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A Special Collection

Launching the Trinity Episcopal School Archives, established in memory of Robert C. Goodman, Jr.
“Track it, pack it, stack it, attack it.” That’s how Mandy Augst, Trinity’s librarian and school archives coordinator, describes her four-step process for managing all of the materials in Trinity’s official school archives. Starting in the 2017-18 school year, Augst has worked during her spare time as librarian at tackling the colossal task of finding, rehousing, organizing and cataloging the documents and ephemera that had previously been in banker’s boxes, filing cabinets, shoe boxes and closets.
 
Established in memory of Robert C. Goodman, Jr., Trinity’s first head of school, the project has been partially funded by gifts made in Goodman’s honor after his passing in the summer of 2018. Organized both chronologically and according to subject area, such as athletics, river program, academics and head of school’s office — the physical archive now resides fittingly in the room named for Goodman inside Trinity’s Morgan Hall. The school has also benefited immensely from the time and training of Augst herself, who has an academic background in archival work and experience working with the Library of Virginia’s special collections. 
 
With a goal to launch during Trinity’s 50th anniversary year, Augst has simultaneously been developing a digital version of the archive using Omeka, an open source publishing software tailored especially for archives and special collections. The process has been very time consuming, with Augst noting that it took almost three years just to scan in all of the school’s yearbooks. But she has had great support from volunteer faculty and alumni, especially Pauline Crowling, veteran science teacher, Laurie Hedgepeth, former development director, and Swannee Goodman Ericson ’75, past parent and daughter of the school’s founding headmaster.
 
In addition to boxes of files and photos, alumni and past parents have donated physical items like athletic uniforms, a shield necktie, graduation tassels and a cookbook. “We’ve got some random things like cowbells that they use to shake at sporting events,” says Augst. “We even have a 1996 basketball championship bumper sticker.”
 
Augst says some of the most intriguing items are the ones that are rare because few people thought to save them in the first place. “I especially like one-off items like programs for events and ticket stubs. They are great to hold in your hands a couple of decades down the road, because it puts you in that moment again,” she says. “It has been amazing to see teachers and alums come in and look at some of these items. You can see it in their eyes as they are transported back in time.”
 
While a limited number of archival materials are now accessible through the digital archive online, the plan is for the physical space to be accessible to visitors in 2023. Augst says it’s important for people to understand that the project will always be a work in progress, and she has intentionally built in space to grow.  “Some of these boxes are empty in the hopes that they will be full one day.’”

Read old yearbooks, newsletters and more on the digital version of the Trinity Episcopal School Archives Established in Memory of Robert C. Goodman, Jr. More will be added throughout the year and in years to come. Visit: https://tesarchives.omeka.net/
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