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Archives & Special Collections Preserve School’s History

Archives & Special Collections Preserve School’s History

Archives & Special Collections Preserve School’s History

The first issue of The Hotchkiss Record in 1892.

Contributing Writer

March 2, 2023

Anri Yamamoto '24

Since 2006, Ms. Rosemary Davis, archives and records manager, has been collecting artifacts related to the community, including publications, photographs, audio, fi lm, and objects for the school’s collections. She said, “To understand the school now and what Hotchkiss is, you have to understand where it’s been all along the way.”

One of the most significant parts of Ms. Davis’ job is deciding what has historic value. Citing the posters advertising Watson Talks, a series of speakers addressing LGBTQ+ issues, she said, “If somebody asked us 50 years from now, ‘What was Hotchkiss like in 2022?’, this poster would be a small piece of us telling that story.”

Ms. Davis urges students to visit the Archives, which are located under Luke Foyer and can be accessed from an outside door located across from the Health Center – or use the iPad located in the Sprole Reading Room to access the digital library. She said, “We invite community members to contribute their unique stories, passions, and any rare books or paintings with us.”

Since 2012, Ms. Joan Baldwin, curator of Special Collections, has managed the school’s artwork, sculptures, prints, and rare books. The rare books collection consists of 1,500 volumes, which are stored in Monahan, FrankHouse, and the basement of the Chapel. Some remarkable holdings include a page from a Gutenberg Bible, a copy of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan with notes from past head of school George Van Santvoord (class of 1908), and an 18th-century copy of Dante’s Inferno.

At teachers’ request, Ms. Baldwin brings work from Special Collections to classes to allow students to interact directly with unique books. She said, “We want something more than just decoration. We want something students can find connection to.”

Mrs. Caroline Reilly ’87, director of alumni and parent engagement, uses the archives when organizing events for alumni and visitors. She said, “As an alum, I value the fact that we have someone so capable of keeping track of historical facts about the school and the stories that make the place so special. The Archives and Special Collections will continue to serve a signifi cant role in preserving the history of our community. ”

Anri Yamamoto is a contributing writer for The Record.

February 1st

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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