in accordance with the University Archives processing guidelines/policies. For more information, see


Finding Aid for the R. Oliver Gibson papers
Finding aid prepared by Stephanie Barrett.
12 July 2016
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Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

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