Have you visited the Academy Archives lately? While we would love to have you visit us on the second floor of the library, we also invite you to take a virtual tour of our collections on the Web.
Archival collections on the web site reflect the school’s history, including materials from Abbot Academy as well as Phillips Academy. Dr. Paige Roberts created the site shortly after her appointment as Academy Archivist in order to enhance access to our collections, generate interest in school history, provide teachers and students with access to materials that support the curriculum, and inform the campus community about Archive policies.
Paige recently added new content and collections to the Archives and Special Collections web site. The site was created using WordPress. While it is still very much under development, the site contains some fascinating images and is well worth a visit.
The Collections section includes pages on:
Photographs: a still-preliminary list of folders. Work duty students have been instrumental in developing these folder lists.
Publications: links to yearbooks, catalogues, alumni/ae bulletins and literary magazines that are being digitized.
Scrapbooks: a list with names and graduation years of scrapbook creators with links to pages that describe a few scrapbooks. These descriptions were produced by students who completed an “extra credit” History assignment last year.
Special Collections: a page describing some of our collection of rare books and other special collections.
Vertical Files: an alphabetical list of every vertical file (topics, events, people, places in school history) in the Archives office,
The bulk of the Archives collections are administrative records of PA, and none of these has been fully processed according to conventional archival standards. In the meantime, we have uploaded searchable PDFs of old detailed inventories of the records of past headmasters (from Bancroft 1878 through Kemper in 1971). Emily Tordo, the assistant archivist, is in the process of making these lists into more substantive, easily searchable finding aids to headmasters’ collections starting with Bancroft’s records. A separate inventory of Abbot Academy administrative records has been digitized and will be online soon.
The PA and Abbot Academy History section of the web site contains a chronology, a list of principals and a short bibliography of school history with links to secondary sources that have been digitized.
The Using the Archives area of the site includes policies and information about how to access historical materials in Archives and Special Collections.
The Transferring Records page addresses the records management function of the Archives. In February 2013 the Board of Trustees approved a records management policy for the school, to be overseen by the Archives. Paige is working with Maureen Ferris to meet with staff and administrators in various key offices across campus to provide guidance on how to comply with and implement the policy.
Finally, the site contains Links to Related Collections in other archival repositories and to collections of primary sources online.
Paige has also created an OWHLGuide for researchers interested in using material from the Archives and Special Collections. This is a great place to begin research involving primary sources.
The Archives and Special Collections Flickr account contains a treasure trove of historical images from PA and Abbot. As additional materials are scanned, they will be added to the Flickr page.
A significant number of school publications have already been digitized, thanks in large part to a generous grant from the Abbot Academy Association. The publications are housed at the Internet Archive: Using the Internet Archive as a repository also guarantees that the materials will become part of the searchable collection of the DPLA.
Paige and Emily are happy to answer any of your questions about using archival collections for instruction or for administrative purposes. They can support you in complying with the records management policy, and also help with research inquiries concerning school history. If “the end depends upon the beginning,” getting to know the materials and collections in the Archives will be helpful to every member of this community. Visit the virtual Archives web site soon, when you can spend a little time exploring. We guarantee that you will find something interesting.