The first building for an Indian boarding school in Riverside, California was built in 1901. In 1904, this new school and an older one named Perris Indian School, located about 4 miles south of Riverside, were consolidated into the Sherman Institute. Several buildings now are part of the site at 9010 Magnolia Avenue, between Jackson and Monroe Streets in Riverside.
By 1912, Sherman Institute had 631 pupils from 12 states and 55 tribes. It included a 400 acre farm on which students raised produce used at the school. The school still operates on the original campus.
The older administrative files of Sherman Institute now reside at the Pacific Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Laguna Niguel. Among the correspondence, reports, financial records and other administrative papers are two records of particular interest to family historians:
- student case files, 1903- 77
- alumni register, 1919-25
The 1910 census of Sherman Institute is available online, as is the 1920 census of the school. Some attendance records, 1920-1928, a school census of 1940, and death records of students who died at the school, 1920-1922 have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
Microfilm copies of ...Narrative and Statistical Reports... for the Sherman Institute, 1908-1936, are included in National Archives Microcopy M1011, Rolls 135-137, available in the National Archives system and in the collections of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City (their microfilm number 1724353-1724355).
School Records. 1920-1940. FHL film: 1920-1824. FHL films: 1249980 item 6 and 1249981 items 1-4
- American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998.
- Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981.
- Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Services. Available online
- "Accompanying Pamphlet for Microcopy 1011", National Archives Microfilm Publications, Appendix.