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Hindman Settlement School Records



Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Selected Records

Selected Photographs

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Hindman Settlement School Records, 1899-1979 | Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

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Collection Overview

Title: Hindman Settlement School Records, 1899-1979Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Hindman Settlement School.

Extent: 30.0 Boxes (General)


The collection is arranged in two parts and further arranged in series as follows:

Part A: Selected Records/Manuscripts (All records in microfilm format)

Series 1:  Narrative Reports and Publications, 1879-1979

Series 2: Operational and Vital Records, 1902-75

Series 3:  Biographies and Works, 1900-80

Series 4:  Ballads and Folksongs

Series 5:  Appalachian Studies Reference File, 1902-75

Part B:  Selected Photographs, c. 1900-1983 (2998 Photo-reproductions, 27 Boxes)

Series 1:  General File

Series 2: Elizabeth Watts Photograph

Series 3:  Earl Palmer Photographs

Note: A detailed Index to Selected Photographs is available in the Reading Room of the Special Collections and Archives Berea College.  The index provides an item level description of the photographic collection and is divided into five parts: primary subject, secondary subject, date, original series and photo item-number.  Please contact archivist for more information.

Subjects: Combs, Josiah Henry -- 1886-1960, Education -- Kentucky., Hindman Settlement School., Knott County (Ky.) -- History., Pettit, Katherine., Rural schools -- Kentucky -- History., Watts, Elizabeth -- 1890-1993

Languages: English


Hindman Settlement School traces its origins to education – recreation programs conducted in Knott and Perry counties, Kentucky by Katherine Pettit and May Stone during the summers of 1899-1901.  They were funded by the Kentucky Federation of Women’s Clubs and were aided by a group of women from urban areas. Programs were held in Hazard-1899 (Camp Cedar Grove), Hindman-1900 (Camp Industrial), and Sassafras in Knott County-1901. Working in large tents, they offered classes in sewing, cooking, housekeeping, health and child care.  They organized nurseries, taught Sunday school, and hosted evening socials for young people and adults.

These summer programs resulted in local citizens requesting Pettit and Stone to establish a permanent school in the region.  The Hindman location was chosen, and on August 5, 1902, Hindman Settlement School officially opened with funding from the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.  Katherine Pettit and May Stone became the first Executive Committee of the school.  The Settlement School remained under the sponsorship of the Kentucky WCTU until 1915.  In that year, it was formally incorporated as a private, non-profit, non-sectarian, and non-denominational corporation. Its purpose was to “found, establish, carry on and maintain a school or schools for industrial, intellectual and moral training; to educate the youth of both sexes in habits of sobriety in the mountainous, destitute or needy portions of the State of Kentucky.” From the beginning, the Hindman philosophy and purpose included a positive emphasis on regional traditions and cultural identity.

In order to accomplish their objectives, the school administration and staff developed an extensive curriculum and physical plant.  The curriculum combined academic subjects with manual arts, home economics, agriculture, art, music, and folk art.  The initial (1902) three acres and two buildings expanded into a physical plant that at various times included a high school, grade school, kindergarten, library, manual arts training shop, model farm, dairy, timber area - sawmill, hospital, and dormitories.

The settlement school staff extended their efforts into the community with programs such as a bookmobile, medical clinics, and recreational activities.  A particularly successful health care effort was the Trachoma treatment program organized by Dr. Joseph A. Stucky and Harriet Butler, which resulted in ridding the area of that serious eye disease.  The school’s Fireside Industries encouraged and promoted traditional arts and crafts by providing a sales outlet for items made by students and local residents. The school encouraged creative writing about area people and culture by providing a home and jobs for such writers as Ann Cobb and Lucy Furman, and James Still.

As a non-profit corporation, Hindman Settlement School has relied upon financial support by private sources from Kentucky and beyond.  Local citizens supported the school with either money or services.  Students paid minimal tuition, if they could afford it, and participated in a labor program, which provided work experience and helped to offset the cost of maintaining school grounds. Quite early (c. 1910), the Knott County Board of Education began cooperating with the settlement school by providing funds for school buildings.  By the forties, the board was paying teacher salaries.  From the outset, Hindman Settlement School was meant to support, rather than displace free public education.  As the Knott County Public School System consolidated and assumed complete responsibility for educating the area’s young people (mid 1950’s) and as new roads made boarding facilities unnecessary (1960-early 70s), the school administration redirected its program.  Currently, the school hires and provides room and board for art, music, and adult education teachers who conduct classes in the public schools.  A public library and community center are located on the school grounds. Hindman Settlement School continues to promote Appalachian culture through various community activities, seminars, lectures, and workshops such as the yearly Appalachian Writers Workshop and the Appalachian Family Folk Week.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

These are records and photographs documenting the founding, administration and activities of the Hindman Settlement School in Knott County, Kentucky, 1899-1983.

Subject/Index Terms

Combs, Josiah Henry -- 1886-1960
Education -- Kentucky.
Hindman Settlement School.
Knott County (Ky.) -- History.
Pettit, Katherine.
Rural schools -- Kentucky -- History.
Watts, Elizabeth -- 1890-1993

Administrative Information

Repository: Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

Access Restrictions: Records and photographs can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.

Use Restrictions:

Regarding records contained in the collection:

Hindman Settlement School records were collected and organized in 1982.Those having administrative, legal or historical value were microfilmed at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and the originals then returned to Hindman. The resultant master microfilm negative is owned by Berea College.  A use copy is available in Hutchins Library’s Department of Archives and Special Collections.

Berea College does not own the copyright for the material contained in this microfilm edition, it is the responsibility of the researcher to secure permission to publish from Hindman Settlement School or its successors and assigns.

Regarding photographs contained in the collection:

Selected photographs were copied by Project staff. The original photographs and a set of copy prints were returned to the school. The copy negatives and one set of copy prints are owned by Berea College and are available in Hutchins Library’s Department of Archives and Special Collections.

Permission has been granted by Hindman Settlement School for Berea College to reproduce all or part of the school’s photographs and to use them in slide or film presentations, display them or loan them for display, and to allow their use by researchers for reproduction and publication. The proper credit line for their publication shall be:  “Hindman Settlement School Records, Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives.” Records and photographs can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.

Preferred Citation: [Object identification], Hindman Settlement School Records 1899-1979, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, KY.

Processing Information:

The original guide to the collection was compiled and written by William C. Richardson, Archivist/Director.  Project staff for Part A: Selected Records included: Mary Zimmeth (Archivist/Director), Diana L. Hays (Assistant Archivist), and student archivists Vivian L. Hensley, J. Shepherd Speight, and Ele Workman. Project staff for Part B: Selected Photographs included: William C. Richardson (Archivist/Director), Shannon H. Wilson (Assistant Archivist), Patricia N. Ayers (Project Photographer) and student assistants Key Ho Lee, Sujatha Thampi, Laura J. Wilson, and Kevin D. Martin.

The finding aid was updated in November 2015.

Other Note:

This collection was compiled by the Settlement Institutions of Appalachia / Berea College Research Resources Project, Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The project was developed in 1979 for the purpose of organizing and preserving the original records and photographs of the Settlement Institutions of Appalachia (SIA) and copying those of historical value to form a central research collection at Berea College.  The collection was open for research in 1986.

BCA 0041 SAA 041

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Part:

[Part A: Selected Records, 1899-1979],
[Part B: Selected Photographs, 1900-1983],

Part B: Selected Photographs, 1900-1983Add to your cart.
2998 Photo-reproductions, 27 Boxes
Box 4: ActivitiesAdd to your cart.
Box 5: ActivitiesAdd to your cart.
Box 6: ActivitiesAdd to your cart.
Box 7: Animals, ArchitectureAdd to your cart.
Box 8: Architecture, ArtifactsAdd to your cart.
Box 9: Campus Buildings and GroundsAdd to your cart.
Box 10: Campus Buildings and GroundsAdd to your cart.
Box 11: Campus Buildings and Grounds, Ceremonies, Dress, EventsAdd to your cart.
Box 12: EventsAdd to your cart.
Box 13: Folk ArtsAdd to your cart.
Box 14: IndustriesAdd to your cart.
Box 15: LandscapesAdd to your cart.
Box 16: Music, PeopleAdd to your cart.
Box 17: PeopleAdd to your cart.
Box 18: PortraitsAdd to your cart.
Box 19: PortraitsAdd to your cart.
Box 20: PortraitsAdd to your cart.
Box 21: PortraitsAdd to your cart.
Box 22: PortraitsAdd to your cart.
Box 23: PortraitsAdd to your cart.
Box 24: PortraitsAdd to your cart.
Box 25: PortraitsAdd to your cart.
Box 26: Portraits/StaffAdd to your cart.
Box 27: Special Programs/Outreach, Sports, Street ScenesAdd to your cart.
Box 28: Studies, Theater, TownscapesAdd to your cart.
Box 29: TransportationAdd to your cart.
Box 30: TransportationAdd to your cart.

Browse by Part:

[Part A: Selected Records, 1899-1979],
[Part B: Selected Photographs, 1900-1983],

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