Ryland (Gladys) papers Edit


Finding Aid Author
Philip Meyer and Rebecca Hirsch
Finding Aid Date
2011 August
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


  • 1930 – 1970 (Creation)
  • 1930 – 1945 (Creation)


  • 4.13 Linear Feet (Whole)
    8 boxes

Agent Links



  • Abstract

    Materials pertaining to group dances collected by the social worker Gladys Ryland in the 1930s and 1940s.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    The collection contains published materials; researchers are reminded of the copyright restrictions imposed by publishers on reusing their articles and parts of books. It is the responsibility of researchers to acquire permission from publishers when reusing such materials. The copyright to unpublished materials belongs to the heirs of the writers. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], Gladys Ryland papers, Collection no. 0186, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

  • Scope and Content

    This collection contains the papers of Gladys Ryland. These papers include sheet music, periodicals, manuscripts of Ms. Ryland's academic writing, books, booklets, scrapbook pages, and photographs. There is also a small set of index cards with sheet music and choreographic descriptions and illustrations for various dances and dance productions. Though Ryland had earned degrees in education and was a social worker by trade, most of the collection relates directly to dance, which she used extensively in her practice of group social work.

  • Biographical Note

    Gladys Ryland was born on June 30, 1900 in Pine Bluff, North Carolina to Henry and Effie Ryland and grew up in the coal towns of Western Pennsylvania. Interested in the connection between physical activity and morale, she began studying physical education in Battle Creek, Michigan. She moved to New York in 1921, where she earned her certificate in physical education in 1923 and moved to Chicago, where she taught classes in sports and dance to women at the YWCA in the Loop. After stints at YWCAs in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Buffalo, New York, she returned to New York City in 1927, where she earned a B.S. in education from New York University.

    Ryland returned to Chicago in 1931 to work as the Health Education Director at the West Side YWCA. She continued, as she would for most of her life, to teach classes in sports and dance. In 1937, she joined the faculty of Western Reserve University's School of Applied Social Sciences and then moved to the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, eventually becoming an assistant professor and earning a master's degree in education in the Graduate School of Education. In Pittsburgh, Ryland began to work seriously on developing a theory of group work. In 1949, she and Gertrude Wilson published their seminal work, the textbook Social Work Group Practice. In 1950, she moved to Tulane University, where she continued to teach and conduct group work in the community.

    In 1965, Ryland retired to the mountains of Northern California with her lifelong friend, Ms. Wilson. She passed away on April 3, 1980.

  • Separated Materials

    A list of the published items removed from this collection is attached to its accession record. These items can now be found in USC's online public access catalog, Homer.

  • Acquisition

    Donated by Gladys Ryland.