RG10 Faculty & Staff Papers

Subgroup 1: Harriet M. Johnson Papers (1917-1937, 1979)

Creators: Johnson, Harriet M. (Harriet Merrill), 1867-1934; Storey, Polly Forbes-Johnson
Title: Harriet M. Johnson Papers
Call #: RG10 SG1
Dates: 1917-1937, 1979

Abstract: The bulk of the Harriet M. Johnson Papers were created by Johnson in the course of her professional life, in the early twentieth century. Much of the materials concern her establishing and administering to the Nursery School of the Bureau of Educational Experiments.  Her work was collected in observational notes, reports, speeches, correspondence, publications, and other formats.

Language of Material: English
Location: Bank Street College Archives New York, NY
Preferred Citation: Harriet M. Johnson Papers, Box #, Bank Street College Archives, New York, NY

Biographical Note

Harriet M. Johnson was born in 1867 in Bangor, Maine. She was a graduate of the Massachusetts Homeopathic Hospital and worked as a district nurse at the Henry Street Settlement. Through this work she became interested in the needs of young children, and was among the founding members of the Bureau of Educational Experiments. She was the founder and first director of the Bureau’s nursery school, which would later be named in her honor.

Scope and Content Note

The collection documents Harriet Johnson’s professional work from 1917 until her death in 1934, and is divided into four series. These are correspondence; lectures, transcripts, and published and unpublished writings; observations and notes; and personal and biographical materials. It appears that many of these materials were assembled after Johnson’s death by her colleagues from within their own files and from materials kept in the Library. Additional materials were collected by her daughter, Polly Forbes-Johnson Storey.

The collection consists of the following series. Select one for further information:

  • SERIES A - Correspondence (1919-1934)

    Consists of correspondence between Lucy Sprague Mitchell and Harriet Johnson. The series also includes correspondence with Barbara Biber, Susan Isaacs, Frederick Ellis and Dr. Tiebout.

  • SERIES B – Lectures, Transcripts, and Published and Unpublished Writings (1917-1932, n.d.)

    Includes published articles, notes, and drafts, as well as lectures and speeches given at meetings of various parent and professional associations. Also included are notes for lectures given to classes at Teachers College and the Vassar Summer Institute.

  • SERIES C - Observations and Notes (1919-1921)

    Consists primarily of observations of Harriet Johnson’s daughter, Polly Forbes-Johnson. Also included are observations of other children, a floor plan for the Nursery School, and other unidentified notes.

  • SERIES D - Personal and Biographical Materials (1934-1937, 1979, n.d.)

    Consists of materials collected by Polly Forbes-Johnson Storey, including correspondence, publications, and photographs, as well as obituaries and memorial tributes. Harriet Johnson’s bookplate is also included.

Controlled Access Headings

  • Corporate Name(s)
    • Bank Street College of Education
    • New York (N.Y.). Bureau of Educational Experiments
  • Genre(s)
    • Administrative records
    • Correspondence
    • Instructional and educational works
    • Notes
    • Publications
    • Reports
    • School Records
  • Geographic Name(s)
    • New York (N.Y.)
    • United States
  • Personal Name(s)
    • Johnson, Harriet M. (Harriet Merrill), 1867-1934
    • Mitchell, Lucy Sprague, 1878-1967
    • Storey, Polly Forbes-Johnson
  • Subject(s)
    • Child care
    • Child development — New York (State) — New York
    • Child development — United States — History — 20th century
    • Education
    • Educators
    • Nursery schools — New York (State) — New York
    • Teachers colleges — New York (State)
    • Teachers — Training of — History
    • Women educators