Guide to the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute student records

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Collection Inventory+/-

Biographical Note/Historical Note

Content Description

Collection Use

Administrative Information


Collection Overview +/-

Title: Salt Lake Collegiate Institute student records
Dates: 1878-1920 (inclusive)
Collection Number: ACC-002B
Summary: This collection consists of class roll sheets and grade books documenting student attendance at the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute from 1878-1920.
Repository: Westminster College, Giovale Library
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
Phone: (801) 832-2250

Collection Inventory +/-

box 1, folder 1: 1878-1879
box 1, folder 2: 1888-1897
box 1, folder 3: 1893-1895
box 1, folder 4: 1898-1900
box 1, folder 5: 1900
box 1, folder 6: 1901
box 1, folder 7: 1902
box 1, folder 8: 1903-1904
box 1, folder 9: 1904-1905
box 1, folder 10: 1888-1920 (Oversized)

Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-

The Salt Lake Collegiate Institute opened to students of all ages on April 12, 1875 in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church (1). Its first classes were taught by the Coyner family. "Mrs. Mary Wilson Coyner took charge of the primaries, Miss Emma Margaret Coyner the intermediates and I had those in the advanced studies," wrote J.M. Coyner in 1897 (2). As a result of their efforts, the Coyners taught sixty-five pupils in their first term. The Salt Lake Collegiate Institute began without being able to offer the necessary material objects that a school should provide. In 1883, Principal Coyner described conditions as "two basement rooms, bare of everything like school furniture, poorly lighted and illy [sic] ventilated, no desk, no maps, no endowment, no money, and no positive assurance of students, was all there was." (3)

The Collegiate Institute's purpose was to bring a strong Christian presence to the education system of the West. It sought to provide high school education to Presbyterian youth, as well as members of the Mormon Church.

In 1877, financial backing came to the Collegiate Institute after the formation of the Women's Executive Committee and the Presbyterian Church Home Mission Board's subsidization of three female teachers. In 1896, the Woman's Board took full possession of the Collegiate Institute, and would retain control until 1910. In 1910, ownership was transferred to the Board of Trustees of Westminster College.

Starting in 1902, the Collegiate Institute was gradually incorporated into Westminster College as its Preparatory Department. The Collegiate Institute moved from the property of the First Presbyterian Church (the old building, the new building, and the dormitory known as the "Octagon House") to the property purchased by the college to be used as the new (and current) campus. The last principal of the Collegiate Institute was George B. Sweazey (1904–1914), who became the dean of Westminster College in 1914. The Collegiate Institute operated as the Preparatory Department of Westminster College until 1936, when the department was phased out entirely (4).

The Collegiate Institute produced the first student publication at Westminster College, "Collegiate life". It contained news related to students, faculty, and the Collegiate Institute, and also featured a variety of student writings, such as poems and jokes. Started in 1912, the publication had a professional appearance but little is known of its history. Only a few issues (1912-1930) have survived and are housed in Westminster College's Archives.

This organizational history of the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute was written by Joshua Ivie in October 2006.

Sources and references:

(1) The sources are unclear as to what specific church they are referring to, but the website of the First Presbyterian Church [], viewed 22 August 2006 confirms this.

(2) John M. Coyner, "History of the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute, from its organization April 12, 1875 to May 5, 1875," unpublished manuscript, 1897, p. 12, filed in Principal J.M. Coyner's writings (ACC-013).

(3) As quoted by R. Douglas Brackenridge in "Westminster College of Salt Lake City" (Salt Lake City: Utah State University Press, 1998), p. 43.

(4) The reasons for the discontinuation of the Collegiate Institute are unclear; the last instance of the Preparatory Department mentioned in the college catalogs can be found in the 1935-36 school year. The Board of Trustees Minutes for 1935 and 1936 address the decision to cease all junior college operations and operate solely as a four-year baccalaureate institute.

(5) Emil Nyman. "Presidents of Westminster College (as of 1973)", Salt Lake City : Westminster College, 1973.

(6) Emil Nyman. "Westminster College: One Hundred Years". Salt Lake City : Westminster College, 1975.

Content Description +/-

This collection consists of class roll sheets and grade books documenting student attendance at the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute from 1878-1920. The information is generally separated by instructor's name (e.g., W.G. Caskey) while in other cases, the instructor is not named.

Overall, the collection provides the following three types of information for each academic year: student names, students' absences, and occasionally the students' religious affiliations. The instructors did not include notes relating to particular students, special instructions, or any other notations. One of the best examples of a well-documented record is the records of the instructor, Grace Stone Zorbaugh (1898–1900). She included the names of students and any absences, as well as a typed compilation containing the names of her students, their ages, the type of student (day, board, etc.), years the student attended, religious affiliation, any notes, and a page number referencing the location of information on the student within the roll books..

The 1900 records (instructor Mabelle La Valle Morgan) are pages removed from a book and contain the same roll information for the 1900/01 school year. Students are considered "day pupils" and separated into the categories of "girls" and "boys." Included with the records is a listing of the pupils' religious affiliation. Also included is a register of boarding pupils (students living at the school).

While the contents of the 1901 records (instructor Mabelle La Valle Morgan) are similar to those in the earlier records, they also contain quarterly reports at the end of the book. The reports include the number of days in attendance and numbers of scholars (enrolled, average, new). There are also statistics for "church members" and individuals "added to church." The 1902 records are similar to the 1900 records. The instructor is not named, but are very similar to those kept by Mabelle La Valle Morgan. The 1903-1904 are also created by Morgan and are in the same format as her earlier records.

The 1904-1905 roll book was created by the instructor Ruth H. Paule and is organized alphabetically by student name and then chronologically by school year.

The 1888-1920 roll book mirrors the information contained in the other books. The only exception is that it designates pupils who are assumed to be enrolled in Westminster College with a stamp or other similar notation; these pupils are mixed in with the Collegiate Institute pupils, keeping consistent with the established form of organization.

Collection Use +/-

Restrictions on Access:

Open to public research.

Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Twenty-four hours advance notice is encouraged.

Restrictions on Use:

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material must be obtained from the director of the Giovale Library.

Preferred Citation:

Salt Lake Collegiate Institute student records, 1878-1920, ACC-002B, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Administrative Information +/-


Arranged chronologically by year created.

Processing Note:

Processed by Joshua Ivie in June 2006. The records in this collection have not been combined chronologically unless otherwise noted. The nature of the roll books indicate that either a single instructor was responsible for maintaining it for an entire academic year and across courses offered by the Collegiate Institute, or that there are numerous roll books from other instructors missing from this collection. The oversized record book (Box 2, Fd. 1) also contains a "Comparative Annual Reports" which can be found attached to the back cover of the book. A detached copy of this report has also been included in Collection ACC-002D (in Box 2, Fd. 1).


Salt Lake Collegiate Institute


Collection materials are in English.


0.15 linear feet

Language of the Finding Aid:


Author of the Finding Aid:

Finding aid written June 2006 by Joshua Ivie

EAD Creation Date:

2010 November 9 by Sarah Shaw


Describing Archives : A Content Standard (DACS)



Related Material:

Related collections and photographs in Giovale Library Archives:

Subjects +/-

Corporate Names:

Salt Lake Collegiate Institute--Archives
Salt Lake Collegiate Institute--History--Sources
Salt Lake Collegiate Institute--Students
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983)
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983)--History--Sources

Subject Terms:

Church schools--Utah--History--Sources
Preparatory schools--Utah--History--Sources
Presbyterian Church--Education--Utah
School attendance--Utah--Salt Lake City
Student records--Utah--Salt Lake City

Form or Genre Terms:

Attendance records
Grade books
School records

Personal Names:

Caskey, W. G.
Morgan, Mabelle La Valle
Paule, Ruth H.
Zorbaugh, Grace Stone

Geographical Names:

Salt Lake City (Utah)--History--Sources