3 Replies Latest reply on Jun 24, 2021 11:22 AM by Erin Fehr

    Seeking student records from Carlisle Indian Industrial School

    Jenni Monet Newbie

      I'm researching a family tree and am looking for student records for two students who may have attended Carlisle sometime in the 1880s and maybe 1890s.


      The two names are: Jose Reyes Toya (Jemez Pueblo) and Gaylord Steele (Laguna Pueblo)


      Thank you!

        • Re: Seeking student records from Carlisle Indian Industrial School
          Hannah Reynolds Wayfarer

          Dear Jenni Monet,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub.


          We searched the NARA Catalog and located the series Student Records, 1879-1918 from the Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1793-1999 (Record Group 75). While searching within the Student Records series, we did not find an exact match for Jose Reyes Toya (Jemez Pueblo). We did find “Ray, Jose J”, Pueblo. As for Gaylord Steele (Laguna Pueblo), we did not return any results.


          It is worth noting that although there are now more records in the National Archives of the Carlisle School than of any other Indian school, these records are very incomplete. There is very little correspondence, and there are serious gaps in other records. Most of the records relate to individual students and these are very incomplete also. Since the school made some attempt to keep track of students after they left the school, the records may include information concerning a former student up to the time the school was closed. The school's records now in the National Archives were transferred to the central office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs when the school was closed; and some additions were made to these records while they were in the custody of the Bureau.


          We suggest searching the Student Records series on your own. You can search for this series on the NARA Catalog. Go to our home site, www.archives.gov and click on search NARA Catalog, in the advanced search enter 300327 into the Description Identifier to access Carlisle Student Records, then where it says there are 6160 files units described, you can click on the Search within this series box and put in the name of student into the search bar. Here is a general guide of how to search the NARA Catalog.


          Since we could not find a specific student folder and you know your ancestors attended the Carlisle School, you are welcome to come research the records yourself, such as for example, the Registers of Pupils, Records of Outings, and various publications that contain items on students.


          For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) at archives1reference@nara.gov.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          In addition, here is a NARA guide titled “Navigating Record Group 75: BIA Schools”, and the Records of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School Inventory.


          We hope you find this information helpful. Best of luck with your family research!

          1 person found this helpful
          • Re: Seeking student records from Carlisle Indian Industrial School
            Erin Fehr Newbie

            Hi Jenni,


            You might also be interested in learning that Dickinson College has digitized most, if not all, of the student records of Carlisle students that are contained at NARA. While I found neither name using the search box function, you might find some helpful information on their website: http://carlisleindian.dickinson.edu/. I've used this website extensively in my own research and found it extremely helpful.


            Another idea is to search the Carlisle Indian Industrial School's publications. These are a fantastic trove of information about the students. Dickinson College has also digitized these, and uploaded them in a pdf format. If you know about the time that these two students attended Carlisle, you might be able to search the publications for mentions of them. Here's the link for the publications: http://carlisleindian.dickinson.edu/publications