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Pingry Flashes Back—A Visit to the Archives


Not surprisingly, over the course of more than 150 years of Pingry history, the School has amassed some fascinating artifacts. From antique printing blocks to Dr. Pingry’s handwritten documents to school catalogues from the 1800s, they live in the Archives, nestled in a corner room of the Basking Ridge Campus’ C.B. Newton Library, largely hidden from view. Each month, we take pleasure in showcasing one of the more compelling items here, and "flashing back" to a bit of Pingry history.

The Pingry School Archives collects, preserves, describes, exhibits, and makes available to faculty, staff, alumni, and students materials related to the history and activities of The Pingry School.

What began in 2015 as Peter Blasevick’s mammoth undertaking to oversee the development and implementation of Pingry’s digital Athletics Hall of Fame has become (as of 2017) an ongoing effort to care for, archive, and digitize Pingry’s history and artifacts.

What do Pingry’s Archives collect? Everything! But, to be more specific:

  • Historical artifacts relating to school history, including photographs, documents, memorabilia, clothing, awards and trophies, and sports equipment.

  • Original publications, including yearbooks, newspapers, digests, and reviews.

  • Personal papers belonging to notable Pingry alumni.

  • Original works created by Pingry students, alumni, faculty, and staff, including books, visual arts, and music.

  • Published works by and about Pingry alumni.

As of late fall 2018, Mr. Blasevick has already preserved the Blue Book and The Pingry Review. He is now digitizing The Pingry Record as well as school awards and trophies; creating an inventory of the Drama Department’s photo collection; and working to make more material available to the Pingry community.

Anyone who is interested in donating their archival Pingry material to the School is encouraged to contact Mr. Blasevick.

Also the Blue Book advisor, Mr. Blasevick earned a B.A. in History at William Paterson University and a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) at Rutgers School of Communication and Information. He previously worked at Rutgers University Libraries as Manager of the New Jersey Environmental Digital Library, and at William Paterson University as Adjunct Digital Projects Librarian.

A Look at the Archives...

Students standing in the Lower Commons, dressed for a holiday skit, with Santa sitting in a chair

With a pre-Winter Break SAC assembly unable to take place this year, enjoy some photos from the 1987 event.

Man pole vaulting with Parker Road school building in the background

Pingry was recently contacted by an author’s neighbor, which has led to the School’s acquisition of photos from 125 years ago.

Five actors, three sitting and two standing, recoil at the presence of a witch

Enjoy images from a selection of musicals that Pingry has staged over the past five decades.

An illustration and multiple notes on the newspaper's front page

On the heels of Valentine’s Day, we share affectionate thoughts from within the Pingry community.

Album cover with The Pingry Chorus and Handbell Choir in thick font in shape of grand piano, with keyboard at bottom

As we add recordings donated by an alumnus, we enjoy comparing past album covers through the decades.

Albert Booth in profile

Newly digitized negatives take us back to beloved master teacher Albie Booth’s 50th anniversary dinner.

A group of students sitting and standing in a room, posing with a sail and an oar

Rediscovered photos show that sailing was a brief part of Pingry history and played a significant role in the life of an Athletics Hall of Fame inductee.

Text on front cover of 1884 Commencement program

Examples of programs from the past 135 years indicate how the storied event has changed over the years.

Meet the Archivist