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A Finding Aid for the Big Rapids Industrial School Newsletter Records 1884-1885

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Big Rapids Industrial School Newsletter Records

Creator: Ferris Institute.

Dates: 1884-1885

Abstract: The periodical called the Big Rapids Industrial School Newsletter was the earliest known publication of Ferris Institute. It provided course and class information and served as an advertisement. The last known issue was in 1886. It was replaced by the publication Useful Education.

Language: English

Quantity: 0.2 cubic feet; 1 Hollinger box

Identification: UA 18.3.600

Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program

Historical Note

Woodbridge Ferris first held classes on 1 September 1884. The school provided an education for all who wished to come, particularly the non-traditional student. It was located in the remote town of Big Rapids, Michigan. This meant that there was little competition, However, in order to attract more students to the rural location, Ferris began to publish a newsletter which provided information about the classes offered. The short publication served as a circular and was personally authored by Ferris.

Scope and Content Note

The Big Rapids Industrial School advertised itself in the first newsletter as "an institution which prepares young men and women for the actual duties of life...the curriculum embodies a complete course of business training, a comprehensive and progressive teachers course, a practical course in industrial science." The newsletter published during the institution's first year celebrated the practicality of the coursework and goals. It also stressed the flexibility of programs for the working student.

The newsletter consists of a description for a course of study and testimonials from students and employers in Illinois, where Ferris had previously resided. It advertised both his qualifications and his goals.


The papers are divided into a single series.

Access Information

Conditions of Access

The Big Rapids Industrial School Newsletter Records are open for research to all users in accordance with University Archives and Records Management access policies. It is available in the reading room of the Ferris State University Archives.

Conditions of Use

Requests for permission to publish material should be directed to the University Archivist. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Copyright interests for this collection have been transferred to Ferris State University. For more information, contact the University Archivist.

Subject Headings

Below are a list of names, organizations and subjects relating to the collection. Names have been taken from Library of Congress Authority headings whenever possible.

Related Materials

None specified.

Administrative Information


Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box. Big Rapids Industrial School Newsletter Records. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Provenance (Acquisition Information)

These records were transferred to the archives prior to 1980.

Processing Information

The Big Rapids Industrial Newsletter was processed to the folder level by Melinda McMartin Isler in June 2005. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 1.0. A revised finding aid was created in January 2008. A collection level MARC-format record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description was based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004).

Technical Requirements

This collection consists of typed papers. No specialized software or hardware is required for viewing.

Content Listing

Series 1. Newsleters. 1884-1885.

This series consists of approximately 0.2 cubic feet of records. It was a promotional publication discussing the activities of the school and the accomplishments of the graduates

The issues are arranged chronologically.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Big Rapids Industrial School Newsletter. 1884.
1 2 Big Rapids Industrial School Newsletter. January 1885.