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American Montessori Society Records

 Collection
Identifier: 2006-0230

Scope and Content

The documents in the American Montessori Society (AMS) Records extend from the mid-1950s through the mid-1990s, though the bulk falls between 1960 and 1985. They encompass a variety of subjects and activities, including routine administrative and financial records, research, historical correspondence and writings, official publications, and publicity.

The early history of AMS appears in Series VI, VII, and VIII, which include Board of Directors' minutes, financial reports, articles on the Montessori movement and AMS, and correspondence among key figures in the movement and organization. These papers chronicle the founding of AMS in connection with Whitby School in Greenwich, Connecticut; the difficult relationship between AMS and the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI); and the problems AMS had to confront as it established its reputation and authority as a promoter of Montessori education. Especially important in this regard are the files of Nancy McCormick Rambusch (Series VII), the founder of AMS; this series provides historical information not only about AMS but also about the personal and professional life of Rambusch as revealed in correspondence, research, articles, and interviews.

AMS's minutes and bylaws may be found in Series I and II, respectively. Series II though is incomplete. Minutes are also included in the records found in Series IV and VI. The Administrative Files (Series III) deal with professional and operational administrative aspects of AMS and some of its committees and progrAMS. They include, among other documents, a policy statement (1963), correspondence of the Educational Advisory Committee, fundraising appeals and brochures, drafts of the AMS Management Guide, and correspondence and legal information about evaluating the credentials of foreign Montessori teacher trainees. There are also leases and maintenance correspondence for the AMS offices in New York, and personnel correspondence about insurance progrAMS for Montessori teachers.

The Mailings Scrapbooks in Series IV contain the letters, publicity, publications, and other literature generated by AMS and sent to its members and Board members during 1974-1983, affording a general overview of the society's functions and activities for that period. Series XV also contains scrapbooks of AMS's public-relations efforts as it sought to advertise its mission, and includes lists of AMS publications and materials. AMS also sought outreach through films, and the correspondence, scripts, and publicity for several film projects will be found in Series XVI.

Historical background and information on the Montessori movement and its founder will be found in Series X. Writings by and about Maria Montessori, transcripts of her historic lectures given in California in 1915, and articles about the history and evolution of the method both in general and in the United States are included; many of these papers were donated to the society by Montessori educators and supporters.

As the movement gained momentum, Montessori educators and scholars conducted and published research on a variety of relevant educational topics. The AMS office collected various papers, articles, bibliographies, and abstracts to serve as an in-house resource for Montessori scholarship, and these will be found in Series XI. Although they date largely from the 1960s and thus do not reflect the most current research, they provide a glimpse of the state of American Montessori studies at the time. Series IX contains pedagogical resources that show how Montessori education was actually conducted in the classroom, including lesson plans, outlines, and the Teacher's Manual for the 1966-1976 Teacher Training Program.

AMS published numerous journals, newsletters, and other publications, and many of these appear in Series XIV. All the titles represented contain significant gaps but still permit the reader to grasp the scope of the organization's activities and interests through the years. Non-AMS publications will be found in Series XXI, and include writings on Montessorian topics by organizations other than AMS, including AMI. Of particular interest is Mario Montessori's "yellow paper," which set forth AMI's philosophical disagreements with AMS in the early 1960s.

AMS encouraged affiliation by Montessori schools, and this topic is covered in Series XVII, which contains lists of affiliates, bylaws and administrative forms of individual schools, statistical data, and various brochures and other information regarding affiliated schools in general and also specific schools. One of the ways AMS sought to cement ties between affiliates and the national society was through the Consultation Program, the records of which are located in Series XII. They include general correspondence as well as files of individual consultants and several coordinators of the Program, and offer insights into the operations of this important group. The activities of the Comite Hispano Montessori, an association for Spanish-speaking Montessorians in North, Central, and South America as well as the Caribbean, are reflected in the correspondence, publicity, directories, and consultation reports that comprise Series XIX.

In Series XIII are located files for various national and regional seminars from 1963-1990. Registration lists, correspondence dealing with exhibitors and presenters, brochures and programs, financial reports and records, and evaluation questionnaires allow an understanding of the importance of these meetings as vehicles for fostering, maintaining, and developing aspects of the Montessori method.

AMS also interacted with organizations and concerns not directly within the Montessori orbit. Series V chronicles the relationship between AMS and government agencies, especially the Pennsylvania Department of Education, as the society sought to achieve official recognition of Montessori teacher-training methods and educational instruction. AMS's connections with other groups relevant to its interests are depicted in Series XX, which includes articles, brochures, and correspondence. Represented are day-care and home-schooling organizations, educational toy companies, and Waldorf Institutes. Series 18 is devoted to the Child Development Associate Consortium (CDAC), of which AMS eventually became a member.

Audiocassettes, audiotapes, CDs and phonograph records are located in Series XXII. The tapes and cassettes contain lectures, speeches, and workshops conducted mainly at various AMS seminars from the 1960s through the 1980s. Films and videocassettes about various aspects of the Montessori method are located in Series XXIII. Of interest is an interview with Nancy McCormick Rambusch and Cleo Monson about the beginnings of AMS, taped in 1986.

Photographs and slides are included in Series XXIV. The slides illustrate Montessori teaching activities and events, such as the Montessori Centennial Celebration in 1970. The photographs cover a wide range of professional and social activities, including seminars. Depicted are many of the individuals, including Nancy McCormick Rambusch, who are represented in the papers of the collection.

Later additions to the collection are included in subsequent series.

Dates

  • undated, 1907-2015

Creator

Access

The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

The class notes (Box 102) may not be reproduced without the permission of the donor. Contact the Archivist for Business, Railroad, Labor and Organizational Collections for further information. Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.

History

Maria Montessori (1870-1952), the first woman in Italy to receive a medical degree from the University of Rome, developed her theories of education at the turn of the century while working as a young doctor in an asylum for mentally disabled children. In the Montessori method, children use special learning materials in a prepared environment to sequentially develop and master concepts and motor skills. Teachers guide but do not control, each child progresses at his or her own pace, and the noncompetitive atmosphere of the classroom allows working for the pleasure of learning rather than from fear of punishment or anticipation of rewards.

Dr. Montessori developed an international following, and in 1913 and 1915 she toured the United States, lecturing on her educational theories to enthusiastic acclaim. Yet by the 1920s her ideas had been rejected by mainstream American educators. This effectively killed the Montessori movement in the United States for the next several decades, although it continued to flourish in Europe, especially among Catholic educational institutions.

In the late 1950s Nancy McCormick Rambusch, a young teacher who had undergone Montessori training in London, became inspired with the idea of reviving Montessori education in America. Initially conducting classes from her New York apartment, she soon founded and became headmistress of Whitby, a lay-Catholic school in Greenwich, Connecticut, which became the flagship school of the American Montessori revival. Rambusch and Whitby gained a reputation and supporters; they and the Montessori method soon became the subjects of articles and interviews in both Catholic and secular journals and magazines. They also attracted the attention of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), the guardian and promulgator of Maria Montessori's ideals under the directorship of her son, Mario, who authorized Rambusch to act as AMI's representative in America. This led, in 1960, to the founding of the American Montessori Society (AMS), with Rambusch as its first president.

During the early years the fortunes of AMS and Whitby School were intertwined; the two institutions even shared Board members. Although Rambusch was active in Catholic circles, she recognized that Montessori had to transcend religious boundaries and would have to acquire nonsectarian appeal if it was to succeed in the United States. She also firmly believed that aspects of the Montessori method had to be modified to accommodate the culture of mid-twentieth- century America and its children, and that the movement should not be confined to private institutions.

These ideas strained relations with AMI, which felt that Dr. Montessori's principles were universal and could not be modified without destroying their integrity. Despite good-faith attempts on both sides, the philosophical differences could not be reconciled, while additional controversies over finances and control deepened the rift. Ultimately, in 1963, AMI withdrew its recognition of AMS as a Montessori society, and from that point until the present AMS has existed independently of AMI.

Nineteen-sixty-three was a critical year for AMS. Nancy McCormick Rambusch had been travelling around the country tirelessly promoting Montessori and drumming up support among educators and parents. The results were overwhelmingly positive: the number of Montessori schools in America increased and the AMS office in Greenwich was flooded with requests for information about the method and about how to open Montessori schools. The society was weakened, however, by conflicts not only with AMI but within AMS itself. Moreover, the administrative affairs of the office were in chaos, and the organization was in danger of disintegrating.

This situation was remedied when Cleo Monson was hired in January 1963 as Executive Secretary to reorganize AMS's office, but her administrative abilities soon rendered her indispensable as the coordinator of virtually all the society's activities. In 1973 she became the first National Director, a position of pivotal importance that she essentially created and that she held until her retirement in 1978. In her own way she was as responsible as Nancy McCormick Rambusch for the existence of AMS.

In 1963, six months after Monson arrived, Rambusch resigned as president and embarked upon a distinguished career in children's education that continued until her death in 1994. Also in 1963, the national office of AMS moved from Greenwich to New York, where it has since remained.

Following the turbulence of these early years, AMS found firmer footing and began to flourish. As the society grew, it had to cope with the practical issues that face all organizations, including fundraising, formation of policies, codification of professional standards and ethics, and public relations, both within and without the Montessori community. Various committees and programs sprang into existence to meet these needs, and this required the talents and resources of members willing to organize and direct these important activities. Within a decade of its existence, therefore, AMS's internal structure necessarily increased in complexity. Yet the society continued to avoid bureaucracy as much as possible by using the main office in New York as a coordinating hub.

Because Montessori schools were not required to affiliate with the national organization, AMS sought to establish relationships with local schools through various forms of outreach. It published literature about the Montessori method and AMS, collected research, some of which appeared in the society's various journals and newsletters, and established the Consultation Program, in which trained consultants would visit affiliated schools, observe classes and the physical environment, and offer suggestions and feedback. AMS developed standards for teacher training and certification as well as pedagogical resources to meet Montessori educational needs.

AMS's seminars and conferences also served to foster communication, professional growth, and a shared sense of identity among Montessori teachers. A national seminar was held annually, and several regional conferences took place each year. These meetings featured lectures, workshops, presentations, and exhibits, and allowed members to network, exchange ideas, and develop or hone their teaching skills. Portions of these seminars were recorded or filmed to serve as future resources. The society was very proud of the success of its first International Symposium, held in Athens in 1979, which featured as speakers several internationally renowned educators and scholars.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, AMS constantly sought to widen its appeal. Its ties with the Comite Hispano Montessori, for instance, enabled the Montessori method and resources to thrive in Spanish-speaking communities in the Americas and the Caribbean. AMS collected literature from and established relationships with other educational groups and organizations, including the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Child Development Associate Consortium, and concerned itself with home schooling, day care, and alternative educational methods such as the Waldorf Institutes. In this way it attempted to keep abreast of contemporary developments in children's education and resist parochialism by entering into dialogue with those who shared AMS's concerns for the educational welfare of children.

AMS succeeded in reviving the Montessori method in the United States and gaining recognition for it as a valid educational system. The society has become the foremost resource in America for Montessori education and teacher training. Through its varied activities it continues to provide information, support, and advice to schools, teachers, and parents, and to integrate the ideas of Maria Montessori and her many followers into the structure of American education.

Extent

76 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The American Montessori Society (AMS) Records document the history of an important American educational organization, and consist of printed, typescript, and handwritten materials; sound recordings; films; photographs; and slides. The collection, although not complete, reflects AMS's professional and administrative activities and also provides historical information about the Montessori system of education in general.

Arrangement

Series I: Minutes (1963-1995) include the minutes from Executive Committee and Board of Directors' meetings, including various emendations, arranged chronologically. Minutes from other meetings, such as the Teacher Training Committee, can be found scattered throughout Series III: Administrative Files, particularly in Subseries C: Committees and Subseries G: Files of AMS Board Members. See also Series IV.

Series II: By-Laws and Amendments (undated, circa 1960-1983) contain the By-Laws of AMS with changes and corrections over the years, arranged chronologically. Not all years within the range are included.

Series III: Administrative Files (undated, 1959-1978) includes various files dealing with administrative aspects of AMS and its various committees regarding professional activities and day-to-day operations. Subseries A contains administrative reports and policy statements from 1963 to 2007. Subseries B contains various versions of the AMS Management Guide, a manual on setting up Montessori schools, featuring included or discarded items such as sample policies and forms for admissions and scholarships, many from Montessori-affiliated schools, and procedures on teaching methods. Subseries C contains materials produced by or submitted to various AMS Committees, including the Educational Advisory Committee, the Teacher Training Committee, the Code of Ethics Committee, and others. Some committee material can also be found in Subseries G: Files of AMS Board Members. Subseries D contains materials related to the Board of Directors, including reports, agendas, briefs, actions, and records pertaining to Board elections. Subseries E consists of financial reports and fundraising records. Subseries F includes office-maintenance and personnel-related records, including leases (1963-1973, with gaps) for the AMS offices at 175 Fifth Avenue, correspondence about building maintenance, and correspondence regarding insurance benefits and plans for Montessori teachers. Subseries G consists of the files kept by board members pertaining to board meetings, committees, and other administrative records they retained while serving on the AMS Board of Directors. Correspondence files of AMS board members, along with other AMS Correspondence, can be found in Subseries H.

Series IV: Mailing Scrapbooks (1974-1983) contains ten scrapbooks, compiled annually, bring together a collection of items mailed to AMS members and Board members each year. They feature such documents as Board minutes, reports on the Consultation Program, financial reports, publications such as AMS News, questionnaires, information on conferences and seminars, and brochures and publicity. Many of these items may be duplicated in other series.

Series V: Federal and State Agencies (1962-1983) conatins correspondence primarily with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, including the State Board of Private Academic Schools, and details the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's recognition and licensing of Montessori teacher-training methods and the recognition of the Montessori method as a valid form of instruction in private licensed schools. Included are various state criteria for licensing, such as the Rules and Regulations Governing Private Academic Schools and Agents (1980). The policy changes by the State Board of Private Academic Schools toward Montessori schools is also documented. Some correspondence with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare is also included (see also Series III, Subseries D).

Series VI: Papers of Individuals Associated with AMS and Montessori (1942-2014) includes the personal papers of individuals who trained under Maria Montessori, took the AMS Teacher Training Course, or were otherwise involved in the study or practice of the Montessori Method of education. The papers of Maria and Douglas Gravel are included in this series. While the Gravels served as AMS Board Members, their papers pertain to their training as Montessori teachers rather than their activities as board members. Subseries A contains notebooks, correspondence and professional records of Lakshmi A. Kripalani who was trained by Maria Montessori in 1946 in Karachi, India (now Pakistan) before working in Montessori schools in New Jersey. Subseries B contains the notebooks of Edith Cary who trainined under Maria Montessori in London, England, before opening the first Montessori school in Mansfield, Connecticut (Oak Grove). Subseries C holds the training materials created by Mildred W. Harford (undated). Subseries D contains the personal notes of Hannah MacLaren taken during Teacher Training in 1963 in California. Subseries E contains photographs, a diploma, and the notebooks of Mary S. Packard who trained under Maria Montessori in 1914. Subseries F contains the papers of Marquita Dubach Green, including her notebook from a Teacher Training course. Subseries G contains Maria and Douglas Gravel’s Teacher Training notebooks, as well as a ECR Training Manual.

Series VII: Nancy McCormick Rambusch Files (undated, circa 1930-2017) chronicles a portion of the professional life and activities of Nancy McCormick Rambusch, the founder of AMS and the person most responsible for reviving the Montessori movement in the United States. Subseries A, arranged chronologically from the late 1950s-1977 (with the bulk 1960-1963) contains general and business correspondence relating to Rambusch's activities at Whitby School and the early years of AMS. Included are minutes from the Boards of both Whitby and the AMS, Rambusch's resignations as president of AMS and as headmistress of Whitby, and letters from individuals interested in the Montessori method or wishing to open Montessori schools. Telegrams and letters to and from Mario Montessori, Rambusch, and others in AMI and AMS chart the gradually deteriorating relationship between the two groups (see also Series VIII). Especially significant in this regard are two documents of Mario Montessori: the 1959 paper in which he appoints Rambusch as an official representative of AMI in the United States and authorizes a mandate to begin an American Montessori group, and a typescript version of the "yellow paper" written several years later, in which he outlines his philosophical disagreements with AMS that eventually led to a rift between the organizations (see Series XXI for the printed version). Some of the documents are fragile thermofaxes. There are numerous handwritten letters, usually by Rambusch's friends, that are personal but deal largely with Montessori matters. Most of the correspondence is to Rambusch, with relatively little from her; some letters are about her and are included here because they deal with topics relevant to the subseries. There are also letters and memos on administrative matters that would have concerned her as president of AMS. Subseries B consists largely of handwritten letters, postcards, and notes from friends on personal, social, and family matters, though some mention Montessori in passing. Many are by friends and teachers from Rambusch's student years, and depict the Catholic social and educational circles in which she moved and through which the Montessori movement gained a foothold in the United States. Some of the correspondence is undated; most falls between 1961 and 1963. There are also photographs, a high school diploma, a college graduation commencement program, and materials related to Nancy McCormick Rambusch’s wedding. Subseries C contains research and articles by Rambusch and writings about her. Included are typescripts of articles and papers, arranged alphabetically by title and dating from the 1960s through the 1980s, that she wrote on various aspects of children's education and the Montessori system (additional materials by Rambusch will be found in Series IX). In addition to manuscripts (both typed and handwritten) of lectures, speeches, and interviews that she gave, there is also an annotated bibliography and critique of selected works on Montessori compiled by Rambusch in 1962 (see Series XI, Subseries B for other bibliographies on Montessori research). This subseries also contains articles about Rambusch that appeared in various newspapers and magazines, many of them Catholic. Most date from the early 1960s and many profile Whitby School in connection with the Montessori method and AMS. Included are reviews of Rambusch's book, Learning How to Learn, published in 1962. Some of the newspaper clippings are brittle. Subseries D contains announcements of Rambusch's illness and death in 1994, and includes correspondence regarding her funeral, professional tributes, the program from her funeral Mass, and discussions about the establishment by AMS of the Dr. Nancy McCormick Rambusch Lecture Series and The Founder's Endowment Fund in her memory (for more on the Nancy McCormick Rambusch Lecture Series, see Series XXVI). There is also a folder of obituary clippings, some of them brittle, as well as a brochure for Robert Rambusch’s memorial service from 2017.

Series VIII: AMI/AMS Correspondence (1963-1966) includes correspondence between AMI and AMS that had nothing to do with Nancy McCormick Rambusch or was written after she resigned as president of AMS in 1963. The series serves as a supplement to Series VII, Subseries A in chronicling the relationship between the two groups and showing the various difficulties that existed between the organizations. Some were financial; others involved AMI's reluctance to recognize AMS teacher training and issue diplomas and credentials to those trained under AMS auspices.

Series IX: Teaching Materials and Pedagogical Resouces (undated, 1962-1967) includes a glossary compiled in 1962 by Nancy McCormick Rambusch, Reginald C. Orem, and George L. Stevens; lesson plans and outlines; explanations of Montessori activities and apparatus; and the Teacher's Manual for the 1966-1967 Montessori Teacher Training Program, some of which was prepared by Rambusch. There are also a number of handbooks and other published materials pertaining to the Montessori method of education, many of which were written by people associated with AMS or were used by AMS for teaching and training. For scholarly research that studies the application of the Montessori method, see Series XI.

Series X: Historical Articles and Papers (undated, 1915-1998) includes writings on Maria Montessori and the Montessori method and movement from a historical perspective. Subseries A features writings by Maria Montessori, including Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook, and historical and biographical articles about her. There are clippings and letters, some on fading thermofaxes, and the words and music for "Hymn for Maria Montessori" by Katy Paraskevopulu. Subseries B contains articles on the Montessori movement that describe its evolution and what it actually is. They are concerned with the movement in general, not specific aspects of research. Most date from the early- and mid-1960s when the movement was gaining momentum; many, therefore, are from Catholic publications and mention Nancy McCormick Rambusch (duplicates of some of these articles will be found in Series VII, Subseries C). Subseries C contains typed copies of transcripts of lectures given in 1915 by Maria Montessori in San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles. There is also a manuscript by Buckenmeyer on Maria Montessori based on conversations in 1969 with Edna Andriano, who cared for Mario Montessori when he was a child. Subseries D includes articles and correspondence on the history of Montessori by the educator Sol Cohen. Subseries E features materials on Montessori donated by Ray Franchi after the death of his wife, Lucille, a Montessori educator. Typescripts and newspaper clippings from the San Francisco Call & Post of the texts of Maria Montessori's 1915 lectures are included, as is a copy of Maria Montessori: A Centenary Anthology. In addition, there is a letter written by Lucille Franchi to Hillary Clinton about children's education; "Letters to Susan, A Discouraged Teacher," in which Franchi discusses aspects of the Montessori method; and an imaginary conversation between Maria Montessori and Gandhi composed by Ray Franchi. Subseries F contains excerpts of notes taken by E. M. Standing during lectures given by Maria Montessori in 1921.

Series XI: Research (undated, 1960-2017) contains writings concerning research on specific aspects of the Montessori system. This series includes scholarly studies of Montessori education, including dissertations and theses on Montessori topics that were submitted to AMS for grants or awards. Subseries A consists of papers and articles, mainly in typescript, reflecting the research of numerous scholars and educators. These were collected by the AMS office to serve as a resource for Montessori scholarship; some later appeared in publications by AMS or other organizations. They are arranged alphabetically by author's last name. Subseries B contains bibliographies of Montessori research, including an index card file (see Series VII Subseries C for a bibliography by Nancy McCormick Rambusch), and abstracts of articles and dissertations on Montessori. Subseries C and D contain dissertations, theses, and research projects on the Montessori method of education.

Series XII: Consultation Program (undated, 1965-1979) contains mainly administrative aspects and functions of AMS's Consultation Program (also known as the Visitation Program). Subseries A contains lists of AMS School Visitors, mainly from the 1960s and 1970s, the Consultation Services Handbook, annual reports to the Board of Directors, and correspondence and reports dealing with expenses and financial matters such as travelling reimbursements for consultants. Subseries B consists of correspondence about specific visits to participating schools. Procedural activities of the Consultation Program are discussed. There are reports to the Board of Directors (1965-1979) and public relations appeals describing the benefits of the Consultation Program in an effort to increase participation by AMS-affiliated schools. Subseries C, D, and E contain the files of three coordinators of the Consultation Program. There are many handwritten and typed notes and memos, usually but not always to or from the coordinators; sometimes the documents are copies of letters and other papers that a coordinator would naturally need to know about and maintain in her files. Routine administrative matters are discussed, as well as problems or issues with individuals within the program. Subseries Fincludes correspondence of individual consultants, usually to or from the coordinator or Cleo Monson, arranged alphabetically by last name of the consultant. The letters and memos generally address routine housekeeping matters such as expense reports and reimbursements.

Series XIII: Seminars and Conferences (undated, 1963-1992) chronicles the seminars and conferences, both national and regional, conducted every year by AMS. Special meetings, such as the International Symposium in Athens (1979) and the 19th International Montessori Congress in Amsterdam (1979), are also covered. Not all the seminars held during 1963-1992 are included, but there is a list of all the seminars for these years at the beginning of the series, as well as registration lists for the conferences of 1963-1977 and brochures and other publicity for conferences between 1985 and 1990. For each seminar there are letters, memos, and other records dealing with exhibits and exhibitors, presenters, publicity, financial matters, and hotels and convention centers. For most seminars there are programs listing the presenters, speakers, and various activities. A large portion of the documents concern the types of routine financial transactions between convention centers and the organization, or participants and the organization, that typically occur during meetings of professional societies. There are also evaluation forms completed by the participants that provide impressions of the strengths and weaknesses of a particular conference and how successful or well-received it was. Some materials related to seminars can also be found in Series III, Subseries G: Files of AMS Board Members. For recordings of seminars, see Series XXII: Sound Recordings. For photographs from seminars, see Series XXIV: Photographs and Slides.

Series XIV: AMS Publications (undated, 1960-1999) includes issues of various journals and newsletters published by AMS, and also correspondence related to them. Each subseries is devoted to a specific publication. The publications themselves have been separated from the collection and are cataloged. There are gaps in every subseries, though the most complete is Subseries A, the American Montessori Society Bulletin, which also contains a list of published issues. Subseries C, D, and F reflect title changes for the same publication: in 1970 AMS News Notes became AMS Newsletter, which, later that same year, became AMS News. In 1980, however, a new American Montessori Society Newsletter began that had no relation to the old AMS Newsletter (the only difference in the later title was that the name of the organization was spelled out instead of abbreviated). In this collection, to avoid possible confusion, the AMS Newsletter has been designated o.s. (old series) while the American Montessori Society Newsletter has been designated n.s. (new series), though these distinctions were never used by the publications themselves. In Subseries I the Constructive Triangle, the AMS's official journal, is represented by only a few issues, but there is an index of articles and the text of several articles, mainly in typescript.

Series XV: Brochures, Pamphlets, Publicity and Press Releases (undated) provides a sampling of the literature generated by AMSover the years to advertise its mission and the Montessori method, and includes lists of AMS publications and materials. Included are compilations of this literature created by the AMS office in the form of seven scrapbooks: one consists of general materials; the other six are organized around specific topics.

Series XVI: Correspondence and Publicity for AMS Films (undated, 1973) consists of correspondence, scripts, and publicity about several film projects that AMS was involved in, including Montessori: An Education for Life and the AMS Slide/Film Contest of 1973.

Series XVII: Montessori and AMS-affiliated Schools (undated, 1962-1976) contains records relating to AMS-affiliated schools in general and also specific schools. Some of the included items are lists of affiliates, various bylaws, overviews of and statistical data on affiliates, questionnaire, tuition, and application forms, information on how to start an affiliated school, brochures, publicity, mailings, and floor plans from specific schools, admissions policies, and affiliate membership appeals. Folders for specific schools are arranged alphabetically by title.

Series XVIII: Child Development Associate Consortium (undated, circa 1972-1976) The AMS eventually became a member of the Child Development Associate Consortium (CDAC), a private, nonprofit organization consisting of numerous societies directly involved in child development and early childhood education. The documents in this series consist of brochures and correspondence about CDAC and AMS's membership in it, as well as minutes from CDAC's Board of Directors' meetings and information on credentials and certification, including a 1974 paper by CDAC.

Series XIX: Comite Hispano Montessori (undated, circa 1975-1991) The Comite Hispano Montessori is a nonprofit Montessori organization providing a communication network and services for educators in Spanish-speaking communities in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The series contains correspondence, publicity, and directories of the Comite Hispano Montessori, consultation reports on affiliate schools, and teachers' résumés. Clippings, correspondence, and a financial report for a seminar in June 1979 held in Monterrey, Mexico, are also included.

Series XX: Educational Groups and Organizations (undated) contains correspondence, brochures, and other literature on various groups relevant to AMS's interests, such as educational toy companies, day-care and home-schooling organizations, and Waldorf Institutes. Included is the manual Home Study Course in Modern Montessori Teaching by the School of Modern Montessori. Of interest are the materials on the Waldorf Institutes, especially the Rudolf Steiner School in New York, which consist of pamphlets explaining the history and content of anthroposophy, literature on schools, events, and curricula, and an article in Holistic Education 3:4 (Winter 1990) that features a comparison of the Waldorf and Montessori methods in a discussion among educators from both traditions.

Series XXI: Non-AMS Publications (undated) includes writings from organizations other than AMS on Montessorian topics, including an article on teaching music by the Montessori method in Piano Quarterly 58 (Winter 1996-97). Publications by AMI are also located here, and include Mario Montessori's "yellow paper" outlining his philosophical disagreements with the AMS (see Series VII, Subseries A for the typescript version), a few issues of AMI's journal Communications, an index to articles in Communications, and materials from the 13th International Montessori Congress, held in April 1964 in Amsterdam.

Series XXII: Sound Recordings (undated, 1969-2005) includes audiocassettes, reel-to-reel audiotapes, and LP phonograph records. The cassettes and tapes consist of lectures, speeches, presentations, and workshops, mainly from various AMS seminars. The series includes approximately 2787 audiocassettes dating from the 1970s through 2003. Nancy McCormick Rambusch and other prominent Montessorians are featured on many of the cassettes. Subseries A includes 110 audiotapes (reel-to-reel) from the early 1960s, the 1962-1963 Teacher Training Course, and the AMS Chicago Seminar of June 1969. The most recent tape dates from 1970. Subseries B contains recordings from conferences, seminars, and workshops, most of which are recorded on audiocassette. Subseries C contains interviews with people associated with AMS. Subseries D contains master and duplicate recordings of Folk Tunes and Music of the Masters Adapted for the Classroom by Elsie Braun Barnett.

Series XXIII: Videocassettes and Films (undated, circa 1955-2018) includes films and promotional materials created by AMS that document aspects of the Montessori method, interviews with prominent AMS members recorded at annual conferences, and recordings of lectures, talks, and workshops. This series includes an interview by Bob Motley of Nancy McCormick Rambusch and Cleo Monson at the AMS Seminar in Wilmington, Delaware, in November 1986, for which a transcript is included.

Series XXIV: Photographs and Slides (undated, 1907-2000) contains Subseries A consisting of photographs that depict the numerous activities and phases of AMS throughout its history, and include photographs of Nancy McCormick Rambusch and many other individuals whose names appear frequently throughout this collection. Seminars, social events such as Christmas parties and Cleo Monson's retirement festivities in 1978, proofs for various publications, and Montessori schools, classrooms, and students are well represented. Subseries B features slides illustrating Montessori teaching activities and events, such as the Montessori Centennial Celebration in 1970.

Series XXV: Realia, publications, fliers and ephemera (1955-2012) includes Montessori pins, a stamp and coin celebrating Maria Montessori, AMS totebags, t-shirts, and caps, and other ephemera.

Series XXVI: Events, Celebations, and Memorials (1961-2014) includes materials pertaining to the Nancy McCormick Rambusch Lecture Series, obituaries and memorials for AMS members, and materials from Montessori centennial celebrations.

Series XXVII: National Center for Montessori Education (1982-1983) contains administrative records and flags from the National Center for Montessori Education.

Series XXVIII and on: Additions made each year beginning in 2006. Most of the materials added to the collection between 2006 and 2017 have already been integrated into the existing collection.

Custodial History

The collection was acquired in 1997 by Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Columbia Teachers College, under the supervision of David Ment, Associate Director and Head, Special Collections, and Bette Weneck, Manuscript Curator, Special Collections.

Acquisition Information

The collection was transferred in 2006 to the Archives & Special Collections of the University of Connecticut Libraries by the American Montessori Society, in coordination with Special Collections at Columbia Teachers College. Ongoing donations from AMS and individuals are integrated regularly.

Location of Copies or Alternate Formats

Digital reproductions of materials in this collection may also be found in the Archives & Special Collections digital repository.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to professional and educationally focused organizations. For detailed information on these collections please contact the Archivist for Business, Railroad, Labor and Organizational Collections or ask at the Reading Room desk.

Separated Material

The following materials have been separated from the collection and cataloged:

American Montessori Society newsletter: Dodd Periodicals American Montessori Society ... fall regional conference : [program]: Dodd Periodicals American Montessori Society bulletin: Dodd Periodicals America's First Impressions of Maria Montessori: Dodd C12323 AMS news: Dodd Periodicals Annual national conference : [program]: Dodd Periodicals Annual report to the membership: Dodd Periodicals L’Association "Centre Nascita Montessori" a´ Rome : une ide´e, une histoire de`s 1947 jusqu’a` aujourd’hui: Dodd A8212 The Authentic American Montessori School: A Guide to the Self-Study, Evaluation, and Accreditation of American Schools Committed to Montessori Education (Nancy McCormick Rambusch): Dodd C12326 The Child and the Family (Maria Montessori): Dodd A12548 Children's House (Kenneth Edelson): Dodd A12543 Constructive triangle: Dodd Periodicals Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook: Dodd A12549 Dr. Maria Montessori's 1946 Lectures: Dodd C12322 The Growth of the Montessori Movement Throughout Pennsylvania (Cindy L. Gelezinsky): Dodd C12328 The Hidden Hinge (Rose Covington Packard): Dodd A12553 The History of St. Nicholas Montessori Society of Ireland: Dodd A12558 The Homfray-Child Lectures Course 1-11: Dodd 12324 The Joy of Knowledge: A Noddy's Guide to the Montessori Method of Education (Janet Roberts): Dodd A12554 Learning how to learn : an American approach to Montessori : Dodd A8294; Dodd C13338; Dodd C13424; Dodd C13443 M the folios: Dodd Periodicals M : the magazine for Montessori families: Dodd Periodicals Maria Montessori: Methods (Reg Orem): Dodd A12559 Maria Montessori, A Centenary Anthology: Dodd C12325 Il materiale Montessori in cataloghi editi a New York, Londra, Bucarest, Berlino, Gonzaga tra gli anni dieci e trenta: Dodd C9465 Montessori: a Modern Approach (Paula Polk Lilliard): Dodd A12546 Montessori and Your Child (Terry Malloy): Dodd A12547 Montessori: a therapeutic tool for the mentally retarded child: Dodd XA I.33 no.36 The Montessori Approach to Discipline (Lena L. Gitter): Dodd C12314 Montessori Birth Centre Association in Rome : Dodd A8211 Montessori community directory: Dodd Periodicals Montessori community resource: Dodd Periodicals Montessori Education in Australia and New Zealand (Dan O'Donnell): Dodd A12550 Montessori elementary material: Dodd A8296 Montessori for the Disadvantaged (R.C. Orem): Dodd A12551 Montessori in Perspective: Dodd A12560 Montessori life: Dodd Periodicals Montessori Manual for Teachers (Dorothy Canfield Fisher): Dodd A12544 Montessori method : scientific pedagogy as applied to child education in The Children’s Houses: Dodd A8293 The Montessori Revolution in Education (E.M. Standing): Dodd A12555 Montessori Today (R.C. Orem): Dodd A12552 Montessori's Years in India (Christina Trudeau): Dodd C12321 Nascita del "segno" : un’esperienza con bambini piccoli condotta da Luisa Gardini Stocchi : Dodd C9466 National Montessori reporter: Dodd Periodicals National seminar : [program]: Dodd Periodicals News notes : Dodd Periodicals A Note on Montessori's "The Secret of Childhood" (Margaret E. Stephenson): Dodd A12556 Origins and Present Status of the Montessori Movement in the United States (Sister Mary Leonard): Dodd C12327 Public school Montessorian: Dodd Periodicals Oversize Il quaderno Montessori: Dodd Periodicals Regional seminar : [program]: Dodd Periodicals Spontaneous activity in education: Dodd A8295 Teaching Montessori in the Home (Elizabeth G. Hainstock): Dodd C12315 Teaching Montessori in the Home: the School Years: HBL LB775.M8 H27 1971 Teaching opportunities in AMS-member schools: Dodd A8297 Verifiche : periodico di cultura e di politica dell’educazione: Dodd Periodicals What is Montessori?: Dodd A12557 Whitby School, 30 Years (Lena Wikramaratne): Dodd C11410 Folk Tunes and Music of the Masters: 2006-0230.cd1

These books authored and donated by Aline D. Wolf: A Parents' Guide to the Montessori Classroom (2009): Dodd A12563 Montessori Insights for Parents of Young Children (2005): Dodd A12562 Nurturing the Spirit in Non-Sectarian Classrooms (1996): Dodd A12564 Peaceful Children, Peaceful World (1989): Dodd C12319 Look at the Child (1978): Dodd A12561 The World of the Child (1982): Dodd C12317 Our Peaceful Classroom (1991): Dodd C12318 How to Use Child-Size Masterpieces for Art Appreciation (2015): Dodd C12320

Processing Information

Folders were renumbered in 2016-2017 to prevent the repetition of folder numbers in a single box. Whereas folder numbering originally restarted at the beginning of each series, it now restarts at the beginning of each box.

Creator

Title
American Montessori Society Records
Status
Under Revision
Author
Archives & Special Collections staff
Date
2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

Contact:
University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US