From the Archives

This summer, while others were relaxing on the beach with their favorite book or traveling to far away places, the Hackley archives team sunk their hands into Hackley’s history.
Literally. The goal for the summer? To go through every single box, folder and drawer in Hackley’s archive and arrange a more user-friendly collection. No amount of dust, temperature control (sweaters are necessary, even in August, down there) or side tasks would get in the way. Bring on the red rot, fragile manuscripts and one-off publications - anyone remember The Denial?

Sifting through materials box by box, documents, photographs, publications, manuscripts, and more have been reorganized by document type, category and date, according to a records group mapped out in the early weeks after school let out.

Among the notable finds:

  • A dining hall menu from late January of 1930 (including mincemeat on toast, cottage pudding and fish cakes).
  • A Hackley book cover, discovered at the bottom of a bankers box, writing on the sides, “10/8/60 Kennedy elected President of US by electoral vote. 3/31/61 Ingo beaten by Patterson according to ref’s questionable decision.” A little research revealed that Ingemar “Ingo” Johansson was a Swedish boxer who lost a match against Floyd Patterson in 1961.
  • A letter from February of 1960, written by an anonymous Hackley member who had discovered who had stolen a copy of East of Eden from the library. “After a small investigation, I found the following to be true: 1) the book - “East of Eden” 2) the author - J. Steinbeck (in pocket form) 3) where envelope was found - discarded in a desk 4) where envelope was found - on a bookcase in room 332...Thanks: one who values the library PS - please do not disclose this letter or tell that one was sent”. (Sorry -- the jig is up!)
  • And a particular favorite: an old book of Mrs. Hackley’s. A small, fragile book simply titled, Poems published in 1898, the binding barely still intact. Anything that connects to our founder is truly cherished.

Now every box has a temporary label. Next steps are to create a simple finding aid and create permanent labels with box numbers and record groups. Stay tuned!