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Michael Armstrong Bread Loaf papers

Identifier: C-168

Scope and Contents

Collection contains records produced by Bread Loaf School of English instructor Michael Armstrong between 1986 and 2015. Materials include class notes, student work (usually with extensive commentary by Armstrong), class journals, correspondence, lecture transcriptions, student course assessments, materials concerning teaching visits to Lawrence, Massachusetts, outreach materials, and published works.


  • 1986-2015


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish materials, contact: Special Collections & Archives Middlebury College Phone: (802) 443-2387 Email:

Biographical / Historical

Michael Armstrong joined the faculty at Bread Loaf School of English in 1986 and served in that position for almost thirty years. Prior to this, Armstrong received his B.A. and B.Phil. from Oxford University and served as Head Teacher at Harwell Primary School in Oxfordshire. While at Bread Loaf, Armstrong taught courses on narrative storytelling, Calvino, “War and Peace”, and “The Imagination”. He also frequented the Bread Loaf stage, performing with the Acting Ensemble and students in plays including “Arcadia”, “Romeo and Juliet”, and “Troilus and Cressida”. Armstrong authored and edited several books including “Closely Observed Children: The Diary of a Primary Classroom” (1980), “What Children Know: essays on children's literary and visual art” (2010), and “Children Writing Stories” (2006). Armstrong died March 7, 2016 from complications following a surgery.

From inventory supplied by Isobel Armstrong: "Michael Armstrong (Bread Loaf 1986-2015) belonged to an Anglo-American tradition of educational thought that converged on the Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English from the 1980s to 2000 and beyond. In England the Bloomsbury group's interest in child art initiated a movement that was represented by Jimmy Britten and Nancy Martin, both of whom taught at Bread Loaf in the 1980s. In America the influence of John Dewey, and later David Hawkins, follows a line to the work of Dixie Goswami, Ken Macrorie, Lou Bernieri, and others teaching at Bread Loaf in the twenty-first century."


17 Boxes

Language of Materials



Collection is arranged into three series: Bread Loaf teaching records; Teaching visits and outreach, and Published works. Series are arranged chronologically.

Physical Location

Located in Bank 1, Range 18, after C-117.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Isobel Armstrong, wife of Michael Armstrong, January 2019.

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States