In 1976, Jim Gray imagined our future: “Through the project we have that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of being in the right position at the right time.” And he was right. The National Writing Project would go on to become something special and rare: an educator-led initiative that would spread, scale, and evolve for 40+ years. NWP is a case study in reform that works, in evolving forms of networked organizations, and in what educators can do. Historians take note!
For this reason, NWP partnered with The Bancroft Library at the University of California Berkeley to launch the NWP Archive, ensuring preservation and accessibility of NWP organizational records, publications, and resources, including more than 100 oral history interviews from founding Writing Project site directors, scholars, teacher-leaders, and funders. The NWP Archive provides a rich resource for all who are interested in the history of literacy and, in particular, composition and rhetoric, and the role of teacher leadership and professionalization in the United States, as well as the spread of the NWP model to a range of international locations.
Thanks to our generous donors, the NWP Archive is complete, and a special exhibit, Teachers at the Center: The Story of the National Writing Project, is on display in the Rowell Cases at The Bancroft Library from April 17–September 1, 2017.
Beyond the special exhibit, a permanent archive now lives at The Bancroft Library which will continue supporting research and scholarship about the most important and extensive teacher-led literacy network in our nation.