Skip to main content

Morton Keller Papers

 Collection — other: 2 record center boxes
Identifier: 03-MWalB00327A

Scope and Contents

The materials in this collection were created from 1964 to 2001.  The collection consists primarily of correspondence and memoranda related to Keller's various faculty and administrative duties at Brandeis, especially concerning the History Department, the Legal Studies Program, and Presidential Search Committees.


  • 1964-2001, undated
  • Other: Date acquired: 0002-01-07


Conditions Governing Access

Some material is restricted. Access to the collection is in accordance wtih the policies of the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.

Biographical or Historical Information

Morton Keller is Professor Emeritus in History and a scholar of American legal history.  He was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 1, 1929 and earned a B.A. from the University of Rochester in 1950.  Keller then attended Harvard University, where he received an M.A. in 1952 and Ph.D. in 1956.  During that period, he also served as a commissioned officer in the U. S. Navy (1953-1956).  Keller married Phyllis Daytz on September 7, 1951, and they have two children, Robin and Jonathan.   In 1958, Keller took his first academic position as an instructor in History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  After two years there, he went to the University of Pennsylvania as an Assistant (1958-1962) and then Associate (1962-1963) Professor.  Keller spent the 1963-1964 school year as a visiting lecturer in History at Harvard before taking a job at Brandeis the following fall.  He remained at Brandeis for the rest of his career, retiring as Professor Emeritus in 2001.  During his time at Brandeis, Keller also held visiting appointments at the University of Sussex (spring 1968), Yale University (fall 1968), and the University of Oxford (1980-1981).  Keller taught many courses on United States history, political history, legal history, and the state in the Western world.   Professor Keller's scholarly work focused on legal history, especially the period of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.  He has written or edited 15 books, including: In Defense of Yesterday: James M. Beck and the Politics of Conservatism (1958); The Life Insurance Enterprise, 1885-1910: A Study in the Limits of Corporate Power (1963); The Art and Politics of Thomas Nast (1968); Affairs of State: Public Life in Late Nineteenth Century America (1977); Congress, Parties, and Public Policy (1985); Regulating a New Economy: Public Policy and Economic Change in America, 1900-1933 (1990); and Regulating a New Society: Public Policy and Social Change in America, 1900-1933 (1994). Keller has received many awards and fellowships, including: a Guggenheim Fellowship (1959-1960); SSRC Research Award (1959-1960); ACLS Fellowship (1967-1968); Charles Warren Center Fellowship (1967-1968); NEH Senior Fellowship (1974-1975); honrorary degree from Oxford (1980); Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellowship (1980-); NEH Constitutional Fellowship (1986-1987); a major grant from the Spencer Foundation (1955-1998); and the Littleton-Griswold Prize in American Legal History (1995). Keller remains an active scholar.  In 2001, he and his wife, Phyllis, published Making Harvard Modern: The Rise of America's University.  In 2007, Keller published  America's Three Regimes: A New Political History.


2.00 Linear Feet

2.00 Linear Feet


Arranged in one series: 1. Administrative Files: 1964-2001, undated. The materials are organized alphabetically. For more information about each series, please consult the series descriptions in the box and folder listing. 2 record center boxes.

Appraisal Information

Duplicates and materials that dealt with students have been deaccesioned.

Related Materials

For additional sources written by Morton Keller, search the following catalog entry in the Brandeis University Libraries' on-line catalog, LOUIS: Author Search: Keller, Morton

Other Descriptive Information

Addenda to this collection may not be listed in the finding aid, but may be available for research use. Please contact us for more information.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections