Series 1: Kindergarten Letters (Incoming) 1890-1921
Correspondence is addressed to the director of Perkins School for the Blind. The bulk of the correspondence prior to 1900 is from Isabel Greeley, principal matron of the Kindergarten from May 1887 to July 1900. From 1900-1921, Nettie B. Vose, matron of the boys’ school, Julia M. Hill, matron of the girls’ school, and Mary J. Jones, matron of the primary department, provide the majority of administrative correspondence.
Topics include: daily administration of the Kindergarten, including invoices and Ladies Visiting Committee reports; student enrollment and letters from parents; deafblind students, including Thomas Stringer and Willie Elizabeth Robin; updates from teachers regarding special students and open teaching positions; fundraising activities; admittance and discharge papers from Massachusetts General Hospital.
Volume 1: 1890-1891: index, digitized
Note: Letters are addressed to John A. Bennett, acting director of Perkins School for the Blind while Anagnos was travelling.
Volume 2: 1892-1893: index, digitized
Volume 3: 1894. index, digitized
Volume 4: 1895-1896. index, digitized
Volume 5: 1897-1898. index, digitized
Volume 6: 1899-1900. index, digitized
Volume 7: 1901. Note: Boston suffered a smallpox outbreak in 1901, with 1,596 reported cases and 270 deaths. This volume contains a number of donation letters in response to the epidemic. index, digitized
Volume 8: 1902. index, digitized
Volume 9: 1903. Note: Includes a letter from Thomas Stringer. index, digitized
Volume 10: 1904. index, digitized
Volume 11: 1905-1906. index, digitized
Volume 12: 1907-1908. Note: Early letters are addressed to Almorin O. Caswell, acting director after the death of Michael Anagnos in 1906. Correspondence addressed to Edward E. Allen, third director of Perkins School for the Blind, begins in September 1907.
Volume 13: 1909-1910.
Volume 14: July 1911 – June 1913 (Folders 1-4). Note: Correspondence is not bound; it has been rehoused in a file box and is alphabetical by author.
Volume 15: July 1913 – December 1915 (Folders 5-8). Note: Correspondence is not bound; it has been rehoused in a file box and is alphabetical by author.
Volume 16: January 1916 – September 1918 (Folders 9-12). Note: Correspondence is not bound; it has been rehoused in a file box and is alphabetical by author.
Volume 17: October 1918 – June 1921 (Folders 13-16). Note: Correspondence is not bound; it has been rehoused in a file box and is alphabetical by author.
Series 2: Supplementary Correspondence 1887-1906
Correspondence from 1887-1899 is addressed to Isabel Greeley, principal matron of the Kindergarten. From October 1899-1906 correspondence is addressed to Nettie B. Vose, matron of the boys’ school and former assistant to Miss Greeley.
Main correspondents include Perkins director Michael Anagnos; interim director John Bennett; Miss Martha Sawyer, clerk to Anagnos; Dr. G. M. Rowe, superintendent of Boston City Hospital; Thomas Stringer; Effie Thayer, special teacher to Willie Elizabeth Robin; Emily W. Foster, friend and member of the Perkins Corporation.
Topics include: administrative duties, including teacher appointments and field trips; student enrollment and school schedules; updates on students’ health, including discharge papers and status reports from Boston City Hospital; and letters from parents.
Volume 18: 1887-1891.
Volume 19: 1892.
Volume 20: 1893.
Volume 21: 1984.
Volume 22: 1895.
Volume 23: 1896.
Volume 24: 1897.
Volume 25: 1898.
Volume 26: 1899-1901.
Volume 27: 1902-1903.
Volume 28: 1904-1906 (Folders 1-7). Note: Correspondence is not bound; it has been rehoused in a file box and is alphabetical by author.
Series 3: Kindergarten Donations 1888-1907
Incoming correspondence describing enclosing donations to the Kindergarten for the Blind, includes one-time personal donations, reoccurring annual donations, bequests, and external fundraising efforts. Volumes spanning multiple years have coloured paper dividers separating the correspondence by year.
Notable donors include: Samuel Eliot, William Crowninshield Endicott (as William Endicott, Jr.), Isabella Stewart Gardner, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., and Lucy Wheelock.
Volume 29: 1888-1894
Volume 30: 1895
Volume 31: 1896-1897
Volume 32: 1898-1900
Volume 33: 1901-1907
Series 4: Kindergarten Letters (Outgoing) 1884-1921
Letter copying books containing facsimile copies of all correspondence sent from the office of the Director. Volumes 1-4 are copies of handwritten correspondence; Volume 5 contains facsimiles of typewritten letters.
From 1884-1906, correspondence is sent from Michael Anagnos. Correspondence is signed by John A. Bennett, acting director, from June 1889-September 1890, while Anagnos is abroad, with the exception of a handful of personal correspondence written and signed by Anagnos.
Letters are originally written by Anagnos, however, in September 1887 handwriting of letters switches between those written by clerk Martha W. Sawyer, with Anagnos’s signature and Anagnos’s own hand. This is also true of John Bennett’s term as acting director (mix of letters written by him and written by Sawyer). Letters from Martha W. Sawyer (majority of which are addressed to I. Greeley) appear in September 1889.
After Anagnos’s death in 1906, correspondence is signed by Almorin O. Caswell, acting director. Letters from Anagnos’s successor, Edward E. Allen, first appear in July 1907 (Volume 5).
Prior to 1906, the bulk of correspondence is to Isabel Greeley, matron of the Kindergarten and Edward Jackson Jr., treasurer of the Corporation. Volume 1 primarily contains correspondence regarding fundraising and early administrative tasks for the nascent Kindergarten. Later volumes focus on students and enrollment, school administration, and fundraising, both for the Kindergarten and for the Thomas Stringer education fund.
Volume 34: 1884-1889 (originally labeled as 1884 only). Note: Contains 10 pages of correspondence copied from other “letter books” 1882-1883, all relating to the opening of the Kindergarten. Includes an incoming letter dated December 24, 1890 from Bailey & Ayer, removed from its place in the volume and rehoused in a folder. Final correspondence copied into the volume is a “confidential” letter to a Mr. [illegible] from John Bennett, advising that the trustees should not be voting on any construction on the Kindergarten while Anagnos is away.
Volume 35: January 2, 1890 - April 5, 1894. Note: This volume contains a number of letters written between John Bennett, Isabel Greeley, and Martha Sawyer, as well as letters sent to parents, regarding outbreaks of scarlet fever (“scarlatina”) and measles in the Kindergarten. The school was temporarily closed while students were quarantined in local hospitals.
Volume 36: April 6, 1894 – July 12, 1896.
Volume 37: June 22, 1896 – April 4, 1901. Note: Correspondence not written by Anagnos was transcribed by Anna Gardner Fish, clerk of the Institution.
Volume 38: March 4, 1901 – September 12, 1906.
Volume 39: September 15, 1906 – June 27, 1921.