Robert Borden Papers (Rockford), 1944-1991
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Brief Description:

These records partially document the history of Thomas Jefferson Junior High School, Rockford, Illinois, 1956-1969 which became Thomas Jefferson High School in 1970. The collection is comprised of material received and generated by Robert Borden during his twenty-eight year tenure at Thomas Jefferson School, 1958-1986.

The first record series covers the policies and administrative decisions, daily life of both teachers and students, special events at Jefferson, and Robert Borden's classroom activities.  This material concentrates on the time period of 1970-1986.  Of particular interest in this series is the correspondence of Mr. Chalmer Hart, principal of Jefferson, to the teachers, generated between 1969-1985.  The series of Daily Notices 1966-1986 is an excellent source of information for documenting the day-to-day activities at the school.  Researchers should note that historical information on Jefferson Junior High can be found in Jefferson's Ten Year History 1956-1966.

Material documenting Robert Borden's classroom teaching and academic activities includes his correspondence with administrators, parents, and students; teaching materials for his classes in economics, government and history; class enrollment lists; and students' academic papers.  The bulk of this material documents Borden's work with high school students.  Borden's activities as leader of the student History Club, Swedish Club, and as Jefferson High's Debate Club coach are also documented.

Record series two partially documents decisions and activities of the Rockford Public School Board and its' superintendent through correspondence received by the teachers, and periodical publications during the years 1964-1986.  Included in series 2, subseries A, are records documenting the activities of two teachers' professional organizations in Rockford:  the Rockford Federation of Teachers and the Rockford Education Association (REA) from the years 1952-1986.  Of special note are the copies of the professional agreements between the REA and the Rockford Public Schools spanning the years 1968-1984.  Periodical publications of the REA from 1964-1986 are also useful in tracking the relationship of the REA, their constituency, and the administration of the Rockford Public Schools.

Note:  Researchers should be aware that the term "correspondence" needs to be interpreted rather loosely for the Robert Borden collection.  Files described as correspondence will include letters, memos, and directives which were mass distributed by the office or person of origin, as well as exchanges of a personal nature.  Researchers should also note that runs of  periodical publications tend to have gaps within the indicated span of dates.

Added at a later date were Borden’s correspondence written during his World War II service in the Navy.

Held at:
Northern Illinois University
Founders Memorial Library
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: 815-753-1779
Email: rhcua [at]
Record Series Number: RHC/RC/186
Volume: 9.5 Linear Feet
Acquired: 11/00/1987. Additional school records and his World War II Navy Correspondence were added at later dates
Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to materials in the collection.
Subject Index
Borden, Robert
Debates and debating--Judging - High School
Education--Societies, etc.
Forensic sciences.
High Schools
Jefferson High School (Rockford, Ill.)
Rockford (Ill.)
Rockford Education Association (REA)
Thomas Jefferson High School (Rockford, Ill.)
United States. Navy
World War II
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.
Acquisition Notes: Robert Borden  Robert Borden, of Rockford, Illinois, donated his personal collection of school materials and correspondence to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center in November 1987.