These seemingly modest newsletters, printed on ordinary office-grade paper using a mid-century duplicating machine, offer a rare and valuable insight into the daily life and operations of the Ladd School during its second administration.
This collection includes thirty issues spread across 300 pages, spanning seven years from 1955 to 1978. From hand-illustrated covers in the first-year run to the contents, these newsletters function as an intimate chronicle of a 20th-century State School.
Much like a time capsule, the newsletters present a rich tapestry of both mundane and significant happenings within the institution. Highlights include synopses of training programs and lectures, procedural overviews of various departments like psychology and maintenance, news from the sewing room, academic classroom, hospital, and the boys' industrial room.
Furthermore, they encompass personal moments of employee marriages, illnesses, and awards, along with institution-wide announcements of holiday programs, construction projects, and community outings. Reports of disease outbreaks and fires punctuate the narrative, adding a somber note to the collection.
These newsletters go beyond providing historical context. They capture the ethos of the time, presenting a fascinating collection of aphorisms, proverbs, poems, prayers, stories, and local legends as shared by Ladd School employees.
Through this exhibition, we invite visitors to step back in time and explore the human aspect of the Ladd School, offering a deeper understanding of its history, its people, and their stories.
Thirty issues of the Ladd School's newsletter