Guide to the Madge Sills Hamlin Collection 1921-1984 MG 1634


Descriptive Summary
Biographical Note
Scope and Content Note
Access Points
Related Material
Administrative Information

Container List

Madge Sills Hamlin Collection

Guide to the Madge Sills Hamlin Collection
MG 1634
The New Jersey Historical Society
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
(973) 596-8500 x249
© 2005 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, PublisherInventory prepared by Abby Zackin.

Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. August 2005. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Hamlin, Madge Sills
Title: Madge Sills Hamlin Collection
Dates: 1921-1984
Abstract: This collection consists of notes, letters, photographs, brochures and other documents pertaining to educator Madge Sills Hamlin, her travels abroad, and the school she founded and ran in the 1930s and 1940s, the Hamlin School of Fair Lawn, NJ.
Quantity: 1.33 linear ft. (4 boxes)
Collection Number: MG 1634

Biographical Note

Madge Sills Hamlin was the daughter of James Everett Sills and Fannie Montgomery Smith Sills, both originally from Brunswick County, Virginia. Sills Hamlin was born in Newport News, Virginia in 1897 and attended Greensboro College in North Carolina. After graduating college, Sills Hamlin traveled throughout Europe and Asia for a three year “trip around the world”, most notably living and teaching in Japan for over a year. During her travels, she took great interest in the people, history and folklore of these places and in her later life credits her travels for being an invaluable asset in her work as an educator.

After she returned to the United States, she attended graduate school at Columbia University to attain a degree in education. She received her Master’s Degree in 1928. In 1932, she and her husband, Paul Mahlon Hamlin, founded the Hamlin School, located at 41 Morlot Ave. in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, a progressive private school for K-12 students. The school seems to have been in operation from the 1930s to the mid-1950s. In 1957 to 1958 she again visited Japan. In 1958, she established the Paul Mahlon Hamlin Award to perpetuate the lifelong interest in scholarship of her husband, a Rutgers University professor emeritus of political science. Madge Sills Hamlin died in 1988.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of the notes and letters written by Sills Hamlin about her travels, newspaper articles both collected by her and reprinting her journal entries, travel brochures and pamphlets, business cards, photographs of the workings of the Hamlin school and of Sills Hamlin’s time abroad, personal financial statements, resumes and letters of recommendation, an oversized photo-album of Sills Hamlin’s travels and documents pertaining to the Hamlin school including correspondence and educational and promotional material.

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Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.

Use Restrictions

Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.

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Access Points

The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, and forms documented in this collection.
Subject Names:
Buck, Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973.
Hamlin, Madge Sills, 1897-1988.
Hamlin, Madge Sills, 1897-1988–Travel.
Hamlin, Paul M.(Paul Mahlon), b. 1896.
Subject Organizations:
Hamlin School (Fair Lawn, N.J.)
Subject Topics:
Education–New Jersey.
Educators–New Jersey.
Private schools–Administration.
Private schools–Curricula.
Private schools–New Jersey–Fair Lawn.
School administrators–New Jersey–Fair Lawn.
School management and organization–New Jersey–Fair Lawn.
Schools–New Jersey–Fair Lawn.
Women educators–New Jersey.
Subject Places:
Asia–Description and travel.
Austria–Description and travel.
China–Description and travel.
Egypt–Description and travel.
Europe–Description and travel.
Fair Lawn (N.J.)
India–Description and travel.
Italy–Description and travel.
Japan–Description and travel.
Turkey–Description and travel.
Document Types:
Business cards.
Letters (Correspondence)
Photo albums.
Photography, Travel.
Promotional Materials.

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Related Material

Manuscript Group 1163, Whittier House Social Settlement.

Manuscript Group 1525, Leo Litzky Collection.

Manuscript Group 1562, Hoboken Academy Report Cards.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 1634, Madge Sills Hamlin Collection, The New Jersey Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

Donated by James B. Cook, Jr., 2003.

Processing Information

Some of the documents, mostly the hand-written notes, are slightly brittle; these documents should be handled with care.

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Container List

Madge Sills Hamlin Collection

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Travel notes – typed and dated 1921-1958
1 2 Travel notes – typed n.d.
1 3 Travel notes – handwritten and bound n.d.
1 4 Travel notes – handwritten and bound n.d.
1 5 Travel notes – handwritten and loose, some written on hotel stationery n.d.
1 6 Travel notes – handwritten, loose and dated, some written on hotel stationery 1921-1958
1 7 Leather bound travel diary – handwritten and dated, travels to Europe, Middle East, Asia 1957-1958
1 8 Travel letters and envelopes- to James Sills and Fannie Smith Sills, map of Ceylon 1921-1924
1 9 Travel letters – to Gladys Howe 1957-1958
1 10 Travel letters – to Paul and Betty Hamlin 1957-1958
1 11 Travel letters – unaddressed and misc. n.d. 1926-1954
1 12 Travel letters – addressed to Madge Sills Hamlin 1921-1958
Box Folder Title Date
2 1 Travel brochures – Japan n.d.
2 1 Travel brochures – Japan n.d.
2 2 Travel brochures – Japan n.d.
2 3 Travel brochures/informational pamphlets -Turkey, Egypt, India, China, Taiwan 1920s-1970s
2 4 Business cards/addresses n.d.
2 5 Photographs taken in China and Japan ca. 1920s-1950s
2 6 Letters – addressed to Madge Sills Hamlin, personal 1978-1984
2 7 Resumes/Transcripts/Letters of Recommendation 1933-1959
2 8 Letters of Credit; Receipts for parcels received 1923-1958
2 9 Miscellaneous: Notes, Menu; Cut-outs of illustrations, poems n.d.
Box Folder Title Date
3 1 Hamlin School – curricular material n.d.
3 2 Hamlin School – printed promotional material n.d.
3 3 Hamlin School – rough drafts for speeches or brochures n.d.
3 4 Hamlin School – mass circulated letters 1941-1942
3 5 Hamlin School – handwritten/typed notes n.d.
3 6 Hamlin School – letters to Madge Sills Hamlin 1930-1946
3 7 Hamlin School – letters from Madge Sills Hamlin, including evaluations of teachers n.d.
3 8 Hamlin School – educational materials ca. 1931-1950
3 9 Hamlin School – photographs taken of students at Hamlin School, photograph of Pearl S. Buck. ca. 1930s-1940s
Box Folder Title Date
4 1 Photographs -mounted, taken by photo studios, mostly of Japanese women. n.d.
4 2 Photocopies of newspaper clippings n.d.
4 3 Photograph album: with family photographs taken of people on a ship, photographs taken in the United States, Japan & postcards of Thailand and Japan. n.d.

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