Stewart M. Lee papers

Identity elements

Reference code

US US kmk P1993.09

Level of description



Stewart M. Lee papers


  • 1928-1996 (Creation)


27.50 Linear Feet, 20.00 Boxes

Post-Fire Oversize Extent:
Oversize Box 15 (20.5 x 24.5): 509: 20/29/3

Name of creator


Biographical history

Dr. Stewart Munro Lee (1925-2007) was born on August 7, 1925, Beaver Falls, PA. He served in the Navy during World War II (1943-1946). On June 11, 1947, he married Ann Gilchrist. He received his B.A. in Economics from Geneva College in 1949, and his M. A. and Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Lee made a significant contribution to economics on a regional and national level. He testified many times in the consumer interest before House and Senate Committees and government agencies in Washington, D.C. Minutes of these sessions refer to Dr. Lee as an authority in the field of consumer economics.
In June 1964, Dr. Lee was selected as a delegate of the American Council on Consumer Interests to the biennial congresses of the International Organization of Consumers Union held in Oslo, Norway. He was also selected to attend the Fourth Biennial Conference held in Nathanya, Israel in June 1966 and as a delegate to the Fifth Biennial Conference at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York in 1968.
In 1978, Dr. Lee was a consumer advisor in the United States delegation to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Switzerland. He was also a delegate to the conference in Baden, Austria; Stockholm, Sweden; London, England; and Madrid Spain.
Dr. Lee co-authored the book Economics for the Consumer published in 1967 by the American Book Company.
In 1989, Dr. Lee was part of the New Start: Consumer Insurance Project. New Start’s aim was to educate consumers about the benefits of no-fault automobile insurance and to work for its acceptance as a solution to escalating insurance costs and the numerous auto-personal injury lawsuits that were clogging the nation’s courts. After the members did some research, New Start amended its proposal to suggest a Personal Protection Policy designed to allow consumers to choose the coverage they personally needed.
Although Dr. Lee was a professor at Geneva College, he also taught classes at other colleges and universities, presented lectures, and participated in panel discussions.
Stewart M. Lee died on July 1, 2007.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection includes biographical material, correspondence, material by subject, printed material, photographs, cassette tapes, computer disks, VHS tapes, reel-to-reel film, and artifacts.  The biographical material consists of newspaper clippings about Stewart M. Lee and his work in the consumer interest.  Correspondence is arranged alphabetically and includes letters from such people as Elizabeth Hanford Dole, Betty Furness, Virginia Knauer, Nelson D. Rockefeller, and Caspar Weinberger.
The Subject series is arranged in alphabetical order with fair trade making up the bulk of the series.  Other topics in this series include product advertisement, consumer interest, Ralph Nader, packaging deceptions, President Ronald Reagan's consumer activity, President George Bush's consumer activity, President Jimmy Carter's consumer activity, price fixing, alcohol and tobacco, trading stamps, weights, and measures, and warranties.  The printed material is arranged in alphabetical order according to the type of material and newsletters make up the bulk of this series. Some newsletters included are Better Business News & Views, COCO Intercom, The Consumer Affairs Letter,  Consumer News, The Insurance Forum, Status Report, World Consumer.
Photographs include advertisements for the 1986 Super Bowl games.  The Media series includes consumer information such as buying habits, money management, real estate tips, becoming an informed shopper, buying furniture, buying vehicles, buying a home, seat belt safety, airbag safety, helmet laws, and brand names.
Oversize items are posters explaining the Universal Product Code (UPC), grades for best and second best, and the size of olives.
The Artifacts include examples of products that Dr. Lee took with him when doing presentations or testifying before the House, Congress, and other government agencies.  Some artifacts included are cereal boxes, laundry detergent boxes, toothpaste boxes, empty vegetable cans, empty soda cans, plastic packaging for corn chips, product labels for bathroom tissue, and the suitcase he used to carry the items in.
The Addition Series consists of boxes 16-20 and includes biographical information, literary works, subjects, photographs, and media.  Some topics of interest are Amway Case, Consumer Week, and a photograph of President Gerald Ford.

System of arrangement

This collection is housed in 20 boxes and arranged into 9 series by type of material: 1) Biographical, 1959-1996, undated; 2) Correspondence, 1965-1990; 3) Subject, 1950-1993; 4) Printed Material, 1928-1993, undated; 5) Photographs, 1980-1981, 1983, 1985, 1990; 6) Media, 1972-1992, undated; 7) Oversize, 1971, 1976-1977, undated; 8) Artifacts, 1963-1992, undated; 9) Addition-Biographical, Literary Works, Subjects, Photographs, Media (VHS tape and cassette tapes), 1947-1993, undated.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

All materials are open for research.

Physical access

Notice of at least three working days is required to ensure materials are ready.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Restrictions may apply to digital files and audiovisual materials. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and the libel laws as they apply.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

The collection came from the creator.

Immediate source of acquisition

Stewart M. Lee donated the collection on August 9, 1990, and sent accruals in the following six years.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Acquired because it documents, materials, and artifacts enhances the Consumer Movement Archives.


Lee sent additional documents annually until 1996.

Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related Materials: The following sources provide additional Consumer Movement information:
Agan (Anna Tessie) Papers
American Council on Consumer Interests
American Council on Consumer Interests (Metzen Addition)
Americans for Fairness in Lending
Brooks (Thomas) Collection
Brunn (George) Collection
Dartland (Walter T.) papers
Kiesling (Roy) Papers
Mason (Florence) Collection
Meyer (Louis S.) Papers
Morse (Richard L. D.) Papers
National Consumer Law center (NCLC) Records
Shields (Currin V.) Papers
Wilner (Dorothy K.) Papers
Related Materials URL:

Related descriptions

Specialized notes

  • Citation: [Item title], [item date], Stewart M. Lee papers, Box [number], Folder [number or title], Consumer Movement Archives, Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

Alternative identifier(s)

Archon Collection ID


Description control element

Rules or conventions

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Sources used

Archivist's note

Processing assistant Cynthia A. Harris did the archival processing at the folder level in 2013 and 2014. She added accrued materials in 2015.

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Accession area