Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Kate Douglas Wiggin collection
Dates: circa 1880-1915
Collection number: MSS-2008-10-01
3.25 linear feet
San Jose State University. Library.
San Jose, California 95192-0028
Abstract: Kate Douglas Wiggin was one of the founders of the California Kindergarten Training School in San Francisco and an author
of several children’s books including the well-known
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1903). The Kate Douglas Wiggin Collection consists of sample books of crafts for children that illustrate educational theory
and method as taught by Ms. Wiggin and in the San Jose Normal School kindergarten teacher training program. The collection
also includes a photograph of Ms. Wiggin that she presented to the San Jose Normal School kindergarten training class of 1915.
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 has not been assigned to the San Jose 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
Kate Douglas Wiggin collection, MSS-2008-10-01, San Jose State University Library Special Collections & Archives.
Processing and guide prepared by Amanda Grundmann, reviewed by Danelle Moon. Guide encoded by Amanda Grundmann, 2008.
Kate Douglas Wiggin (1856-1923) was a pioneer of the kindergarten movement in the United States in the nineteenth century.
She helped to establish the Silver Street Kindergarten in San Francisco in 1878, the first free kindergarten in California.
She also co-founded the California Kindergarten Training School for aspiring kindergarten teachers in 1880. In addition to
kindergarten training and advocacy, Wiggin was a prolific author of books for children, including the well-known
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1903) and
Mother Carey's Chickens (1911). Wiggin also published a number of works on kindergarten theory and method as well as fiction for adults.
Wiggin's teaching philosophy was based on the writings of Friedrich Froebel, a German educator who established the concept
of kindergarten in the 1830s. Froebel's pedagogy was based on educational play, and he developed educational toys known as
"Froebel's Gifts" and activities known as "Froebel's Occupations" based on these principles. In her three-volume work on kindergarten
The Republic of Childhood (1895-96), Wiggin modeled her lessons on Froebel's "Gifts and Occupations". These activities were taught to students at her
kindergarten training school and resulted in sample books like those in this collection.
California State Normal School.
Bulletin of the State Normal School at San Jose, California for the year 1915-1916. Sacramento, CA: California State Printing Office, 1915.
"Kate Douglas (Smith) Wiggin (Riggs): 1856-1923."
Contemporary Authors Online, Gale. Reproduced in
Biography Resource Center, 2003.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Kate Douglas Wiggin Collection consists of six sample books of crafts for kindergarten children and a signed photograph
of Kate Douglas Wiggin. The sample craft books are typical of those created by students of Wiggin's California Kindergarten
Training School in the 1880s and include examples of sewing, paper cutting, and weaving. The photograph was given to San Jose
State Normal School kindergarten training class in 1915.
This collection is arranged into one series: I. Kate Douglas Wiggin Collection, circa 1880-1915.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Kindergarten teachers--Training of
San Jose State Normal School
Wiggin, Kate Douglas Smith, 1856-1923
Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin Papers in the Clifton Waller Barrett Library, 1887-1923, at the University of Virginia Library,