Michael Myerberg Papers, 1940-1971

Scope and Content Note

The papers are a small collection which document only Mrs. Holmes' association with the Milwaukee Board of School Directors. Even for this limited aspect of her professional career the papers are incomplete, affording documentation only for the period 1955-1965. Nevertheless, because the collection contains some rare materials on the growing concern over de facto segregation within Milwaukee schools, the collection is of interest for research. The collection consists mainly of correspondence, minutes of committee meetings, speeches, studies and reports, newspaper clippings, and photographs; it is organized as Personal Information, Committee Records, and Reports, Studies, and Curriculum Materials. A few photographs received with the papers are available in the name file in the Visual Materials Archive.

The PERSONAL INFORMATION series consists of several documents concerning members of Mrs. Holmes' family (one item concerns a relative who was also a teacher in 1852), biographical news releases from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee archives, a copy of her remarks as school board president to district students at the beginning of the 1962 school term and several unidentified statements to the board, biographical clippings, and general correspondence. The correspondence is largely official and deals with her activities as member and president of the board. The largest portion of the correspondence consists of letters and form letters sent or received by Holmes, Harold W. Story, Cornelius L. Golightly, and other members concerning the activities of the Special Committee on Equality of Educational Opportunity. Several letters congratulate her on positions on public education and her concern for the Black children in the district, although a few examples of hate mail she received are also included. Additional letters concern work on the Teachers' Committee on Final Examinations and Closing Procedures.

Records of COMMITTEES on which Holmes served include documentation on the Special Committee on Equality of Educational Opportunity mentioned above, the Committee on Appointment and Instruction, and smaller files on several other groups. Most notable of these are the files on the Educational Opportunity Committee, which consist of comments on the committee's final report by the superintendent's office, mimeographed minutes, information on a minority report which Holmes supported, a report to the committee on de facto segregation by Harold Rose, the controversial Bibliographic Digest issued in the name of the committee, and information on the position of the NAACP toward committee activities. Also of special interest here are information on a project of the board under the aegis of the Great Cities Program for School Improvement to study the situation of migrant and transient students in Milwaukee schools. Included too are conference materials, minutes of the Research Council of the Great Cities program, and a report which cited Milwaukee's efforts as a “promising practice for the culturally deprived.” Other documented committees include the Teachers' Committee on Final Examinations and Closing Procedures (1955) and the Parental School Study Committee (1964).

Among the papers received with the Holmes Papers were a number of Reports, Studies, and Curriculum Materials distributed to board members for informational purposes. Because the board retains copies in its own files, only those reports of general interest were retained. Of the curriculum material only a teachers manual on teaching about democracy and communism was retained. Other reports include a 1962 report on the district from the Department of Public Instruction and the board's reaction, and several studies of teaching staff and physical facilities.