Collection Full View

Maple Avenue School Records (1927 - 1992)
RepositoryNewark Public Library, Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center
Collection IDMG Nwk Maple Ave.
Size4 boxes, including 3 oversize
Collection Description
Newark's Maple Avenue School, located at 33 Maple Ave. (between Pomona and Goldsmith Ave.'s) was opened on September 9, 1925. A formal dedication was held on October 15th. Its first principal, John Hambright, came to Newark as principal of Washington St. School in 1918. The new school opened with six grades and seventeen teachers, including Leo Huberman, later to become a nationally known labor and economic historian and social activist, and Gwendolyn O'Connor, who served the school for many years as a much-admired art teacher. (O'Connor was apparently responsible for designing some of the scrapbooks in this collection.)

The school's Parent Teacher Association (PTA) was formed in 1926 and for many years was exceptionally active and involved in the life of the school. The school grew rapidly; a two-room addition was added in 1927, allowing it to expand to eight grades, and the teaching staff was much enlarged in the school's first decade. Demand in the neighborhood continued to grow but the intake of pupils into kindergarten had to be curtailed during the World War II years, when a number of teachers were away on military service. Irving J. Townsend became principal in 1945 and served into the 1960s. In the post-war period the school became known for its many student theatrical and musical performances (documented in photos in this collection), as well as for academic achievement.
Collection Contents
The collection consists of scrapbooks documenting the history of the school in great detail, "My Senior Year" photo albums with individual photos of graduating students (both January and June graduating classes), and some loose photos. Box I includes some foldered material removed from scrapbooks that were in deteriorated condition. Scrapbook contents include handwritten histories of the school, the faculty, and the PTA; original photographs; original correspondence; mimeographed notices and other documents; artwork by students; and miscellaneous ephemera.

Box 1, Folder 1: photos from a "Things to Remember" scrapbook, including a series of photos (by E. Heistein) of first graders in costume for a school play (1950); classroom groups and casts of plays on stage (1949); miscellaneous classroom groups 1946-1948; and 8th grade social events and group shots (1950s). Many students are identified.

Box 1, Folder 2: miscellaneous items from a "Things to Remember" scrapbook, including certificates, correspondence to principal Irving Townsend; a PTA annual meeting invitation (undated); a handwritten and illustrated folder of poems, dedicated to Miss Florence Steinberg's Grade 2A (1951); and a handwritten Memorial Day booklet with photos of students dressed as "Southern belles" (1946)

Box 1, Folder 3: "Class Photos," (8th grade?) groups posed in front of the entrance to the school (1927-1954)

Box 1, Folder 4: Public School Principals' Association of Newark, group photo [1950s?]

Box 1, Folder 5: yearbooks, "Maple Avenue Legend" (1945, 1972, 1980-1983, 1990-1992)

Oversize Box 1: contains souvenir photo albums, some titled "My Senior Year," containing photos of class officers and labeled photos of students of the January and June graduation classes (1953-1960). These volumes were probably given to the PTA by the South Orange photographer who did the work.

Oversize Boxes 2 and 3: contain 6 large scrapbooks produced by or for the school's Parent-Teacher Association, documenting the life of the school from 1926 to ca. 1950. Contents include statistics, lists of officers, notices and programs, original correspondence, artwork, and photographs. One volume, covering 1935-1936 celebrates the tenth anniversary of the school. Two scrapbooks, one covering 1940-1942, and one containing information on the early history as well as coverage of the 1940s (to 1950), are of particular interest as documenting the life of the school in the World War II era. The latter volume (1940s-1950) begins with a handwritten history of the school and lists of appointments of teachers, and goes on to document the school's wartime activity. NOTE: The scrapbooks are in extremely fragile condition and must be handled with care.
FormatsGraphics; Photographic materials; Textual materials
SubjectsEducation; World War II
Time Period20th Century
Access policyOpen for research
Finding AidYes
Finging Aid URL