Historical Corner: What’s in the Archives?

What’s in the Archives?

By Dr. Melinda Blade, Director of Mission Integration and Historian

The OLP Archives are located in the basement of St. Catherine’s, formally the Convent laundry room. The room slowly is transforming into a working area where it will be possible to conduct research on not only OLP, but a few aspects of San Diego history, as well. Unearthing artifacts is a great deal of fun and I have chronicled some of those finds in past columns: Father Ubach’s Will, the original alma mater, etc. Here is a running list of some of our OLP treasures:

Absence lists
Want to know for some odd reason what days you were absent? It is tracked in the absence lists that go back to the 1960s. Some early records date back to the 1920s, albeit in a different format.

Blue Ribbon Reports
OLP was a three-time Blue Ribbon School of Excellence (1988-1989, 1992-1993 and 1999-2000). The reports that were submitted to qualify us for those honors are in our Archives.

Class and school scrapbooks
Class and school historians over the decades have narrated OLP’s history. Some of the scrapbooks date back to the 1920s.

We could fill a chifferobe with blouses, skirts, dresses, PE uniforms, blazers, beanies, and even a prom formal!

We have two OLP dolls dressed in their black serge wool uniforms and one doll of a CSJ in her black habit, all made personally for OLP.

Doorknob from St. Margaret’s
This was kept when St. Margaret’s was renovated and renamed Qualiato Hall

Spring Sing is captured forever!

Faculty Handbooks
Check out the guidelines for the faculty throughout the years! The faculty in 1960 was given the format for the heading of their students’ papers: Name, Section, Subject, Time of the class, and the date. All of this information was to be placed in the upper right hand corner of each student’s papers.

Class rings, class pins and OLP pins from over the decades are found in our collection.

OLP Newsletters
A lot of fascinating records and treasure trove of information may be gleaned in each of the Newsletters

Papal Proclamations
Various Papal documents have been received by OLP from Rome. Some pertain to significant anniversaries such as our 100 th , 110 th and 125 th anniversaries

We have thousands of photos dating back to 1892. The one 1892 photo that we have appears to be the oldest OLP photo in the Archives and it shows several OLP students in a play.

Proclamations from local and state governments
We have received numerous proclamations for local officials and state officials with a few national officials thrown in, as well. Most of them pertain to to our significant anniversaries, but a few are also acknowledgements of OLP students’ service to the region.

Roll books from the 1910s
Want to know who you had class with when you were a student here? Some of our roll books go back to the 1910s.

Scrapbooks of newspaper clippings back to 1892
Numerous students over the years have kept detailed scrapbooks of their years at OLP. We benefit from seeing the old photos and how numerous of our traditions date back many decades.

Silver chalice from the Alumnae Association
This chalice is fairly mottled, but it was from the OLP Alumnae Association in 1908 to commemorate OLP’s silver anniversary. The inscription on it reads: AOLP Alumnae Association 1882-1908 NB – the dates indicate twenty-six years, not twenty-five. Father Ubach died in 1907, the Silver Jubilee year and out of respect for their beloved Father Ubach, there were no celebrations held.

Slides date back to the 19 th century and they were glass. Ours are not that old, but they were the preferred photo system of the 1950 and 1960s. We have hundreds of slides to prove their popularity!

Student Handbooks back to 1960
You thought the rules when you were a student were tough? You can read how the regulations governing student behavior have evolved by comparing them to some of the earliest Handbooks from the 1960s to current years. We have a few quasi-Handbooks dating back to the 1920s.

Tuition ledgers to early 1900s
Thought tuition was high when you were a student? Tuition ledgers in neat penmanship go back to the early 1900s. In 1925, tuition was $50. Athletic fees were $2 and the chemistry class fee was $10. In 1967, tuition was a whooping $250 for the year and the Science fee had gone up to $20.

WASC Reports
OLP just hosted its last accreditation team in the middle of March. WASC reports that chronicle OLP’s achievements are available for your perusal.

Yearbooks go back to the first Yearbook in 1945. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of our artifacts. Another column will provide more insights into the Archives!