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Campus Laboratory School Records, 1899-1997 | Special Collections & University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Campus Laboratory School Records, 1899-1997Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1950-1970

Primary Creator: Campus Laboratory School (1900-1970)

Extent: 5.51 Linear Feet


I. Administrative Files, 1899-1993

II. Library Files, 1950-1970

III. Parents Association Files, 1949-1971

IV. Campus Lab School Publications, 1955-1977

V. Photograph, Scrapbook, and Student Project Files, 1925-1970

Subjects: San Diego State University. Campus Laboratory School--Archives, San Diego State University. Campus Laboratory School--History--Sources

Forms of Material: Institutional Archives, Photographs

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Campus Laboratory School Records (1899-1997) document the operation, administration, and mission of the San Diego State University Campus Lab School, and includes correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, student work, and meeting minutes.  The majority of materials primarily date from the 1960s and focus on the school's innovative teaching methods and experimentation.  Highlights include several scrapbooks with photographs of students working on school projects, staging plays, and going on field trips.  The collection is divided into five series: Administrative Files (1899-1993), Library Files (1950-1970), Parents Association Files (1949-1971), Campus Lab School Publications (1955-1977), and Photograph, Scrapbook, and Student Project Files (1925-1970).

The Administrative Files (1899-1993) document the day-to-day operations of the Campus Lab School.  Highlights include a Sixth Grade Camp "scrapbook," which details the founding, planning, and logistics of the sixth grade camp program.  The series consists of correspondence and reports, and provides very limited documentation prior to 1955 or after 1970.

The Library Files (1950-1970) document the operation, activities, and statistics of the Campus Lab library.  These files primarily consist of daily, monthly, and annual reports, which contain reference and circulation statistics, although there is some correspondence.  Of particular interest is the "Unusual Questions" section of the monthly reports.

The Parents Association Files (1949-1971) document the administration and activities of the Campus Lab Parents Association.  Highlights include meeting minutes, which discuss everything from a disturbance at the Christmas pageant to starting a glee club.  Arranged alphabetically, these files include council minutes, committee files, reports, bulletins, and by-laws.

The Campus Lab Publication Files (1955-1977) document Campus Lab activities, research, and notable events.  Arranged by publication, these files consist of Campus Lab newsletters, reports, and instructional materials for various teaching methods, technologies, and class projects.  The materials primarily date from the late 1950s to 1960s.

The Photograph, Scrapbook, and Student Project Files (1925-1970) visually document Campus Lab School activities and events, such as field trips, class projects, student work, and class photographs.  Of particular interest are materials relating the 1997 Campus Lab School reunion, and hand-made books students created for a class project including The Lost Swan, Sandy the Seal, and The Little House.

Biographical Note

Initially named the Training School, the Campus Laboratory School (or Campus Lab School) was established in 1900, and located on the State Normal School campus.  The school provided instruction for elementary, middle, and high school students in small classes where they could receive more individualized instruction.  Besides serving as a grammar school, the Training School allowed Normal School students the opportunity to instruct the students themselves, thus providing practice and teaching experience.  When Edward Hardy began his term as president in 1910, he discontinued the high school segment of the Training School because increasing enrollment (by 1910 the Training School had over four hundred students) was causing space problems.  To accommodate the growth in enrollment the school moved into a separate building. 

When the college moved to Montezuma Mesa in 1931, the Training School maintained its own separate building on the new campus as part of the science complex.  This new facility featured classrooms, a library, and a playground.  In 1936, the school set up a Child Study Laboratory for Home Economics students to earn credit towards their degrees.  In 1953, during a period of campus expansion, the Campus Lab School again relocated to a new building, and officially changed its name to the Campus Laboratory School.  Several years later, because of an influx of students in the School of Education, the Campus Lab School transitioned from its original purpose as a "practice" school to an observation and research center.  Although students in the teacher program were still able to student teach at the school, the majority of students observed classes and instructional techniques at the school, and received their student teaching experience at other San Diego public schools.

Despite this shift in function, the school remained extremely popular, and had a long waitlist by 1960.  In addition, the school's curriculum was innovative and on the cutting-edge of educational techniques, child development, and teaching training.  The school experimented with individualized curriculum, a non-graded organizational structure, team teaching, self-directed learning, creative teaching, bilingual programs, and programs for special needs and gifted students, all of which propelled the Campus Lab School and San Diego State's teaching program to national recognition.  In 1970, state budget cuts forced the closure of the Campus Lab School.  The old Campus Lab site was razed in 1991.

Subject/Index Terms

San Diego State University. Campus Laboratory School--Archives
San Diego State University. Campus Laboratory School--History--Sources

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in some of these materials have been transferred to or belong to San Diego State University. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish.  Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Acquisition Source: Multiple donors

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Campus Laboratory School Records, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Administrative Records, 1899-1970],
[Series 2: Library Files, 1950-1970],
[Series 3: Parents' Association, 1949-1971],
[Series 4: Campus Lab School Publications, 1959-1977],
[Series 5: Photographs and Miscellany, 1927-1970],

Series 5: Photographs and Miscellany, 1927-1970Add to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Item 1: Sixth grade projects/miscellaneous Students' story books, 1958, 1966Add to your cart.
Item 2: Sandy the SealAdd to your cart.
Item 3: The Lost Swan (sic)Add to your cart.
Item 4: Sally and Marys ProblemAdd to your cart.
Item 5: The Tree that Wouldn't GrowAdd to your cart.
Item 6: The Little HouseAdd to your cart.
Item 7: Class/miscellaneous photosAdd to your cart.
Item 8: Red photo album: student class photos, 1958 - 66Add to your cart.
Item 9: Brown photo album: student class photos, miscellaneous student photos, 1963 - 64, 1950'sAdd to your cart.
Item 10: Class Pictures, 1968 - 69Add to your cart.
Item 11: Publicity on Farewell to CLS building, ca. 1991Add to your cart.
Item 12: Class pictures, ca. 1927Add to your cart.
Item 13: CLS Reunion - attendance list, program, 2 name tags, Invitation, 1997Add to your cart.
Item 14: Slides & negatives - class activities, Navy ship tour, c. 1965Add to your cart.
Item 15: 2 photos: class picture, 1949 - 50; students painting, c. 1948/49Add to your cart.
Item 16: CLS Parents' Bulletin, 1962 - 70Add to your cart.
Item 17: Librarian's scrapbook: compiled by CLS librarian, Eileen Adams, 1957 - 70Add to your cart.
Item 18: Loose leaf binder (president's book, parents' association), n.d.Add to your cart.
Item 19: Elizabeth Jacobsen Meyer scrapbook and photographs, 1939-2000Add to your cart.
Elizabeth Jacobsen Meyer (1918-2004) received her B.A. and M.A. from San Diego State in 1940 and 1965 respectively, and for 33 years worked for the San Diego Unified School District as a teacher and administrator.
Box 3Add to your cart.
Item 1: Scrapbooks: (includes historians' reports), 1931 - 62; 1962 - 66Add to your cart.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Item 1: Scrapbook, 1966 - 70Add to your cart.
San Diego Union article regarding Campus Laboratory School event December 13, 1968

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Administrative Records, 1899-1970],
[Series 2: Library Files, 1950-1970],
[Series 3: Parents' Association, 1949-1971],
[Series 4: Campus Lab School Publications, 1959-1977],
[Series 5: Photographs and Miscellany, 1927-1970],

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