Peace Corps Collection

Identifier: MSS.0328

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content Note

In 1961 Dr. Nicholas Hobbs, Professor of Psychology at George Peabody College for Teachers, was appointed as the Director of Recruitment and in 1962 as the Director of Research for the Peace Corps. This collection consists of the correspondence these positions required as well as the materials related to the collaborative efforts of Dr. Hobbs and colleagues around the country to develop test materials and evaluation techniques in order to recruit, select, and retain the best candidates for the Peace Corps. As these materials reveal, candidates were subjected to extensive testing and evaluation before selection. After selection the Peace Corps volunteers continued to be evaluated while serving in their assignments around the world. Various types of carefully researched and developed testing materials are in the collection, most notably Dr. Hobbs’s Overseas Experience Battery (Inventory).

Also included are materials on the Peace Corps projects in 35 countries, ranging from Afghanistan to Venezuela. The two boxes of correspondence include many letters from Sergent Shriver, Director of the Peace Corps. Because this was a federal government program, there are also numerous forms concerning guidelines, such as how to request funding or how to submit research proposals


  • multiple

Language of Materials


Biographical Sketch

Nicholas Hobbs was born March 13, 1915 in Greenville, South Carolina. He earned an A.B. at The Citadel in 1936, an M.A. at Ohio State University in 1938, and at the same institution, a Ph. D in 1946. From 1941 to 1946 he served in the United States Army Air Force, and in 1949 he married Mary M. Thompson. The couple had one son, Nicholas Thompson Hobbs. Dr. Hobbs taught at Riverside Military Academy (1936-1937) and Spartanburg High School (1937–1938) before beginning his college teaching career at Columbia Teachers College and later Louisiana State University.

Dr. Hobbs joined the faculty of George Peabody College for Teachers in 1951. He was especially interested in the lives of children and was a leader in the development over 20 years of Project Re-ED, a program for emotionally disturbed children. He documented this work in his book The Troubled and Troubling Child. In 1961, in addition to his faculty responsibilities, he accepted the position of Director of Recruitment, and then in 1962, Director of Research for the Peace Corps. He established the Kennedy Center for the Study of Families and Children at the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies. Between 1967 and 1975 he was a Provost of Vanderbilt University. During his career, he also served as President of the Southeastern Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association, receiving from the latter group two awards for distinguished contributions to public service.

Nicholas Hobbs died on January 23, 1983, and on January 30 a Celebration of the Life of Nicholas Hobbs was held at the Benton Chapel on the Vanderbilt campus.


5 Linear Feet

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives

Finding Aid for the Peace Corps Collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

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