Emma Dickinson School Class Photographs, 1961-1998 PDF
- Emma Dickinson Elementary School (Missoula, Mont.)
- Emma Dickinson School Class Photographs
- 1961-1998 (inclusive)19611998
- 2.0 linear feet
- Collection Number
- Mss 615
- Emma Dickinson Elementary School served the primary education needs of students in Missoula, Montana’s working class Orchard Homes Neighborhood from 1961 until its closure in 1999. This collection contains photographs of Emma Dickinson classes, staff and extra-curricular activities dating from 1961 to 1998, as well as a small amount of information on Emma Slack Dickinson, Missoula’s first schoolteacher.
- University of Montana, Mansfield Library, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
University of Montana
32 Campus Dr. #9936
- Access Restrictions
Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and The University of Montana--Missoula.
Historical NoteReturn to Top
Emma Dickinson Elementary School, named after Missoula’s first official schoolteacher, opened its doors to public school students living in Missoula Montana’s Orchard Homes Neighborhood in the fall of 1961. Located at 310 Curtis Street, the school originally served first through eighth graders. During its first twenty years, the school hosted a number of extra-curricular activities ranging from football to orchestra, and students, faculty and the neighborhood residents proudly supported their very own “Dickenson Darts”. The school served as a meeting place for both school-related and outside community events, and quickly developed into a vital part of the surrounding neighborhood.
In the early 1980s, Missoula County Public Schools switched to a middle school system for sixth, seventh and eighth graders, and began to offer public kindergarten in the city’s elementary schools. Emma Dickinson followed this trend, and by the fall of 1984 the school taught only kindergarten through fifth grade. While many school activities continued after these changes took place, others, including school-sponsored sports, were lost. During this period Emma Dickinson strove to meet the needs of its lower income students, their families and the community at large by offering special programs such as the Family Resource Center and adult education classes. The Emma Dickinson School also developed a program to successfully integrate students from Missoula’s significant Hmong population into the school system.
The 1980s and 1990s saw a decline in the enrollment of elementary age students in Missoula’s schools, which in turn led to a drop in federal and state funding. The threat of school closures as a means of rectifying the school district’s budgetary troubles was an ongoing concern for Missoulians during the 1990s. While several smaller schools were closed with little fanfare, the 1999 school board decision to close two elementary schools and turn one into a middle school was mired by controversy and public outcry. While the school board initially intended to close Roosevelt, Powell and Franklin Elementary Schools, their final decision called for the closure of Roosevelt, Powell and Emma Dickinson.
Emma Dickinson Elementary School closed its doors on July 11, 1999 after nearly four decades as a vital part of Missoula’s Orchard Homes Neighborhood. As of 2005, the building serves as an adult education center administered by Missoula County Public Schools.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
This collection contains photographs of Emma Dickinson Elementary School classes, staff and extra-curricular activities dating from 1961-1998. Occasionally, photographs of a particular grade, class or activity during a school year are not available in this collection. There are no photographs from the 1977-1978, 1981-1982 and 1991-1992 school years and images from 1979-1980 are limited. The collection also contains a small amount of material on Emma Slack Dickinson, Missoula’s first schoolteacher and the namesake of Emma Dickinson Elementary School.
Series I, Class Photos, contains images of Emma Dickinson Elementary School classes, staff and extra-curricular activities dating from 1961-1998. The photographs offer a visual representation of the school’s evolution from its opening in 1961 to a year before it fell victim to school closures in 1999. The images illustrate everything from changes in fashion to teacher turnover to the school’s growing ethnic and social diversity over a period of almost four decades.
Series II, Emma Slack Dickinson, contains a photocopied news article published ca. 1920 documenting Emma Dickinson’s experiences during the Civil War and her travel to the American West. This series also includes a mounted nameplate and 11x14 portrait memorializing Emma Dickinson, which most likely hung on the walls of her namesake school, Emma Dickinson Elementary.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes. Copyright not transferred to The University of Montana--Missoula.
[Name of document or photograph number], Emma Dickinson School Photographs, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana--Missoula.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
Series I: Class PhotographsReturn to Top
1961-1962 school year
1962-1963 school year
1963-1964 school year
1964-1965 school year
1965-1966 school year
1966-1967 school year
1967-1968 school year
1968-1969 school year
1969-1970 school year
1970-1971 school year
1971-1972 school year
1972-1973 school year
1973-1974 school year
1974-1975 school year
1975-1976 school year
1976-1977 school year
1978-1979 school year
1979-1980 school year
1980-1981 school year
1982-1983 school year
1983-1984 school year
1984-1985 school year
1985-1986 school year
1986-1987 school year
1987-1988 school year
1988-1989 school year
1989-1990 school year
1990-1991 school year
1992-1993 school year
1993-1994 school year
1994-1995 school year
1995-1996 school year
1996-1997 school year
1997-1998 school year
Series II: Emma Slack DickinsonReturn to Top
News article on Emma Slack Dickinson
Mounted memorial name card for Emma Slack Dickinson
Oversized portrait of Emma Slack Dickinson
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Subject Terms :
- Elementary schools--Montana--Missoula--Photographs
- School children--Montana--Missoula--Photographs
- Women Teachers--Montana--Missoula
- Personal Names :
- Dickinson, Emma Slack, d.1927
- Form or Genre Terms :