The Institution Will Open February 1. How the Building is Arranged and its Conveniences for Study. Requirements for Entrance. The Courses of Study that May be Taken. Time of Entrance Examinations. All about the School where Western Massachusetts Teachers are to be Prepared
for their Work.

From the Jan. 22, 1897, Transcript is a full-page preview of the opening of the North Adams State Normal School, which would then go on to become North Adams State College, and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts today. The copy of that edition in our possession renders much of the page illegible. Here are snippets of that overview.

The importance of a good record in the high school cannot be overestimated. The stronger the evidence of character, scholarship and promise of whatever kind candidates bring especially from school of high reputation and from teachers of good judgment and fearless expression the greater confidence they may have in guarding themselves against the contingencies of an examination and of satisfying the examiners. Reasonable allowances in equivalents will be made in case a candidate for satisfactory reason has not taken a study ground for examination.

Oral examinations

Candidates will be questioned orally upon some of the foregoing subjects or upon matters of common interest to them and the school at the discretion of the examiners.


In this interview, the object is to gain some impression about the candidates' personal characteristics and their use of language, as well as to give them an opportunity to furnish any evidence of qualification that might not otherwise become know to their examiners. Any work of a personal, genuine and legitimate character that candidates have done in connection with any of the groups that are set for evaluation and that is susceptible of visible or tangible presentation, may be offered at this time, and such work will be duly weighed in the final estimate and may even determine it.

Written examinations

The written examinations occupy two days in order to lessen the strain on the candidates and allow proper time for the correction of papers. In each subject several questions are submitted from which the candidate selects the required number.

Groups 1, 2, and 4 are allowed two hours each; groups 3 and 5 one hour each.


ENGLISH -- The importance of a good foundation in English cannot be overstated. The plan and the subjects for the examination will be the same as those generally agreed upon by the colleges and high technical schools of New England. While candidates are strongly advised to study either in schools or out, all the works given in this plan, the topics and questions will be so prepared for 1896, and thereafter until further announcement, that any candidate may expect to meet them who has mastered half of the works assigned for reading (or a bar majority of them) and half of the works assigned for study and practice, the selection to be at the candidate's option or that of the school which he attends.

No candidate will be accepted in English whose work is notably deficient in point of spelling, punctuation, idiom or division of paragraphs.

Reading and practice

A limited number of books will be set for reading. The candidate will be required to present evidence of a general knowledge of the subject matter and to answer simple questions on the lives of the authors.

The books set for this part of the examination will be: Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, Defoe's History of the Plague in London, Irving's Tales of a Traveler, Woodstock Macauley's Essay on Milton, Longfellow's Evangeline, George Eliot's Silas Marner.