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E.M. Standing Collection on the Montessori Method

Identifier: Mss 001

Scope and Contents

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 1920’s. 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.


  • 1895-1980
  • Majority of material found within 1939 - 1970


Language of Materials

Some materials are in Italian, French, Spanish and Latin.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research.

Biographical / Historical

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 at the invitation of William J. Codd, SJ, Professor of Education at Seattle University, Standing came out of retirement from his home in Cork County, Ireland. Originally, Standing was invited to the university to help teach a special four-week summer session on Montessori education, instead Standing and Fr. Codd inaugurated 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).


18.5 Linear Feet (17 boxes and 1 oversized box )


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.


Arranged in 11 series: I. Correspondence. II. Literary productions. III. Lecture transcripts. IV. Subject files. V. Legal and financial documents. VI. Datebooks and address books. VII. Article and clipping files. VIII. Photographic material. IX. Religious, instructional and general ephemera. X. Sound recordings. XI. Educational pamphlets and monographic materials.

Other Finding Aids

A folder-level inventory of this collection is available.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

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

Separated Materials

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

Guide to the E.M. Standing Collection on the Montessori Method
Mary Linden Sepulveda
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
Funding for preparing the finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Repository Details

Part of the Seattle University, Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons, Special Collections Repository

901 12th Avenue
Seattle WA 98122-1090 USA