Skip to main content

Roosevelt School records

Identifier: 07.RS

Scope and Contents

The Roosevelt School records are comprised of administrative documents, audio/visual materials, and publications relating to the development, and educational activities of the laboratory school on the campus of Eastern Michigan University from its inception in 1925 to the school’s closure in 1969. The collection is arranged into five series which include Administrative Files, Audio/Visual Materials, Ephemera, Publications, and Scrapbooks.

ADMINISTRATIVE FILES include records of the activities of the school administration and faculty; development and construction of the school, student activities, organizations and projects; student grade reports and library reports; and alumni activities. AUDIO/VISUAL MATERIALS include photographs, and yearbooks of the senior high and kindergarten through fifth grade. There is an incomplete run of yearbooks, but there is almost a complete run of Senior Class Composite photographs with the exception of 1938, 1949, 1951, 1961-1963, and 1965-1969. The subseries of Leonard Menzi Negatives includes more than 1,000 negatives taken by Menzi of the school, students, teachers and activities starting in the late 1920s through the early 1940s. As principle, instructor and advisor of the photography club the images in this subseries document the school and its activities spanning three decades.

EPHEMERA includes National Honor Society banners, letterman sweaters, and a commemorative plaque; PUBLICATIONS include portions of Adventures in Creative Expression, Excelsior, clippings, and press releases; SCRAPBOOKS document the activities of the graduating senior high class in 15 volumes from 1910-1964.


  • Creation: 1910 - 2010
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1925 - 1969


Conditions Governing Access

Researchers are asked to request materials 24 hours prior to visiting the the University Archives.

Administrative History

Michigan State Normal College (MSNC) built its first laboratory school in 1895, named for Adonijah S. Welch, Welch Hall would house the laboratory school for 25 years. Teacher training courses had previously been held in the basement of the main instructional building, referred to as Main or Old Main, Pierce Hall now sits in its place. The laboratory school was meant to house 8 grades with the initial high school program only offering class for students in the 9th grade. By the 1920s, the school was over-crowded and began to search for alternative locations. Property was allocated on campus for the site of the new laboratory school which open in 1925 as Roosevelt High School. Named for President Theodore Roosevelt, the new structure featured space for all students and expanded to include grades 7-12. Enrollment in the laboratory school rose dramatically and by 1930, there were over 400 students enrolled. Elementary grades were added to the school and the name changed to Roosevelt School.

In the 1950s, education trends began to shift away from college and university maintained laboratory schools and closure of the Roosevelt school was discussed in 1955 and again in 1961. The Education Appropriation Act was passed in the Michigan State Congress in 1966, requiring the Roosevelt School to be phased out by June 1969, ending the tradition of the laboratory school. In 1973, the Roosevelt School structure was renovated and remodeled to be utilized as classroom space for the campus of Eastern Michigan University and today, houses the departments of Military Science and Human, Environmental, and Consumer Resources.


64.6 Linear Feet (4 records center cartons, 5 archive boxes, 1 halfsize archive box, 17 oversize boxes, 14 oversize folders, 7 objects.)

Language of Materials



The Roosevelt School records are primarily comprised of administrative files, grade reports, news clippings, publications, scrapbooks, and yearbooks. Also included are library records, and student projects. Founded as a laboratory school in 1900 on the campus of the Michigan State Normal College (known today as Eastern Michigan University), materials in the collection were generated by the Roosevelt School faculty, staff and students. The school originally housed only 9th grade students and was called Roosevelt High School. It expanding in 1925 to include instruction for grades 7-12, and when expanded to include elementary grades the name was changed to Roosevelt School. Laboratory schools, and thus Roosevelt School, were phased out by June of 1969 in accordance with 1966 legislation passed by the Michigan State Congress. The building was renovated in 1973, and is now utilized as classroom space for the University.

Related Materials

For more information about the Roosevelt School, please see the following collections:

Charles McKenny [02.CM]:

Eugene Elliot [02.EE]:

Harold Sponberg [02.HES]:

Also see the biographical files of Marvin S. Pittman, Margaret Robinson, and Paul J. Misner.

For departmental relations see:

the College of Education records [07.CE]:

the Library Science Division records [07.LSD]:

All of these materials are housed at the University Archives.

Separated Materials

Roosevelt School publications, Adventures in Creative Expression, Quest, and Rough Rider have been separated to the circulating collection.

Roosevelt School records
Leslie Van Veen, Alexis Braun Marks, CA, Brooke Boyst, CA
2012 March 07
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Eastern Michigan University Archives Repository

Bruce T. Halle Library, Room 310
955 West Circle Drive
Ypsilanti Michigan 48197