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Robert Borden Papers (Rockford)


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Thomas Jefferson Junior High School, 1956-1969/ Thomas Jefferson Senior High School, 1970-1986

Rockford Public Schools

Addendum 1

Addendum 2

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Robert Borden Papers (Rockford), 1944-1991 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Robert Borden Papers (Rockford), 1944-1991

ID: RHC/RC/186

Extent: 9.5 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 11/00/1987. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Borden, Robert, Debates and debating--Judging - High School, Education--Societies, etc., Education., Forensic sciences., High Schools, Jefferson High School (Rockford, Ill.), Rockford (Ill.), Rockford Education Association (REA), Thomas Jefferson High School (Rockford, Ill.), United States. Navy, Veterans, World War II

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

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.

Collection Historical Note

Robert Hjalmar Borden is a native of Rockford, Illinois, born July 16, 1926. He graduated from East High School, Rockford, in 1944. After serving in the Navy for two years during World War II, he attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois and graduated with an A.B. degree in 1950. His majors at Augustana were education and social sciences. He minored in language arts, studying the Swedish language. From 1954 to 1963 Robert Borden studied part-time at Northern Illinois State Teachers College in DeKalb, Illinois. He graduated in 1963 with a Master of Science in Education, with an area major in social studies.

Robert Borden has been employed in the field of secondary school education steadily since earning his A.B. degree. He taught at three different Rockford area schools during the years 1950-1955: Morris Kennedy, Kishwaukee Consolidated School, and Harlem Junior High School (now Hamilton). From 1955 to 1958 he briefly left the field of education to work as a technical writer for the Aviation Division of Sundstrand Corporation of Rockford.

In the fall of 1958, he returned to teaching as the geography, history, and civics instructor at Thomas Jefferson Junior High School, Rockford, Illinois where he would remain for the next twenty-eight years, until his retirement from teaching in 1986.

Robert Borden's tenure at Jefferson encompassed many changes, some local, and some of national scope which impacted upon the world of Jefferson school. In 1970, Jefferson became a senior high, which brought many organizational changes to the campus. As a civics and history instructor, Borden was in the unique position of presenting and discussing the many social and political changes of the world with his students which came about so rapidly from the early 1960's through the mid-1970's.

Robert Borden was also an active member of the Rockford Education Association during those years. The REA was an active force in determining salaries, job security, and formal negotiations procedures for teachers with Rockford Public School Administration.

He has always been especially interested in the history of the Rockford area, and taught local history classes at Jefferson. He is a past president of the Rockford Historical Society, president of the Swedish Historical Society of Rockford, and a member of the First Lutheran Church of Rockford. He is also an active member of the American Legion Post No. 864, called the Daniel Post, which was originally organized in 1937 as a non-drinking, religiously oriented veterans group in Rockford. The group became affiliated with the American Legion in 1945.

Borden passed away on October 6, 2007 in Swedish American Hospital, Rockford, Illinois.

Subject/Index Terms

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

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Accruals: 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.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Robert Borden

Acquisition Method: Robert Borden, of Rockford, Illinois, donated his personal collection of school materials and correspondence to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center in November 1987.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Thomas Jefferson Junior High School, 1956-1969/ Thomas Jefferson Senior High School, 1970-1986],
[Series II.: Rockford Public Schools],
[Addendum 1],
[Addendum 2],

Addendum 2
Series I.: Thomas Jefferson Junior High School, 1956-1969/Thomas Jefferson Senior High School, 1970-1986
Sub-Series C.: General School Information, Circulars, Memorandums
Box 19
Folder 24: Awards program, May 24, 1979
Folder 25: Memos, 1969, 1972, 1984, no date
Folder 26: School forms, 1969-1970, no date
Folder 27: Summer school announcements, 1970, 1972
Sub-Series F.: Robert Borden Classroom and Activities
Box 19
Folder 28: Book reports and other reports assignments sheets, 1966, no date
Folder 29: Called-in absences list, October 31, 1973
Folder 30: Class list, tardy listing, no date
Folder 31: Classroom enrollment, June 1967, 1969-1970
Folder 32: Drop from class roll list, no date
Folder 33: Excused absence slips, circa July
Folder 34: History exam, no date
Folder 35: Lesson plans, 1971, 1973, no date
Folder 36: Room assignments, summer school, 1972
Folder 37: Student chapter outlines, no date
Folder 38: Text book check out sheets, 1972, no date

Browse by Series:

[Series I.: Thomas Jefferson Junior High School, 1956-1969/ Thomas Jefferson Senior High School, 1970-1986],
[Series II.: Rockford Public Schools],
[Addendum 1],
[Addendum 2],

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