Archives capture the lives, stories and values of the past and preserve them long after these memories have faded. They provide us with a sense of identity and pride as evidence to the achievements, works and history of the people and places that have shaped the way we are today. The Brigidine College St Ives Archive was established to ensure that the records which have value as authentic evidence of administrative, corporate, cultural and intellectual activity are preserved, utilised and celebrated for the benefit of the whole Brigidine community, past, present and future.
Though Brigidine College St Ives was established in 1954, the formation of an archive was not considered until 1989 when a group of staff, ex students and parents began to collate and care for a small amateur collection. This group, with the support of Principal Sister Anita Murray, campaigned for a dedicated archivist position and the allocation of financial assistance for the preservation and care of the historical documents, memorabilia and materials that record the life and history of the school.
In 1999, a committee member, Phillipa Goddard, was given official responsibility for the archive until 2003 when a professionally trained archivist was employed part time. From Goddard’s foundation, the new archivist, Patricia Egan applied the archival principles of provenance and original order to the collection and began to include and celebrate the archive within the school through exhibiting objects and photographs and running small activities in the library. In 2009, Kerri Genovese became the Brigidine Archivist cataloging over 40,000 photographs of the school’s history into the collection.
Over the years the Brigidine College St Ives Archive collection has grown and developed with the changing and expanding Brigidine community. The collection spans the rich history of the Brigidine tradition, the founding Father and sisters from Ireland, construction and development of the buildings, the enrolled and graduated students, and the various events and people that have shaped the school and its values.
The collection includes:
This makes up the majority of the College archive including staff and student records, minutes and papers of the Board, financial and building records, enrolment and class registers, exam results, certificates of graduation and educational achievements, textbooks and study handbooks, curriculum outlines, and various other documents.
Audio and audio visual items
This includes recordings of assemblies, ceremonies and performances such as dance, music, drama and sports, as well as speeches and oral histories of past students, sisters and staff members.
These are items that were not intended to be kept once their use had expired such as posters, advertisements, tickets, stickers, bookmarks and performance programs.
Another large part of the archive is the memorabilia of the school. This includes badges, uniforms, trophies and medals, plaques, artwork, property of the Sisters, flags, diaries, religious items, sport and society shields, Brigidine branded items, and gifts to the College.
The archive holds many of the College’s various publications including the comprehensive biannual magazine The Bridge, the school newsletter Matters and the College guide, Gathering Strength: Brigidine College St Ives 1954-2004. Other publications include annual reports, strategic plan, HSC results brochure, course handbooks, various information brochures and student diaries.
The photograph collection of the archives is extensive with images dating prior to the establishment of the College. Within the archive there are approximately over 100 thousand photographs either as printed or digital files. Many of these photos have been donated by past students and staff.
Throughout the school’s development the landscape and buildings of the College have greatly changed. The plans in the archive document this change including the construction of new buildings, alterations and additions to these buildings and the renovation and enhancements completed over time to cater for the expanding and modernisation of the school.
The Brigidine College St Ives Archive holds an incomplete set of uniforms from the beginning of the College to the present including summer and winter uniforms, sports, dance and drama uniforms, hats, ties and accessories, as well as promotional t-shirts. The collection also uses reproductions of these uniforms for display purposes.
The myriad voices of Brigidine, past and present, neighbourhoods and culture, childhood and change, learning and growing: the fine grain of daily life, distilled from the living memories of the girls of Brigidine. Since the establishment of the College Archives, we have been committed to capturing and preserving the memories and history of the past members of the Brigidine Community.
Click here to learn more about the ‘Gentle Voices’ recorded history project and other ways we are building our archives.
The College is always interested in donations that will complete and fill gaps in our existing Archives collections. The archivist is available Wednesday and Thursday 9am – 5pm. To contact the Archivist, Jess Moore, please email email@example.com or phone 02 9988 6264.