The Graded Archive is Coming!

In the spirit of continuing the theme from my last couple of articles discussing Graded’s past, this article will serve as an announcement for a new project being developed at school. If it wasn’t already evident from the amount of research put into my two previous pieces on the subject, the school’s history is becoming increasingly hard to uncover. The renovations that Graded is going through right now seem to be bringing in a feeling of “out with the old and in with the new,” but that shouldn’t be the case here, especially with a centenary anniversary coming soon. This is the exact time to celebrate the past; to exhibit it and show how far this school has come. From three separate campuses, multiple major renovations to generations of teachers and students that are still part of the school, Graded’s history is rich and vast, thus it deserves more than a few stuffed containers in a parking lot. It deserves an archive and that’s what it is going to get.
I’m leading a new project: Graded’s own historical archive. Its goal is to bring the information and sources of Graded’s previous generations to the public eye. The archive will be an open space where students, teachers, faculty, and alumni can reminisce about the past and be awed at the school’s changes over time. Want to know what Graded was like during the hippie revolution? Read some articles from that time and find out! Want to see what the hallways were like when students weren’t on their phones 24/7? There are many photos of students who aren’t hypnotized by screens. The archive will not be limited to still images, though. There is a large collection of VHS tapes that will be available to watch (if the school still has a VHS player). Documents including old handbooks, newspapers, and gazettes will also all be available – to some degree – to, hopefully, transport you to the past.
The collection of memorabilia that will be organized and available for students and faculty will create new opportunities to undertake new projects. A number of research projects could be based all around Graded’s old documents and newspapers whether it’s through a piece written in English, a statistics problem in Math or a documentary made by Film students. The school’s alumni organization could also be able to celebrate events based on the archive such as a large exposition during the 100 year anniversary. Moving forward, this archive can be something that truly becomes a staple of the Graded community, demonstrating its vast and interesting development over time.
The idea of building the archive not only comes from the wish to celebrate the past, but it is also intended to bring people closer to the Graded community. By recognizing the history they are a part of, people can appreciate more of the things that are going on around them in school. As much as it may suck to be around the noise from the renovations taking place and lose campus spaces for a long period of time, Graded is really going into a new era. Whether or not it improves from its first 100 years, we’ll have to wait and see, but having a way to properly compare it to where it came from is definitely a good way to commemorate the upcoming changes.
The project is currently in its planning and development stages, so it is also open to suggestions and ideas which would benefit the community. Getting there will take some time, though: there will have to be a significant cleanup process involved to arrange everything. Considering the process of organizing and maintaining the archive, a small group of volunteers will have to be willing to work for the project. So if you’d like to help out, or if you’d know someone who would, please contact me at [email protected]. Keeping the project sustainable for the future will also be a concern. The idea isn’t to have a temporary exhibition, but instead, a long-lasting Graded archive which can be added to as the years go by.