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Hampton Institute Files, 1902-1997

Call Number: MS 1755

Scope and Contents

Arranged alphabetically, Hampton Institute (HI) Files include correspondence, memoranda, clippings, minutes, reports and other materials documenting Albert Howe Jr.'s tenure on the Board of Trustees of Hampton Institute, which he served from 1955 to 1980. As a member and chair (1957-1971) of the board, Howe was involved in and/or informed of many facets of the administration of Hampton, and the records in this series give substantive and substantial documentation of the school during this time period.

Nine folders of general correspondence are listed at the beginning of the series and arranged chronologically, but correspondence of a topical nature is interspersed throughout the records. Howe also kept separate files of correspondence and other materials for the presidents of Hampton with whom he served, including William Harvey, Jerome Holland, Roy Hudson, and Alonzo Moron, although letters to and from these men can also be found among the general correspondence. The general correspondence also includes letters to and from other Hampton officials and board members, including the anthropologist Margaret Mead, who served on the board with Howe. Other Mead materials are commingled among the Board of Trustees and "Howe Memorandum" sections of the series.

The bulk of the other records fall under one of the following headings: Board of Trustees; the "Howe Memorandum," and Graham, Edward Kidder. The most substantive records documenting the work of the Board of Trustees are located in the meetings and committee records. Other board materials are listed under the "Howe Memorandum." In 1976, Howe drafted a memorandum proposing that Hampton reorient its programs and mission towards the establishment of an academically rigorous preparatory school, aimed at readying African-American youth for admission to competitive colleges and universities. The idea was met with resistance and caused great controversy. The section includes materials that document the development of and reaction to the memorandum.

In the late 1960s, Edward Kidder Graham was commissioned to write a history of Hampton, which was not subsequently published. Filed under Graham, the series includes two drafts of the work, along with correspondence and research materials that give detailed information on the history of the institute.


  • 1902-1997


Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection:

The bulk of the materials are open for research. Accession 2018-M-0015 contains two student papers which are restricted until 1 January 2087 as established by Yale Corporation regulations

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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