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First Class of San Jose State Normal School Research Records
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Project Information
  • Organizational History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
    Title: First Class of San Jose State Normal School Research Records
    creator: Walsh, James P.
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2010.06.11
    Physical Description: 1 Box (0.5 linear feet)
    Date (inclusive): 1827-2009 (bulk 1885-1910)
    Abstract: The First Class of San Jose State Normal School Research Records 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).


    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    First Class of San Jose State Normal School Research Records, MSS-2010-06-11, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Lisa Zakharova. Finding aid EAD encoded by Lisa Zakharova. Reviewed by Danelle Moon and Erin Louthen.

    Project Information

    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.

    Organizational History

    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

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection consists of the research files compiled by SJSU Emeritus Professor of History, James P. Walsh for the publication "Tadhg" Lets Change the Subject," published in Back to the Future of Irish Studies; Festschrift for Tadhg Foley, edited by Maureen O'Conner (2009). This research originated from his earlier publication One and the Same: The History of Continuing Education at San Jose State University, 1857-2007.
    As Walsh notes in his published article, the first sixteen graduates came to the West during the gold rush era of California. All were single women, with the exception of Annie E. [Sanford] Dubois. The women ranged in age from 17-34, and only three of the graduates were foreign born. All of the students were white, were daytime school teachers, and each attended the Normal School as night students. The first graduate, Ellen Casey graduated at the top of her class. Kate Kennedy, sixth in her class, lobbied for suffrage, unionization, and education. Mary Lynde, ranked thirteen in her class, and had a long career as a school principal, teacher, and writer. She also passed the California State Bar exam and became a practicing lawyer. Miss Lynde was one of only four women practicing law in early California. Mary A. Casebolt ranked second in her class and became a schoolteacher. Mary Louise Tracy ranked twelfth in her class and married Normal School teacher, John Swett, one of the founders of public education in California. Carolyn L. Hunt, number ten in her class, had a 40-year career as a botany and biology teacher. Annie E. Stanford Du Bois was the only married graduate, and despite the discrimination against married female teachers at the time, she had a very successful career as a teacher and as a principal.


    This collection is arranged according to the original order established by Professor Walsh. The first sixteen folders are arranged by student class ranking. The last six include additional research files and a the galley proof of the article "Tadhg: Let's Change the Subject."

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Education -- California -- San José
    Education, Higher -- California -- San José
    San José State University -- History
    Walsh, James P.