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Guide to the First Class of San Jose State Normal School Research Records
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The First Class of San Jose State Normal School Research Records, 1827-2009 (bulk 1827-1922 ) was compiled by SJSU Emeritus Professor of History, James P. Walsh. This research collection originated from his earlier publication One and the Same: The History of Continuing Education at San Jose State University, 1857-2007 (SJSU 2006). During the research process for One and the Same, Walsh discovered the history of the first graduates of the State Normal School. Walsh began the process to document in greater detail the lives of the first sixteen graduates of the San Jose Normal School, and has since published the article "Tadhg" Lets Change the Subject," published in Back to the Future of Irish Studies; Festschrift for Tadhg Foley, edited by Maureen O'Conner (2009). As he notes in his book and article, the first graduating class consisted of sixteen women, fifteen were single, and one was married. These women migrated to California during gold rush era, and several of them came from Irish immigrant families. The State Normal School laid the foundation for public higher education in California, and the graduates became the first credentialed teachers in the state. The records consist of correspondence, census lists, biographical and historical articles, handwritten notes, and includes the galley proofs of the article "Tadhg" Lets Change the Subject."
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 Jose, 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
1 box, .5 linear feet
Copyright is assigned to the San José State University 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. Copyright restrictions may apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.
The collection is open for research.