John Holt Collection, 1943-1991 | Boston Public Library Archival and Manuscript Finding Aid Database
Education -- Parent participation.
Education -- Philosophy.
Education -- United States.
Holt, John Caldwell, 1923-1985.
This collection documents John Holt’s work as an education reformer, particularly his pioneering work in alternative education, homeschooling, and youth rights. Holt published several books on education, including How Children Fail (1964) and How Children Learn (1967), as well as the newsletter Growing Without Schooling. Much of the collection relates to these publications, especially his correspondence, which also covers such topics as parents who chose to homeschool their children, students who found school unchallenging, and teachers who were inspired by his ideas.
Together with his books on education, Holt wrote articles that were published in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, and Redbook and covered such issues as testing, natural learning, and the failures of teachers. He reviewed books on reforming the public school system, urban schools, and international schools, and his reviews appeared in publications including Book Week, The New York Review of Books, and Harper’s Magazine.
In addition to his writing, the collection documents Holt’s personal appearances throughout the United States and Europe where he gave lectures and interviews on education reform, children’s rights, and homeschooling. Also documented are reviews of Holt’s books, including How Children Fail (1964), Freedom and Beyond (1972), and Escape from Childhood (1974), which appeared in such national and international publications as Time Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, and The New Britain Herald. Among the other subjects documented are Holt’s interests in politics, the environment, technology, and music.
The collection contains correspondence, articles, newspaper clippings, newsletters, and audio cassettes. Material dated 1986-1991 was included by the staff of Holt Associates.
Series 1: Correspondence, 1943-1989
Series 2: Published and Unpublished Writings, n.d, 1953-1985
Series 3: Personal Appearances and Publicity, n.d., 1962-1987
Series 4: Subject Files, n.d., 1950-1990
Series 5: Related Material, n.d., 1943-1987
Series 6: Audio-Visual, n.d., 1965-1991