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University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, Branch Normal College Records

Identifier: MC 1921.UA

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains correspondence, reports, official records, and transcript excerpts of Board of Trustees meeting minutes, concerning Branch Normal College at Pine Bluff.


  • 1873-1927


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Historical Note

When the University of Arkansas (then known as Arkansas Industrial University) began in 1871, it was open to anyone of any race or sex. However, the political climate of the state soon changed, and formal school segregation followed. In 1873, a bill was introduced in the state senate to establish the Branch Normal College, mainly for the education of teachers, for the “convenience and well-being of the poorer classes” to be located south or east of Pulaski County. Though the wording of the legislation was ambiguous, the school was established for the African American population of the state. The school was under the direction of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Industrial University. In 1875, Joseph Carter Corbin was employed to set up the new Branch Normal College in Pine Bluff in Jefferson County. Corbin would hold the position of principal for 27 years. His job not only required teaching and administration, but also occasional tasks such as clearing land and building porches. The school opened in a rented building on September 27, 1875 with seven students. In 1880, the Trustees bought a permanent site in Pine Bluff, and the following year, the main building was constructed. A girls’ dormitory was opened in 1887. A building for agricultural and mechanical classes was built in 1891. The college continued to grow, and by the end of the century, there were eight professors and over 200 students.

The Branch Normal College split from the University of Arkansas in 1927. It was renamed the Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College (AM&N) and formed its own Board of Trustees. AM&N was the historically black college in Arkansas. Then in 1972, the U of A and AM&N was recombined in a “system” by the state legislature. AM&N took its current name, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, after the merger.


.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Arrangement of the Papers

The collection is arranged as follows: correspondence, meeting minutes, reports and general records.

Acquisition Information

The Branch Normal College Records were transferred to the Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries from Vol Walker Library in 1968.

Processing Information

Processed by Amy Allen; completed in August 2011

University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, Branch Normal College Records
Amy Allen
August 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444