Welcome to The Hill School Archives. This website provides a place to share some of Hill’s extensive history with the School community, alumni, and friends of the School.
The first attempt to create an Archives at The Hill School may date back to a time when Paul Chancellor (former Hill School master [1925-1967] and founder of Hill's Humanities program) assembled complete collections of The Dial yearbooks and other School publications during his tenure at Hill. In 2009, Dr. Henry Bender (former Hill School Chairman of the Humanities and Classics Departments [1998-2012] and Director of the Archives) began to reorganize and further develop the Archives. After several years of dedicated effort, The Hill School Archives has been revitalized to possibly its most advanced state ever. However, there is much work to be accomplished to bring the Archives to a level that is of greatest use to The Hill Community - to become fully digitized. This is primarily a funding issue, as many of the collections require outsourcing to become digitized in a resourceful manner.
A majority of the Archives holdings consists of printed matter, photographs, yearbooks, school and student publications, scrapbooks, audiovisual materials, artifacts, and textiles. Some examples would include a scrapbook belonging to Russell Colgate (class of 1891); 300 glass plate negatives; a white dress worn by one of the first female graduates (class of 1999) when she took the traditional jump into the Dell pond after Commencement; an 8 mm film of the 1954 Hill-Lawrenceville football game; an early School catalogue from 1861; and a magnificent piece of furniture owned and used by the founders of the School, the Meigs family.
The Archives staff maintains this collection of materials to preserve the rich history of The Hill School, and to fulfill research requests and inquiries from the School community and the public. The ongoing process of collecting, identifying, organizing, cataloging, and preserving these materials serves to document the history of The Hill School and to make it accessible to the entire Hill community for research and other purposes. To advance this accessibility, the Archives Department has a long term goal of digitizing the entire collection. The Archives also serves to energize the School community’s awareness of Hill traditions and history, to foster student affection for their alma mater, and to build a sense of pride that they are the carriers of The Hill torch – “Whatsoever Things Are True.”
The Hill School Archives is currently located on the fourth floor of the John P. Ryan Library. The Archives staff has mounted many framed pictures on the walls of the stairway leading to the Archives balcony. Display cases exhibiting some of our prized artifacts are located in the hallway outside of the Writing Center on the third floor. The balcony area and the old Librarian's Quarters located above it, combine to form what is the current location of the Archives.
A visitor to The Hill School may see many of the School's archival treasures displayed in the Alumni House. The front parlor has a museum-like décor which exhibits many wonderful archival artifacts and framed pictures. The first and second floor walls display framed photographs, along with descriptions, made from our collection of glass negatives.
The continued growth of The Hill School Archives is fundamental to its existence. The staff aspires to preserve and promote the history of the School. In view of that, gifts pertaining to any aspect of Hill history are seriously appreciated. Any such items will only enrich our historical collection and deepen the enduring significance that the Archives represents for the School.
Access to the Archives for visits and research purposes is by appointment. The staff is happy to provide individual reference services and to answer inquiries whenever possible by email, letter, or telephone.
, Director of Archives and Director of Library
Mary Selan, Assistant Archivist
The Hill School
717 East High Street
Pottstown, PA 19464