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Anna Gillingham Papers


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Anna Gillingham (1878-1964) was a prominent Quaker educator and author. Born in Batavia, Illinois, the daughter of Theodore Tyson and Elizabeth (Heacock) Gillingham, she attended Swarthmore and Radcliffe Collages and earned an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1910. She taught at Friends Central School in Philadelphia from 1901-05, was school psychologisrt in the Ethical Culture School in New York City from 1905-36, directed the remedial reading program at the Punahon School in Honolulu from 1936-38, and was a consultant on remedial reading after 1938. She also co-authored a book on remedial training for children with Stillman. She was co-founder of the Orton Society, a national organization promoting research and treatment of language disabilities.

The collection includes correspondence, journals and other writings of Anna Gillingham (1878-1964), prominent Quaker educator and author, who was a founder of the Orton Dyslexia Society. Also includes the correspondence of her parents, Theodore T. and Elizabeth H. Gillingham. Of particular interest in the latter are letters written by Theodore Gillingham while he was an Indian agent in Iowa and Dakota from 1881-1889.

The collection is divided into five series:

  1. Family Papers
  2. Anna Gillingham correspondence
  3. Writing
  4. Pictures
  5. Miscellaneous and reference material

Gift of Mrs. Margaret Rawson, 1968-70

Gift of Mrs. Beth H. Slingerland, 1970

Gift of Mrs. Sally B. Childs.

Gift of Omie T. Diefenderfer, 1969.

Collection was given by several different donors.

When received, letters were in packets and the rest of material was unsorted. Materials were arranged in categories and placed in document boxes in Record Group 5. In 2007, the photographs in Series 4 were removed for better storage and placed in a Picture Collection, PA 142.

The following items have been removed to the Swarthmore College Library:

  1. A Bibliography on the Nature, Recognition and Treatment of Language Difficulties, prepared by Margaret B. Rawson for The Orton Society, Inc.
  2. "Pedagogical Implications of Specific Language Disability", by Anna Gillingham. Reprint from Jan. 1952 The Independent School Bulletin.
  3. "Prognosis in Dyslexia", by Margaret Rawson. Reprint No. 114 from Academic Therapy Quarterly, Vol.1, No. 3.
  4. Photographs in Series 4 removed to PA 142, Anna Gillingham Pictures. Abbreviated list of contents is described in Series 4 of this Finding Aid. More detailed inventory stored with the photographs.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
FHL staff
Finding Aid Date
ca. 1970
Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Access to material in Series 7 is restricted.

Use Restrictions

Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents

Correspondence is between Theodore Gillingham and Elizabeth H. Gillingham, his wife. Includes:

Gillingham family genealogy.
Box 1
Biographical articles of Anna Gillingham, 1892-1964.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes testimonials and high school and college grades.

Anna Gillingham's journal, European travel, 1908-1909.
Box 1
Bessie W. Stiilman's journals, travel to Europe, 1906, 1908-1909, 1911.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Bessie W. Seilman was the travelling companion of Anna Gillingham. Also includes journal of travel to Hawaii, 1936-1937.

Correspondence between Anna's parents, Theodore T. and Elizabeth H. Gillingham, 1881-1903.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

Includes letters to and from others, 1868-1925. Also Theodore Gillinghom's letters written while he was an Indian Agent in Iowa and Dakota, 1881-1889, and printed letters by T.T. Gillingham in report of Commissioner, 1874-1875.

Reference papers kept by family, 1849-1929.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

Includes two to Anna Gillingham's grandfather, Lucas Gillingham, 1849, 1850. Also letters of condolence, 1877, 1923, 1929, on deaths of baby sister and parents.

To her family, 1884, 1889, 1890, 1895.
Box 4 Folder 1
To her parents, about freshman year at Swarthmore College, 1896-1897.
Box 4 Folder 2
To her parents, about senior year at Swarthmore College, 1899-1900.
Box 4 Folder 3
Fragments of letters to her parents, 1899-1900, n.d.
Box 4 Folder 4
To her parents, 1901-1921, n.d. with gaps.
Box 4 Folder 5
Letters to parents while on trip to Europe, 1908-1909.
Box 4 Folder 6
Letters to others, 1926.
Box 4a Folder 6
Scope and Contents

Includes1917, 1963, 1957 (3 letters), 1935-1962 (47 letters to Beth Slingerland), by and about Bessie W. Stillman (3 letters).

From her parents while at Swarthmore College, 1898-1900.
Box 5
From Mary S. Haviland, 1899-1902.
Box 6 Folder 1
From others, besides parents, 1899-1963, n.d.
Box 6 Folder 2
From parents, 1901-1902.
Box 6 Folder 3
From parents, 1916-1917.
Box 6 Folder 4
From parents, 1918-1926.
Box 6 Folder 5
Fragments of letters, some dated.
Box 6 Folder 7

Poem, 1888.
Box 7
Poem,, 1916.
Box 7
Speech to school children during World War I.
Box 7
Scope and Contents

On buying war savings stamps.

Ser. 4. Pictorial Material, 1870s-1953.

Swarthmore College announcements, programs, and invitations.
Box 7
Columbia University documents, 1910.
Box 7
Box 7

Addresses of friends.
Box 8
Subject notes, on cards.
Box 8
Poetry and prose collected by Anna Gillingham.
Box 8
2 brochures.
Box 8
Bulletins of The Orton Society, Inc., 1963-1967.
Box 8
Scope and Contents

Vols. XIII to XVII, 1963-1967 and reprint of Vol. VI, April 1965.

Dyslexia In Special Education.
Box 8
Scope and Contents

Monograph, Vol 1, pub. by The Orton Society Inc.

Program of The Orton Society, Inc. annual meeting, Oct. 27 & 28, 1967.
Box 8
for Samuel Torrey Orton's Word-Blindness in School Children.
Box 8
for Developmental Dyslexia, by Lloyd J. Thompson.
Box 8
for The Disabled Reader, edited by John Money.
Box 8
Word-Blindness In School Children..., by Samuel Torrey Orton, M.D., 1966.
Box 8
Scope and Contents

Published by The Orton Society, Inc., Pomfret, Conn.

Ser. 7. Biographical material concerning Hyman Diamond, Swarthmore, 1931 ***RESTRICTED***.
Box 8

Print, Suggest