The Robert Earl Butts Papers document Butts’ life and work as an academic in the field of scientific philosophy during the latter half of the twentieth century. Biographical materials consist of documents concerning Butts’ personal life as a son, brother, husband, father, and friend. There is particular emphasis on his early life in Pennsylvania and his education at Manheim Township High School, with a less significant amount of memorabilia relating to his later life.
The larger body of professional papers contains material concerning Butts’ active involvement in his community of academic peers. He played a leadership role in a number of national and international professional organizations and conferences, as well as writing and editing numerous publications and serving as a mentor to many of his peers and students. His papers document these and other functions that he carried out as a faculty member and philosopher.
The collection consists primarily of paper documents housed in legal-sized document boxes. Box 7 contains photographs, mostly family portraits from Butts’ early life. Box 28 contains a variety of alternative media, mainly cassette tapes and floppy disks, much of the content of which is unknown. Box 29 contains oversized documents such as diplomas and certificates. Materials are arranged either chronologically or alphabetically where possible. Untitled, undated, or miscellaneous materials are generally found at the end of the folder or file group. Additional scope and content notes are provided at the series and subseries level.