Albert Valdman collection of Haitian Creole educational materials


This collection consists primarily of Haitian school materials and literature relating to the Bernard Education Reform beginning in 1980. Additionally, it includes Creole and French literature, secondary texts about Haitian literature and culture, and materials used for bilingual programs in the United States.


The collection is open for research. Interested patrons may request it from the Auxiliary Library Facility, where it is housed. 

Historical Note:

An attempt to restructure Haiti's education system began with the launch of the Bernard Reform of Education in 1979, named for the former Minister of Education, Joseph C. Bernard. The reform was established in response to the growing status of the Creole language, the need to increase the level of access to basic education, and to improve the overall efficiency of the system. To address these issues, the newly formed Department of National Education (DEN) introduced the use of Creole as a language of instruction in Haitian schools. (As Creole was not recognized as an official language of Haiti until 1987, this was a rather controversial move.) Despite the intentions, this initial period of the reform was halted in the mid-1980s due to a lack of implementation, among other factors.

The 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s also saw efforts to improve literacy and rural development. Various organizations initiated projects and produced informational pamphlets in this area. These include government institutions such as the National Office for Community Education (ONEC) and the National Office for Literacy and Community Education (ONAAC), Catholic and Protestant organizations such as the Radio Soleil, and international organizations such as UNESCO, who organized a literacy project in 1979.

As Haitians immigrated to the United States, issues of bilingual education for Haitian children also needed to be addressed. Various projects formed with funding through Title VII of ESEA and bilingual programs were established in three major diaspora areas: New York, Boston, and Miami. The IU Creole Institute was also heavily involved in the instruction of Haitian Creole in the United States. In the 1980s, the institute coordinated four summer institutes in the diaspora areas to train teachers involved in the bilingual education of Haitian children.


The collection is divided into five main series: I. Bernard Reform of Education, II. Rural Education in Haiti, III. Bilingual Program Materials, III. Literature, and IV. Secondary Sources.

Scope and Content Note:

Professor Albert Valdman acquired these materials over the course of his career as a scholar of the Haitian Creole language and Director of the Indiana University Creole Institute. The items were part of the Creole Institute's library until they were donated to the IU Herman B Wells Library in 2010.

The collection is divided into five series: Bernard Reform of Education, Rural Education in Haiti, Bilingual Program Materials, Literature, and Secondary Sources.

The first series comprises the majority of the collection, consisting primarily of schoolbooks published by the Department of National Education (Depatman Edikasyon Nasyonal, DEN) in Haiti, but also the non-governmental organization Komité Edikasyon Karitas, Ench. These items are largely in Creole, but some French texts are also included.

The second series consists of pamphlets and texts relating to literacy education and rural development of the general population.

Materials for the major bilingual programs for Haitian children in the United States are contained in the third series. This series also includes issues of the bilingual educational periodical Edikatè à L'educateur from 1986-1990.

Literature in this collection includes materials such as poetry, fictional works, religious texts, and translations. These are primarily in Creole and French, but also some English. The secondary sources include books on topics in Haiti such as development, migration, religion, and education, among others.

Container List:

I. Bernard Reform of Education

a. DEN

Box 1: Creole Grammar Readers

Box 2: Creole Grammar Readers, Iv Dejean, Institi Pedagojik Nasyonal, Sosyete Biblike               

             Pou Ayiti

Box 3: Gid Met La Series: Reading/Writing

Box 4: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics Texts

Box 5: Liv Pou Kou Franse en Ayiti

Box 6: Liv Klas: Aprann Franse

Box 7: Liv Klas: Aprann Franse, 2

b. Additional Publications

Box 8: Komitè Edikasyon Karitas, Ench. (1st-4th years)

Box 9: Komitè Edikasyon Karitas, Ench. (Years 5-6)

Box 10: Miscellaneous 

II. Rural Education in Haiti


Box 12: Nutrition and Health Teaching Materials

Box 13: Hygiene, Nutrition, and Family Planning

Box 14: Devlopman Riral: Kek ti Liv

III. Bilingual Program Materials

Box 15: Dejan, Iv: Joli Joli Kont Series, 1979-1981

Box 16: Title VII ESEA Bilingual Program; Brooklyn, New York

Box 17: Dade County Public Schools, Southeast Curricula Development Center (1)

Box 18: Dade County Public Schools, Southeast Curricula Development Center (2)

Box 19: Dade County Public Schools, Projet Haitien: Ethnic Heritage Series, 1978-1989 (1)

Box 20: Dade County Public Schools, Projet Haitien: Ethnic Heritage Series, 1978-1989 (2)

Box 21: Marie Levy Materials

Box 22: Other

Box 23: Edikatè à L’educateur, 1986-1990

IV. Literature (Boxes 24-27)

V. Secondary Sources

Box 28: Haitian Development, Politics, Economics, and other Social Issues

Box 29: Religion and Culture

Box 30: Multidisciplinary

Finding aid by Susan M. Bogner