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Henry Skinner West records

 Record Group
Identifier: 001-001-006

Scope and Contents

These records contain biographies, correspondence, and reports relating to the three years West was Principal at the Maryland State Normal School.

Dates

  • 1917-1920, undated

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access. This collection is open to the public.

Conditions Governing Use

Towson University Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is the owner of the original materials and digitized images in our collections; however, the collection may contain materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials. Consult with SCUA to determine if we can provide permission for use.

Biographical Note

Henry Skinnner West was the fifth principal for the Maryland State Normal School from 1917 until 1920. Born in Baltimore on December 23, 1870, Skinner graduated from Baltimore City College in 1890. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Johns Hopkins University in 1893, a Masters in 1899, and his Doctorate in 1899. West was a professional educator, and taught at various institutions beginning in 1890 when he taught at the Zion School in Baltimore City. From 1894 until 1897, he taught at Baltimore City College. He taught English at Hopkins for a year in 1899 and was a professor at Baltimore City College for a year in 1900. From 1900 until 1906, he was the principal at Western High School, a girl’s school in Baltimore City. In 1906, he was made the Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Baltimore City, a position he held until 1911. After spending a year at US Fidelty and Guaranty Company in New York, he became a professor at the University of Cincinnati from 1912 until 1917. In 1917, he was elected to replace Sarah Richmond as the Principal at the Maryland State Normal School. The school had moved to the Towson campus in 1915, and with the move, the work as Principal had become more complex. Besides overseeing the educational and sometimes more personal needs of the student population, West was charged with overseeing an expanded campus, faculty and staff system. During his time as head of the Normal School, Dr. West encountered several difficulties, most of which may be attributed to United States involvement in World War I. At the time of Dr. West's appointment, many of the school's teachers had left to serve their country, and with one exception, the male students of the Normal School were enlisted or drafted. Although enrollment continued to drop for the three years which Dr. West served, interest and activity at the school increased. Dr. West introduced the first summer session in 1918, and education became increasingly practical. Wartime economy was taught in math and economics courses, and special courses in first-aid and home nursing were introduced. Finally, he studied the question of teacher salaries and determined that teaching as a profession was not compensated well enough to attract many new students, especially in a wartime economy where civilians could earn more working for the war effort. The Alumni Association joined with him in this concern, and eventually the Maryland Legislature passed laws to create a minimum salary for teachers and reduce the costs for boarding at the Normal Schools. It was also during his tenure that the movie “The Call of the Hour” was made at Towson. Essentially one of the first school recruitment films produced, it was shown in schools throughout Maryland, and the subsequent enrollment boom may in some part be due to its success. In 1920, West was hastily made the Superintendent of Schools in Baltimore after a scandal involving discrimination forced the former Superintendent out of office. He served in that position until 1925, when he moved to Miami and helped establish the Education Department at the University of Miami, working as the Dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Director for Teacher Training there until 1940. West died in 1961. In 1951, West Hall, one of two dormitories constructed for men, was dedicated in his honor.

Extent

.1 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Overview

Henry Skinnner West was the fifth principal for the Maryland State Normal School from 1917 until 1920. These records contain biographies, correspondence, and reports relating to this tenure.

Bibliography

Cain, Mary Clough. The Historical Development of State Normal Schools for White Teachers in Maryland. New York: Bureau of Publications Teachers’ College Columbia University, 1941. State Teachers College at Towson. Seventy Five Years of Teacher Education. Towson, Maryland: The Alumni Assoc., 1941. "WEST MAY HEAD STATE NORMAL :Former Baltimore Choice Of The Board For Superintendent." The Sun (1837-1985), January 19, 1917, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed July 14, 2010).

"DR. WEST HEADS NORMAL :Chosen Principal Of State School To Succeed Miss Richmond WILL RECEIVE $4,000 A YEAR Former Assistant Superintendent Of City Schools Under Dr. James H. Van Sickle." The Sun (1837-1985), March 29, 1917, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed July 14, 2010).

"CAN SUCH A THING BE POSSIBLE." The Sun (1837-1985), March 30, 1917, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed July 14, 2010).

"CITY SIZZLED, MAYOR SHIVERED." The Sun (1837-1985), August 9, 1917, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed July 14, 2010).

"IN SUBURBS AND COUNTY." The Sun (1837-1985), June 9, 1918, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed July 15, 2010).

"IN SUBURBS AND COUNTY :Taxpayers To Discuss Government Road Report AUTOMOBILISTS INTERESTED Normal School Farmerettes Filling Engagements--Immigration Is Subject to Annual Debate." The Sun (1837-1985), April 19, 1919, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed July 15, 2010).

"MISS LIDA TALL CHOSEN TO HEAD STATE :Assistant City Superintendent Des Moines Will Accept Election Here TAUGHT LONG IN MARYLAND Served For Years In Baltimore And County--Active In National Educational Associations And Is A Writer Of Note." The Sun (1837-1985), August 3, 1920, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed July 15, 2010).
  • Cain, Mary Clough. The Historical Development of State Normal Schools for White Teachers in Maryland. New York: Bureau of Publications Teachers’ College Columbia University, 1941.
  • State Teachers College at Towson. Seventy Five Years of Teacher Education. Towson, Maryland: The Alumni Assoc., 1941.
  • "WEST MAY HEAD STATE NORMAL :Former Baltimore Choice Of The Board For Superintendent." The Sun (1837-1985), January 19, 1917, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed July 14, 2010).
  • "DR. WEST HEADS NORMAL :Chosen Principal Of State School To Succeed Miss Richmond WILL RECEIVE $4,000 A YEAR Former Assistant Superintendent Of City Schools Under Dr. James H. Van Sickle." The Sun (1837-1985), March 29, 1917, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed July 14, 2010).
  • "CAN SUCH A THING BE POSSIBLE." The Sun (1837-1985), March 30, 1917, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed July 14, 2010).
  • "CITY SIZZLED, MAYOR SHIVERED." The Sun (1837-1985), August 9, 1917, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed July 14, 2010).
  • "IN SUBURBS AND COUNTY." The Sun (1837-1985), June 9, 1918, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed July 15, 2010).
  • "IN SUBURBS AND COUNTY :Taxpayers To Discuss Government Road Report AUTOMOBILISTS INTERESTED Normal School Farmerettes Filling Engagements--Immigration Is Subject to Annual Debate." The Sun (1837-1985), April 19, 1919, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed July 15, 2010).
  • "MISS LIDA TALL CHOSEN TO HEAD STATE :Assistant City Superintendent Des Moines Will Accept Election Here TAUGHT LONG IN MARYLAND Served For Years In Baltimore And County--Active In National Educational Associations And Is A Writer Of Note." The Sun (1837-1985), August 3, 1920, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed July 15, 2010).

Processing Information

Conservation or preservation treatments -- rehoused in document box with multiple subseries items; re-foldered; letters rehoused in polyester envelopes or acid-free paper for more stability and less handling. Media clippings removed and transferred to vertical file.
Title
Guide to the Henry Skinner West records
Status
Completed
Author
Created by Felicity Knox. Revised and transferred to ArchivesSpace by John Esh.
Date
2015, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Towson University Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Contact:
Albert S. Cook Library
8000 York Rd
Towson MD 21252 United States