CCHS - Carlisle Indian Industrial School (1879-1918)

Mention “Carlisle” and invariably the response will include some reference to Jim Thorpe or the Carlisle Indian School. Founded by Richard Henry Pratt, the school was the first off-reservation government boarding school for Native American Indian children. Carlisle served as the model for dozens of schools throughout the U.S., some of which are still in existence.

The Cumberland County Historical Society houses an extensive collection of archival materials and photographs from the Carlisle Indian School. Among the items are the 39+ years of weekly and monthly school newspapers, musical and athletic programs, brochures, letters, catalogs and the annual reports to the Commissioners of Indian Affairs. From students and staff the collection features oral histories, scrapbooks, a memory book, recruiter's notebook, and much more.

The historical society receives visits and calls of inquiry from researchers and descendants of the Indian school students. The purpose of this website is to facilitate similar inquiries into this important history. Please explore our links describing the types of resources housed at the historical society as well as suggested methods for this type of research. We welcome your input and questions. For further information, please contact

Includes Primary Resources
CCHS - Carlisle Indian School