The Hackley Alumni Association Room: Preserving History on the Hilltop

Across more than 11 decades, Hackley has accumulated a lot of history, much of it contained in memories, letters, papers and artifacts. We are grateful, therefore, that the Hackley Alumni Association and members of its Board of Directors recently funded the newly redesigned archive room in Goodhue Memorial Hall. Despite losing an entire library collection in a devastating fire, archival material was fortuitously saved by virtue of the fact that there had previously been no designated archive space.

Archival material had been stored in various locations across campus from the basement of Gage House to unoccupied student boarding rooms. Given the opportunity to rebuild a 21st century library on the heels of Hackley School’s centennial celebration, an opportune moment availed to create an ideal designated archive space. The archive collection now has two designated rooms including one room for storage and one room used for sorting material, reference requests, and classroom visits. The room formally received its first visitors on Alumni Day, October 15th, 2011. Alumni from a wide range of years reconnected with part of their Hackley School history in the archives that day.

In July 2011, work began on the accession and storage of a wealth of historical Hackley School records and artifacts. In that time, there have been many requests for material from within the Hackley School community, alumni, and outside researchers. Requests have ranged from copies of commencement programs and yearbooks to photographs of the stained glass windows in Kaskel Library prior to the fire in which they were destroyed. Some of the most interesting items discovered in the collection provide invaluable insight to the culture and history of Hackley School through the years. The Bean Club Screamer is a hand-written and illustrated manuscript whose amusing and clever entries capture the essence of early 20th century Hackley School students. Scrapbooks also provide the context to step back in time and recapture the history and culture of student life. These are some of the most important records for our school to maintain for many years in to the future as the opportunity to share oral history fades.

While still in the preliminary stages of assessing the collection, it is evident there are many significant documents and publications unique to the history of Hackley School. The collection includes a broad range of issues from publications such as The Dial student newspaper, Hilltop and Halos yearbooks, and The Hackley literary magazine. There are still many missing issues from a broad range of publications in the collection, some less prominent including Take It or Leave It, Hackley News, and other class level or student club publications.

The archivist would welcome contact from any alumni interested in sharing material, particularly records of the school or personal records documenting time spent at Hackley School including scrapbooks. Please email Margie Ford at to ask a question!