Written by guest blogger, Julia Tutino
For many high school students, summertime is all about living in the moment, but for a dozen Delone Catholic students, the Summer of 2010 was all about living in the past. For seven weeks this summer, these students worked in the school archives, creating a digital record of the school's 70-year history.
Social Studies teacher Julia Tutino established the Squire Legacy Club during the 2009-10 school year. "Several students had told me that they would love to study history in college, but they didn't want to teach. They didn't realize that there are all sorts of positions out there for public historians," says Tutino, "I thought that by taking care of the school's history - their own history - that I could show them what historians do, rather than just tell them about it."
Throughout the school year, Miss Tutino and the students in the club purchased archival quality boxes for the deteriorating scrapbook collection, which had been diligently assembled by volunteers over the years. They also conducted interviews with some of the first students to walk the halls of Delone Catholic and began research for exhibits that they created for display during the celebration of Delone Catholic`s 70th anniversary earlier this month.
The Squire Legacy Club visited homerooms just prior to summer vacation. With hands covered by cotton gloves, they carefully carried a copy of The Oak from 1928 to each class. That copy of The Oak, which was the yearbook for Delone Catholic`s predecessor, Central Catholic, is the oldest item in the school archives.
After that round of "show-and-tell", recruiting students to help with the summer digitization project was easier than they expected. Nathaniel Post, class of 2011, signed up to work on the summer project because he needed to earn school service hours, but after working on several projects, he said, "I don't think a lot of other students in school know about its history. It's interesting, and I think they would want to hear about it."
In all, twelve students worked on the archives project this summer, totaling more than 270 hours. Two students, Alexander Arigo, class of 2011, and Kasey Myers, class of 2013, came in nearly every day. Arigo, a senior who plans to study public history, used digital photography to preserve the scrapbook collection.
"Through researching and reading old artifacts I have learned to capture the exact feel of something," said Arigo, "Archives have also opened up the door for a lot of people to rediscover our heritage and tradition."
He has also learned lessons that he will apply to other school activities. "In the yearbook, it is important to get all the facts right and not leave anything out, like peoples' names. It serves more value to put in the time to make it right the first time."
Myers became an expert at scanning yearbooks and taught the process to other volunteers. While the digitization process has only just begun, the students were able to create over 7,100 images in just seven weeks. The Squire Legacy Club will continue to work on digitization throughout the 2010-11 school year, and again next summer.