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Charlottesville City Schools collection

Identifier: MSS 2486

Scope and Contents

The collection includes school census materials for the following years: 1910, 1915, 1916, 1920, 1925, 1930, 1935, 1940. The census materials are separated into the categories of Black children, with the term "colored" used on the forms, and White children.

Census materials may also include the child's name and birth date; the names, addresses and occupations of parents or guardians; the child's school attendance status and literacy level (e.g. "unable to read"); and a child's special needs (e.g. "deaf," "crippled," "mental deficiency").

The collection also includes a list of teachers' certificates, 1914-1943, one volume; school board account books, 1891-1901 and 1908-1910; resident and non-resident summer school tuition books, 1907-1940, seven volumes.

In addition, there are lists of teachers, alphabetical with dates of certificates, 1914-1915; by school, classes, etc., 1915-1916 minutes of Charlottesville Education Association, 1906-1910; minutes of Charlottesville Grammar School teachers, 1903-1909; miscellaneous materials on text books and other matters; suggestions by teachers in 1938 on employing the "new curriculum"; and school book lists, 1908-1941.


  • Creation: 1890-1945

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Frank A. Massie was appointed Superintendent of Charlottesville City schools in 1892-1893 and some of the School Board Account Books overlap his time of service. James G. Johnson (1871-1957) became Superintendent of Charlottesville City Schools in 1909 and continued until his retirement in 1946 while the schools were still racially segregated.

Johnson was born in Elk Garden, Russell County, Virginia, later moving to Tennessee, where he attended Milligan College and taught for seven years in Tennessee. He then received his Master's (1906) and Ph.D. in English from the Univeristy of Virginia (1909). His father, Charles W. Johnson, had served in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War and became a physician after attending one session at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.


10.25 Cubic Feet (21 document boxes, 1 small oversize box)

Language of Materials



The Charlottesville City Schools collection is arranged in three series: the first and largest series is the School Census Material (Boxes 1-16) and the second series is the School Board Account Books or ledgers (Boxes 17-20). The third series consists of Lists of Teachers, Minutes and Other Related Materials (Boxe 20-22).

The school census records were originally separated into Black student records and White student records and this order has been maintained. The records for Black children were originally labeled "colored" but the current term Black children has been substituted on the folder headings and in the description.

The School Board Account Books are foldered and arranged roughly in chronological order.

The third series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was given to the Special Collections Library, University of Virginia, by James G. Johnson, Charlottesville, Virginia on August 28, 1946.

Separated Materials

The printed item "The Budget" (1894 October 3 and 1895 January 19 issues) for the Midway School in Charlottesville, was transferred to Rare Books on February 21, 2022. It is catalogued as LD7501 .C4 B83 v. 1.

Content Warning

This material contains references to outdated terminology for Black people and people with disabilities. The purpose of this note is to give users the opportunity to decide whether they need or want to view these materials, or at least, to mentally or emotionally prepare themselves to view the materials.

Charlottesville City Schools collection
Sharon Defibaugh
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States