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College Elementary School (CES) Collection - Finding Aid

Biographical Information
Scope and Content of the Collection
Arrangement of the Collection

Collection Number


Contact Information

The University Library, Special Collections
Cal Poly Humboldt
One Harpst Street
Arcata, California 95521

Processed By

Kathryn LaSala

Date Collection Processed




Collection Creator

CES Reunion Committee (Virginia Anderson Shaffer, Patsy Givins, Charlotte Cooper, Helen Macpherson, Ellen Givins, Gail A. Williams)

Dates Covered by Collection

c. 1920s - 1991 (inclusive)
1950s - 1960s; 1991 (bulk)

Size of Collection

4 cubic feet; 2 boxes and 6 scrapbooks


The collection consists of various historical and administrative materials that were both gathered and generated by the June 1991 reunion of Cal Poly Humboldt's College Elementary School (CES) members. The documents reflect both the unique and shared experiences of CES members while simultaneously helping to frame an understanding of the program's operations and its impact on campus.


Open for research by appointment


Copyright has not been assigned to Cal Poly Humboldt. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce in any format please contact the Special Collections Librarian.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to the Library in 1991 by the CES Reunion Committee.

Biographical Information

The CES program at Cal Poly Humboldt started in 1914 as part of the teacher training program at what was then Humboldt State Normal School. The program continued to grow in size and curriculum throughout HSU's development, becoming an integral part of both the Education and Psychology departments. Relocated in 1933 to what is now Gist Hall, CES functioned as a prominent feature on campus until 1978 when the elementary school was closed, along with other laboratory schools in the State.

Scope and Content of the Collection

The collection primarily consists of donated materials from past CES faculty, staff, and students from the 1920s until 1978 when the program was discontinued. Photographs, biographical information, memorabilia, scrapbooks, student work, and student records make up the bulk of this section and help to establish the significance of CES to both the Cal Poly Humboldt campus and the local community. Items found within the donated materials illustrate the day-to-day operations of the elementary school as well as highlighting some of the unique features of the program, including Camp Ravencliff.

The CES collection also includes administrative materials related to the 1991 reunion including name lists, invitations and responses, receipts, photographs, and VHS tapes documenting the event. One of the strengths of this collection can be found in the invitation responses, where a significant number of people sent back letters to the Reunion Committee recounting their experiences at CES along with personal information about their current lives.

Arrangement of the Collection

The CES collection is arranged into three series: CES Reunion Committee - Administrative Materials; Reunion Preparation - Name Lists and Invitation Responses; and Donations from Past CES Members. In an effort to retain provenance, series distinctions were made based on the original order of the collection, established by the CES Reunion Committee. Organization of folders generally follows a subject/chronological format. Items within each folder have no prearrangement. During the processing of this collection some items/folders were grouped together, re-housed into archival files, and given a descriptive heading where needed.

Container List

Box 1

Series: CES Reunion Committee - Administrative Materials

  1. Sat Day - Hallway [VHS tape]
  2. Sat Nite and Sunday [VHS tape]
  3. Telonicher H's Oral Memory Session [VHS tape]
  4. CES Committee [Address Stamp]
  5. Reunion [1 folder]
  6. Lists for Archives

Series: CES Reunion Preparation - Invitation Responses

  1. ITEPP/Student Teachers/Staff
  2. 1970s
  3. 1960s
  4. 1950s
  5. 1940s
  6. 1920s/1930s

Box 2

Series: Reunion Donations from Past CES Members

  1. [Woven basket from Helen Arnold Stover]
  2. [Negatives, 1950s-1960s from Helen Macpherson]
  3. [Social and Science Studies Reports, 1959-1961 by Pat and Peg Givins]
  4. Talent Show [1 folder]
  5. Birthdays [1 folder]
  6. Christmas [1 folder]
  7. Camp Raven Cliff [1 folder]
  8. Miscellany [1folder]
  9. [1920s] [1folder]
  10. [1930s] [9 folders]
  11. [1940s] [10 folders]
  12. [1950s] [10 folders]
  13. [1960s] [10 folders]
  14. [1970s] [9 folders]
  15. [Newspaper Clippings - Staff] [2 folders]
  16. [Newspaper Clippings - Parents and Families] [11 folders]
  17. [Newspaper Clippings - Students, 1920s] [1 folder]
  18. [Newspaper Clippings - Students, 1930s] [10 folders]
  19. [Newspaper Clippings - Students, 1940s] [7 folders]
  20. [Newspaper Clippings - Students, 1950s] [11 folders]
  21. [Newspaper Clippings - Students, 1960s] [11 folders]
  22. [Newspaper Clippings - Students, 1970s] [9 folders]

Box 3

Oversize - Flat

  1. Health by Richie Givins [scrapbook]
  2. Community Services by Richie Givins [scrapbook]
  3. 1958 College Elementary School 8th-grade trip by Stephen Peithman [scrapbook]
  4. 1960 College Elementary School 8th grade by Warner Karshner [scrapbook]

Box 4

Oversize - Flat

  1. [Pilot Program - Camp Ravencliff, 1954 by Elize Butler] [scrapbook]
  2. [Camp Ravencliff, 1955 by Elize Butler] [scrapbook]


California State Colleges, Office of the Chancellor, Division of Academic Planning. (1965). The California State Colleges: Campus Laboratory Schools. Los Angeles, Cal.: The Division. (LB2155.C2 C36)

McDermid, Charles. (1958). A Study of the Reading Program at College Elementary School from 1953-1957. M.A. thesis,, Humboldt State College, Arcata, Calif.

Related Works

Helen Macpherson Collection (unprocessed)

Subject Headings

Humboldt State University - History
Humboldt State University - Dept. of Education
Humboldt State College. College Elementary School