Department of Special Education records
Scope and Contents
The Department of Special Education records include materials produced and retained by the Special Education program founded in 1914 at the Michigan State Normal College, which today resides within the administration of the College of Education at Eastern Michgian University. Records include course instruction materials, teaching and assessment kits, department history, pamphlets, brochures, and other distributed publications, course approvals, faculty lists and publications, newspaper clippings, and photographs.
The Department of Special Education records have been divided into three series:Administration,Realia,andCourse Instruction. Each series is further arranged into sub-series.
The Administration series includes four sub-series: History, Program Development, Faculty and Staff, and Publicity and Outreach. Notable materials in this series includes records pertaining to program development, the history of the Rackham School, and publicity pamphlets and news clippings regarding the special education program, especially the Department's Centennial Celebration. Missing from this series are general administrative records for the operation of the Department, such as personnel records, meeting minutes, etc. There are also large gaps in date ranges of the materials. Records are arranged chronologically within each sub-series.
The Realia series is divided into two sub-series: Visual Materials and Objects, with the Visual Materials sub-series further divided into two sub-sub-series: Albums and Photographs.This series includes loose photographs, color slides, photo albums and scrapbooks as well as physical materials such as a wooden lectern made by Rackham students and a pin and tie tack from the Shaanxi Institute of Education. Materials in the Realia series are arranged chronologically, except in the Photographs sub-sub-series, which are arranged by subject.
The Course Instruction series includes two sub-series: Assessment Kits and Teaching Texts, which are both arranged chronologically. Materials include teaching resources used in the Department of Special Education, and individual assessment kits used by instructors to determine cognitive and intelligence levels in infants, children and adults.
- 1919 - 2014
Language of Materials
Collection is predominantly in English, with one item in Arabic. Material in Arabic noted at file level.
Conditions Governing Access
Researchers are asked to request materials 24 hours prior to visiting the the University Archives.
The Department of Special Education first began as the Lapeer Training School for Teachers, run by Dr. Charles Scott Berry in Lapeer, Michigan. The school was established to work alongside the Michigan Home and Training School, a mental health facility in Lapeer. The Training School was designed to offer course instruction as well as training opportunities with disabled students. As the program grew in popularity, it was moved to the Michigan State Normal College in 1914 and officially became the Department of Special Education. The program was designed to instruct aspiring educators on how to teach students with mental disabilities, but soon expanded to include programs specific to physical impairments, covering instruction of Occupational, Hearing, Sight, and Speech Therapies. With a grant from the Horace and Mary Rackham Fund, the Department was able to build their own Special Education building in 1937. Named the Rackham School, it was the first school in the United States specifically designed and equipped to train special education teachers. The school was also equipped to house up to 24 students who lived too far away from campus to bus in daily along with a staff resident, a practice that continued into the 1950s.
The Department of Special Education is now part of the College of Education, which moved to the Porter Building on EMU's campus in 1999. Today the Department offers 26 different programs and endorsements, including programs for speech pathology, the autism spectrum, cognitive impairment, emotional impairment, and physical and other health impairments (POHI). Eastern Michigan University's Department of Special Education is one of two programs in the state with a teacher training program for POHI. It is one of the largest and oldest Special Education programs in the United States, having celebrated its centennial in 2014.
28.5 Linear Feet (1 record center carton, 4 archive boxes, 3 slide boxes, 4 oversize folders, 22 objects)
The Department of Special Education was founded at Michigan State Normal College in 1914, and today is the oldest and one of the largest special education programs in the United States. The department is now administered by the College of Education, and has expanded its curriculum to include Occupational, Hearing, Sight, and Speech Therapies. Records range from 1914-2014 and include course instruction materials, teaching and assessment kits, department history, pamphlets, brochures, and other distributed publications, course approvals, faculty lists and publications, newspaper clippings, and photographs.
Some assessment materials and texts have been separated to the general library collection.
- Eastern Michigan University
- Eastern Michigan University. College of Education
- Elliott, Charles M.
- Hearing disorders
- Horace H. Rackham and Mary A. Rackham Fund
- Michigan State Normal College
- Occupational Therapy
- Olds, Letha
- Quinn, Kathleen
- Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
- Special education
- Speech disorders
- Department of Special Education records
- Natalie Morath, Sarah Conrad
- 2012 May 30
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note