Heely Scholars research Lawrenceville during WWI

2103 Heely ScholarsBYLINE: ANDREAS VANDRIS ’14

POSTED: JULY 10, 2013

The inaugural class of Lawrenceville School Heely Scholars spent two weeks on campus exploring the School’s role in World War I through an archival lens to commemorate the upcoming 100th anniversary of the war’s beginning. With the help of School Archivist Jacqueline Haun and Project Archivist Casey Babcock, 2013 Heely Scholars Director Anne Louise Smit led rising Fifth Formers Courtnie Baek, Joshan Bajaj, Komron Shayegan, and Andreas Vandris as they conducted archival research to take a look into the past.

To investigate the effects of World War I on the School, the students pored over a wide expanse of archival material in the School’s collection including faculty records, alumni bulletins, student files,The Lawrence, and Olla Podrida. The group also had the opportunity to tour the School Archives and learn about the processes central to maintaining and cataloguing an archival collection. In addition to producing archival curriculum aids for teacher use, the Scholars will create an exhibit upon returning in the fall to showcase their findings to the entire School community.

Lawrenceville’s Heely Scholar program is a two-week seminar in archival research for rising Fifth Formers who have demonstrated a keen interest and ability in investigating a specific topic that has some tie to the School. Students are nominated by their teachers and then submit a written application. The intent of the program is to introduce students to primary research from the Stephan Archives (the School collection) and with planned excursions to other institutions. Recognizing that archival material exists to be used and not merely saved, the history department in collaboration with the Stephan Archives created the program so that students could explore and study the collection in a manner that will facilitate the access and enrichment of the Archives by the larger community. The Heely Scholars Program is made possible as part of a $6 million dollar gift to the Stephan Archives by John ’59 and Barbara Stephan.

Classes in Archives, week of March 26

As we got into Spring term, class use of the Archives tends to pick up, particularly with our history sections.  This week, we saw those first signs of spring as classes came in to work with our collections.

Mrs. Smit’s Euro-Am sections visited the archives to look at the P.C. Norris Collection of World War I correspondence from Lawrenceville alumni, which features letters about the experience of being away from home and in combat. They also used Lawrences from the World War I period to examine how student awareness of the war evolved over time.

Mrs. Larson’s Mark Twain English section also visited the Stephan Archives to look at 19th century scrapbooks, mostly compiled by Lawrenceville students at the period in which the school was still an all-male institution. As Mark Twain was an inveterate scrapbooker himself, the students were intrigued to explore what other young men of the period considered worth keeping as memorials to their time at school.