Education Research Guide

Articles from Missouri Historical Review and Missouri Times


Many of the State Historical Society of Missouri’s holdings are included in the SHSMO online catalog. The State Historical Society holds numerous books on the history of education in Missouri, the Midwest, and the United States. The broadest term for searching is simply Education. Other subject terms to use when searching are: Education--Missouri; Schools--Missouri; Educational Law and Legislation--Missouri; Education, Higher--Missouri; or search the name of a specific school.

Historic Missourian Biographies

The State Historical Society’s Historic Missourians website has an entire category devoted to educators in Missouri, providing over 10 biographies on Missouri educators. Each biography includes images, primary resources, and other references for further study.


The State Historical Society of Missouri’s manuscript collections contain papers of educators and education administrators as well as the records of school districts, parent-teacher associations and other affinity and promotional groups, and institutions and individual students.

View All Education Manuscript Collections

In addition to primary and secondary education collections, the Society holds administrative records of the University of Missouri-Columbia, which include papers of faculty, administrators, staff, and students, and records of university organizations. When the University of Missouri was founded in 1839, it became the first state university west of the Mississippi and was given land-grant status in 1870. It later expanded into a four-campus system with campuses in Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla, and St. Louis.

View All University of Missouri System Manuscript Collections

Oral Histories

One-Room Schoolhouse Oral History Project

This collection consists of interviews with people who attended or taught at one-room schoolhouses. The collection consists of digitally recorded interviews and transcripts of the interviews, photographs, textbooks, as well as some biographical information on the interviewees.

View Digitized Transcripts


Yearbooks and Other School Publications

The State Historical Society of Missouri has an extensive collection of college and university yearbooks from around Missouri as well as a number of yearbooks from high schools. Most yearbooks and other university and school publications, such as catalogs, are cataloged in Merlin, though some can be found in SHSMO's manuscript collections.

Government Publications

Our government publications collection, also cataloged in Merlin, reveals much about education in Missouri over time. Here one can find laws and acts concerning schools in Missouri, as well as reports from various government agencies such as the Missouri Department of Education.

Vertical Files

The vertical files contain magazine and newspaper clippings, handwritten information donated by patrons, bibliographies, programs, brochures, flyers, and other materials that, by reason of their physical formats, cannot be placed on the shelves with books. SHSMO's Columbia Research Center has a vertical file titled “Education - Missouri” as well as other files beginning with the heading “Education.” We also have many files on schools in specific towns, cities, and counties. For example, the vertical file, “Camden County (MO) – Schools” has information on various schools in Camden County. Occasionally a school will have its own file, such as the “Benton, Thomas Hart, Elementary School, Columbia (MO)” file. Institutions of higher education often have their own category in the vertical files as well.