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Course Catalogs

Identifier: UA-RG 008 Publications-Course Catalogs
The Course Catalogs contain pertinent information for students. The catalogs list the members of the Kansas State Board of Regents, Faculty, a brief history of the University, directions to campus, a list of classes offered along with a brief description of the topic covered, registration requirements, degree requirements, recognition of graduates, enrolled students, and their year rank, along with tuition costs and required materials. Statistical tables in the back of the volumes also list generalized information about the student body including degree program participation, numbers of enrollees by class rank and age, counties of residence, parental occupations, and religious affiliations. These Catalogs should not be confused with Class Schedules, published by Semester which list available courses with specific times, instructors, room numbers, etcetera.

The first issue of the Annual Catalogue appeared in 1903 following the opening of the school in June 1902. The Registrar wrote and distributed the first Annual Catalogues. When the school was in its infancy, the Registrar also served as the Librarian for the first several years. Due to this pairing, the names of the office that created and distributed the Catalogues changed names multiple times. The creators named include Office of Registrar and Library, Library, Registrar, and Registrar and Secretary.

The first classes offered by the present-day Fort Hays State University began in the Summer of 1902. Classes convened at the Infirmary Building located at the Historic Fort Hays Military Reservation, which had been abandoned in 1889. Fifty-two students attended, and tuition cost five dollars. The first head of the school was Principal William Samuel Picken. Picken petitioned for the school to remain on the grounds of the abandoned military holding, but townspeople with real-estate interests rallied for relocation closer to the city of Hays. The current campus site was inhabited by a large prairie dog village. By 1904, the construction of Picken Hall had begun on FHSU’s present-day campus.

The University Archives at Fort Hays State University hold 229 copies of Course Catalogs dating from the opening of the college in 1902 to 2008, when the catalogs transitioned to a born digital format. The catalogs contain historic information about Faculty and Administration, tuition, courses offered, degree requirements, and the history of the establishment. Content within the catalogs changed over time, as the first issues recognized graduates and students in attendance. As the attendance to the university grew, this section of the catalogs was slowly phased out, as it took up too much space. The catalog grew in length as Fort Hays State University aged; the first catalog contained thirty-two pages of information, while the last print copy held 510 pages.

The University Archive also has Summer Course Catalogs and Graduate Catalogs offered from 1929 to 1983. These catalogs provide information on available classes, tuition costs, course requirements, and schedules.


  • 1902-Present


12 Linear Feet

File Plan

From FHSU Records Retention Schedule, Section 5. Student and Course Records

Title Course Catalog

SeriesID Pending

Description Also referred to as the “University catalog” provides information about academic programs, services, and university policies.

Status Pending approval

Retention Transfer to University Archives at end of each academic year

Disposition University Archives

Restrictions None

Comments Provost office is the office of record.

KAR Pending
University Archives - Course Catalogs
Samantha L. Harper
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Fort Hays State University Archives Repository

University Archives
Forsyth Library
502 South Campus Drive
Hays KS 67601 United States