MLC School Archives

The Archive Collection and Historical Display

MLC School is fortunate in holding a huge collection of historical records and paraphernalia assembled since the first days of the school. While other Sydney colleges of this type (boys or girls) may be older, we appear to have been fortunate that very little has been lost in the way of official records, student information, rolls, accounting records, academic material, students' projects, in fact most MLC publications.

This includes an important collection of historic photographs, progressing through the years from an extraordinary picture taken of the first pupils and staff in January 1886.

All records, photographs and museum items are meticulously catalogued with the Australian Series System, and can be easily located by a number of computerised databases.

The Archive is housed in a humidity-controlled compactuses room, with an adjoining display area or Museum. This was opened in August 2000 by Miss Violet Stedman (1918). The dynamic display shows examples of uniforms through the years, exhibits from the Boarding House (closed 1979), early teaching aids, sporting trophies, pictures, awards and medals, School Reports, and various MLC School ephemera. The air-conditioned room can be used for research by visitors, and photocopy facilities are available.

The Museum is usually open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9.00am till 4.00pm, or by appointment. Volunteers are always welcome, to assist in various interesting tasks including identification and cataloguing of exhibits and photographs, and data entry.

Donations are always welcome. Please be sure you identify items with a title or description, accurate date, and your name and contact details.

 This includes an important collection of historic photographs, progressing through the years from an extraordinary picture taken of the first pupils and staff in January 1886.

A Guide to MLC School Archives

  • Admissions Books
    MLC School Archives has an Admissions database and the original handwritten admissions books to the following information on former students: date of admisison, age of student at enrolment, address, day student or boarder.
  • Student Records
  • A student record exists for former students, starting from the mid to late 1930’s. Student files may include: dates of enrolment and departure, enrolment application, address, parental details, individual photographs, academic assessment. Older records can include comments, records of weight, height etc.
  • Class Rolls
    Handwritten class rolls exist from as early as 1911 to present, with some gaps. Includes timetables, subjects, teachers and extracurricular subjects.
  • Staff Files
    There are some gaps in staff records but information resources
    such as resumés, job applications, payroll records may be kept
    in staff files.
  • Exit Books
    These photo albums include individual portraits of students taken in their year of departure. (1934 to present excluding WWII years).
  • “Excelsior”
    The school magazine may include photogaphs, speech day reports, old girls details, school office bearers, poetry and stories by students. The collection is complete from 1894 to present.
  • MLC School Publications
    There are many and varied publications housed in the Archvies including yearbooks, prospectuses, handbooks, uniform catalogues, newsletters.
  • Photograph collection
    A digital photograph database is available to conduct searches. It includes photos from 1886 to the present. The photographic collection depicts many aspects of school life including: sport groups, sports events, drills, buildings including old boarding house, music and drama, uniforms,
    grounds, speech nights, school group photos, prefects, staff
    and much more. Photographs taken by students often show
    the less formal side of school life.
  • Audiovisual collection
    Film, audiotapes, slides, videotapes, digital files and other multimedia are kept in the Archives.
  • Other Resources in the Archives include -
    Bursars Records, payroll records and accounts, Chapel Services and Chapel Marriage Register,
  • School Maps, Architectural Plans and Building Plans
  • Biographical, Fact and Subject Files
    The Archivist maintains separate collections of ephemera, letters, diaries, school reports, newspaper articles, photographs, uniforms etc. collected by or donated to MLC School Archives

Most of the above items are to be retained permanently, as per the MLC School Archives Retention Schedule.

Year 9 delve into our War History with the help of MLC School Archives

A small plaque honouring MLC School Old Girls who served as nurses in World War One was hung on a wall in Potts Hall many years ago and is still there today. Who were these brave women that made the unusual decision to join the Imperial Forces and travel by ship to the Western Front or Egypt over ninety years ago? To commemorate ANZAC Day, MLC Year 9 History students attempted to find out more about these WW1 MLC School Old Girl veterans as well as investigate the enormous impact of the First World War on Australian society through the experiences of an actual MLC School student at that time.

Students examined material produced during the 1914-1918 war, such as Excelsior articles, speeches by the Headmistress, letters, school reports, school admissions registers, photographs, shipping records and war service records from MLC School’s Archives and Museum and the National Archives of Australia’s website. Some discoveries were moving. In a June 1917 Excelsior, a student was in the Prize List and on the next page her brother was in the In Memorium List as 'killed in action at the Front'.

The students’ research resulted in either a diary of an MLC student during WW1 or a war service profile of an Old Girl as a Powerpoint presentation – a selection of the projects will be placed on the MLC School website. Click here to view Simona Bellos, Harriet Keane and April Brady's presentation. Ultimately, the projects will be entered in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs ANZAC Day Schools’ Awards. The awards encourage the use of technology, innovation and local history research. MLC School students have come a long way in addressing these criteria with their projects but more importantly in understanding the historical significance of ANZAC Day and why we commemorate this special day each year.

For further information, please contact Barbara Hoffman, 8741 3214.