Storer College, Administrative and Operational Records, 1865-1960 A&M.1322

Storer College, Administrative and Operational Records, 1865-1960 A&M.1322


West Virginia and Regional History Center

1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown, WV 26506-6069

Staff of the West Virginia & Regional History Center

West Virginia and Regional History Center
Storer College, Administrative and Operational Records1865-19601930s-1950s
87.4 Linear Feet Summary: 87 ft. 5 1/4 in. (160 document cases, 5 in. each); (28 document cases, 2 1/2 in. each); (7 record cartons, 15 in. each); (4 notecard boxes, 5 in. each); (2 notecard boxes, 4 1/2 in. each); (5 large flat storage boxes, 5 in. each); (4 large flat storage boxes, 3 1/2 in. each); (1 1/2 large flat storage boxes, 3 in. each); (1 small artifact box, 1 1/2 in.); (1 oversize folder, 1/4 in.); 1 reel microfilm
Storer College
West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL:
English .

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

Conditions Governing Access

No special access restriction applies.

Preferred Citation

A&M.1322, Storer College, Administrative and Operational Records, West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries.

Biographical / Historical

Storer College of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, emerged from the aftermath of the Civil War with the purpose of educating former slaves who were now facing the world with few skills and no education. It began in 1865 as a school in the Lockwood House, a private residence, with the support of the Freewill Baptist Home Mission Society of New England under Reverend Nathan Cook Brackett; in 1867 it officially became Storer Normal School, with the mission of training teachers; and in 1938 Storer became a College. The College closed in 1955 due to declining enrollment, financial problems, and the advent of desegregation.

Although there were dedicated teachers in the beginning, by 1867 there were still only 16 instructors to educate 2,500 students. Reverend Brackett realized the only way to reach all of the students was to train African American teachers, thus necessitating the expansion of the school into a teacher college.

The philanthropist John Storer from Maine came forward and offered a $10,000 grant to the Freewill Baptists to create a teacher college under three conditions: first, the school must eventually become a degree-granting college; second, the school had to be open to all applicants, regardless of race or gender; and finally, the most difficult of the prerequisites, the Freewill Baptist Church had to match his $10,000 donation within a year. After a year-long effort the money was raised, and Storer Normal School opened its doors; and by March 1868 it received its state charter.

In the beginning local residents were resistant to a "colored school" and tried to shut it down through slander, vandalism, and local politics. One teacher wrote, "it is unusual for me to go to the Post Office without being hooted at, and twice I have been stoned on the streets at noonday." The attitudes of local residents eventually changed, however, so that later in his life Reverend Brackett became a respected citizen of Harpers Ferry.

Though Storer remained primarily a teacher college, in time it began adding courses in higher education to its curriculum so that students could graduate with a normal degree for teaching, or an academic degree for going on to college. In 1938, under the leadership of school president Henry T. McDonald, Storer became a college. Its enrollment peaked at around 400, and then dipped lower during World War II. The College survived until 1955 when declining enrollment, financial stress, and court-ordered desegregation combined to close it.

In addition to its progressive role in educating African Americans, the College became associated with other advocates of civil rights, such as Frederick Douglas, who visited Storer Normal School in 1881 to deliver a speech on John Brown, and the Niagra Movement led by William Du Bois, who held a conference at Storer in 1906. The NAACP was later to adopt many of the goals of the Niagra Movement.

[This historical note was sourced from the West Virginia Encyclopedia and Wikipedia.]

Scope and Contents

Records of Storer College, West Virginia's first African American institution of higher learning, located in Harpers Ferry. This collection contains mainly administrative and operational records of the college. Types of records include annual reports, publications, memorabilia, artifacts, and other material. This collection includes material regarding John Brown's Fort.

The collection is organized into eighteen series, including:

Series 1. Correspondence; 1865-1953; boxes 1a-61 (73 containers)
Series 2. Miscellaneous Correspondence; 1892-1957, undated; boxes 62-72 (14 containers)
Series 3. Individual Correspondence; 1920s-1950s; boxes 73-85b (25 containers)
Series 4. President's Reports; 1907-1955; box 86a, folders 1a-4 (partial container)
Series 5. Board of Trustees; 1926-1960; box 86a, folder 5-box 87b, folder 2b (2 containers, 2 partial containers).
Series 6. Dean of Women Reports; 1939-1944; box 87b, folder 3 (partial container)
Series 7. Executive Committee; 1924-1957; box 88a - box 88b, folder 1 (1 container, 1 partial container)
Series 8. Woman's Commission; 1937-1948; box 88b, folder 2 (partial container)
Series 9. By-Laws; 1867-1953; box 88b, folders 3-4 (partial container)
Series 10. Faculty; 1940s-1950s; boxes 89-90 (2 containers)
Series 11. Printed Material; 1920s-1950s; boxes 91-92 (2 containers)
Series 12. Student Records; 1890s-1950s; boxes 93a-122, 137-138 (35 containers)
Series 13. Financial Records; 1867-1956, undated; boxes 123a-136, 139-159, 164-169 (45 containers)
Series 14. Miscellaneous; 1884-1950s, undated; boxes 159-162, 175 (4 containers, 1 partial container)
Series 15. Newspaper -- Storer Record; 1892-1943; box 163 and microfilm reel (2 containers)
Series 16. Scrapbooks; 1870-1941; boxes 170-172b (4 containers)
Series 17. Alumni flags; undated; box 173 (partial container)
Series 18. Oversize; 1916-1952; box 174 (1 container)

Related Material

1131, 1168, 1322, 1471, 2621

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Account books
  • African Americans -- Appalachian Region
  • African Americans -- Education (Higher)
  • African Americans - Schools for Freedmen.
  • African Americans -- Segregation -- West Virginia
  • Ball, George H.
  • Baptists
  • Brewster, J.M.
  • Brown, John -- Fort-Museum
  • Builders and contractors.
  • Curtis, Silas, 1804-
  • Day, George T.
  • Education
  • Ephemera.
  • Fessenden, William Pitt, 1806-1869
  • Freedmen's Schools.
  • Harpers Ferry (W. Va.)
  • Jefferson County (W. Va.)
  • Jefferson County - Schools.
  • Ledgers.
  • McDonald, Henry Temple, 1872-1951
  • Missionaries
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • New England Free Will Baptist Association
  • Newspapers.
  • Photographs.
  • Schools - Jefferson County.
  • Schools. SEE ALSO Academies
  • Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Stewart, I.D.
  • Storer College
  • Teachers' letters and papers.
  • United States. Veterans Administration
  • Universities and colleges
  • West Virginia -- Race relations
  • Women -- Education
  • Women's history -- 1850-1899
  • Women's history -- 1900-1929
  • Women's history -- 1929-1950
  • Women's history -- 1951-present
  • World War II, 1939-1945 -- Letters
  • World War II.
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Letters

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Ball, George H.
  • Brewster, J.M.
  • Curtis, Silas, 1804-
  • Day, George T.
  • Fessenden, William Pitt, 1806-1869
  • McDonald, Henry Temple, 1872-1951
  • Stewart, I.D.

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

  • Harpers Ferry (W. Va.)
  • Jefferson County (W. Va.)
  • Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • West Virginia -- Race relations

Container List

Archival Resource Key
Series 1. Correspondence, boxes 1a-61
Mixed Materials Box: 1aMixed Materials Box: 1bMixed Materials Box: 2Mixed Materials Box: 3Mixed Materials Box: 4Mixed Materials Box: 5aMixed Materials Box: 5bMixed Materials Box: 6Mixed Materials Box: 7Mixed Materials Box: 8Mixed Materials Box: 9Mixed Materials Box: 10Mixed Materials Box: 11Mixed Materials Box: 12Mixed Materials Box: 13Mixed Materials Box: 14Mixed Materials Box: 15Mixed Materials Box: 16Mixed Materials Box: 17Mixed Materials Box: 18Mixed Materials Box: 19Mixed Materials Box: 20Mixed Materials Box: 21Mixed Materials Box: 22aMixed Materials Box: 22bMixed Materials Box: 23Mixed Materials Box: 24aMixed Materials Box: 24bMixed Materials Box: 25Mixed Materials Box: 26Mixed Materials Box: 27Mixed Materials Box: 28Mixed Materials Box: 29Mixed Materials Box: 30aMixed Materials Box: 30bMixed Materials Box: 31Mixed Materials Box: 32Mixed Materials Box: 33Mixed Materials Box: 34aMixed Materials Box: 34bMixed Materials Box: 35Mixed Materials Box: 36Mixed Materials Box: 37aMixed Materials Box: 37bMixed Materials Box: 38Mixed Materials Box: 39Mixed Materials Box: 40Mixed Materials Box: 41Mixed Materials Box: 42Mixed Materials Box: 43Mixed Materials Box: 44aMixed Materials Box: 44bMixed Materials Box: 45Mixed Materials Box: 46Mixed Materials Box: 47Mixed Materials Box: 48aMixed Materials Box: 48bMixed Materials Box: 49Mixed Materials Box: 50Mixed Materials Box: 51Mixed Materials Box: 52Mixed Materials Box: 53Mixed Materials Box: 54Mixed Materials Box: 55aMixed Materials Box: 55bMixed Materials Box: 56Mixed Materials Box: 57aMixed Materials Box: 57bMixed Materials Box: 58Mixed Materials Box: 59aMixed Materials Box: 59bMixed Materials Box: 60Mixed Materials Box: 611865–1953
Scope and Contents

This series contains administrative correspondence of Storer College. This series includes correspondence regarding Storer College alumni, the annual Alumni Drive, and other topics related to the graduates of the college; correspondence regarding West Virginia state agencies, including the Department of Education; correspondence regarding the construction and renovation of Storer College campus buildings; correspondence regarding post-war education and the GI Bill, including letters between Storer College and the Veterans Administration; correspondence regarding prospective students and enrollment data; correspondence regarding publicity and public relations; correspondence regarding conferences and conventions, including a number of Baptist associated organizations; correspondence regarding the John Brown memorial and John Brown's Fort; as well as correspondence regarding other topics.

Archival Resource Key
Series 2. Miscellaneous Correspondence, boxes 62-72
Mixed Materials Box: 62Mixed Materials Box: 63Mixed Materials Box: 64Mixed Materials Box: 65aMixed Materials Box: 65bMixed Materials Box: 66aMixed Materials Box: 66bMixed Materials Box: 67Mixed Materials Box: 68Mixed Materials Box: 69aMixed Materials Box: 69bMixed Materials Box: 70Mixed Materials Box: 71Mixed Materials Box: 721892–1957
Scope and Contents

This series contains miscellaneous correspondence of Storer College, including originals, typescripts copies, and ephemera, organized by year.

Archival Resource Key
Series 3. Individual Correspondence, boxes 73-85b
Mixed Materials Box: 73Mixed Materials Box: 74aMixed Materials Box: 74bMixed Materials Box: 75Mixed Materials Box: 76aMixed Materials Box: 76bMixed Materials Box: 77aMixed Materials Box: 77bMixed Materials Box: 78aMixed Materials Box: 78bMixed Materials Box: 79aMixed Materials Box: 79bMixed Materials Box: 79cMixed Materials Box: 80aMixed Materials Box: 80bMixed Materials Box: 81aMixed Materials Box: 81bMixed Materials Box: 82aMixed Materials Box: 82bMixed Materials Box: 83aMixed Materials Box: 83bMixed Materials Box: 84aMixed Materials Box: 84bMixed Materials Box: 85aMixed Materials Box: 85b1920s-1950s
Scope and Contents

This series contains correspondence between Storer College officials and individual correspondents, including trustees, employees, and alumni, organized alphabetically by the name of the correspondent. This series includes originals, typescript copies, and ephemera. A minority of folders includes notes with explanations of their contents or importance; these notes were appended by President Henry T. McDonald or another Storer College official.

Archival Resource Key
Series 4. President's Reports, box 86a, folders 1a-4
Mixed Materials Box: 86a Folder: 1a-41907–1955
Scope and Contents

This series contains the annual reports of the President to the Board of Trustees regarding enrollment, attendance, graduation, fundraising, use of buildings, improvements to the campus, teachers, academics, John Brown's Fort, needs, plans, and other topics.

Archival Resource Key
Series 5. Board of Trustees, boxes 86a-87b
Mixed Materials Box: 86aMixed Materials Box: 86bMixed Materials Box: 87aMixed Materials Box: 87b1926–1960
Scope and Contents

This series contains the records of the Storer College Board of Trustees, including meetings, minutes, correspondence, form letters, and other material.

Archival Resource Key
Series 6. Dean of Women Reports, box 87b, folder 3
Mixed Materials Box: 87b Folder: 31939–1944
Scope and Contents

This series contains the reports of the Dean of Women, Elizabeth M. McDonald, concerning Storer College's female students.

Archival Resource Key
Series 7. Executive Committee, boxes 88a-88b
Mixed Materials Box: 88aMixed Materials Box: 88b1924–1957
Scope and Contents

This series contains the records of the Storer College Executive Committee, including minutes and other material.

Archival Resource Key
Series 8. Women's Commission, box 88b, folder 2
Mixed Materials Box: 88b Folder: 21937–1948
Scope and Contents

This series contains the minutes of the Woman's Commission of Storer College regarding the creation of the commission, and its responsibilities, fundraising activities, and accomplishments, among other topics.

Archival Resource Key
Series 9. By-Laws, box 88b, folders 3-4
Mixed Materials Box: 88b Folder: 3-41867–1953
Scope and Contents

This series contains copies of the charter and by-laws of Storer College, including amendments and the proposed by-laws of the Storer College Trustees. Also contains transcriptions of early Storer College documents (1867-1909) among other material.

Archival Resource Key
Series 10. Faculty, boxes 89-90
Mixed Materials Box: 89Mixed Materials Box: 901940s–1950s
Scope and Contents

This series contains records regarding the faculty of Storer College, including the minutes of faculty meetings, the proposed constitution of the Storer College faculty, correspondence, personal data of faculty, data on prospective and former faculty members, ephemera, and other material.

  • mixed materials Box: 89 Archival Resource Key
    Faculty meeting minutes
  • mixed materials Box: 90 Archival Resource Key
    Faculty applications, prospective teachers, personal data faculty, former faculty members, faculty miscellaneous items, two books, faculty minutes
Archival Resource Key
Series 11. Printed Material, boxes 91-92
Mixed Materials Box: 91Mixed Materials Box: 921920s-1950s
Scope and Contents

This series contains various types of printed materials regarding Storer College events and other subjects. This series includes programs (football programs, freshmen week programs, vesper hour programs, movie programs, and miscellaneous), calendars, President's newsletters, printed notices, form letters, news release and publicity materials, commencement materials, and other material.

  • mixed materials Box: 91 Archival Resource Key
    Alumni programs, homecoming, football programs, movie programs, printed notices, programs (general), bi-weekly calendar
  • mixed materials Box: 92 Archival Resource Key
    Commencement folder, alumni form letters, form letters dated, form letters undated, freshmen week programs, news release folder, Storer publicity, President's newsletter, vesper hour programs
Archival Resource Key
Series 12. Student Records, boxes 93a-122 and 137-138
Mixed Materials Box: 93aMixed Materials Box: 93bMixed Materials Box: 94Mixed Materials Box: 95Mixed Materials Box: 96Mixed Materials Box: 97Mixed Materials Box: 98Mixed Materials Box: 99aMixed Materials Box: 99bMixed Materials Box: 100Mixed Materials Box: 101aMixed Materials Box: 101bMixed Materials Box: 102Mixed Materials Box: 103Mixed Materials Box: 104Mixed Materials Box: 105Mixed Materials Box: 106Mixed Materials Box: 107Mixed Materials Box: 108Mixed Materials Box: 109Mixed Materials Box: 110Mixed Materials Box: 111Mixed Materials Box: 112aMixed Materials Box: 112bMixed Materials Box: 113Mixed Materials Box: 114Mixed Materials Box: 115Mixed Materials Box: 116Mixed Materials Box: 117Mixed Materials Box: 118Mixed Materials Box: 119Mixed Materials Box: 120Mixed Materials Box: 121Mixed Materials Box: 122Mixed Materials Box: 137Mixed Materials Box: 1381890s–1950s
Scope and Contents

This series contains records regarding the students of Storer College, including correspondence and other material regarding student veterans and the Veterans Administration; newspaper clippings; photographs and photographic negatives; student transcripts; records and correspondence of African students; records regarding tests and exams; records of students alphabetized by name; and other material.

Archival Resource Key
Series 13. Financial Records, boxes 123a-136, 139a-159, and 164-169
Mixed Materials Box: 123aMixed Materials Box: 123bMixed Materials Box: 124Mixed Materials Box: 125aMixed Materials Box: 125bMixed Materials Box: 126Mixed Materials Box: 127Mixed Materials Box: 128Mixed Materials Box: 129Mixed Materials Box: 130aMixed Materials Box: 130bMixed Materials Box: 131aMixed Materials Box: 131bMixed Materials Box: 132Mixed Materials Box: 133aMixed Materials Box: 133bMixed Materials Box: 134aMixed Materials Box: 134bMixed Materials Box: 135aMixed Materials Box: 135bMixed Materials Box: 136Mixed Materials Box: 139aMixed Materials Box: 139bMixed Materials Box: 140Mixed Materials Box: 141aMixed Materials Box: 141bMixed Materials Box: 142Mixed Materials Box: 143Mixed Materials Box: 144Mixed Materials Box: 145Mixed Materials Box: 146Mixed Materials Box: 147Mixed Materials Box: 148Mixed Materials Box: 149Mixed Materials Box: 150Mixed Materials Box: 151Mixed Materials Box: 152Mixed Materials Box: 153Mixed Materials Box: 154Mixed Materials Box: 155Mixed Materials Box: 156Mixed Materials Box: 157Mixed Materials Box: 158Mixed Materials Box: 159Mixed Materials Box: 164Mixed Materials Box: 165Mixed Materials Box: 166Mixed Materials Box: 167Mixed Materials Box: 168Mixed Materials Box: 1691800s-1950s
Scope and Contents

This series contains financial records of Storer College, including subject files arranged alphabetically by topic; Friends of Storer College donor lists; student accounts; budget reports; ledgers; checks books; cash books; account books; registers from John Brown's Fort; and other material.

Archival Resource Key
Series 14. Miscellaneous, boxes 159-162 and 175
Mixed Materials Box: 159Mixed Materials Box: 160Mixed Materials Box: 161Mixed Materials Box: 162Mixed Materials Box: 1751884–1950s
Scope and Contents

This series contains miscellaneous records of Storer College, including private correspondence between President Henry T. McDonald with the Kiwanis International; pamphlets, programs; conference reports; notebooks; address books; a "Save Storer" rubber stamp; and other material.

Archival Resource Key
Series 15. Newspaper--Storer Record, box 163 and unboxed
Mixed Materials Box: 163Mixed Materials Unboxed1892–1943
Scope and Contents

This series contains issues of the Storer College newspaper the "Storer Record". The "Storer Record" is also available on microfilm, with issues dating from 1892 through 1943 available.

  • mixed materials Box: 163 Archival Resource Key
    Storer Record
  • Mixed Materials Unboxed Archival Resource Key
    Miscellaneous Storer College Publications [microfilm reel] (includes: assorted issues of the Storer Record, 1892-1934; Y Gossip from March 4 and 12, 1932; and assorted issues of the New Storer Record from 1940-1943)
Archival Resource Key
Series 16. Scrap Books, boxes 170-172b
Mixed Materials Box: 170Mixed Materials Box: 171Mixed Materials Box: 172aMixed Materials Box: 172b1870–1941
Scope and Contents

This series contains six scrapbooks regarding Storer College. Scrapbooks contain programs, clippings, invitations, form letters from college officials, and other material. Topics include commencement and graduation exercises, prize declamations, concerts, and sporting events, among others.

Archival Resource Key
Series 17. Alumni Flags, box 173
Mixed Materials Box: 173undated
Scope and Contents

This series contains one large felt flag decorated with white felt letters reading "Storer Alumni" and a number of small felt pennant flags decorated with the Storer College crest and motto.

Archival Resource Key
Series 18. Oversize, box 174
Mixed Materials Box: 1741916-1952, undated
Scope and Contents

This series contains oversize records from Series 1, Correspondence (box 21); Series 3, Individual Correspondence (box 82a); Series 13, Financial Records (boxes 132, 140, and 141); and Series 14, Miscellaneous (box 160).

  • mixed materials Box: 174 Archival Resource Key
    Oversize records from Series 1, Correspondence (box 21); Series 3, Individual Correspondence (box 82a); Series 13, Financial Records (boxes 132, 140, and 141); and Series 14, Miscellaneous (box 160)
    1916-1952, undated