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Antoinette Johnson Matthews papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS149

Scope and Content

This collection contains correspondence, typed manuscripts and notes, autograph books, travel diaries, newspaper clippings, and registration forms for students in her Out of Doors School. Correspondence covers topics such as Matthews' retirement party and a reunion for former students of the Out Of Doors School as well as suggestions and orders for Matthews' book, Oakdale Road: Its History and Its People. There are also Christmas newsletters sent by Matthews as well as letters from Sibyl Hathaway, the Dame of Sark; George and Jack Adair; and award letters from Rich's department store. The typed manuscripts include notes for Oakdale Road: Its History and Its People as well as genealogical research for the book with emphasis on the Johnson and Medlock families. Other typed manuscripts include personal writings on topics such as Matthews' travels, church life, her views on property ownership, and her time at school. The travel diaries cover her trips in the 1950s and 1960s to South America; Europe; Russia; and Turkey. Her two autograph books include one from her sixth and seventh grade classes at Decatur Public School (1906) and at Edgewood Public School (1907) and one owned by her mother, Willie Medlock from 1880-1884. Newspaper clippings cover the topics of the Dame of Sark, her trips abroad, and articles about her extended family. Other records include a program for DeKalb County Centennial Celebration in 1922 and certificates that include her education records at Emory University Extension, land indenture for land lot 50 in district 18, D. W. Johnson's membership in the State Marketing Commission, and Billy Carver's Druid Hills Kindergarten certificate where Matthews was the principal.


  • 1880-1974, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Administrative/Biographical History

Antoinette Johnson Matthews was born in DeKalb County, Georgia, on September 1, 1894, to Daniel and Willie Johnson. She was married to William Collins Matthews of Atlanta, Georgia, on June 17, 1925. Her grandfather was John Gerdine Johnson (1817-1883) who owned most of the land where the Druid Hills neighborhood is now situated. She was the founder and headmistress of the Out of Doors School in Atlanta, Georgia, the first private kindergarten in Atlanta. Many prominent Atlantans including Sam Massell and George and Jack Adair attended the school which she ran out of her home. Matthews wrote Oakdale Road: Its History and Its People, a pictorial presentation with commentary on past owners of the homes along Oakdale Road in the Druid Hills neigborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. The book also contains a genealogical supplement. Matthews died in Atlanta, Georgia, on August 27, 1989.


1.26 linear ft. (3 document cases, 1 oversize folder)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1970

Related Archival Materials

All visual arts materials have been separated from the collection and are unprocessed. Please contact an archivist for access to these materials.

Description Control

Collection reprocessed in 2011.

Antoinette Johnson Matthews papers
Laura Starratt
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305