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.
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.
(2.58 linear feet)
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