Collection inventory

Special Collections home page

Lucille Bergthold Collection of Literacy Material

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

The adult education holdings are collectively known as the
Alexander N. Charters Library of Resources for Educators of Adults.

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 27 Mar 2013

Biographical History

Laubach Literacy International (LLI) was founded in 1955 by Dr. Frank C. Laubach to help address the world-wide problem of illiteracy. Dr. Laubach believed that literacy was the "first step toward ending the suffering and exploitation of the world's disadvantaged people." The mission of Laubach Literacy International as stated in the 1989 annual report was "to enable illiterate adults and older youths to acquire the listening, speaking, reading, writing and mathematics skills they need to solve the problems they encounter in daily life; to take full advantage of opportunities in their environment; and to fully participate in the transformation of their society." LLI carried out its literacy mission both in the United States, through its National Affiliation for Literacy Advance (NALA), and internationally, through its International Program.

Lucille Bergthold, the collector and donor of this material, was very active in Laubach Literacy from 1972-1990 in California and was Southwest Regional Chairman of the National Affiliation for Literacy Advance, a organization founded to extend the work begun by Dr. Laubach, from 1975 to 1977.

Bernice Elliot was a missionary to India for forty years (1915-1945). It was she who invited Dr. Frank Laubach to India because she was interested in women learning to read.

May McMillan was the founder and president of California Literacy for many years, and met Dr. Laubach on at least one occasion.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Lucille Bergthold Collection of Literacy Material consists of material relating to Bernice Elliott, missionary to India and advocate for women's education; to the organization California Literacy; and to Laubach Literacy and its founder Frank Laubach.

The Bernice Elliott material includes a clipping about Elliott and her work and several items in the Marathi language.

The California Literacy materal contains newsletters and other printed items put out by the organization.

The Laubach material includes material by and about Dr. Laubach as well as May McMillan's memories of meeting him.

Arrangement of the Collection

Alphabetical by title or topic.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has extensive holdings relating to literacy and to adult and continuing education. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index to locate relevant manuscript collections and to the Classic Catalog to locate printed and cataloged items.

Subject Headings


Bergthold, Lucille.
Elliott, Bernice.
Laubach, Frank Charles, 1884-1970.
McMillan, May.

Corporate Bodies

California literacy.
Laubach Literacy, Inc.


Adult education -- United States.
Literacy -- California.
Literacy -- India.
Literacy -- Study and teaching.
Marathi language.
Missionaries -- India.

Genres and Forms

Primers (books)
Clippings (information artifacts)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Lucille Bergthold Collection of Literacy Material,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Lucille Bergthold, 2015.

Table of Contents

Bernice Elliott material

California Literacy material

Laubach Literacy/Frank Laubach material