Log In | Contact Us| View Cart (0)
Browse: Collections Digital Content Subjects Creators Record Groups

Frank and Lillian Gilbreth papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Diaries and Scrapbooks





Research Materials

Audio Visual

Flow Carts

Awards and Artifacts

Printed Materials

Family & Personal Life


Oversized Materials

James S. Perkins

Contact us about this collection

Frank and Lillian Gilbreth papers, 1869-2000 | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

By Joanne Mendes, Archives Assistant

Printer-friendly Printer-friendly | Email Us Contact Us About This Collection

Collection Overview

Title: Frank and Lillian Gilbreth papers, 1869-2000Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates:1949-1968

Primary Creator: Gilbreth, Lillian Moller (1878-1972)

Other Creators: Gilbreth, Frank Bunker (1868 -1924)

Extent: 83.5 Cubic feet. More info below.


The collection is arranged into fourteen series:

Diaries and Scrapbooks, ca. 1895-1967

Correspondence, ca. 1906-1970

Clippings, ca. 1913-1996

Publications, ca. 1904-1967

Conferences, ca. 1924-1972

Research Materials, ca. 1873-1968

Audio Visual, ca. 1915-1979

Flow Carts, ca. 1908-1938

Awards and Artifacts, ca. 1917-1984

Printed Materials, ca. 1876-1988

Family & Personal Life, ca. 1864-1972

Photographs, ca. 1864-2000

Oversized Materials, ca. 1920-1978

James S. Perkins, ca. 1940-1995

Date Acquired: 00/00/1972

Subjects: Carey, Ernestine Gilbreth, 1908-2006, Disabled veterans, Elliott, Edward C. (Edward Charles), 1874-1960, Factory management, Gantt, Henry Laurence, 1861-1919, General Electric Company, Gilbreth, Frank and Lillian, Gilbreth, Frank Bunker, 1868-1924, Gilbreth, Frank Jr., 1911-2001, Gilbreth, Inc., Gilbreth, Lillian Moller, 1878-1972, Gilbreth and Company, Gilbreth Contractors, Home economics, Hovde, Frederick L., 1908-1983, Industrial engineering, Industrial management, Kitchens, Motion Study, New England Butt Company, People with disabilities, Perkins, James S., d. 2002, Potter, A. A. (Andrey Abraham), 1882-1979, Shaw, Anne G., Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 1856-1915, Time management, Waseda University, Women's Archives at Purdue University, Women engineers

Forms of Material: Blueprints, Clippings (Information artifacts), Flow charts, Pamphlets, Photographic prints, Scrapbooks, Sound recordings

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Gilbreth Papers documents the professional and personal lives of Frank Gilbreth and Lillian Gilbreth. The collection consists of personal papers, letters, correspondence, photographs, and other memorabilia that Lillian Gilbreth collected during her life regarding her youth, marriage, family, and career.

Biographical Note

Lillian Evelyn Moller was born May 24, 1878 in Oakland, California to William Moller, a successful plumbing business owner, and Annie Delger Moller. The oldest surviving daughter of nine children, Lillian became adept at aiding her often ailing mother in the management of a large well-to-do household. A shy child, Lillian was home-schooled by her mother until she was nine. Once in school, Lillian excelled at her studies and ended up graduating high school with straight As. In 1896, she entered the University of California and became the first woman in the university's history to deliver a commencement address when she graduated in 1900. The following fall, Lillian moved to New York to start her graduate work at Columbia University. An illness forced her to return to California but in 1901 she returned to the University of California and earned a master's degree in literature. In the spring of 1903, Lillian, along with a group of friends, set out for the East Coast to begin a six month tour of Europe. They arrived in Boston and had a few days to sightsee before boarding their ship. One of her friends, Minnie Bunker, introduced Lillian to her cousin, Frank Bunker Gilbreth. Frank, a confirmed bachelor, became infatuated with Lillian and was waiting at the dock when her ship returned. Six months after their first meeting he proposed and on October 19, 1904 Frank and Lillian were married in the living room of her parents home in Oakland, California.

Subject/Index Terms

Carey, Ernestine Gilbreth, 1908-2006
Disabled veterans
Elliott, Edward C. (Edward Charles), 1874-1960
Factory management
Gantt, Henry Laurence, 1861-1919
General Electric Company
Gilbreth, Frank and Lillian
Gilbreth, Frank Bunker, 1868-1924
Gilbreth, Frank Jr., 1911-2001
Gilbreth, Inc.
Gilbreth, Lillian Moller, 1878-1972
Gilbreth and Company
Gilbreth Contractors
Home economics
Hovde, Frederick L., 1908-1983
Industrial engineering
Industrial management
Motion Study
New England Butt Company
People with disabilities
Perkins, James S., d. 2002
Potter, A. A. (Andrey Abraham), 1882-1979
Shaw, Anne G.
Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 1856-1915
Time management
Waseda University
Women's Archives at Purdue University
Women engineers

Administrative Information

Repository: Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Alternate Extent Statement: 126 boxes

Access Restrictions: The majority of the Gilbreth Papers have no access restrictions. A small portion of the materials have been restricted due to donor request; prior consent from the Gilbreth family is required before viewing.

Use Restrictions: Copyright and literary rights are held by the Gilbreth family. Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Gilbreth family.

Physical Access Note: Collection is open for research. Sections of the collection are stored offsite; 24 hours notice is required to access these materials. Due to the extremely fragile nature of the original motion picture films, they are inaccessible until the originals can be restored and duplicated. The following films have been restored and duplicated, and can be accessed on DVD or VHS video tape: Ball Brothers Mason Jars Study, Odds and Ends #2, Odds and Ends #3, The Quest for the One Best Way, Gilbreth Motion Study Sequences, and Dr. Lillian Gilbreth Lecture, International Development in Industrial Engineering. All of the remaining films are currently inaccessible. Funding is currently being sought to restore these films. At this time, the Gilbreth sound recordings are inaccessible due to their fragile condition.

Acquisition Source: Gilbreth family

Acquisition Method: The Gilbreth Papers were donated to Purdue University by the Gilbreth family following the death of Lillian M. Gilbreth in 1972. Additional materials have been added by the family over the years. James S. Perkins donated his collection of Gilbreth compilation films and motion study materials he compiled with Lillian Gilbreth. These materials were added as a separate series to the collection in 1994.

Original/Copies Note: For more information please see http://e-archives.lib.purdue.edu/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=/gilbreth.

Related Materials:

MSP 8, Gilbreth Library of Management Research and Professional papers, 1845-1941

The Gilbreth Book Library located with Purdue University's School of Industrial Engineering

A. A. Potter Papers

UA 2.06, Edward C. Elliot papers

Alice Rice Cook papers

Oral history interviews with the Gilbreth children, located at the University of Oklahoma: http://libraries.ou.edu/media/basshist/default.aspx?authorId=29

For more information please see http://www4.lib.purdue.edu/archon/index.php?p=collections/controlcard&id=25&q=gilbreth.

Preferred Citation: MSP 7, Frank and Lillian Gilbreth papers, Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries

Processing Information: The bulk of the collection was shipped to the university in 1972; additional materials sent by the family have continued to be added to the collection over the years. The collection was arranged by library staff in collaboration with Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. A large portion of materials were originally classified as restricted by the Gilbreth family and stored separately from the collection. In 2006, the restrictions were lifted and the materials were incorporated into the collection. A small portion of materials have been kept on restricted access by library staff at the request of the Gilbreth family.

Other Note: Please see the attached pdf finding aid for the most updated version.

Other URL: http://collections.lib.purdue.edu/fa/pdf/Gilbreth_papers_MSP7.pdf

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Diaries and Scrapbooks, ca. 1895-1967],
[Series 2: Correspondence, ca. 1906-1970],
[Series 3: Clippings, ca. 1913-1996],
[Series 4: Publications, ca. 1904-1967],
[Series 5: Conferences, ca. 1924-1972],
[Series 6: Research Materials, ca. 1873-1968],
[Series 7: Audio Visual, ca. 1915-1979],
[Series 8: Flow Carts, ca. 1908-1938],
[Series 9: Awards and Artifacts, ca. 1917-1984],
[Series 10: Printed Materials, ca. 1876-1988],
[Series 11: Family & Personal Life, ca. 1864-1972],
[Series 12: Photographs, ca. 1864-2000],
[Series 13: Oversized Materials, ca. 1920-1978],
[Series 14: James S. Perkins, ca. 1940-1995],