General Correspondence – Incoming Correspondence
This series is comprised of correspondence received by Parsons during his tenure as president of Indiana State Normal School. The correspondence covers a wide range of subject matter. As such it reveals the many different areas (academic, business, social) that required a college president’s attention. The files are arranged alphabetically and cover the years 1885‐1921.
Personal and Professional Materials
The materials in this area are drawn from those items of personal or professional interest retained by President Parsons. These include his employment contracts, some of his own writings, and students’ compositions. On a more personal level, the series contains memorabilia collected from various functions attended by Parsons and a handwritten copy of a work by Herbert Spencer. Also included are pamphlets printed in honor of Parsons’ twenty‐fifth anniversary as president of Indiana State Normal.
Academic and Student Affairs
The series is divided into three sub‐series. One series deals with academic and student life and includes student discipline and vaccination reports, files covering educational associations, course descriptions, and Board of Visitors Reports. Also of interest are files pertaining to the creation and operation of the Eastern Division of the Indiana State Normal School at Muncie. The second sub‐series is made up of President Parsons’ correspondence with officials of other colleges and universities. Parsons was influential in educational sectors and a reading of these offers insight into the inter‐institutional issues of the period. The files are arranged alphabetically by institution. Indiana State Normal School’s association with the Indiana Department of Public Instruction was a vital one, and files pertaining to this government office comprise the third section of this series. The files are arranged alphabetically by the names of the superintendents and cover the years 1891 to 1921.
Business and Fiscal Affairs
The materials in this series deal with the business of operating the Normal School and include treasurer’s fiscal, and payroll reports. These are important in showing the financial administration of the institution. A separate sub‐series is comprised of correspondence from book dealers. Such companies were important in providing materials for the school and its library and a reading of the files will provide insight into costs and business practices of the day. Book dealer files are arranged alphabetically by name of company.
Faculty Personnel Files and Applications
This series contains files pertaining to the faculty and staff of the Indiana State Normal School. In addition, there are files composed of unsuccessful applications and vitae of persons seeking employment with the Normal School (some with accompanying photographs). The faculty files contain copies of contracts, faculty correspondence to President Parsons, and materials pertaining to individual faculty. They are arranged alphabetically by faculty name and not departmental affiliation.
Board of Trustees
The materials of this series contain records pertaining to the Board of Trustees of the Indiana State Normal School. There are copies of some of the Board’s annual reports for the years 1880 to 1914. The reports and the files on bids and contracts are valuable in showing the state of the institution and its inner workings. Also included are correspondence files from individual board members which provide valuable insight into issues pertaining to institutional administration.
Property and Building Construction
Indiana State Normal experienced a period of physical expansion under President Parsons’ leadership. This series covers the acquisition of properties and construction of new buildings. Sub‐series deal with major construction projects; each containing files documenting the specifications, bids and contracts associated with each structure. As such, they provide a record of costs, materials, and techniques involved in the construction of the period.
World War I
Indiana State Normal School and its president were actively involved in the war effort. This series reflects that involvement. The school attempted to maintain contact with all students and faculty in the military service of their country. The result was a “Students in Service File” arranged by name of each student. Separate files pertaining to President Parsons, the faculty, obituaries, and photographs are included.
Letterpress Volumes – Outgoing Correspondence
Fifty‐four letterpress volumes accompany the Parsons Collection. They constitute the outgoing correspondence from his tenure as president of the Normal School, covering the years 1900 to 1921, and detail the inner workings and business aspects of the school. These volumes are arranged chronologically and most contain a name index to the correspondence.
In addition, twelve letterpress volumes of outgoing correspondence for the Indiana State Normal School Board of Trustees are included with this series. They are arranged chronologically and include the years 1894 to 1917.