Fannie Battle Day Home Records
(Document/manuscript/pamphlet/archival material)

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Special Collections - Closed StacksWest storage range 1Library Use Only

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Document/manuscript/pamphlet/archival material
Physical Desc
30.5 cu. ft.


Organization & arrangement of materials
Arranged into three series, with subseries: Series I. Historical Journals: (A) Record Book Ledgers, (B) Fannie Battle Day Nursery Roll Book, (C) Receipt Books; Series II. Scrapbooks: (A) Carol Publicity (B) Miscellaneous; Series III. Photographs.
General Note
Materials housed in Special Collections Division of the Main Library, Nashville Public Library.
General Note
An additional donation of materials is pending archival processing. These materials include framed paintings of the Battle family and additional records.
Restrictions on Access
In library use only. Available by appointment.
Restrictions on Access
During a preservation re-processing project in 2008, the scrapbook pages were individually foldered in archival enclosures, with the original covers preserved in each box. Excludes two scrapbooks that are in their original format, these being: 1) 1986 Christmas Carol Program Publicity; and 2) 1991 Fannie Battle Centennial. The envelope of topical newsclippings were photocopied to archival paper.
Abstract: The collection, spanning nearly one hundred years (ca. 1905-ca. 1998, bulk 1905-1972), documents Miss Fannie Battle's humanitarian vision to build and maintain a charitable day care facility for the care, nursing, and education of underprivileded children in the Nashville area, spanning nearly one hundred years (ca. 1905-ca. 1998, bulk 1905-1972). The sources consist of historical journals, scrapbooks, and photographic sources related to the United Charities organization and its "agencies," the Addison Avenue Day Home, and the subsequent Fannie Battle Day Home, renamed in 1924 in honor of the day care pioneer and social reformer. The collection documents the benevolent service of the social workers, child care, education, contemporary economics, social, religious, and health conditions addressed by the charitable organization in the 20th century.
Scope and Content: The collection consists of three series created by the following charitable organizations: United Charities and affiliated "agencies," such as the Addison Avenue Day Home and the John W. Thomas "Fresh Air Camp," and the Fannie Battle Day Home. The primary and secondary sources, spanning ca. 1905-ca. 1998 (bulk 1905-1972) include historical journals (record book ledgers), scrapbooks, receipt books, and photographs. The collection documents Miss Fannie Battle's humanitarian vision to build and maintain a charitable day care facility for the care, nursing, and education of underprivileged children of working mothers known as the Addison Avenue Day Home, that Miss Battle founded in 1891, and continuation of her legacy in the Fannie Battle Day Home by the Fannie Battle Social Workers. The collection includes more than four hundred photographs, primarily featured in the scrapbooks.
Series I. Historical Journals, 1905-ca. 1972 (bulk 1905-1938), 17 vols. A collection of primarily handwritten journals of the United Charities and the Addison Avenue Day Home, the forerunner organization of the Fannie Battle Day Home. The historical journals (record book ledgers) pertain to the charitable organization's daily operations. Several journals have a name index that is cross-referenced to chronological entries of detailed information, such as "barrel of flour contributed by the public through Teachers Association," and "need stove to heat room where babies bathe and bottles must be sterilized and have plenty of hot water." The journal contain information about community and individual donations, Fannie Battle and staff, work-related requests of Nashville citizens, daily communications, and entries about the health needs of persons at the child care facility. Includes a nursery roll book of the Fannie Battle Day Home (1930-ca. 1938), along with a few receipt books of the Addison Avenue Day Home and the Fannie Battle Day Home.
Series II. Scrapbooks, ca. 1940-1991 (bulk 1940-1978), 47 vols. and 1 envelope of clippings. Scrapbooks of the Fannie Battle Day Home, pertaining to the social workers and the organization's charitable programs to benefit the care of local youngsters at the Day Home. The materials provide information about fundraising efforts, members and volunteers, and the Fannie Battle Day Home's Carol Time at Christmas Eve, known by the slogan "A Candle in Every Window, A Carol at Every Door." The scrapbooks consist primarily of newspaper clippings from the Nashville Banner and the Nashville Tennessean newspapers, with several photographs, ephemera, and correspondence. Includes more than four hundred photographs.
Series III. Photographs, ca. 1942-1998, 25 items. A small series of twenty-five photographs of youngsters at the Day Home, circa 1940s through 1962. The collection also features various Day Home locations at 4th Street, Pearl Street, and Shelby Street. Most of the photographs are digital scan reproductions.
Preferred Citation of Described Materials
Cite as: Fannie Battle Day Home Records, Special Collections Division, Nashville Public Library
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Kellie Holland and Sandie Griffith;,Gift;,2000.,Acc. RT-203.
Location of Other Archival Materials
Related sources include the Nashville Relief Society and United Charities Records (Acc. RT-202) donated by Mrs. Fred Russell and Kay Beasley.
Location of Other Archival Materials
Available in the Special Collections Division are two portraits of Anne Elizabeth Battle Perry and Mary Francis Battle Perry. Miss Fannie Battle was their great-aunt. The portraits were donated by the Anne Elizabeth Battle Perry Estate and are displayed in the East wing of the Nashville Room.
Biographical or Historical Data
Mary Francis "Fannie" Battle (1842-1924) was a Nashville humanitarian and social worker who was known during her lifetime as "The Angel of the Poor," because of her great humanitarian spirit and compassionate service to benefit underprivileged children. Born near Nolensville, Tennessee in 1842, Miss Battle was educated at the Nashville Female Academy. She was the daughter of Joel Allen and Adeline Sanders Mosely Battle, with seven siblings in the household. Her father was prominent in military and legislative affairs of Tennessee and the family was raised in prosperous circumstances prior to the American Civil War. During the Union occupation of Nashville, Miss Battle became a Confederate spy, with her father and brothers serving in the Confederate Army. Two of her brothers died at Shiloh and her father was taken prisoner. Fannie Battle herself was caught smuggling documents and later incarcerated in the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C. In the post-war period, she returned to Nashville as a public school teacher at Howard School and several other local schools from 1870 to 1886. In the 1880s, Miss Battle became active with the Nashville Relief Society, United Charities, and soon established first a daycare program near the cotton mills in North Nashville and then in 1891 established the Addison Avenue Day Home, Nashville's first daycare facility. In 1924, the Day Home was renamed The Fannie Battle Day Home in honor of the great social reformer and humanitarian.
Biographical or Historical Data
The history of organized charities in Nashville began when Miss Fannie Battle organized the Nashville Relief Society with prominent civic leaders in response to the December, 1881 flooding of the Cumberland River. Soon afterwards, a broader organization known as the United Charities organization was formed, wherein Miss Battle served as secretary-general of the charity until her death in 1924. Fannie Battle envisioned and implemented Nashville's first daycare facility that became the "Addison Avenue Day Home." Miss Battle's motivation to found a daycare service occurred upon finding a young boy who needed hospitalization, after he had been hit by an ice wagon. The boy's mother had been deserted by her husband and was employed in a factory, but was therefore unable to supervise her children during the day. Miss Battle provided a rented room in town, where a few working mothers could leave their children during the day. With Miss Battle's personal savings and a few gifts, a house was subsequently purchased and service programs became available to benefit the poor and underprivileged. There were eighty-five children in attendance at the facility in 1916. The affiliated John W. Thomas "Fresh Air Camp" at Craggie Hope, Tennessee cared for two hundred thirty-eight children and eighty-six adults in the same year, with a school organized for the children that had the same curriculum as the Public Schools. This particular camp helped urban children, particularly those infected with or susceptible to tuberculosis, with a more healthful country atmosphere. In 1916, a Christmas Carol program was developed to benefit the youngsters of the Day Home, with the Fannie Battle Carolers, and has continued each year, with the exception for a period during World War I. The slogan for the charitable fundraising program was "A Candle in Every Window, A Carol at Every Door." The Addison Avenue Day Home was the forerunner of the Fannie Battle Day Home. The charity has served in several site locations over the years. In 1924, the home was renamed in honor of Miss Fannie Battle, the visionary day care pioneer and humanitarian. In the 21st century, the Fannie Battle Day Home for Children continues the humanitarian legacy and benevolent mission set forth by Miss Battle in 1891.
In English
Cumulative Index/Finding Aids
Finding aid available in repository; ,folder level control.
Accumulation and Frequency of Use
No further accruals are expected.


APA Citation (style guide)

Fannie Battle Day Home. Fannie Battle Day Home Records .

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Fannie Battle Day Home. Fannie Battle Day Home Records. .

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Fannie Battle Day Home. Fannie Battle Day Home Records .

MLA Citation (style guide)

Fannie Battle Day Home. Fannie Battle Day Home Records

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of August 2021. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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