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Resources for Institutional History

Shippensburg University was founded in 1871 as the Cumberland Valley State Normal School. For more than a century, the institution prepared teachers for public schools of the Commonwealth. It was renamed Shippensburg State Teachers College in 1927, and Shippensburg State College in 1960. In July 1983, it was again renamed to Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. SU is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

The University Archives maintains institutional records, which document the history of our university. Information about the campus, buildings, history, students, faculty, administration, and alumni can be found in a variety of sources.

Search for archival materials using ArchivesSpace - our catalog for institutional records and manuscript collections.
*Please note: This software system is new to us - we are slowly adding new collections for you to discover. Thank you for your patience.*

If you cannot find the information you are looking for in ArchivesSpace, view our finding aids, or contact us for research assistance. We are happy to look up information for patrons using our in-house inventories, which have not yet been made publicly available.


Publications are often a great starting place to learn more what happened at the institution during a particular time period.

University Publications
  • The Normal School Herald, a combination school newsletter and alumni newsletter, 1896-1933
  • Course catalogs, 1873-present
  • The Catalogue and later the Student Handbook, 1898-1899, 1917-1918, 1930-1972
  • The Swataney, 1972-present
Student Publications
  • The Campus Reflector, the first student newspaper, 1923-1947. In 1947 The Campus Reflector ceased publication as a newspaper and became more of a literary magazine. In 1957 the word "campus" was dropped from the title and the publication became The Reflector, a literary magazine which is still being published today. The Archives has copies of all the issues of The Reflector plus selections of other publications of student work such as Write the ShipCreative Compost, and The Spawning Pool.
  • The Slate, student newspaper, 1957-present. From 1957 to 1985, The Slate is available on CD on Reserve at the library Circulation Desk. If you need The Slate for 1985 through the present, paper copies may be accessed in the Archives.
  • The Cumberland Yearbook, 1917-present. The Cumberland has been the student yearbook since 1917. It was not produced in 1920. In addition to copies in the Archives, there are copies available on Reserve at the library Circulation Desk. For information on campus life before 1917, consult the following in the Archives: The Philo Review, 1893-1908; The Normal Literary Gazette, 1891-1900; scrapbooks (available into the 1980s).

Building History

The original campus complex, including Old Main, Horton Hall, Stewart Hall, Gilbert Hall, and the Martin House (the president's residence), has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is known as the Cumberland Valley State Normal School Historic District, reflecting the university's original name.

The document below contains a historical overview of campus buildings past and present, and includes the dates buildings were dedicated, renovated, or demolished; brief histories of the buildings; and the current use of the buildings. The information was last updated in March 2017.

For detailed histories of individual buildings, please use the links below to select the building you would like to learn more about.

Old Main
Stewart Hall
Martin House
Gilbert Hall
Little Red School House
Ezra Lehman Memorial Library