College History

Books and Monographs | Manuscripts, School Records and Oral History | Newspapers | Yearbooks | Catalogs, Bulletins and Directories | Oral Histories | Library Catalog

"It is, Sir, as I have said, a small College, and yet, there are those who love it."
Daniel Webster - Early American politician and Small College activist

Students - late 19th or early 20th century.Students & Object Teaching

Penfield Library offers a wide variety of information sources on the historical and social development of higher education in the community of Oswego. The College at Oswego has a long and prestigious past that is well represented in numerous materials throughout the Library. The Reference and Circulating collections have many books and monographs which explain and define the role of the College as a cultural center and educational institution. The Serials Collection contains issues of the school newspaper, with recently published issues in paper and the older issues on microfilm. The Special Collections area has the most extensive collection of items on the College's history including publications from faculty, theses from students, and photographs of the campus, faculty, and students. This area is open limited hours to both students and researchers.

All materials cited below can be found in either the Reference, Circulating or Special Collections areas. Please inquire at the Research Help Desk if items cannot be found.

Ref = Reference Collection - First floor
Circ = Circulating Collection - Third floor
Spec Coll = Special Collections - Lower Level

First Normal SchoolThe First Normal School

Books and Monographs

History of Higher Education in Oswego
  • New York. State University College of Education, Oswego. Historical Sketches Relating to the First Quarter Century of Oswego State Normal School, 1861 to 1886. 1888. Circ LB 1921 O72 A5 1861-1888
  • New York. State University College of Education, Oswego. History of the First Half Century of Oswego State Normal and Training School, 1861-1911. 1913. Circ LB 1921 O72 A5 1861-1911
  • Aber, William M. The Oswego State Normal School, 1893. 1893. Spec Coll LB 1921 O72 A14
  • Rogers, Dorothy. Oswego: Fountainhead of Teacher Education; A Century in the Sheldon Tradition. 1961. Circ LD 3848 O85 R6
  • Rogers, Dorothy. SUNY College at Oswego: Its Second Century Unfolds. 1988. Circ LD 3848 O85 R64
The "Oswego Movement" in Higher Education and "Object Teaching"

Object teaching and object lessons were introduced in the U.S. by followers of Johann Pestalozzi. Edward Sheldon, founder of the Oswego Normal School, was instrumental in using and promoting this Pestalozzian method of instruction.

  • Aber, William M. "The Oswego State Normal School." The Popular Science Monthly (May 1893) 51-76.
  • Chittenden, Merritt D. The Oswego Normal and Training School Plan of Cooperation. 1925. Spec Coll LB 1921 072 C54
  • Dearborn, Ned Harland. The Oswego Movement in American Education. 1925. Spec Coll LB 1921 O72 D4 also Circ LB 1921 072 D4 1969
  • Downs, Robert Bingham. Heinrich Pestalozzi, Father of Modern Pedagogy. Circ LB 627 D68
  • Hollis, Phillip Andrew. The Contribution of Oswego Normal School to Educational Progress in the United States. 1898. Spec Coll LB 1921 O72 H6
  • Hollis, Philip Andrew. "Dr. E. A. Sheldon and the Oswego Movement." Education: A Monthly Magazine 18.9 (May 1898) 545-554.
  • Krusi, Hemann. Pestalozzi: His Life, Work and Influence. Spec Coll 7/3 1875
  • Mayo, Elizabeth. Lessons on Objects as Given to Children Between the Ages of 6 & 8, in Pestalozzian School, at Cheam, Surrey. Spec Coll LB 1519 M47 1861
  • Monroe, W. "Herman Krosi [sic], an American Pestalozzian" Journal of Education, 53(5 Nov 1903) 304-305
  • Monroe, W. S. History of the Pestalozzian Movement in the United States 1969. Circ LB 628 M7
  • Oursler, Robert Dale. The Effect of the Pestalozzian Theory and Practice on Music Education in the United States Between 1850 - 1900. Circ MT3 U5 O8
  • Radosavljevich, Paul Ranko. The Oswego Movement and New Education. No date. Spec Coll LB 1921 O72 R3
  • Ruddy, Michael. Papers. Spec Coll RG 10-1, Ruddy. Includes "Pestalozzi and the Oswego Movement."
  • Sheldon, E.A. "Object Teaching." Barnard's American Journal of Education 14 (1864) 93-102.
  • Sheldon, Edward Austin. American National Biography. v. 19. New York: Oxford U. P. 781-82. Ref E 176 .A516
  • Silber, Kate. Pestalozzi, The Man and His Work. Circ LB 627 S513 1973b
  • Stark, George K. The Oswego Movement, 1861-1903. 1987. Spec Coll 7/3
  • Weimer, Hermann. Concise History of Education: From Solon to Pestalozzi. Circ LA 13 W423 1963.
  • Wilber, H.B. "Object System of Instruction as Pursued in the School of Oswego." Barnard's American Journal of Education 15 (1865) 189-208.
  • Wolfe, Jennifer. "Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi" Learning from the Past: Historical Voices in Early Childhood Education. Piney Branch Pr., 2000. 51-75. Circ LB 1139.23 .W64 2000, c.2
Origins of the State Normal School (United States and New York State)
  • Richardson, Leonard Woods. The Normal School Idea. 1900. Spec Coll LB 1920 R38
  • Pierce, Cyrus and Mary Swift. The First State Normal School in America. 1969. Circ LB 1888 F8 P4
  • Mangun, Vernon Lamar. The American Normal School: Its Rise and Development in
    . 1928. Circ LB 1887 M3 1928a
  • Gordy, John Pancoast. Rise and Growth of the Normal School Idea in the United States. 1891. Spec Coll LB 1811 G66 r.b.
  • Finnegan, Thomas E. Some of New York's Contributions to the Development and
    Standardization of State Normal Schools
    . 1914. Spec Coll LB 1920 F5
Origins of the State University System (New York State)
  • Carmichael, Oliver Cromwell. New York Establishes a State University. 1955. Circ LD 3840 C3
  • Office of University Affairs and Development. Sixty-four Campuses: The State University of New York to 1985. 1985. Ref LD 3839 S56 198

Second Normal SchoolThe Second State Normal School

Specialized Topics
  • Hart, Isabelle Kingsbury. The Geography Course of Study and Teacher's Manual for the Training School of Oswego State Normal School. 1925. Spec Coll 7/3
  • Helsby, Robert Davis. A Comparative Analysis of Three Structured Groups from all Industrial Arts Graduates of the State University Teachers College at Oswego, N.Y. from 1925 to 1955. 1958. Spec Coll LB 1921 072 H48
  • Kenah, Christine. Student's Perceptions of Training: A Replication of a Survey of the SUNY Oswego School Psychology Program. 1990. Circ AS 36 N7 07 1990 no. 73
  • La Valley, Brian. History of SUNY Oswego's Department of Technology: With Emphasis from the 75th Anniversary to the Present (1961-1989). 1989. Circ AS 36 N7 07 1989 no. 80
  • Simmons, Shari A. The Counseling Needs of Black Students in Higher Education on a
    Predominately White Campus.
    1989. Circ AS 36 N7 07 1989 no. 66
  • Stark, George K. Vicissitudes: Passing Shadows in the Sands of Time: The Historical
    Development of Education in Art at the State University College, Oswego, New York,
    . 1982. Spec Coll 7/3
Primary Source Material
  • Annual Reports from the Board of Education, City of Oswego. 1854 to 1891 and 1908. Spec Coll LB 1921 072 B91
  • Proceedings of the Educational Convention, Held at Oswego, N.Y. February 11,12, and 13, 1862 1862. Spec Coll LB 1519 075 r.b.
  • Sheldon, Edward Austin. Autobiography of Edward Austin Sheldon. 1911. Circ LB 1921 0713 S5
  • Penfield, Lida Scovil. Stories of Oswego: Tales of the Early Days Told to the Childern of Oswego Normal Training School. 1919. Spec Coll 7/3
  • Perdue, James E. The First Seventy-five Years: 1916-1991, an Autobiography. 1992. Spec Coll RG 1-9
  • Sheldon, Edward Austin. Papers from 1819-1897. Spec Coll RG 0-1
  • Skinner, Charles R. Life and Character of Edward Austin Sheldon. In Addresses. Albany: J.B. Lyon, 1899. 29-53. Spec Coll LA 131 .S628

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Manuscripts, School Records and Oral History

Special Collections has numerous manuscripts and many audio and video tapes of administrators, faculty, staff and students who worked, taught, and attended the College at Oswego. The Special Collections area also contains archival items such as school records, department records, and various other articles of information on the college. Very little of this College Archival material is found via the Library's catalog. Assistance from Special Collection's staff is required for most access to college archives.

ORAL HISTORY TAPES, however, is a series that is catalogued and includes a number of interviews related to the college history. Find these on the Library Catalog by searching by subject. (Oswego, college, history) combined with the series "Oral History Tapes."


The college newspaper, The Oswegonian, and locally published newspapers are located in the Periodicals Collection on the second floor. A row of microfilm cabinets, situated across from the Periodicals Desk, stores in chronological order the microfilmed issues of both the College and local papers. The local newspapers are housed together under their several titles starting with "Oswego.." and have issues that date from the time of the College's opening in 1861. The School paper has issues which date from 1935.


Most issues of the Ontarian, the College Yearbook are available online.

In addition, Special Collections houses the full run of class yearbooks from 1919 to present. The Reference collection also contains yearbooks from 1919 to recent years.

Their call number is Ref LB 1921 O72; they include:
Oshwakee - 1919
Class Book - 1921
The Normalian - 1922-1926
The Ontarian - 1927 to present

Welland DormitoryThe Welland Girls Dormitory

Catalogs, Bulletins and Directories

Past issues of College catalogs, bulletins, and directories are stored in Special Collections. For more information on these school publications please inquire in Special Collections located in the lower level of the library.

Library Catalog Searches

Subject Headings or Subject Keywords that can be used on the library catalog to assist in your search include:


To ask for assistance with any aspect of your research on the college, contact the Research Help Desk. Email or call 315-312-4267. You will be put in touch with Special Collections if that area is needed for your query.

A note about Internet access: From the library's home page you can access the library online catalog as well as searchable indexes for selected resources from the Special Collections linked pages.

Other Penfield Library guides which may be of assistance in your research on this area include Local History, and Education.

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