Rearview Mirror

From the desk of Felicity Knox ’94, library associate to Special Collections and University Archives

Students with an old plane

Ask an Archivist

Hey Felicity,

Q: What was the Junior College? 

A: For almost 100 years, the mission of the Maryland State Normal School (MSNS) and then 
the State Teachers College at Towson (STC) was to train teachers. However, just after World 
War II, the school created the Junior College, which was a way for students to earn general studies credits that they could then use to transfer to other educational institutions like 
liberal arts colleges. This was meant to also attract students with GI Bill money who might otherwise not have attended STC. Ultimately, it paved the way for STC’s transition to 
Towson State College in 1963.

Have a question for Felicity? Email her at .

What’s New

Bishop Collection

In spring 2022, Special Collections and University Archives received a donation of records from the family of John Joseph “Jack” Bishop Jr. and John Joseph Bishop III. Jack was a Maryland senator from 1966 until 1981, when he was named to the Court of Special Appeals by then-Gov. Harry R. Hughes. He served as a judge until his retirement in 1996. John served in the Maryland House of Delegates for District 9 from 1987 until 1995 and later ran for state Senate and Baltimore County executive. The records focus on political party issues, local matters of public concern, legislative work, court decisions and election materials and are rich with local history and research opportunities.  

Teaching Teachers through the Years

Text of Model School


Elementary classes were established by the Maryland State Normal School (MSNS) to teach young children using the most current methods as well as model proper teaching to MSNS students.

Campus Elementary School Building


The first building constructed expressly for use by the elementary school opened on campus. First known as the Campus Elementary School, it was re-named the Lida Lee Tall School in 1942. The building is now known as Van Bokkelen Hall. By 1934, elementary school students were encouraged to participate in their own learning, creating student-led projects for the class, such as these students constructing a boat in their classroom. 

The Lida Tall School building in 1960


The new Lida Lee Tall School building opened. Besides being more modern in design, it also allowed researchers to observe classes in action. The elementary school ceased operations in 1991, and the building was demolished in 2006 to make way for the new College of Liberal Arts building.