Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Repair to the Attic

NDA archivist Sr. M. Dolores likes to say that she is the keeper of the attic, reflecting the idea that people keep old treasures, as well as things they don’t know what to do with but don’t want to toss, in their attics.  This problem is solved in an institution by establishing an archives.  NDA’s formal archives’ beginning dates to the summer of 2007 and currently contains over 600 artifacts and files.  What on earth does it contain?  Certainly all is on earth, especially the earth of 5th Street West and the earth of 1699 Hilton Dr..  Our most treasured items include the bound Gavel collection dating from 1926 to 1954; a diploma from 1918; 34” roundels—round paintings—of the Evangelists from the ceiling of the old academy chapel before it was renovated; a collection of class rings (see blog entry of Dec. 5, 2012); the correspondence between Sr. M. Agnetis and Conrad Hilton (over 70 letters and cards written between 1952 and 1965); plus many more.

The photos you see give an idea of how large the collection is (you’re seeing only about a third of it) and a little of the variety.  The first photo is of the oldest diploma we have; the second shows the publications collection and the boxes on the left containing the old uniforms; the third is of the documents collection in boxes with category markings.  Interesting stuff, interesting work preceded by many years of careful safe-keeping of these items by such people as Sr. M. Agnetis, Sr. M. Jeaneen, and several alumnae and development directors.  The task in 2007 was to collect, sort, arrange, and contain the critical mass.  Today the work of collecting goes on with the help of Alumnae and Advancement folks, graduates who want to see their treasures valued and in safe keeping, and others who want to lend a hand.  Within the past year we received from Barry Aldemeyer the “Multiple Listing Service Report” from the 1950s stating the value of the 5th Street and Montgomery Street properties.  This proved to be a good companion piece to the Complete Appraisal Report, Land and Building Construction from the MacConnell & Co. Appraisal Engineers, a document that suddenly surfaced right here at home.  The Muses are still with us.

If the gracious reader is an alum of this venerable institution and feels inclined to entrust treasures from her years at Notre Dame to us, the archivist will receive them with gratitude and respect. 

Oops!  The last blog spot was no cliff hanger, but just in case you are of the younger set:  photo #1 is Sr. M. Rachel (Marlene); photo #2--Sr. M. Virginia Ann (now in Paradise); photo #3--Sr. M. Ethel (Lynn); photo #4--Sr. M. Paul Ann; photo #5--Sr. M. Lynette; photo #6--Sr. M. Dolores (Padraic).  Now you know!