Edwin Hamlett Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS.0188

Scope and Content Note

The Edwin Hamlett Papers contain a variety of material pertaining to Ed Hamlett’s life, acquaintances, and materials from the impressive number of organizations in which he participated. The collection spans 39.62 linear feet in total, and covers the years from 1954 to 1988. Most of the material, however, is concentrated between the 1960’s to 1975, and his involvement in civil rights and psychiatric nursing. The papers include correspondence, large numbers of notes, photographs, reports, proposals, and writings by others, as well as numerous collected publications. The majority of the material relates to Ed’s involvement with civil rights organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the Southern Students Organizing Committee (SSOC), and his tenure at Vanderbilt in Psychiatric Nursing.

The Series:
  1. General correspondence
  2. Personal and biographical
  3. Newspaper clippings
  4. Notecards
  5. Oversize Materials
  6. Council of Federated Organizations/ White Folks Project
  7. Community of Performing Arts
  8. Institute for Policy Studies
  9. Mississippi Schools Materials
  10. South Carolina Schools Materials
  11. Nursing Materials
  12. Students for a Democratic Society
  13. Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee
  14. Southern Students Organizing Committee
  15. Tennessee Council on Human Rights
  16. Vanderbilt Divinity School
  17. Miscellaneous Organizations
  18. Great Speckled Bird
  19. Miscellaneous Publications
Ed kept detailed records about his contacts, and these note cards have been organized alphabetically across a few differing categories.

The General Correspondence Series (2.1 linear ft.) contains much of Ed’s miscellaneous correspondence--both with friends and his family. Ed saved many newspaper articles pertaining to civil rights and the Vietnam War. These have been categorized by topic in the section bearing the obvious name. Included in this series is the entire “Port Huron Statement” clipped from the New York Times. A final smaller section includes Ed’s collected posters and bumper stickers--all found in the Oversized Materials Series.

The Personal and Biographical Series includes materials related to Ed’s education at Union University, the University of Tennessee as well as Jackson High School. Along with the scholastic miscellany, the series includes materials on Nashville politics, religious organizations in which Ed took part, resumes, job materials as well as pamphlets brochures and newsletters.

The Newspaper Clippings Series contains information on Civil Rights Movement, Nursing, and other issues that raised Ed’s interest.

The Notecard Series consists of contact cards created through social activism work. They contain names, addresses, and phone numbers of people with like interests.

The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) and White Folks Project (WFP) Series contains correspondence, reports, and publications from these two organizations as well as some material from SNCC. The information is primarily from the 1960’s.

The Community of Performing Arts (COPA) Series contains information on a joint New York State and Vermont project for teenagers. It consists of administrative files, payroll, and information on the formation of the organization.

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) Series is a small series about the organization and has material Ed collected from the FCC as the bulk of the items.

The Mississippi Schools Materials Series and the South Carolina Schools Materials Series both consist of collected items from the desegregation of the schools and the problems encountered when that happened. Statistical data, publications, and notes taken by Ed comprise the majority of these two series.

The Nursing Series, one of the largest sections of the Ed Hamlett Papers (9.2 linear feet), spans Ed’s involvement in psychiatric nursing at Vanderbilt. It includes notes, publications, meeting notes and various other materials associated with the Tennessee Nurses Association, the American Nursing Association and nursing at Vanderbilt University, where Ed spent the majority of his nursing career.

The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) Series deals with information collected about the organization and Ed’s work with the group during the 1960’s.

The Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Series like the SDS series is comprised of material about the organization collected as Ed worked in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s. Both are small series compared to the SSOC series.

The Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC) Series represents the bulk of Ed’s work in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. He was an active member of this organization and was employed full-time for the group working with ollege and universities across the South. The series contains correspondence, reports, publications, and other primary sources that document the organization’s history, purpose, and objectives.

The Tennessee Council on Human Rights (TCHR) Series documents Ed’s association with the group in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

The Vanderbilt Divinity School Series contains items from Ed’s career as a student of the school and primarily consists of syllabi and course materials.

Ed participated in many different groups working to effect social change in a variety of venues. Some of the minor projects with which he was associated make up the Miscellaneous Organizations Series (3.3 linear feet). Ed was a vocal activist against Vietnam, was involved in the project to “Save our Cumberland Mountains,” and participated in a group discussing the use of nuclear power in Huntsville. These sections, along with the others, house assorted pamphlets and flyers (as the rest of the organizations do), notes and publications.

The Great Speckled Bird Series contains issues of the publication from 1968 to 1974.

The last series contain a wealth material in the Miscellaneous Publications Series (9.17 linear feet). This is an assorted collection of various print related items that he collected throughout his life. Ed’s interest in politics, the South and student issues infuse this portion of the collection. From underground newspapers like the NOLA Express and fairly extensive collection of the Great Speckled Bird, to publications on Marxism as well as the nearly ubiquitous Newsweek and Time magazines, this series houses Ed’s collection of a broad range of printed matter.

The Ed Hamlett Papers contain one box of material Ed has labeled as restricted. It consists mainly of correspondence and will not be available for research.

Dates

  • 1954 - 1988

Language of Materials

English

A Chronology of Ed Hamlett’s Life

  • 1939 May 29 Born in Fulton, Kentucky.
  • 1945-1950 Whitehall Elementary School and then Carr Institute Elementary School.
  • 1951-1954 Jackson Junior High School.
  • 1954-1957 Jackson High School.
  • 1957-1958 Attends Union University in Jackson, Tennessee.
  • 1959-1961 Attends George Washington University in Washington D.C.
  • 1962 Spends one year at University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  • 1963 Graduates from Union University in June with a B.A. in History and Sociology.
  • 1963 (Fall) enters Southern Illinois University Graduate School of Sociology, then, dissatisfied with the graduate program leaves after one quarter.
  • 1964 Feb. Directs energies toward the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
  • 1964-1966 SNCC director of the White Southern Students Project (WSSP), later known as the White Folks Project (WFP), in association with Mississippi Freedom Summer.
  • 1964 February). Works at Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) office in preparation for the WFP orientations in Ohio and Tennessee.
  • 1965-1966 Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) national council member.
  • 1967 Institute for Policy Studies student. In spring begins work with Southern Students Organizing Committee (SSOC).
  • 1967-1968 SSOC Executive Committee member.
  • 1968 (summer): works for the Community of Performing Arts (COPA).
  • 1969 (March). Begins work for Tennessee Council on Human Relations in March.
  • 1971 Enters Vanderbilt Divinity School, and then leaves after a year.
  • 1972 (November). Begins work as psychiatric technician for Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
  • 1974 Begins nursing school at the University of Tennessee.
  • 1976 (June). Ed graduates from the nursing program at the University of Tennessee at Nashville, and he goes to work at Vanderbilt University Hospital.
  • 1979 (July). Marries Linda Wilson.
  • 1979 Attempt (unsuccessful) to organize a Union at Vanderbilt Hospital.
  • 1980 Staff Nurse of the Year for Tennessee Nursing Association.
  • 1982 (January). Chip Hamlett born.
  • 1986 (December). Andrew Hamlett born.
  • 1998 Retires from Vanderbilt Nursing.
  • Currently Retired, but working part time in home health nursing.
<emph render="bold">1939</emph>
May 29 Born in Fulton, Kentucky.
<emph render="bold">1945-1950</emph>
Whitehall Elementary School and then Carr Institute Elementary School.
<emph render="bold">1951-1954</emph>
Jackson Junior High School.
<emph render="bold">1954-1957</emph>
Jackson High School.
<emph render="bold">1957-1958</emph>
Attends Union University in Jackson, Tennessee.
<emph render="bold">1959-1961</emph>
Attends George Washington University in Washington D.C.
<emph render="bold">1962</emph>
Spends one year at University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
<emph render="bold">1963</emph>
Graduates from Union University in June with a B.A. in History and Sociology.
<emph render="bold">1963</emph>
(Fall) enters Southern Illinois University Graduate School of Sociology, then, dissatisfied with the graduate program leaves after one quarter.
<emph render="bold">1964</emph>
Feb. Directs energies toward the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
<emph render="bold">1964-1966</emph>
SNCC director of the White Southern Students Project (WSSP), later known as the White Folks Project (WFP), in association with Mississippi Freedom Summer.
<emph render="bold">1964</emph>
February). Works at Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) office in preparation for the WFP orientations in Ohio and Tennessee.
<emph render="bold">1965-1966</emph>
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) national council member.
<emph render="bold">1967</emph>
Institute for Policy Studies student. In spring begins work with Southern Students Organizing Committee (SSOC).
<emph render="bold">1967-1968</emph>
SSOC Executive Committee member.
<emph render="bold">1968</emph>
(summer): works for the Community of Performing Arts (COPA).
<emph render="bold">1969</emph>
(March). Begins work for Tennessee Council on Human Relations in March.
<emph render="bold">1971</emph>
Enters Vanderbilt Divinity School, and then leaves after a year.
<emph render="bold">1972</emph>
(November). Begins work as psychiatric technician for Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
<emph render="bold">1974</emph>
Begins nursing school at the University of Tennessee.
<emph render="bold">1976</emph>
(June). Ed graduates from the nursing program at the University of Tennessee at Nashville, and he goes to work at Vanderbilt University Hospital.
<emph render="bold">1979</emph>
(July). Marries Linda Wilson.
<emph render="bold">1979</emph>
Attempt (unsuccessful) to organize a Union at Vanderbilt Hospital.
<emph render="bold">1980</emph>
Staff Nurse of the Year for Tennessee Nursing Association.
<emph render="bold">1982</emph>
(January). Chip Hamlett born.
<emph render="bold">1986</emph>
(December). Andrew Hamlett born.
<emph render="bold">1998</emph>
Retires from Vanderbilt Nursing.
<emph render="bold">Currently</emph>
Retired, but working part time in home health nursing.

Biographical Note

Hamlett was born on the 29th of May, 1939 in Fulton, Kentucky. During his education at the University of Tennessee, the number of white southerners involved in the civil rights movement impressed Ed, and thus he began a longstanding interest in social activism. An active citizen in the politics of the South, Ed participated in various organizations aimed at equality during the 1960’s. In 1963 Ed opted out of a graduate program in sociology to instead help manage SSOC, an offshoot of SNCC. Ed and others associated with the SSOC sought to draw attention to (with the hope of sustaining) structural and economic change for the minorities while highlighting the racial inequalities of the United States. Additional goals for the SSOC included working for peace, academic freedom and civil liberties. He was an active member of the SSOC, but he also contributed to its associate groups including the White Folks Project (WFP), the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), Women’s Equality at Vanderbilt (WEAV), and others. He attended conferences, workshops, organized demonstrations, wrote and thereby cultivated a wealth of materials during this explosive time in the history of the United States. The Ed Hamlett Papers contain a wealth of resources related to the civil rights protests of the 1960’s which sought to redefine the social landscape of the South and of the larger United States.

With the gradual dissolution of most of these groups after a decade, Ed sought an alternative career path. He spent some time at the Vanderbilt Divinity School in 1971, and then obtained his certification for nursing. In June of 1976 Ed graduated from the nursing program at the University of Tennessee at Nashville, and went to work at Vanderbilt University Hospital in psychiatric nursing.

Extent

37.38 Linear Feet

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives
Title
Finding Aid for the Edwin Hamlett Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Thomas Crawford
Date
2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville TN 37203 United States


 

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