The Archives of the Normal School of Chartres unveiled in L’Apostrophe

As a teacher, she taught history there for many years. It is therefore natural for Geneviève Dufresne to revive the Normal School of Teachers of Chartres. But at a time that was not his: the 19th century.

“The Normal School of Teachers, rue du Maréchal-Leclerc, had in its archives a 19th century album of very large format, with plates of drawings made by the students in training” between 1849 and 1873, Geneviève Dufresne recalls, “the years in which Édouard Persoon was director”.

This man was very ambitious for his school.

This man, “very ambitious for his school”, whom he inaugurated in 1840 at the end of the works. After thirty-eight years in office, “he wanted to make it shine all over the country and make the Normal School of Chartres a pilot school”.

Calligraphic Texts

So he had the second and third year students, aged 17 and 18, draw pictures, “describing what a Normal School looked like back then. Calligraphic texts as well as drawings of the buildings (interior, exterior), the park, the small forest, the pond and the rest of the land have been transformed into a botanical garden because he wanted the normal people to be good gardeners?! »

premium These gems that the Chartres media library is holding in its reserves

Thus, 74 drawings were made, some of which will be presented at L’Aposttrof during the exhibition proposed by the Museum of the School of Chartres and Eure-et-Loir. The originals of these exceptional documents are kept in the National Museum of Education in Rouen (Seine-Maritime).

“The memory of the Écoles nationales and the vital role they played in the French education system in the 19th and 20th centuries is increasingly fading. »

Genevieve Dufresne historian


These plates, made with pen and pencil, on sheets of drawing paper, often decorated with watercolors, describe in detail what the Normal School was, which had been operating since 1840 on a site of more than 2 hectares on the edge of the rue du Grand-Faubourg.

In this way we discover what it was like until 1930, the date when the architect Raoul Brandon was in charge of the transformation of the school.
In addition, in the form of calligraphic texts, details are also given: the functioning of the Normal School and the educational goals that were pursued at the time for the training of teachers.

News for the departmental archives of Eure-et-Loir

An album sent to the minister

The most successful of these plates had also served as the model for a photographed album presented to the Minister of Public Instruction and Religious Affairs, Gustave Rouland, in 1861.
Twelve panels presented in the hall of L’Aposttrof will allow visitors to discover examples of these documents today, “while recalling the normal schools and the essential role they played in the French educational system in the 19th and 20th centuries, gets more and more blurry,” Geneviève Dufresne exclaims.

At the Apostrophe.
Geneviève Dufresne’s conference on “The Chartres Primary Normal School Album” will be held Friday, September 9 at 5:30 PM., in the auditorium of the Chartres media library (free). The former Normal School for Teachers has become the Jean-Moulin College since the start of the 2021 school year. It is a selection of drawings, reproduced in high definition, which will be presented in the media library L’Aposttrofe, September 6 to October 2.

In dates. The Normal School of Teachers, first installed in the city center, according to the Guizot law of 1833, moved to its final location in 1840 (currently 5 rue du Maréchal-Leclerc) and existed until 1991 , the date when it will be replaced established by the IUFM by the Orientation Act of 1989.
The Law of 8 July 2013 on the Orientation and Programming for the Re-establishment of the School of the Republic abolished the IUFM and created the Higher Schools of Teaching and Education (ESPE), which in 2019 became the National Higher Institute of Teaching and Education (INSPE ) became. ). The Normal School for Teachers, installed in 1872 in the city center, boulevard Chasles (now Hélène-Boucher College), moved in 1886 to its final location, rue du 14-Juillet.
Closed by the Vichy government in 1940, the Écoles Normale reopened in 1944. They became mixed in the early 1970s and the training was regrouped at the École Normale d’instituteurs rue du Maréchal-Leclerc until 2020, when it is relocated to the university branch of Chartres.

Laurence Gelineau

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