The Resource Portsmouth (Va.) Teachers' Registers

Portsmouth (Va.) Teachers' Registers

Portsmouth (Va.) Teachers' Registers, 1882-1955
Portsmouth (Va.) Teachers' Registers
Inclusive dates
  • Portsmouth (Va.) Teachers' Registers, 1882-1955, are volumes from both black and white schools recording student names, attendance, and grades. Directions for completing the registers are listed in the front matter; teachers were required to write neatly; use "good black ink"; and record the names of their pupils alphabetically, "the boys first." School holidays were carefully noted, including the funeral of Jefferson Davis (1889) and Decoration Day. Descriptions of the school buildings and lists of the textbooks were also recorded. Occasionally the volumes include lists of classroom visitors, indigent pupils, or student prizes for attendance and deportment
  • School principal and teacher Willis A. Jenkins tucked a schedule of daily exercises in his 1886 register. The day began at 9:00 with roll call and included lessons in geography, grammar, calisthenics, physiology, arithmetic, history, and writing. Thirty minutes were allowed for lunch and recess combined
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • Portsmouth was located in Norfolk County, which is now extinct. It was named by its founder, William Crawford, for the English seaport and was established in 1752. Portsmouth was incorporated as a town in 1836 and as a city in 1858.
  • The present public school system of Portsmouth came into being as the result of an act of the General Assembly, 1869-1870. Prior to this time, however, a system of primary schools had been established in the City as a result of an act of the General Assembly in 1846. This act established a system of "free education for all classes", but required the assent of two-thirds of the electorate of a county or city before it could be put into effect. In 1848, Portsmouth took advantage of this act by organizing a system of public education and electing a Board, which was given entire control of its affairs. These schools were open to all whites under certain conditions. A small tuition was required of all who were able to pay, the poorer children being cared for by funds received from the sale of the Glebe lands. There were two broad divisions in these schools corresponding somewhat to the present primary and grammar grade departments, with each further divided into male and female sections.
  • White and black northern missionaries founded free public education for black students prior to the Civil War, although it was nothing like the system established by the government for white children. The first school constructed by the city for African American students was the Chestnut Street Colored School, built 1878 and run by principal Israel C. Norcom. Portsmouth city schools were integrated in 1962 following the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education (1954) and the subsequent negation by state and federal courts of Virginia's policy of massive resistance.
Cataloging source
Portsmouth (Va.) Teachers' Registers
  • These items came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer of papers from the city of Portsmouth Public Schools under the accession number 44316
  • The collection is located at the State Records Center. Contact Archives Research Services for access information, directions and hours
Organized by school district, then by white or colored school, then by school number.
  • The Library of Virginia
Governing access note
  • Student information in these unprocessed materials may be RESTRICTED under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The Archives staff may redact privacy protected information. Documents can be viewed in their entirety (without redaction) 75 years after the date of creation. Types of documents requiring RESTRICTION may include: personally identifiable student information in scholarship applications, change of school forms, term reports, and other records; test results; health information, including vaccination records; materials related to the Pupil Placement Board and containing student information. Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia, 2.2-3705.5); Virginia Health Records Privacy Act (Code of Virginia, 32.1-127.1:03); Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99)
  • It is strongly suggested that patrons wishing to view this collection contact Archives Research Services prior to visiting the Library. The collection may not be available on the same day requested due to the need to review the unprocessed materials for privacy restricted information
Immediate source of acquisition
Portsmouth (City) Public Schools
Terms governing use
There are no restrictions.
Type of unit

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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