What are the Pingry School Archives?
In the course of everyday life, individuals, organizations, and governments create and keep information about their activities. These records may be personal and unplanned—a photograph, a letter to a friend, notes toward a manuscript—or they may be official and widely shared—financial and legal documents, recordings of public speeches, medical files, and electronic records. These records, and the places in which they are kept, are called archives, and archivists are the professionals who assess, collect, organize, preserve, and provide access to these records.
From "What are Archives?", Society of American Archivists, 2016
The term "Archives" can be defined in three ways:
- Permanently valuable records, of any format, created throughout the daily activities of an organization or person.
- An office or program that is responsible for the historical records of a person or an organization.
- The building or location of the archives
The Pingry Archives is all three of these.
As is the story with most school archives, the history of the Pingry Archives began in the offices and closets of different faculty, staff, and alumni. Throughout the past 160+ years, people have often kept materials relating to the history of the Pingry School. In 2017, the School made the official decision to form an archives that was separate from any department, and thus the Pingry Archives was born! Since then, materials if many types have been donated and moved to the archives from many sources, including images, audio and video, publications, documents, records, clothing, and so much more. Now this history has a home where materials can be accessed and studied by future generation of our Pingry community.
Who is Pingry's Archivist?
As Pingry’s Archivist, Peter Blasevick is charged with collecting, organizing, preserving, and making available the images, documents, and artifacts that comprise the 160-year history of The Pingry School. “Helping to share the school’s past with our students, families, and alumni is my favorite part of the job,” he says. “Make more information more easily available to more people!”
In addition to his duties as Archivist, Mr. Blasevick is the school's Yearbook Advisor, leading a yearly class of students to plan, design, and publish Pingry's annual Bluebook, as well as a contributing editor for the Pingry Review. Mr. Blasevick also contributes articles on the archiving profession to Archival Outlook, the industry's leading magazine.
Prior to his arrival at Pingry, Mr. Blasevick worked at Rutgers University Libraries as Manager of the New Jersey Environmental Digital Library, a project dedicated to preserving documents concerning the state's environment, and as Adjunct Digital Projects Librarian for William Paterson University, where he managed the school's digital preservation work.
In an earlier life, Mr. Blasevick was a touring musician for more than 20 years, playing piano, guitar, and singing for a number of popular regional acts as well as national acts such as Gary U.S. Bonds and The Sugarhill Gang.
Things to note about the Archives
- Archives are preserved in context as well as content, so the difference of origins means that some materials are kept separately, even if the subject matter is the same. Additionally, whenever possible materials are left in the order the creator establishes to help preserve that context..
- Archival research takes time. Materials are often organized by boxes and folders and not by the item itself. Therefore specific information is to be explored by the researcher. Come see what you can discover!
- Not all records are available digitally. This essay from the Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives (PAMA) entitled "Why Don't Archivists Digitize Everything?" shares the reasons archivists consider when dealing with digitizations.
- There are not records of everything.
- The record indexes are not complete.