Papers of Susan Isaacs

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Personalia; a little correspondence relating to students at the Institute of Education, University of London, 1933-1939; press cuttings relating to her writings as 'Ursula Wise' from the journals Nursery World and Home and School, 1929-1940; a few published papers and drafts

Administrative / Biographical History

Susan Isaacs (1885-1948) née Fairhurst, trained as a teacher and gained a degree in philosophy from Manchester University in 1912. Following a period as a research student at the Psychological Laboratory, Cambridge, she was Lecturer at Darlington Training College, 1913-1914 and then lecturer in logic, Manchester University, 1914-1915. Between 1924 and 1927 she was Head of Malting House School, Cambridge, and experimental school which fostered the individual development of children. Isaacs also trained and practised as a psychoanalyst. In 1933 she became the first Head of the Department of Child Development at the Institute of Education, University of London, where she established an advanced course in child development for teachers of young children. Between 1929 and 1940 she was also an 'agony aunt' under the pseudonym of 'Ursula Wise', replying to readers' problems in child care journals. She married twice, firstly to William Brierley and secondly (in 1922) to Nathan Isaacs.

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature of Reader Application Form.

Other Finding Aids

Electronic and paper catalogues.

Archivist's Note

Used IoE online catalogue and 2002 Genesis description. Submitted to Archives Hub as part of the Genesis 2009 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

A reader wishing to publish any quotation of information, including pictorial, derived from any archive material must apply in writing for prior permission from the Archivist or other appropriate person(s) as indicated by the Archivist. A limited number of photocopies may be supplied at the discretion of the Archivist.

Related Material

The papers of Susan's husband, Nathan Isaacs, are also held (DC/NI) and there is material relating to her work in the Department of Child Development in the records of the Institute of Education (IE) and in the papers of Dorothy Gardner (DC/DG). Further papers of Susan Isaacs are held by the Institute of Psychoanalysis, and in the British and Foreign School Society Archives at Brunel University.