Records of the Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association, Inc., 1883-2017 (inclusive), 1930-1978 (bulk)
- Majority of material found within 1930-1978
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Use
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.
12.13 linear feet ((22 + ½ 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)
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, n.d. (#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, n.d., 1883-2017, n.d. (#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, n.d. (#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. The photographs are arranged to mirror the series above.
Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online.
GIRLS' LATIN SCHOOL HISTORY
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.
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/.
- Series I. Girls' Latin School / Boston Latin Academy Association, Inc., 1901-2017, n.d. (#1.1-4.9, E.1)
- Series II. Girls' Latin School, 1883-2017, n.d. (#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, n.d. (#PD.1+-PD.34)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
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, and the Wellesley College Archives between July 2009 and February 2018.
By: Cat Lea Holbrook, with assistance from Ashley Thomas.
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
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- 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
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