Scope and Content of Collection
Language of Material:
SJSU Special Collections & Archives
Title: San José State University Campus Events Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MSS-2010-02-04
(4.667 linear feet)
Date (inclusive): 1911-2011
Abstract: The San José State University Campus Events Collection, 1925-2007 (bulk 1950-1970) documents university and student sponsored
events, such as Spardi Gras, Homecoming, and the Centennial and Sesquicentennial celebrations of the university. The records
consist of print materials such as scrapbooks, flyers, calendars, newspapers, and brochures. This collection is arranged alphabetically
Language of Material: Languages represented in the collection: English
The collection is open for research.
Copyright is assigned to the San Jose State University Special Collections and 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 and Archives. Copyright restrictions may apply to digital reproductions of the
original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.
San José State University Campus Events Collection, MSS-2010-02-04, San José State University Library Special Collections
Collection processed by Kimberly Koshiyama. Finding aid EAD encoded by Kimberly Koshiyama. Reviewed by Danelle Moon and Erin
Louthen. In 2018, the collection was reprocessed by Kate Steffens from MPLP standards to provide more robust access and description.
At the same time, all materials from the Centennial Campus Events Collection (MSS.2011.10.08) were merged with this collection.
Accural added by Eilene Lueck on April 2023.
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.
San José State University yearbooks, student handbooks and other event-related materials document a range of campus celebrations
and events that took place between 1925-2007. Noteworthy campus events at SJSU include the Spartan Revelries (1930s-1960s),
Spardi Gras (1929-1950) and Homecoming Week (1948-present). Spartan Revelries was an all-student college musical event written,
produced, and presented entirely by students, and all students on campus were eligible to participate in its production. Another
longstanding event in SJSU's past was Spardi Gras. According to the 1926 campus yearbook
La Torre, Spardi Gras (or Hobo Day on Washington's Birthday) was "a gala occasion of play, sport, and merrymaking, which met with
unprecedented participation by the entire student body, and was later authorized by the Executive Board as an annual event
because of its great success." Homecoming Week is still celebrated today on the SJSU campus, and includes events for students
and alumni such as a movie festival and a bonfire, and culminates with the annual Homecoming football game in Spartan Stadium.
Other significant events covered in this collection include the university's Centennial Celebration in 1957, and the Sesquicentennial
Celebration (150th Anniversary) in 2007.
San José State University Office of University Relations Records, MSS-2009-03-06, San José State University Library Special
Collections and Archives.
San José State University Archives Photograph Collection, MSS-2006-05-01, San José State University Library Special Collections
San José State University Public Relations and Publications Records, MSS-2009-03-11, San José State University Library Special
Collections and Archives.
Scope and Content of Collection
The San José State University Campus Events Collection, 1925-2007 (bulk 1950-1970) documents university and student sponsored
events, such as Spardi Gras, Spartan Revelries, Homecoming, and the Centennial and Sesquicentennial celebrations of the University.
The records consist of print materials such as scrapbooks, flyers, calendars, newspapers, and brochures. Notable items in
this collection include a photo scrapbook of images from a performance by the Smothers Brothers; a flyer and invitation for
a speech by Richard Nixon; flyers for appearances by the poets Audre Lorde, Robert Bly, and William Stafford, and activist
Flo Kennedy; and flyers and event announcements from a wide variety of art exhibits held on campus.
Spartan Revelries was an all-student show that took place until 1963. It is described as follows in the 1960 La Torre: "Spartan
Revelries has been a tradition on the San Jose State College campus for more than thirty years. This all-student college musical
event is written, produced, and presented entirely by students, and any student on the campus may participate in its production.
The first Revelries, as a full-fledged musical comedy is shrouded in mystery. Some sources indicated that it began in 1929
as a grand finale to Spardi Gras. Others suggest that it had its beginning in 1933. At least we know that back in those days
a spring musical of some sort was represented each year. In 1930 there was a student-written and produced show called 'Jazzmania,'
which enjoyed tremendous success. In 1949 a Revelries Board was established to carry out the business and management of each
year's show, which has grown to be an event requiring the efforts of many students and several months of preparation."
Spardi Gras was an all-student event. Based on information from the La Torre yearbooks, Spardi Gras was first held on Washington's
birthday in 1929. It was described in the 1929 yearbook as follows: "Another event which met with unprecedented participance
by the entire student body was the first annual Spardi Gras or Hobo Day on Washington's Birthday, a gala occasion of play,
sport, and merrymaking later authorized by the Executive Board as an annual event because of its great success." The last
entry about Spardi Gras appears in the 1950 yearbook.
This collection is arranged alphabetically by subject.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
San José State University -- Anniversaries, etc.
San José State Teachers College -- History.
San Jose State College -- History
California State University, San José -- History.
San José State University -- History.
Education, Higher -- California -- San Jose.