Scope and Content of Collection
Title: San José State Normal School Principals and Early Presidents Records
Bulk Dates: 1907-1915
Collection number: MSS-2009-02-01
San José State Normal School
(2.58 linear feet)
San José State University. Library.
San José, California 95192-0028
Abstract: The San José State Normal School Principals and Early Presidents Records(1862-1915)[bulk 1907-1915], document the early history
of the Normal School from 1862-1915. The collection consists of correspondence ledgers, general correspondence, and also includes
a diary written by Principal Ahira Holmes in 1862. The diary details the formation of the first State Normal School, and describes
the growth of the student body as well as other historically significant events of the early days of the Normal School. The
collection is arranged into two series: Series I. Correspondence, 1872-1915; and Series II. Ahira Holmes Diary, 1862.
Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Languages represented in the collection:
The collection is open for research.
Copyright is assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission
to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication
is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include
or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions also apply
to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.
San José State Normal School Principals and Early Presidents Records, MSS-2009-02-01, San José State University Library Special
Collections & Archives.
Collection processed by Elizabeth Lopez. Finding aid EAD encoded by Elizabeth Lopez and Lynn Sheehy. Reviewed by Danelle Moon
and Erin Louthen.
This finding aid was created as part of the Survey and Cataloging Project, a two-year San José State University Library grant
project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The project began in 2008. The Project Director
is Danelle Moon. The Project Archivist is Erin Louthen.
In 1857 the San Francisco Board of Education established Minns' Evening Normal School for current and prospective teachers
in the city. Named after its principal, George W. Minns, the institution was formally established as the first California
State Normal School by the State Legislature in 1862. A decade later, the Legislature voted to move the Normal School to San
José, and the school relocated to its new home on Washington Square prior to the fall term of 1872. After a fire destroyed
the Normal School building in 1880, the Legislature authorized $200,000 to construct a new building on the same site. Completed
in 1881, the building was commonly referred to as the Second State Normal School. After several names and curriculum changes,
Minns' Normal school is now San José State University, offering more than 134 bachelor's and master's degrees with 110 concentrations,
and is recognized as one of the top public universities granting such degrees in the West.
Gilbert, Benjamin F., and Burdick, Charles. 1980.
Washington Square, 1857-1979: The History of San José State University. San José, California: San José State University.
Walsh, James P. 2003.
San José State University: An Interpretive History, 1950-2000. San José, California: San José State University.
Scope and Content of Collection
The San José State Normal School Principals and Early Presidents Records consist of general correspondence from the early
principals and presidents including: Charles H. Allen, Principal (1873-89); President James McNaughton (1899-1900) and President
Morris E. Dailey (1900-1918). The correspondence include a petition to elect Principal Allen to membership in the San José
State Normal School faculty, papers concerning President McNaughton, presidential correspondence ledgers and general correspondence.
Most historically significant is a diary written by Principal Ahira Holmes (1862-1865) which details the formation of the
first State Normal School. It describes the growth of the student body and other important events of the early days of the
Normal School, such as the school's first graduating class, a catalog of the school's library holdings, incoming students'
rosters, student body statistics, and so forth.
The collection is arranged into two series: Series I. Correspondence, 1872-1915; and Series II. Ahira Holmes Diary, 1862.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Allen, Charles H.
Dailey, Morris E.
Minns' Evening Normal School -- History
California State Normal School -- History
San José State Normal School -- History
Minns' Evening Normal School -- Presidents -- Correspondence
California State Normal School -- Presidents -- Correspondence
San José State Normal School -- Presidents -- Correspondence
Education, Higher -- California -- San José