Records of the Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association, Inc., 1883-2017 (inclusive), 1930-1978 (bulk)
Correspondence, financial records, class reunion material, memorabilia, yearbooks, and photographs related to the history of Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy and the Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association.
- Majority of material found within 1930-1978
Language of Materials
Materials in English.
Access. Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Written permission is required from the president or historian of the Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association for the publication of quotations from the collection.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
Extent12.13 linear feet ((22 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 2 folio+ boxes, 2 folio folders, 1 folio+ folder, 1 oversize folder, 26 photograph folders, 2 supersize photograph folders, 3 objects, 1 archived web site)
47.92 Megabytes (1 file)
The records of the Girls' Latin School/Boston Latin Academy Association document the functions of the Girls' Latin School/Boston Latin Academy Association itself, including organizing annual meetings, documenting class reunions, managing scholarships, and urging alumni to donate their material to the collection. Correspondence found throughout the collection documents the strong feelings of the Girls' Latin School alumni towards the school's "temporary" locations, the admittance of male students, and the name change to Boston Latin Academy. Records include graduation and class day programs, photographs and photograph albums, scrapbooks, reunion and anniversary programs, correspondence, financial and gift ledgers, yearbooks, dance cards, alumni obituaries, scholarship applications, meeting minutes, class rings, pins, and sports uniform bloomers.
This collection also documents the history of Girls' Latin School/Boston Latin Academy from its founding in 1878 to the early 2000s. This material reflects the changes in the education of women, not only in the late nineteenth century, but also in the 1970s and beyond after the passage of Title IX; the struggle of the Boston Public School system to house a growing population of students; and the desegregation of the Boston Public School system.
This collection does not contain Girls' Latin School/Boston Latin Academy Association meeting minutes between 1943 and 1981, or Girls' Latin School/Boston Latin Academy class records between 1976 and 1990, and 1992 through 2019.
Original folder headings were maintained; titles in brackets were created by the archivist. The majority of records were received in folders; loose material was arranged by the archivist. Electronic records were received on one DVD. The DVD was imaged using FTK Imager. Some past issues of the Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy's literary magazine The Jabberwock, as well as newsletters published by the Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association are held by the Schlesinger Library; consult HOLLIS, the online catalog.
The Girls' Latin School/Boston Latin Academy Association's website is being captured periodically as part of Schlesinger Library's web archiving program.
Series I, Girls' Latin School/Boston Latin Academy Association, Inc., 1901-2017, undated (#1.1-4.9 E.1), includes correspondence, memoranda, fliers, financial ledgers, membership lists, meeting minutes, by-laws, scholarship applications and transcripts, and outstanding alumni award recommendations. This series includes a president's book from the 1930s and 1940s, which contains lists of officers, notes to incoming presidents, and the Association's by-laws. This series also includes minutes of the Association's annual meetings and headmaster's reports from 1909 through 1942, as well as minutes and reports from between 1982 through 1995. The financial ledgers found in this series document the dues paid to the Association by class, as well as the donations received.
The correspondence in this series includes letters between alumni and officers of the Association. Topics include Girls' Latin School becoming Boston Latin Academy, the desegregation of the Boston public school system, the location of Girls' Latin School/Boston Latin Academy, fundraising, deceased alumni, and recommendations for the Outstanding Alumni awards. Also found in this series are the applications and transcripts of seniors applying for the various scholarships managed by the Association. These applications include the college choices and intended field of study of the seniors, and the occupation of their parents. This series is arranged alphabetically.
Series II, Girls' Latin School, 1883-2017, undated (#4.10-23.3, 24F+B.1-25F+B.2m, FD.1-FD.2, F+D.1, OD.1, Mem.1-Mem.3, E.2), includes gift and financial ledgers; histories of the school; correspondence; graduation, class day, and drama programs; school songs; class prophecies and wills; postcards; 73 yearbooks; dance cards; class notes; four scrapbooks; obituaries; alumni lists; autograph books; diplomas; and other material related to the Girls' Latin School/Boston Latin Academy.
This series includes material donated by alumni to the Girls' Latin School/Boston Latin Academy Association, which are arranged by class. These folders, titled "Class of," can contain programs, dance cards, autograph books, class prophecies and wills, material related to class reunions, obituaries, correspondence, obituaries, and letters from alumni to Karen Mastrobattista Curran re: donations of material for the Schlesinger Library. Also found throughout this series is material related to the Athenian Club, a literary and debating club, and the Student Teacher Advisory Council (S.T.A.C.), which encouraged students to be more engaged with the staff, and help with such tasks as monitoring fire drills, and supervising in the cafeteria. This series also contains memorabilia related to individual classes, including class rings, a varsity letter patch, pins, a charm bracelet, a beanie, sports uniform bloomers, and transit passes from the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the precursor to the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) in Boston, Massachusetts. Yearbooks donated by alumni can also be found here; some are annotated.
Series III, Photographs, 1892-1985, undated (#PD.1+-PD.29), contains photographs of Girls' Latin School students, alumnae, and buildings. Many images are from the senior "baby day," which was often held on April 1, and featured the senior class dressed as little girls and holding dolls. This series also includes images of volleyball and basketball games. Also found in this series is a photograph album created by the Boston School Committee, which contains photographs from the West Newton Street building. Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online. The photographs are arranged to mirror the series above.
GIRLS' LATIN SCHOOL HISTORY
Girls' Latin School, a public exam school in Boston, Massachusetts, was founded in 1878 after a group of women and men led by Mary Bucklin Davenport Claflin, Emily Talbot, Annie Fields, Florence Cushing, and William F. Warren petitioned the Boston Public School Committee to allow girls admittance into the Boston Latin School. The Boston Public School Committee instead decided to establish a latin school for girls instead of admitting them to the Boston Latin School, thus creating the first college preparatory high school for girls in the United States.
Girls' Latin School shared a building with the Girls' High School on West Newton Street in Boston's South End. Pupils were allowed to take the entrance exam in the sixth grade to enter in the seventh grade (called the sixth class), or in the eighth grade to enter as in the ninth grade (called the fourth class or the B class). Students were not allowed to transfer into Girls' Latin School for any other grade level.
In 1888, the Girls' Latin School magazine, The Jabberwock, was created and named for Lewis Carroll's poem in Alice in Wonderland. The Jabberwock, which was originally a literary magazine, became an alumni publication in the 2000s.
By 1898, the student population had grown from 37 pupils to 350, forcing the headmaster, John Tetlow, to transfer the higher grades from the West Newton Street building into to the former Chauncy Hall School in Boston's Copley Square.
In 1907, Girls' Latin School moved to the Fenway area of Boston, where it shared space with the Boston Normal School / State Teachers College on Huntington Avenue until 1955, when the State Teachers College was reformed into Boston State College. Girls' Latin School was moved to Codman Square in Dorchester, Massachusetts, into the former Dorchester High School for Girls.
After the passage of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Boston school officials determined that to be in compliance with the law, they could no longer have single-sex public schools. Therefore in 1975, it was determined that Girls' Latin School would be renamed Boston Latin Academy, although diplomas issued in 1975 and 1976 would still carry the Girls' Latin School title.
In 1981, Boston Latin Academy moved back to the Fenway area of Boston into a former warehouse for the United States Postal Service on Ipswich Street. In the summer of 1991, the school moved into the former Roxbury Memorial High School / Boston Technical High School building on Townsend Street in Roxbury, Massachusetts.
GIRLS' LATIN SCHOOL / BOSTON LATIN ACADEMY ASSOCIATION HISTORY
The Girls' Latin School Alumnae Association was founded between 1885 and 1887, although it was not formally incorporated until 1903, and was intended to encourage collegiality among its members, sponsor social events, and to foster academic excellence at the Girls' Latin School. The membership was made up of active members, associate members, life members, and honorary members, all of whom paid different levels of dues.
The Association is governed by an executive board, which consists of a president, a vice-president, a membership secretary, a recording secretary, a treasurer, a historian, an editor, and three members-at-large. The Association had several committees, including the scholarship committee, the membership committee, the investment committee, the nominating committee, and the portrait committee.
The Association hosts several meetings each year, including an annual business meeting. The Girls' Latin School Alumnae Association is also involved in fund raising, awarding scholarships, coordinating reunions with class agents, publishing a newsletter, sponsoring career days, and maintaining a list of alumni.
In 1977, the Girls' Latin Alumnae Association petitioned the Boston Public School Committee to not call the school Boston Latin Academy, as they felt the term "Academy" did not suit a public school. In 1978, the Girls' Latin School Alumnae Association changed its name to the Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association to reflect the school's new co-educational status. The Association is a registered 501 (c)(3) organization.
During the school's centennial year celebration in 1978, the Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association instituted the Outstanding Alumni awards. Twenty-one recipients, nominated by members of the Association and approved by the Association's Executive Board, were selected to receive this honor. Those alumni had distinguished themselves either in their career, in service to their community, or in service Girls' Latin School; the Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association continued this tradition of honoring alumni into the 2000s.
For more information see the Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association website, https://blagls.org/.
The collection is arranged in three series:
- Series I. Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association, Inc., 1901-2017, undated (#1.1-4.9, E.1)
- Series II. Girls' Latin School, 1883-2017, undated (#4.10-23.3, 24F+B.1-25F+B.2m, FD.1-FD.2, F+D.1, OD.1, Mem.1-Mem.3, E.2)
- Series III. Photographs, 1892-1985, undated (#PD.1+-PD.34)
Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Accession numbers: 2009-M154; 2009-M180; 2009-M255; 2010-M1; 2010-M138; 2010-M147; 2010-M192; 2010-M200; 2010-M235; 2011-M178; 2011-M234; 2012-M15; 2012-M29; 2013-M46; 2015-M20; 2015-M21; 2016-M153; 2017-M57; 2018-M27. Accession number 2022-M67 was added to the collection in November 2022.
The records of the Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association were given to the Schlesinger Library by the Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association, Nancy White, Johanna Coppola, Karen Mastrobattista Curran, Mary Shuris Kokaras, Linda Stolow Sterling, Joy Silverstein, Katy Bordonaro, and the Wellesley College Archives between July 2009 and April 2022.
Processed: April 2019
By: Cat Lea Holbrook, with assistance from Ashley Thomas.
Updated: November 2022
By: Johanna Carll
The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit. Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- Boston (Mass.). School Committee
- Busing for school integration--Law and legislation
- Class reunions--Massachusetts
- Educational equalization--United States
- Educational law and legislation--United States
- Electronic records
- Financial records
- Girls--Education (Secondary)--Massachusetts-- Boston
- High schools--Alumni and alumnae--United States
- Membership lists
- Public schools--Massachusetts--Boston
- School sports for girls
- Sex discrimination in education--Law and legislation--United States
- Student activities--Massachusetts
- Web archives
- Women's rights--Massachusetts--Boston
- Women--Education (Higher)--United States
- Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association, Inc. Records of Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association, Inc., 1883-2017 (inclusive), 1930-1978 (bulk): A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- Language of description
- Processing of this collection was made possible by Processing of this collection was made possible by gifts from the Zetlin Sisters Fund and the Jane Rainie Opel '50 Fund.
- EAD ID
Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository
The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.
3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA