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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
COLEMAN, Millicent Lucy (1910-1990)
Level of description
Collection (fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
83 archive boxes and 2 albums


Name of creator(s)

Coleman, Millicent Lucy, 1910-1990, psychologist, Coleman, Kathleen Mary, 1915-1996, dietary consultant

Administrative / Biographical history

Millicent Lucy Coleman born 1910, daughter of John Albert Sidney Coleman and Jane Ketteridge; attended Lady Eleanor Holles' School, Hackney, 1921-1928; student in King's College London Department of History, 1928-1931; Day Training College and University of London Teacher's Diploma, 1932; supply teacher with the London County Council, 1933-1935; Inspector of Factories, 1941-1942; worked in intelligence testing at the National Children's Home, 1935-1942, served on the governing council of the Pestalozzi Village Trust, and as a Vocational Guidance Adviser and psychologist, and in an informal capacity at the NCH during retirement, 1942-[1985]; died, 1990.

Kathleen Mary Coleman, her sister, born 1915, daughter of John Albert Sidney Coleman and Jane Ketteridge; educated at the Lady Eleanor Holles' School, Hackney, 1921-1933; student at King's College of Household and Social Science, 1933-1935; on the Institutional Housekeepers' course, Northern Polytechnic, Holloway, 1935-1937; worked in Day Nursery, Tottenham, 1940-1941; worked as dietary adviser and buyer for the National Children's Home from 1937-[1975]; died, 1996.

The National Children's Home was set up as the Children's Home in Lambeth in 1869 by the Methodist minister, Thomas Stephenson, in order to provide a refuge to young boys. It soon after moved to new premises in Bethnal Green and admitted girls, changing its name to the National Children's Home (NCH) in 1908. The National Children's Home quickly recognised the importance of fostering and adoption and the charity was also at the forefront of the development of child psychology and established its own training programme to train child-care professionals. In recent years a focus on residential care has given way to its support of community projects particularly for the homeless and children with learning difficulties. The charity changed its name to NCH Action for Children in 1994 and NCH in 2001.

The Pestalozzi Village Trust was named in honour of the Swiss philanthropist and educationalist, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827). His work was aimed particularly at providing poor children with the practical skills necessary to earn a living. Dr Walter Corti rediscovered Pestalozzi's work in response to the problem of the large number of refugee children displaced during the Second World War. He established the first Pestalozzi Children's Village at Trogen in Switzerland to care for orphans and received support from all over Europe and in particular from the United Kingdom, where the second Village and Trust were set up in 1957 based at Sedlescombe in East Sussex. Refugee children were housed there and educated locally and in the Village's own facilities. The Trust is still active and older students, drawn mainly from the developing world, now either take a two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma course at Hastings College of Arts and Technology combining community and practical work, or remain in their countries of origin where their education is sponsored by the Trust. One of its principle aims now is to encourage sustainable development and promote knowledge and understanding of environmental issues.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The papers were bequeathed to King's College in 1996 following the death of Kathleen Coleman. They were transferred to the College Archives in March 1997.

Content & structure

Scope and content

The papers of Kathleen and Millicent Coleman comprise three classes of material: the private papers of the sisters and the Coleman family, 1842-1957; records relating to the National Children's Home, 1935-1981; and the Pestalozzi Village Trust, 1948-1989. Personal papers include a diary and pharmacopoeias, correspondence, examination certificates, photographs and printed books, 1842-1957, notably including a detailed manuscript medical diary describing life on board ship and a medical practice in Africa, 1842-1844, probably compiled by John Albert Sidney Coleman, grandfather of Kathleen and Millicent Coleman; pharmacopoeias containing remedies and prescriptions, with printed pharmacopoeias, compiled by Mark Coleman and others, reflecting the transition of the Coleman family business from patent remedies to modern pharmacy, 1851-1894; correspondence with Kathleen and Millicent Coleman, mainly descriptions of daily life in the National Children's Home and describing psychological testing of the children, 1927-1948; family correspondence and legal documents including letting agreements and deeds of partnership, the will of Mathew Coleman, the sisters' great uncle, and relating to their father and his career, letters containing family news and gossip, 1845-1928; examination certificates and prize lists relating to the education of Kathleen and Millicent Coleman, 1922-1933; photographs of the Coleman family during the 1890s, during World War One and of Kathleen and Millicent Coleman on holiday, [1928], of Lady Eleanor Holles School, 1921-1933, group photographs of students and staff in King's College London Department of History, 1929-1955, photographs of various National Children's Home establishments, 1934-1957; a small collection of printed books concerned with the history, customs and government of London and the Home Counties, [1945-1985] (Boxes 70-74, now on open access in the Archive reading room).

The records of the National Children's Home, 1935-1981, notably comprising Vocational Guidance Record Sheets, consisting of files on individual children that included intelligence test results, memory tests and individual comments, arranged in alphabetical order, 1938-1964 (Boxes 1-23); test results and evaluations of named children for tests organised by the National Institute of Industrial Psychology including the Porteus Maze Test and scoring sheets, 1957-1960 (Boxes 24-28); psychological evaluations of children at different branches of the children's home, notably in Cardiff, Harpenden, Nottingham and Glasgow, including individual test results and assessments with broad statistics and educational recommendations by visitors, 1942-1963 (Boxes 29-40); pupil record cards containing biographical information, aptitude tests and psychological test results for children at various homes, [1948-1960] (Boxes 41-42); material relating to the Brentwood College of Education including a working party on syllabuses, staff lists, the relationship with the University of London Institute of Education, manuscript notes and some psychological test results of children engaged in the so-called Gifted Child Study, 1971-1974 (Boxes 43-44); material relating to vocational aptitude and the placement of older children in trades and professions such as the armed forces and Civil Service, notably including psychologists' reports, 1935-1965 (Boxes 45-56); questionnaires of 18 year-old former residents conducted in 1954-1956 (Box 57); material relating to European refugees resident in the NCH including named children and correspondence with the Central Committee for Refugees, 1942-1949 (Boxes 58-59); general correspondence with Millicent Coleman relating to local authorities, staff and the emigration of children to Australia, 1951-1962; manuscript visitation report book assessing particular homes, 1946-1949; report on the incidence of enuresis (incontinence) in homes, 1946-1950; publicity material mainly created at the time of the centenary and on other children's charities, 1951-1981; careers and apprenticeship literature, 1938-1954; photographs and negatives of students and buildings, 1938-1939 (Boxes 60-62); psychological testing materials including test cards displaying words and pictures, [1958] (Boxes 63-69).

The records of the Pestalozzi Village Trust, 1948-1989, comprise typescript notes compiled by Millicent Coleman, who served on its governing Council. These consist mainly of Council minutes and supporting material, 1948-1989; Committee minutes including Finance and Management Committees, 1953-1985; Annual Reports and Accounts, 1961-1974; policy reports on the development and strategic direction of the Village, 1959-1973; correspondence with Millicent Coleman regarding Trust business and liaison with the National Children's Home, 1953-1985.

System of arrangement

The collection is divided into three main areas: the private papers of Millicent and Kathleen Coleman; papers accumulated by Millicent Coleman during her employment by the National Children's Home; papers relating to the Pestalozzi Village Trust.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Please note: National Children's Home papers relating to named individuals are CLOSED for 100 years from the last date in each file. Records of the Pestalozzi Village Trust are CLOSED for 30 years from the last date in each file.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive Services.

Language/scripts of material


Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

King's College London College Archives

Related units of description

The records of the National Children's Home are held at the University of Liverpool Special Collections and Archives.National Register of Archives

Description control

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Geoff Browell.

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

May 2002

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  • Administration
  • Administration of justice
  • Associations
  • Books
  • Charitable organisations
  • Child welfare
  • Civil law
  • Communications media
  • Deeds
  • Diaries
  • Documents
  • Educational evaluation
  • Educational guidance
  • Educational personnel
  • Educational psychology
  • Educational sciences
  • Educational supervision
  • Educational testing
  • Emigration
  • Formal education
  • Governing bodies
  • Guidebooks
  • Guides
  • History
  • History of medicine
  • Information sciences
  • Information sources
  • Intelligence tests
  • Law
  • Legal procedure
  • Legal systems
  • Literary forms and genres
  • Literature
  • Management operations
  • Migrant education
  • Migration
  • Naval history
  • Nonfiction
  • Organisation and management
  • Organizations
  • People
  • People by occupation
  • Personnel
  • Pharmacology
  • Planning
  • Primary documents
  • Probate
  • Prose
  • Publications
  • Refugee education
  • Social welfare
  • Student evaluation
  • Students
  • Training
  • University students
  • Vocational guidance
  • Vocational training

Personal names

  • Coleman, John Albert Sidney, fl 1842-1844, Physician
  • Coleman, Kathleen Mary, 1915-1996, Dietary consultant
  • Coleman, Millicent Lucy, 1910-1990, Psychologist

Corporate names

  • Brentwood College of Education
  • Central Committee for Refugees
  • King's College London College Archives
  • King's College London, Department of History
  • Lady Eleanor Holles School
  • National Children's Home
  • National Institute of Industrial Psychology
  • Pestalozzi Village Trust


  • Africa
  • London, England

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