Guide to the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute catalogs

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Collection Inventory+/-

Biographical Note/Historical Note

Content Description

Collection Use

Administrative Information


Collection Overview +/-

Title: Salt Lake Collegiate Institute catalogs
Dates: 1875-1914 (inclusive)
Collection Number: ACC-028
Summary: The collection consists of the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute's catalogs from 1875 through 1914. The title of these documents fluctuates between Catalog, Annual Circular, and Annual Announcements. The Institute was located in Salt Lake City, Utah and in the 1910-1911 school year merged with Westminster College.
Repository: Westminster College, Giovale Library
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
Phone: (801) 832-2250

Collection Inventory +/-

box 1, folder 1: 1875-1876
box 1, folder 2: 1876-1877
box 1, folder 3: 1886-1887
box 1, folder 4: 1887-1888
box 1, folder 5: 1888-1889
box 1, folder 6: 1889-1890
box 1, folder 7: 1890-1891
box 1, folder 8: 1891-1892
box 1, folder 9: 1892-1893
box 1, folder 10: 1893-1894
box 1, folder 11: 1894-1895
box 1, folder 12: 1895-1896
box 1, folder 13: 1896-1897
box 1, folder 14: 1898-1899
box 1, folder 15: 1899-1900
box 1, folder 16: 1901-1902
box 1, folder 17: 1902-1903
box 1, folder 18: 1903-1904
box 1, folder 19: 1904-1905
box 1, folder 20: 1905-1906
box 1, folder 21: 1906-1907
box 1, folder 22: 1907-1908
box 1, folder 23: 1908-1909
box 1, folder 24: 1909-1910
box 1, folder 25: 1910-1911
box 1, folder 26: 1911-1912
box 1, folder 27: 1912-1913
box 1, folder 28: 1913-1914

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 +/-

The collection consists of the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute's catalogs from 1875 through 1914. The title of these documents fluctuates between Catalog, Annual Circular, and Annual Announcements.

The first catalog appeared in 1875-1876, the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute's first school year. All of the catalogs include courses offered, the instructors' names, enrollment statistics, the Institute's history, and its plans for the future. This information changed only slightly through the years. The 1896-1897 catalog includes the first pictures of the Institute and first mention of the Sheldon Jackson College (with which the Institute was considering combining).

Beginning with the 1910-1911 school year, the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute merged with Westminster College (which was formerly the Sheldon Jackson College) because both institutions felt it was in the best interest to further progress and development for Christian higher education in Utah. In other words, both institutions felt they had a better chance for financial and educational success together than apart. The 1910-1911 catalog is the last published solely for the Institute and contains information about its new location on the Westminster College campus.

The 1911-1912 catalog lists the Institute as a preparatory school for Westminster College. The Salt Lake Collegiate Institute continued to be listed as the primary institution on the catalogs through the 1913-1914 school year. No separate catalog was published for the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute this issue. The last Westminster College catalog that included information on the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute was the one for the 1935-1936 school year.

Gaps in the collecion: No catalogs have been located for the period from Fall 1877 to Spring 1886, nor for the 1897/1898 and 1900/1901 school years.

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 catalogs, 1875-1914, ACC-028, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Administrative Information +/-


The collection is arranged in chronological order.

Processing Note:

Processed by Nicki Blair in November 2003.


Salt Lake Collegiate Institute


Collection materials are in English.


0.2 linear feet

Language of the Finding Aid:


Author of the Finding Aid:

Finding aid written by Nicki Blair in November 2003

EAD Creation Date:

2010 September 20 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--Catalogs
Sheldon Jackson College (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983)--History--Sources

Subject Terms:

Church schools--Utah--Catalogs
Preparatory schools--Utah--Catalogs
Presbyterian Church--Education--Utah

Form or Genre Terms:

Catalogs (documents)

Geographical Names:

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