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Exploring Archives

4 July 2021

Do you know where our Archives house is?

The need to house our large collection of records was addressed last year by providing Archives with a property. Our house in Dunstan Avenue has five rooms filled with memorabilia and archival records—a workroom plus rooms for reference/library, conservation/preservation, a compactus and storage. Our historical significance is now recognised for its importance to our community.

Do you know what Archives does?

Until there is a need to source information many members of our community may not be aware of what we do and what is stored in our Archives. Our Archives produce rich historical records from our past including our founding Schools, Girton and King’s College. The Archivist is available 4 days per week during term time, which allows assistance to be given to support our current students with various services or projects.

Archives has supported two current Year 11 students undergoing their Community Studies. Adam and Ellie were given several varied tasks to work on including polishing and documenting silver trophies, sorting and scanning archival records.

Our volunteers have returned to Archives and continue to work on their individual projects after many months away. I take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers for their passionate support and include a special mention to Ms Alison Bell. She has worked at Pembroke since 1997 at the Senior School Library and commenced as Archives Assistant in 2015, supporting several special celebrations such as the Girton 100-year celebrations (2015), 40 years of the Hearing Unit (2016) and the King’s 95th Anniversary (2019). Although Alison officially retired in 2020, I am delighted that she continues to volunteer on Tuesday mornings when time permits during term times.

Our records help bind us together and due diligence is needed to acquire, collect, conserve and accession our records and memorabilia. Many of the records that are held are unique to our School’s history and cannot be replaced. They capture the lives and stories from our vast community and are preserved long after the memory has faded.

Preservation and conservation of our memorabilia is considered critical in Archives. During first term I welcomed Mrs Grace Ferrier who handled the restoration and repaired several religious symbols on the large copper artwork originally stored in the RA Cook Chapel.

Archives launched a new section under the School’s website to allow a wider online presence to our community, and I warmly invite you to visit Archives to view the many historical photographs displayed online.

Our Archives House is now open to visitors by appointment. Staff and students, past and present, are welcome to visit this facility during term terms with prior arrangement with the Archivist.

Our first official visitors, two Junior School classes, visited the house in March. Their enthusiasm made for an exciting time exploring the albums, looking at trophies and School uniforms, trying on King’s and Girton hats, looking through photograph albums and prize books, and watching a video on how School classes and uniforms looked 106 years ago for Girton and 97 years ago for King’s College.

Explore your Archives! I am always grateful to accept memorabilia from the King’s, Girton or Pembroke eras, and encourage our Pembroke community to take an interest in the history of our School, arrange a visit or donate to our archival collection.

Contact or Archives workroom on (08) 8366 6359.

Remember – Archives Matter!

Peta Harries
School Archivist