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William Wood Parsons papers, Indiana State University finding aid

 Series — Box: 1
Identifier: RG-03-01-05

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a link to the finding aid from Indiana State University Archives in Terre Haute, IN, regarding the papers of Indiana State Normal School president William Wood Parsons whose presidency lasted from 1885 to 1921.


  • 2014

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Biographical Note / Historical Note / Administrative History

Indiana State Normal School opened on January 6, 1870. Its original mission was to educate young men and women to teach in the common schools of Indiana. In time the institution emerged as a recognized leader in the movement to establish doctrines of “scientific pedagogy” in teacher education.

A man who played a central role in this institutional development was William Wood Parsons. After graduating in its first class and later joining the faculty, he served the school as its third president from 1885 to 1921. His dedication to the causes of education and Indiana State Normal served to promote teacher education throughout the Midwest. For a period of nearly fifty years, the life of the man and the institution were one and the same.

Through the Parsons Collection one may glimpse faculty and student personalities of the institution, as well as acquire a feel for the administrative, fiscal and political issues of higher education in Indiana. These issues of education deal not only with those concerning Indiana State Normal School, but with the formation of statewide educational policy and programs. As Indiana State Normal School grew into a nationally respected institution of higher education, its influence was felt through the work of its graduates who taught and administered in the public schools of Indiana and surrounding states. Much of the correspondence deals with Parson’s efforts to maintain contact with the Indiana public school districts and educators in those districts.

The Papers of William Wood Parsons offer a unique perspective on the formative years of public education in Indiana, years during which the Indianan State Normal School grew to meet the demands of training educators and administrators for this system.

The finding aid for the collection may be accessed at this link:


0.2 Cubic Feet (1 Box)

William Wood Parsons papers, Indiana State University finding aid
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Ball State University Archives Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA