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China American Schools Collection

 Collection
Call Number: RG 209

Scope and Contents

This collection contains documentation of three schools for the children of missionaries and business people in China, and the alumni associations of the schools. Records of the Kuling American School, North China American School, and Peking American School are included in this record group. For documentation of the Shanghai American School and American School Kikungshan, see separate record groups, RG 132 and RG 164. Additional documentation related to Kuling American School, North China American School, and Peking American School can be found scattered among the personal papers of various missionaries held at the Yale Divinity Library. Of particular note are substantive letters written by Flora and Mary Beard in RG 108 that describe their day-to-day work at the North China American School.

The Addendum of 2021 represents the collection of Mary S. Dodge Wang who attended Peking American School and was active in alumni/ae affairs.

Dates

  • 1919-2014

Language of Materials

In English.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts of various individuals who attended the schools, and of their alumni associations.

Arrangement

  1. Series I, Kuling American School, 1933-2013
  2. Series II, North China American School, 1919-2009
  3. Series III, Peking American School, 1920-2013
  4. Series IV. Addendum-2021: Mary S. Dodge Collection

Extent

17 Linear Feet (40 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/divinity.209

Overview

This collection contains documentation of schools for missionary children in China and the alumni associations of the schools. Records of the Kuling American School, North China American School, and Peking American School are included in this record group. For documentation of the Shanghai American School and American School Kikungshan, see separate record groups, RG 132 and RG 164.

Biographical / Historical

The Kuling American School was located atop Mt. Lushan in Jiangxi Province, China in a European-style village of handcrafted stone villas that the missionaries called Kuling (now Guling). The school educated primarily children of missionaries between 1916 and 1937. The Kuling American School Association was established in 1938. It has held many reunions of school graduates and their descendents. For a more detailed history of Kuling American School see the booklet entitled "Lushan Memories" in Box 1.

The North China American School was established in 1914. Prior to that time, children of missionaries in North China were taught at the primary level in "home schools" in Peking [Beijing], T'ungchou {Tongxian], and elsewhere. The local T'ungchou school expanded into North China American School in 1914-1915 when three mission agencies combined their efforts. The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions donated land within their 70-acre compound outside the city walls; the Presbyterian Mission funded a new building, and the Methodist Mission provided an annual grant. Enrollment during the 1914-1915 academic year ranged from 21 to 29. During the summer of 1915, the students split into the day school at Peking American School, and the boarding school at North China American School.

In September 1915 North China American School started classes in its new T'ungchou building, which contained recitation classrooms, sleeping quarters, dining room, and kitchen. Flora Beard was the principal and Mary Louise Beard the other professional teacher. Some courses were taught by other missionaries. In 1917-1918 a girl's dormitory was built with the support of the Presbyterian Mission. The Methodist Mission and the China Medical Board withdrew their annual grants, but the Church of the Brethren became a supporting mission and the future of the school was assured. The North China American School continued in operation until 1941. The North China American School alumni association has had reunions and published the newsletter "Tungchow Re-collected" for many years. More recent reunions were held in conjunction with the Peking American School alumni association.

The Peking American School was a day school for the children of missionaries, as well as those whose families who were in China for business or other reasons. According to a 1936-1937 report, when the Peking American School was in its 18th year of existence, the school was located at 27 Kan Mien Hutung in Peking. A building erected in 1923 had six large classrooms, a kindergarten room, for recitation rooms, an assembly hall with stage and grand piano, science laboratories, and a library of two thousand volumes. The total enrollment for the year 1935-1936 was 239. The Peking American School alumni association has held reunions and publishes a newsletter, "The Dragon".

Processing Information

Place names were modernized in the description, with the name originally used in the collection material or in an older version of the finding aid in parenthesis: e.g. “Beijing (Peking)” or “Benin (Dahomey)”.
Title
Guide to the China American Schools Collection
Author
Divinity Library staff
Date
2015, 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Yale Divinity Library Repository

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