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County School Records

photograph of school recordsThis collage depicts selected records of the King School, which was located in Belfast Township in Murray County. The items pictured are souvenir booklets (1930s) presented by the teacher to her students, teachers’ contracts from the school board clerk’s book (1890s), and a page from a school attendance register. Seventy years ago, in the 1930s, more than 8,000 school districts existed in Minnesota, many of which were one-room schoolhouses. In the 1950s and 1960s the “country schools” consolidated or merged with larger independent school districts, and state-wide all school districts were renumbered. Now there are just over 400 school districts in Minnesota. School records are a valuable resource not only for family history research, but also for local history. Often the schoolhouse was a community center, and several generations in a family would attend the same school.

While not all school district records in the State Archives collection are as colorful as these, the information a researcher can find about students, teachers, and school buildings is rich. The State Archives currently preserves records of about 3,000 rural and independent school districts. Many of the records are the official records (meeting minutes, school board election results, summaries of receipts and expenditures) of the school district clerk and treasurer, but there are also teachers’ class record books and attendance registers, school censuses, photographs, and much more. There is lots of information listing the kids who attended individual schools, who their teachers were, what subject the pupils were taught, and the books they read.

Learn More:

Search the Library Catalog by:

1. the county name and school district number,
2. the name of the school, or
3. the township or city name and the term "school," plus the county name if the township or city is a common name.

Search the Visual Resources Database to find individual photographs of schools by:

1. the county name and school district number,
2. the name of the school, or
3. the township or city name and the term "school," plus the county name if the township or city is a common name.

Schoolhouses of Minnesota By: Photography by Doug Ohman

Family History Resources: School Records