As the oldest continuously operating boarding school in America, The Governor’s Academy possesses a treasure trove of historical materials. The artifacts and documents are stored in a 32-foot by 22-foot environmentally-controlled room on the top floor of the Pescosolido Library. The room was recently named The Ragle Archives Room in honor of Headmaster Emeritus Jack Ragle. Periodically, we will post articles about specific objects or papers in our collection on this page. Please check back often.
Founded in 1763 and incorporated in 1782, the school possesses many items relating to the history of the Academy. One of our most cherished pieces is the Document of Incorporation of Dummer Academy, signed by Massachusetts Governor John Hancock and Senate President Samuel Adams on October 3, 1782. Another is the ledger containing the Trustees’ Records of Dummer Academy beginning May 27, 1783. The ledger is significant both for its record of the early years of the Academy as well as for the 17 pages written in the hand of John Quincy Adams, the future sixth president of the United States but at the time a clerk in the Newburyport office of Theophilus Parsons, first Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. Of further interest in the Archives is the original Academy seal designed by silversmith and patriot Paul Revere.
An Archives Committee, appointed by Headmaster Marty Doggett in 2004 and comprised of alumni, faculty and staff, oversees the preservation of the collection and provides educational programs and exhibits for the Academy community.
The Class of 1954 has taken a special interest in the Archives, donating monies to meet ongoing needs. To date, the class gift has been used to buy and install Pastperfect software and connected hardware, including a dedicated computer system to handle the record-keeping, accession, and provenance of the collection, both now and in the future. Most recently, funds were used to conserve the 338-page Trustees’ Records of Dummer Academy 1783-1856 including the notes written by John Quincy Adams.
If you have any questions, would like more information about The Governor’s Academy Museum & Archives, or would like to suggest a topic for this page, please email Sharon Slater, Manager of the Archives, or call her at 978-499-3347.
All material is the property of The Governor’s Academy Museum & Archives, and may not be copied, published or redistributed without the written permission of The Academy Archives. Text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use.