The MLC School Archives

The mission of the MLC School Archives is to collect and preserve the legally, intellectually and historically important records and artefacts of MLC School, Burwood, from 1886 to the present and into the future.

Our archives collection, predating the day the school opened on 27 January 1886 with 12 students, covers everything from written and photographic material to drawings, uniform items, and other paraphernalia that were all part of the everyday life of the girls and staff at the school.

The Archive functions as the memory vault for the school’s staff, students, families, friends and associates, past and present. Information and content from our archives are used for a wide range of purposes by the school and its community, including teaching, legal purposes, building projects, development and alumnae events, and school publications.

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The Collection

The MLC School Archives contain the official records and memorabilia of the school, its associations – such as the Old Girls’ Union, the MLC School Foundation and the P&F – as well as those of individuals who have been selected by the School Archivist for preservation because of their administrative and historical significance.

Thanks to the donations made by ex-students, members of staff and the wider MLC School community, the Archives is fortunate to have a rich and diverse collection of material which comprehensively documents the history of the school and which also predates its foundation.

Examples of records and museum items held in the collection include: trophies, uniforms, minute books, official correspondence, programs, school photos, architectural plans, prize books, master plans, school magazines and publications, student enrolment registers and prize lists. Some examples are below.

Minute Books

A complete set of MLC School Council Minutes is held in the Archives. The earliest of which predates the school’s foundation. An old, leather-bound volume contains the “Minutes of a Meeting held in York Street Church May 4th 1883, convened by the President consequent upon resolution of Conference to consider what steps should be taken with a view to the establishment of a Ladies College”.

Photography

The Archives is fortunate to have a large collection of good quality photographs dating back to the school’s origin. The earliest photograph in the collection was taken on 20 September 1886 and shows Founding Principal Rev. Charles Prescott, his wife and child, Miss Grady (who established the school’s kindergarten), Miss Shiels (our first Headmistress) and the 38 students enrolled at that time.

We are also fortunate to have a collection of Max Dupain photographs of the school that he took in 1971 while on assignment for the Department of Trade.

Although we are lucky to have a comprehensive photographic collection, some gaps exist. We are always interested in expanding our photographic holdings. If you have any photographs to donate or loan for scanning, please contact the School Archivist.

View a selection of photographs from our School’s Archive collection on our flickr page.

Publications

All copies of Excelsior, from 1892 to the present, as well as Lucis and MLC School books (such as 1986’s Walk In the Light) have been digitised and are available via the Archives or the MLC School Library.

MLC School Museum

The original MLC School Museum (temporarily transformed into the archivist’s office and the records/artefacts storage repository during the school’s major building works) was opened on 2 August 2000 by Miss Violet Stedman (student from 1916 to 1919), who at the time of the opening was our oldest Old Girl at age 98.

Contact

The MLC School Archives is located in Sutton House and is operated by the School Archivist, Barbara Hoffman, on a full-time basis (including school holidays). Queries and research requests are welcome, please send all reference enquiries to:

Barbara Hoffman
MLC School Archives
Rowley Street
Burwood NSW 2134
02 8741 3214
bhoffman@mlcsyd.nsw.edu.au

Find Out More

For more information or to make a donation, please contact our Archivist:

Barbara Hoffman
bhoffman@mlcsyd.nsw.edu.au,
8741 3214