Two of a Kind
Newington College has been documenting its history from the first day the College opened its doors on 16 July 1863. David Roberts, the College’s Archivist along with a dedicated, valued and able team of Archives Volunteers, including Dr Roger Davidson (ON ’40), is responsible for the vast collection of documents, photos and objects that hold a special place in Newington’s history. In this Sesquicentenary year, it is important to acknowledge David, Roger and the Archives team who work tirelessly to preserve the College’s long history.
‘Archives are forever’, as we say in the trade, and I’m determined to play my part in ensuring that we can benefit from understanding our history through well-managed archives well into the future.
For a school like Newington, there are great opportunities for using our archives which we are just starting to realise. For most people, ‘archives’ equals ‘old’, ‘dusty’ and worse. But archives management is an information science and archivists use a range of today’s information technologies — including database systems, digitisation, even ‘Web 3.0’ and social media tools — to manage, provide access to and promote archival resources. And we’re concerned as much with how to preserve and provide access to today’s ‘born-digital’ records and information as archives in the future as we are with traditional forms of records.
At Newington, we love and respect our Archives Volunteers, especially for their continued dedication to the College. Ultimately, though, we have volunteers because of the value they add to our Archives program. Roger adds enormous value, both through his own hard work, knowledge and enthusiasm. Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned from Roger is the value of family, friends and a positive outlook on life.
It is very rewarding to be able to take some part in preserving the many stories that have made up the College’s history. It is important to have an archive because we learn so much of our present actions by acknowledging the deeds and attitudes of the past.
Being part of the Sesquicentenary has been extremely exciting especially as I was a pupil of the school in its 75th Year, became a parent in its Centenary, and now working in its Archives in its 150th Year.
As a volunteer in the Archives I have learnt a totally new concept of the skills and the work required for a proper appreciation of this work. I value David’s extraordinary interest and delight on the reception of any new archival item and the brilliant system he has set-up for the storage and cataloguing of all that material. I must also mention the amount of effort and the close attention to detail he has given to the presentation of past students’ and staff’s biographies, particularly those who have contributed so much to the success of Newington’s history.