Special Collections and Archives

Virginia Hamilton Conference records

Virginia Hamilton Conference records, 1983-2012

Finding Aid

Prepared by Susan Walters, April 1995; Revised July 2012
2 record storage boxes. + 1 oversized folder, 2 cubic feet, 11th floor


Historical Note

The Virginia Hamilton Conference was established to provide a forum for the discussion of cultural themes and issues in literature for children and young adults. Appropriately, the conference honors Virginia Hamilton. The recipient of nearly every major award and honor in her field, Virginia Hamilton was one of today's most distinguished writers for children and young adults. Critic Betsy Hearne wrote in Twentieth Century Children's Writers that Virginia Hamilton "has heightened the standards for children's literature as few other adults have, and Entertainment Weekly called her "a majestic presence in children's literature.

Virginia Hamilton was the first African American woman to receive the coveted Newbery Award for M.C. Higgins, the Great, for which she also received the National Book Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. Three other books, The Planet of Junior Brown, Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush and In the Beginning, a collection of creation myths from around the world, have been named Newbery honor books. In addition, Ms. Hamilton was twice awarded a Certificate of Honor by the International Board on Books for Young People, and she received the Coretta Scott King Award four times.

In 1990, Ms Hamilton received both an honorary doctorate from the Bank Street College of Education and the Regina Medal from the Catholic Library Association. In 1992, she was awarded the Hans Christian Anderson Author Award, which is given by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) to a living author whose works have made a significant contribution to children's literature. She also became the first children's book author to be awarded a "genius grant" as a fellow of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In 1996, she was the recipient of an NAACP Image Award for outstanding literary work and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Kent State University.

Virginia Hamilton was born into the flat, rural landscape of Ohio farm country, where her mother's family had lived since the late 1850s when Hamilton's grandfather, Levi Perry, escaped from slavery on the Underground Railroad. She received a scholarship to Antioch College in her hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and then went on to The Ohio State University in Columbus and the New School for Social Research in New York.

She married author and poet Arnold Adoff in 1960, and they had two children--a daughter, Leigh and a son, Jaime. Virginia Hamilton died in February of 2002 after a 10-year battle with breast cancer.


Scope and Content

These materials have a mixed provenance. Early materials were gathered by Clara Jackson. Additional materials were donated by board members Dan MacLachlan and Ione Cowen. The Department has gathered up promotional material documenting each year's conference as it has been available. Researchers will find material documenting all major decisions undertaken by the Advisory Board within the minutes.

The collection has been organized into the following series:

Series 1: Biographical/Promotional Materials
Series 2: Advisory Board Materials
Series 3: Correspondence
Series 4: Funding
Series 5: Annual Conference (includes programs, press releases, information on speakers for annual conference)
Series 6: Oversized Materials


Box 1


    Series 1: Biographical/Promotional Materials

  1. Biographical/Promotional Material: Arnold Adoff
  2. Biographical/Promotional Material: Arnold Adoff: "Sports pages" proof, book jacket
  3. Biographical/Promotional Material: Virginia Hamilton
  4. Biographcial/Promotional Material: Clara O. Jackson
  5. Biographical/Promotional Material: Clara O. Jackson, compiled bibliographies
  6. Biographical/Promotional Material: Anthony Manna, clipping: 4/4/89

  7. Series 2: Advisory Board Materials

  8. Advisory Board: Members Lists
  9. Advisory Board:Meeting Minutes/Agendas: 1987
  10. Advisory Board Meeting Minutes/Agendas: 1988
  11. Advisory Board Meeting Minutes/Agendas: 1989
  12. Advisory Board Meeting Minutes/Agendas: 1990
  13. Advisory Board Meeting Minutes/Agendas: 1991
  14. Advisory Board Meeting Minutes/Agendas: 1992
  15. Advisory Board Meeting Minutes/Agendas: 1993
  16. Advisory Board Meeting Minutes/Agendas: 1994
  17. Advisory Board Meeting Minutes/Agendas: 1995
  18. Advisory Board Meeting Minutes/Agendas: 1996
  19. Advisory Board Meeting Minutes/Agendas: 1997
  20. Advisory Board Meeting Minutes/Agendas: 1998
  21. Advisory Board Meeting Minutes/Agendas: 1999
  22. Advisory Board Meeting Minutes/Agendas: 2002
  23. Advisory Board: Essays considered for 1991 award
  24. Advisory Board: Essays considered for 1993 award
  25. Advisory Board: Essays considered for 1994 award
  26. Advisory Board: Essays considered for 1995 award
  27. Advisory Board: Essays considered for 1997 award
  28. Advisory Board: Essays considered for 1998 award
  29. Advisory Board: Essays considered for 1999 award
  30. Advisory Board: Essays considered for 2000 award
  31. Advisory Board: Essays considered for 2001 award
  32. Advisory Board: Literary Award Information
  33. Advisory Board: Conference Ideas: Gloria Skurzynski
  34. Advisory Board: Conference Ideas: Miscellaneous
  35. Advisory Board: Dan MacLachlan, Miscellaneous notes
  36. Advisory Board: "Proposal for the Virginia Lectureship Series," [1984]
  37. Advisory Board: Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1984-85
  38. Series 3: Correspondence

  39. Correspondence: Internal (Kent State University)
  40. Correspondence: External: 1983-85
  41. Correspondence: External: 1986-

Box 2


    Series 4: Funding

  1. Funding: Cleveland Foundation
  2. Funding: GUND Foundation
  3. Funding: Ohio Humanities Council
  4. Funding: Akron NABSE
  5. Funding: Miscellaneous

    Series 5: Annual Conference

  6. Conference: Mailing List
  7. Conference: Exhibitors: Baker & Taylor
  8. Conference: Exhibitors: New Day Press
  9. Conference: Miscellaneous
  10. Multiculturalism: Education
  11. Multiculturalism: Bibliographies
  12. Multiculturalism: Literature, Publications
  13. Multiculturalism: Publicity for "Many Faces, Many Voices"
  14. Multiculturalism: Art Galleries
  15. Multiculturalism: Clippings
  16. Multiculturalism: Miscellaneous
  17. Annual Conference 1985: Programs and Publicity
  18. Annual Conference 1985: Forms
  19. Annual Conference 1985: Packet Materials
  20. Annual Conference 1985: Photographs
  21. Annual Conference 1986: Programs and Publicity
  22. Annual Conference 1986: Forms
  23. Annual Conference 1986: Packet Materials
  24. Annual Conference 1986: Keynote Speaker, Ashley Bryan
  25. Annual Conference 1986: Presenter, Elizabeth Segel
  26. Annual Conference 1986: Photographs
  27. Annual Conference 1986: Reports
  28. Annual Conference 1987: Programs and Publicity
  29. Annual Conference 1987: Forms
  30. Annual Conference 1987: Keynote Speaker, Nikki Giovanni
  31. Annual Conference 1987: Performance "Sweet Flypaper of Life"
  32. Annual Conference 1988: Programs and Publicity
  33. Annual Conference 1988: Forms
  34. Annual Conference 1988: Tribute to Clara O. Jackson -- Donald Hassler
  35. Annual Conference 1988: Keynote Speaker, Walter Dean Myers
  36. Annual Conference 1988: Presenter, Dona Greene
  37. Annual Conference 1988: Presenter, Margaret Liske
  38. Annual Conference 1988: Presenter, Mary Margaret Spear
  39. Annual Conference 1988: Photographs
  40. Annual Conference 1988: Clippings
  41. Annual Conference 1989: Programs and Publicity
  42. Annual Conference 1989: Forms
  43. Annual Conference 1989: Keynote Speaker: Mildred D. Taylor
  44. Annual Conference 1989: Presenter: Mary Dardas
  45. Annual Conference 1989: Photographs
  46. Annual Conference 1990: Programs and Publicity
  47. Annual Conference 1990: Forms
  48. Annual Conference 1990: Book List
  49. Annual Conference 1990: Keynote Speaker: Jerry Pinkney
  50. Annual Conference 1990: Presenter: Sylvia Cooke Martin
  51. Annual Conference 1990: Presenter: Jill P. May
  52. Annual Conference 1990: Photographs
  53. Annual Conference 1991: Programs and Publicity
  54. Annual Conference 1991: Forms
  55. Annual Conference 1991: Book List
  56. Annual Conference 1991: Panel Speaker: Pat Cummings
  57. Annual Conference 1991: Panel Speaker: Nicholasa Mohr
  58. Annual Conference 1991: Presenter: Karen Patricia Smith
  59. Annual Conference 1991: Essay Award: Jean St. Clair
  60. Annual Conference 1991: Photographs
  61. Annual Conference 1991: Performance: Not Just Vanilla
  62. Annual Conference 1992: Programs and Publicity
  63. Annual Conference 1992: Forms
  64. Annual Conference 1992: Book List
  65. Annual Conference 1992: Keynote Speakers: Patricia & Fredrick McKissack
  66. Annual Conference 1992: Presenter: Esther Cohen Hexter
  67. Annual Conference 1992: Essay Award: Donna Norton
  68. Annual Conference 1992: Photographs
  69. Annual Conference 1992: Clippings
  70. Annual Conference 1993: Programs and Publicity
  71. Annual Conference 1993: Forms
  72. Annual Conference 1993: Keynote Speaker: Ed Young
  73. Annual Conference 1993: Essay Award: Mingshui Cai
  74. Annual Conference 1993: Photographs
  75. Annual Conference 1994: Programs and Publicity
  76. Annual Conference 1994: Forms
  77. Annual Conference 1994: Photographs
  78. Annual Conference 1996: Programs and Publicity
  79. Annual Conference 1997: Programs and Publicity
  80. Annual Conference 1998: Programs and Publicity
  81. Annual Conference 1999: Photographs
  82. Annual Conference 1999: Programs and Publicity
  83. Annual Conference 1999: Video
  84. Annual Conference 2000: Programs and Publicity
  85. Annual Conference 2000: Photographs
  86. Annual Conference 2001: Programs and Publicity
  87. Annual Conference 2002: Programs and Publicity
  88. Annual Conference 2003: Programs and Publicity
  89. Annual Conference 2004: Programs and Publicity
  90. Annual Conference 2005: Programs and Publicity
  91. Annual Conference 2006: Programs and Publicity
  92. Annual Conference 2007: Programs and Publicity
  93. Annual Conference 2008: Programs and Publicity
  94. Annual Conference 2010: Programs and Publicity
  95. Annual Conference 2011: Programs and Publicity
  96. Annual Conference 2012: Programs and Publicity

    Series 6: Oversized Items

  1. Book jacket for "Jim Flying High" by Mari Evans, illustrated by Ashley Bryan
  2. Promotional poster for "In for Winter, Out for Spring" by Arnold Adoff, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
  3. Posters (2) for "Black Out Loud" ed. by Arnold Adoff
  4. Posters: First Annual Conference: April 12, 1985
  5. Posters: Second Annual Conference: April 11, 1986
  6. Posters: Sixth Annual Conference: April 6, 1990
  7. Posters: Seventh Annual Conference: April 5, 1991
  8. Original watercolor portraits of Virginia Hamilton dated 1985