From Pedagogical Museum to Instructional Material Center: Education Libraries at Teacher Training Institutions, 1890s to 1970s


  • Ramirose Attebury University of Idaho
  • Michael Kroth University of Idaho



The development of education libraries cannot be understood outside the context of education history. Changes in educational practices and technology spurred three phases of development in the history of education libraries. Early examples, often called curriculum laboratories, developed as spaces to create educational materials where limited numbers existed. As standardized curriculum grew, common laboratories gave way to curriculum materials centers, which housed materials so that future teachers could preview them. The rise of audio-visual equipment transformed education libraries once again into centers housing a variety of instructional materials. This paper traces the development of education libraries through these three phases.


American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. (1967). Standards and evaluative criteria for the accreditation of teacher education: A draft of the proposed new standards, with study guide. Washington, D.C.: AACTE.

Bode, B. (1937). On the use of textbooks. In H.L. Caswell & D.S. Campbell (Eds.), Readings in curriculum eevelopment (108-110). New York: American Book Company.

Bomar, C.P., Heidbreder, M.A., & Neymeyer, C.A. (1973). Guide to the development of educational media selection centers. Chicago: American Library Association.

Brewton, J.E. (1941). The Peabody curriculum laboratory. The Bulletin of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, 25, 16-21.

Brooks, A.R. (1949). The role of instructional materials centers in schools and colleges. The School Review, 57(8), 425-432.

Browne, R. E. (1961). Bulletin of the California State Department of Education.

Sacramento, CA: California State Department of Education.

Brydges, B. (2009). A century of library support for teacher education in Calgary. Education Libraries, 32(1), 4-11.

Buckington, B.R. (1937). The relation of the curriculum to the textbook. In H.L Caswell & D.S. Campbell (Eds.), Readings in curriculum Development (110-113). New York: American Book Company.

Drag, F. (1947). Curriculum laboratories in the United States: A research study. San Diego, CA: Office of the Superintendent of Schools.

Ellis, E.V. (1969). The role of the curriculum laboratory in the preparation of quality teachers. Tallahassee, FL: Florida A&M University Foundation.

Engelking, D.F. (1960). Fall Bulletin. Boise, ID: State of Idaho Department of Education.

Farrell, F. V. (1958). Philosophy, evaluation and improvement of Idaho elementary schools. Boise, ID: Idaho State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Fulton, W.R. (1960). Audio-Visual competence and teacher preparation. Journal of Teacher Education, 11, 492-496.

Gibbony, H.L (1957). The instructional materials center in teacher education. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation.) Ohio State University, Columbia, OH.

Grady, M.B. (1948). Nonbook materials in a teacher college library. College and Research Libraries, 9(4), 311-315, 322.

Gwynn, J.M. (1940). North Carolina builds curriculum laboratory,” Curriculum Journal 11(2),77-79.

Harap, H. (1932). The curriculum laboratory. New York State Education ,19, 634.

Houlihan, B. (1978). The university curriculum library: Evaluate, update, renovate. Curriculum Journal, 17(5), 361-363.

Idaho County Superintendents’ Conference Program. (1947). Boise: State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Idaho Education Survey Commission (1946). Public education in Idaho: A report of the Idaho Education Survey Commission. Nashville, TN: Division of Surveys and Field Services, George Peabody College for Teachers.

Idaho State Board of Education (1958). 23rd Biennial Report of the Idaho State Board of Education.

James, M.L. (1963). The curriculum laboratory in teacher education institutions: Its essential characteristics. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.

Johnson, W.R. (1989). Teachers and teacher training in the 20th Century,” in D. Warren (Ed.) American Teachers: Histories of a profession at work (237-256). New York: Macmillan.

Joseph, S.F. (1968). Curriculum materials center updates teachers,” Catholic School Journal 68, 29-30.

Krause, L.L. (1976). Accreditation standards and curriculum. In O.L. Davis, Jr. (Ed.) Perspectives on curriculum development, 1776-1976 (173). Washington, D.C.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Leary, B.E. (1939). Survey of curriculum laboratories, Curriculum Journal, 9, 350-354.

Mace, J. M. (1993). The importance of curriculum materials centers in the academic library. Library Mosaics 4, 22-23.

McGiverin, R. (1988). Curriculum materials centers: A descriptive study. Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian 6(3/4), 119-127.

Moldstad, J. & Frey, H. (1969). A complete materials center. In N.P. Pearson & L.A. Butler (Eds.) Instructional Materials Centers: Selected Readings (191-193). Minneapolis, MN: Burgess Pub.

National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (1960). Standards and guide for accreditation of teacher education. Washington, D.C.: NCATE.

National Education Association (1957). The status of the American public-school teacher. NEA Research Bulletin, 35(1), 1-175.

Nevil, L. (1975). A survey of curriculum laboratories in selected colleges in Pennsylvania. Willes-Barre, PA: Wilkes College.

Peik, W.E. (1934). Curriculum investigations at teacher-training, college, and university levels. Review of Educational Research, 4(2), 191-198.

Raurk, Jr., H.C. (1963). It’s IMC for 1963: The third year of the decisive decade. Educational Screen and Audiovisual Guide, 42(12), 674-680.

Reese, W.J. (2005). America’s public schools: From the common school to No Child Left Behind. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Reid, S. (1952). Audio-Visual instruction in teacher education: Report of a conference in Washington, D.C. on May 13-14, 1952. Washington D.C.: Federal Security Agency Office.

Roberts, F.X. (1990). An early example of a curriculum materials collection in an institution of teacher education. Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian, 9(1), 21-28.

Rudolph, J.L. (2002). Scientists in the classroom: The cold war reconstruction of American science education New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Spencer, D. (2000). Teachers’ work: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In T.L. Good (Ed.), American education: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow (53-83). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Spring, J. (1976). The sorting machine: National educational policy since 1945. New York: David McKay Company, Inc.

Squire, J.S. (1992). Curriculum materials: The educational resources service collection at the James A. Michener Library, UNC. Colorado Libraries, 40-42.

Stull, L. & Holley, E.G. (1960). Some materials centers in the Midwest. Journal of Teacher Education, 11(4), 570-572.

Thayer, V.T. (1965). Formative ideas in American education: From the colonial period to the present. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company.

Tyack, D., Lowe, R., Hansot, E. (1984). Public schools in hard times: The great depression and recent years. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

University of Idaho, College of Education. (n.d.) IMC Policy and Procedure Manual. Moscow, ID: Instructional Materials Technology Center, University of Idaho.

University of Idaho, College of Education. (1963). A report to the national council for the accreditation of teacher education. University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives.

University of Idaho, College of Education (1973). A report to the National Council on the Accreditation of Teacher Education. University of Idaho Special Collection and Archives.

University of Idaho, College of Education (1977). A report of teacher education programs at the University of Idaho: Prepared for the Office of Higher Education. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho.

Wheeler, R. ( 1973). IMC concept grows here. In N.P. Pearson & L.A. Butler (Eds.) Learning resource centers: Selected readings (16-20). Minneapolis, MN: Burgess Publishing Co.

Whipple, G.M. (1930). The selection of textbooks. American School Board Journal, 80(5), 51-53.

Wood, H.B. (1938). How to organize a curriculum laboratory. Curriculum Journal, 9, 345-359.

Wright, C.W. &. Berry, K.R. (1963). At Central Washington State College: All service under one roof, buildings equipped for AV utilization. Audiovisual Instruction 8, 222-223.