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Helen Dingman Papers



Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description



Subject File

Writings and Publications


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Helen Dingman Papers | Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

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Collection Overview

Title: Helen Dingman PapersAdd to your cart.

Primary Creator: Dingman, Helen (?-1978)

Extent: 1.0 MS boxes

Arrangement: Arrangement of the collection is by series: Correspondence, Diaries, Subject Files, Writings/Publications, and Photographs.

Subjects: Adult education--Kentucky--History., Berea College--Department of Sociology, Berea Opportunity Schools., Council of the Southern Mountains., Dingman, Helen, Education--Kentucky--Harlan County., Harlan County (Ky.)--History., Mountain Life & Work, Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

Languages: English


Helen Hastie Dingman was born in New York, but from 1917-1922 was head of the Community Life School at Smith in Harlan County, Kentucky.  In 1922, she returned to New York to serve for two years as Assistant Superintendent of Field Work for the Women’s Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  In 1924, she joined the staff of Berea College and served as supervisor of social training until 1952.  At Berea, she helped found the Opportunity School (1925) program and was instrumental in the establishment of social work as a profession in Kentucky. She served as Executive Secretary of the Council of the Southern Mountains from 1929 to 1942. In 1952, she became editor of Mountain Life and Work.   Helen Dingman died in 1978.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Diaries, correspondence, reports, notes, and photographs mainly documenting Helen Dingman's community organizing and educational efforts in Harlan County, Kentucky during the early 1900s.

Subject/Index Terms

Adult education--Kentucky--History.
Berea College--Department of Sociology
Berea Opportunity Schools.
Council of the Southern Mountains.
Dingman, Helen
Education--Kentucky--Harlan County.
Harlan County (Ky.)--History.
Mountain Life & Work
Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

Administrative Information

Repository: Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

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

Use Restrictions: No restrictions other than federal copyright regulations.  Please cite collection.

Preferred Citation: [Object identification], Helen Dingman Papers, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, KY.

Finding Aid Revision History: The finding aid was updated in August 2015.

Other Note: BCA 0026 SAA 025

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Diaries],
[Series 3: Subject File],
[Series 4: Writings and Publications],
[Series 5: Photographs],

Series 1: CorrespondenceAdd to your cart.
These are the letters of Helen Dingman written to members of her family, detailing her projects and experiences at Smith, Kentucky (1917-1921). Included are accounts of building programs, community activities, conditions in the mountains, and moon shining.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence, Sep-Oct 1917Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Correspondence, Nov-Dec 1917Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Correspondence, Jan-May 1918Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Correspondence, Jun 1918-Jul 1919Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Correspondence, Aug 1919- Jun 1920Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Correspondence, Aug 1920- May 1921Add to your cart.
Series 2: DiariesAdd to your cart.
These detail the social service and extension work of Helen Dingman’s field trips in the area around Berea College. The diaries document social and educational conditions in the Eastern Kentucky Mountains (1924- 1927). Also included is a diary of a brief outreach in Rocky Fort, Tennessee (1916).
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Diary-Rocky Fork, Tenn., Jun 10-July 1, 1916Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Diary-Berea, Sep 1924-Jan 1925Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Diary-Berea, Sep 1925-Dec 1926Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Diary-Berea, Sep 1927-Oct 1928Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Diary-Berea, Report to Eastern KY. Reconstruction Committee, Sep 1926-Dec 1927Add to your cart.
Series 3: Subject FileAdd to your cart.
Notes, clippings, excerpts of correspondence, articles, and other items concerning the opportunity store, community activities, conditions in the mountains, and rural education.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Building Experiences / Community Activities / Cooperative Store.Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Family Interview FormAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Moonshine / Mountain Conditions / Mountain Friends and their Homes / "My Horse Trade"Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) / School Activities / Working with SchoolsAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Reports, Smith Community exchange Cooperative Store.Add to your cart.
Folder 17: "Rural Teaching in the Kentucky Mountains"Add to your cart.
Series 4: Writings and PublicationsAdd to your cart.
Included are short stories relating incidents in the mountains, reports concerning mountain children and education and a memorial issue of Mountain Life and Work dedicated to Olive Dame Campbell.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Short Stories, Reports and Articles, and Mountain Life and WorkAdd to your cart.
Series 5: PhotographsAdd to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 19: PhotographsAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Diaries],
[Series 3: Subject File],
[Series 4: Writings and Publications],
[Series 5: Photographs],

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