Dorothy Hamilton papers and photographs
Scope and Contents
The collection contains transcripts of Mrs. Hamilton’s talks, two books on cassette, mock-ups of her books, hand-written event calendar and notebooks, notes from her writing courses, correspondence, contracts, royalty statements, and some of her artwork.
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Mrs. Hamilton grew up in the Methodist Church, and she devoted much of her life to rearing seven children. In the 1960’s she turned to tutoring “slow learners” who, under her guidance and gentle encouragement, were turned into excellent students. After the last of her seven children were out of the home, Dorothy Hamilton emerged as an author of children’s books, dealing with such themes as divorced parents, drug use at school, jealousy, moving to a new neighborhood, poverty, racial relations, foster homes, migrant labor, adequate housing, and alcoholic parents. She used these themes to teach children how to cope with similar problems in their own lives.
Her first children’s book, Anita’s Choice, was published in 1971. In addition to children’s books, she also wrote numerous serials and articles published in magazines. As a result of her prolific writings, Dorothy Hamilton gained widespread recognition among children who looked upon her as “Grandma Moses.”
Early in 1979 the Indiana State Council of the International Reading Association presented her with its “Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Reading Award.” In May 1979 Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, conferred an honorary Doctor of Letters degree on Mrs. Hamilton for her significant contribution to children’s literature.
Mrs. Hamilton was also the catalyst for the foundation of the Midwest Writers Workshop. Sprung from the Dorothy Hamilton Writers’ Club, the Workshop was created in 1975 and, until her death, Hamilton instructed many of the sessions. She also was heavily involved with the annual Young Authors Conference.
Dorothy Hamilton died in September 1983, and a memorial service for her was held on September 16, 1983, at the Friends Memorial Church. The obituary from the Muncie Star described Dorothy Hamilton’s life as “Caring...Sharing...Love...Enthusiasm.” She is also remembered for her role as mother, homemaker, teacher, speaker, and author.
5.5 Cubic Feet (6 boxes, 4 audio cassettes)
Series 1: Dorothy Hamilton books, 1971-1985
Series 2: Dorothy Hamilton correspondence and other materials, 1962-1984
Series 3: Dorothy Hamilton talks, undated
Series 4: Dorothy Hamilton unfinished writings and other materials, 1962-1987
Series 5: Dorothy Hamilton newspaper clippings and autobiographical material, 1971-1993
Series 6: Dorothy Hamilton artifacts, 1979-1981
Series 7: Dorothy Hamilton oversize materials, undated
Series 8: Dorothy Hamilton oversize photographs, 1980 Oct.
Series 9: Dorothy Hamilton oversize poster, undated
Series 10: Dorothy Hamilton photographs, 1980/11/11
Series 11: Dorothy Hamilton sound recordings, undated
- Authors Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Clippings Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Correspondence Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Literature Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Manuscripts Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Muncie (Ind.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Photographs Subject Source: TGM II, Genre and physical characteristic terms
- Publications Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Stoeckel Archives of Local History Subject Source: Local sources
- Workshops Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Dorothy Hamilton papers and photographs
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository
Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA