Providence St. Amable Academy / St. Michael School Olympia, Washington: Collection Inventory, 1879-1994 

DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS OF RECORDS

Series 1: History

This series includes two complete sets of chronicles and several brief histories of the school’s foundation. The chronicles are an excellent record of nearly 100 years of student activities and convent life. The early chronicles (1881-1902) are brief and written in French; a rough English translation of excerpts is available. The narrative ends in 1973, with the departure of the last sister from the faculty.

The two sets of chronicles are duplicates; one was prepared for the provincial administration and one retained at the school. Both sets were transferred to the archives after the sisters withdrew from the school. Set 2, volume 3 is housed in a heavy, keyed binder, typical of the binders adopted when typed chronicles began replacing handwritten ledgers in the early 1950s. As part of a binding project in 1996, most of the chronicles in the archives were removed from the keyed binders, but this volume was kept intact as a sample.

Box Folder Contents
1 v 1 Chronicles, 1881-1952 (Set 1)
1 v 2 Chronicles, 1952-1974 (Set 1)
1 1 Chronicles, English translation (excerpts), 1881-1920
1 2 Chronicles, Correspondence
1 3 Brief Histories
1 4 Summary of Events/Statistics, 1881-1950
1 5 "Catholic Missionaries of Olympia," Sr. Matthew Mary, c.1950
2 v 1 Chronicles, 1881-1928 (Set 2)
2 v 2 Chronicles, 1928-1950 (Set 2)
2 v 3 Chronicles, 1950-1974 (Set 2)

Series 2: Administration

This series contains correspondence, circular letters, and the 1940 agreement with the parish regarding the sisters’ salaries and responsibilities. Early correspondence includes the initial foundation request (1879; denied) and several letters regarding delinquent student accounts (1890-1893). The bulk of the correspondence is three folders of letters to and from various provincial superiors of Sacred Heart Province (1913-1970), primarily regarding the sisters’assignments, community life, and relationship with the parish. The Provincial Superior correspondence (1918-1970) includes negotiations regarding the sale of the school to St. Michael Parish in 1926.

A folder of correspondence from the bishops or staff of the Diocese of Seattle is a mixture of personal letters and mimeographed circulars sent to schools in the diocese. These, along with three folders of circular letters from the Directress of Schools, Sacred Heart Province, contain guidelines and directives regarding textbooks, curriculum, testing, etc., and reflect the movement towards standardization of the Catholic school program.

Box Folder Contents
1 6 Agreement with Parish, 1940
3 1 Correspondence, Foundation Request, 1879
3 2 Correspondence, Student Accounts, 1890-1893
3 3 Correspondence, Provincial Superior/Local Superior, 1913-1943
3 4 Correspondence, Provincial Superior/Local Superior, 1944-1958
3 5 Correspondence, Provincial Superior, 1918-1970
3 6 Correspondence, General Administration, 1902-1953
3 7 Correspondence, Diocese of Seattle, 1913-1956
3 8 Circular Letters, Sister Mary Loretta, Directress of Schools, 1917-1943
3 9 Circular Letters, Sister Judith, Directress of Schools, 1944-1946, 1952-1956
3 10 Circular Letters, Sister Gerard of Providence, Directress of Schools, 1946-1951

Series 3: Personnel

This series contains a complete list of Sisters of Providence who served as principal or on the faculty from 1881 to 1979, and several items recognizing the sisters' contribution to the school. There are no lay faculty records.

Student records are incomplete, but include the Student Register (entry ledger), as well as cumulative records (transcripts) for high school students, 1908-1926, and examination results for six through eighth grade students, 1913-1937. The Student Register is indexed and lists all boarders and day pupils, 1904-1951, with dates of entry and graduation or withdrawal, parents, city of residence, religion, and some sacramental notations. (The Student Account ledgers provide the only record of enrollment prior to 1904; see Financial.)

The records of the Alumnae Association, founded in 1917, include minutes and autobiographies of members of the 1897-1926 graduating classes (incomplete).

Box Folder Contents
4 1 Sisters, 1881-1988
shelf v 1 Student Register, 1904-1951
4 v 1 Students, Records, Cumulative Record, 1908-1926
4 2 Students, Records, Cumulative Record, 1922-1925
4 3 Students, Records, Miscellaneous, 1921-1937
4 4 Students, Records, Quarterly Examinations, 6-8 Grades, 1913-1927
4 5 Students, Records, Quarterly Examinations, 7-8 Grades, 1928-1937
4 v 2 Students, Records, State Examinations, 7-8 Grades, 1914-1929
4 6 Students, Alumnae Association, Organization/ Constitution, c.1917
4 7 Students, Alumnae Association, Minutes, 1917-1928
4 8 Students, Alumnae Association, Member Autobiographies, Class of 1897-1926
4 9 Students, Reunion, 1995

Series 4: Local Community

Local community records, which concern the governance and administration of the convent (local community), include a list of the sisters who served as local superior; minutes of the annual visits of the provincial superior (proces verbal); self-assessment reports and correspondence; and the daily schedule (horarium).

Box Folder Contents
5 1 Superiors, 1881-1974
5 2 Proces Verbal, 1887-1943
5 3 Proces Verbal, 1944-1958
5 4 Proces Verbal, 1959-1968
5 5 Quinquennial Report, 1946-1950
5 6 Trimestrial Reports, 1965-1967
5 7 Horarium, 1963-1966
5 8 Correspondence, 1967-1976
5 9 Library Accession Record

Series 5: Curriculum

Curriculum records are limited to a typed Outline of Physical Exercises, a description of the Progressive Series of Piano Lessons used at the school, and a few blank student record cards.

Box Folder Contents
6 1 Physical Education/Piano, c.1920
6 2 Sample Student Record Cards, c.1920s

Series 6: Student Activities

This series documents the students' involvement in religious and social activities and programs. Of interest are the minutes of two literary clubs, which contain several photographs and beautiful handmade agenda, as well as interesting accounts of the students' programs and social activities. The minutes of the junior and senior Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary provide insight into the religious devotions and practice of the 1920s. Also found here are three commencement programs and the programs from various plays and musical recitals. (See also the first section of the Day Student Accounts ledger, 1917-1918, for a hand-written compilation of plays and addresses for various feast days or occasions.)

Box Folder Contents
6 3 Holy Angels Literary Club, Minutes, 1913-1919
6 4 Literary Club of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Minutes, 1913-1923
6 5 Sodality, Minutes, 1921-1926, 1929-1930
6 6 Sodality, Minutes, 1924-1932
6 7 Commencement, 1910, 1919, 1926
6 8 Play/Programs, 1929-1939, 1965
6 9 Student Newsletter, 1956
6 10 Scouting, 1956
6 11 Young Christian Students, 1961

Series 7: Parent-Teacher Association

The minutes record the activities of the members in support of the school program, facilities, and extracurricular activities, from the association's foundation in 1927 through construction of the new school in 1950.

Box Folder Contents
6 12 Minutes, 1927-1943
6 13 Minutes, 1943-1950

Series 8: Financial

Financial records, spanning 1881-1970, are extensive. Property deeds, loans, and a construction expense ledger for the 1884 building document foundation of the school. Also found here are the deliberations of the local council (the governing body made up of the local superior, her assistant, the house treasurer, and appointed sister councilors), which are primarily a record of the monthly meetings in which the financial account books were reviewed and approved; an incomplete set of provincial and local council Acts of Council regarding loans and purchases; World War II ration books; and miscellaneous correspondence and documents related to banking, insurance, and budget.

The contents of the sisters' traditional Common Safe (also known as a "three-key box" because keys held by three separate sisters were required to unlock the box) create an interesting subseries. Contents of the Common Safe were generally updated, removed, or added as necessary, and these files appear to be current as of 1955. The folder of legal papers regarding the Conway family was kept with the Common Safe but does not appear on the original inventory.

Numerous student account ledgers document the cost of tuition, board and room, books, and supplies, while general expense/receipt ledgers record the sisters' salaries, school and convent expenses, gifts, etc. The early student accounts are the only record of student enrollment prior to 1904. (The Day Student Accounts ledger, 1917-1918, also includes a hand-written compilation of plays for various feast days and occasions (pp. 3-30), as well as a listing of the boarders' home addresses (pp. 142-143).)

Box Folder Contents
7 1 Deeds of Purchase/Sale, 1883-1926
7 2 Construction Expense, 1883-1884/Account of Loans, 1882-1916
7 3 Tax Receipts, 1898-1915
7 4 Deliberations of the Local Council, 1907-1924
7 5 Deliberations of the Local Council, 1925-1943
7 6 Deliberations of the Local Council, 1943-1952
7 7 Provincial Council Acts of Council, 1912-1924
7 8 Local Council Acts of Council, 1914-1966
7 9 Account of Loans, 1920-1932
7 10 Insurance Policies, 1920-1960
7 11 Corporate Resolution for Signing Checks, 1937-1969
7 12 War Ration Books, 1940s
7 13 Annual Audit, 1958
7 14 Convent Budget, 1969-1970
7 15 Accounting Manual, nd
8 1 Common Safe No. 1, Common Safe Inventory
8 2 Common Safe No. 3, Deeds of Purchase (List)
8 3 Common Safe No. 4, Notes of Borrowed Money, 1901-1926
8 4 Common Safe No. 4a, Data on Loan, 1937
8 5 Common Safe No. 7, Insurance Policies
8 6 Common Safe No. 9, Articles Given to St. Michael Parish, 1926
8 7 Common Safe No. 10, Shares in Oil Well, 1914-1922
8 8 Common Safe No. 12, Communications from Provincial Administration re. Local Procure [Treasurer], 1914-1922
8 9 Common Safe No. 13, Bulletins re. Social Security, 1950 Amendments
8 10 Common Safe No. 14, Acts of Council, 1914-1955
8 11 Common Safe No. 15, Applications for Exemption from Taxes, 1904-1920
8 12 Common Safe No. 15a, Applications for Exemption from Taxes, 1920-1924
8 13 Common Safe No. 16, Poll Tax Receipts, 1921-1922
8 14 Common Safe No. 17, Certified Copy of Corporate Resolutions for Signing and Endorsing Checks, 1952
8 15 Common Safe No. 18, Automobile Certificate of Title, 1952
8 16 Common Safe [No. 19], Insurance Policies, 1940s
8 17 Common Safe, Legal Papers, 1921 (Conway Family)
9 1 Student Accounts, Boarders, 1881-1916
9 2 Student Accounts, Boarders Books and Supplies, 1916
9 3 Student Accounts, Boarders, 1920-1922
9 4 Student Accounts, Boarders Books and Supplies, 1920s
9 5 Student Accounts, Boarders/Day Students, 1908-1925
9 6 Student Accounts, Boarders/Day Students, 1924-1927
10 1 Student Accounts, Day Students, 1881-1903
10 2 Student Accounts, Day Students, 1902-1915
10 3 Student Accounts, Day Students, 1917-1918
10 4 Student Accounts, Day Students, 1920-1922
10 5 Student Accounts, Day Students, 1920s
10 6 Student Accounts, Bills/Receipts
11 1 Expenses, 1881-1897
11 2 Expenses, 1897-1913
11 3 Receipts, 1881-1897
11 4 Receipts, 1897-1913
12 1 Expense/Receipt Day Book, 1914-1915
12 2 Expenses/Receipts, 1920-1921
shelf v 2 Expenses, 1916-1919
shelf v 3 Expenses, 1919-1922
shelf v 4 Expenses, 1922-1925
shelf v 5 Expenses, 1925-1936
shelf v 6 Receipts, 1916-1919
shelf v 7 Receipts, 1919-1922
shelf v 8 Receipts, 1922-1925
shelf v 9 Receipts, 1925-1939

Series 9: Facility

This series contains hand-drawn floor plans and description of the 1950 school and convent buildings, newsclippings related to the construction, and several inventories of furniture and household items.

Box Folder Contents
12 3 New School/Convent, 1950
12 4 Inventory of Furnishings, 1911-1915, 1952-1954
12 5 Inventory of Convent Furnishings, c.1950s
12 6 Equipment Valuation and Depreciation, 1955

Series 10: Reports

The combined Personnel and Works/Semi-Annual and Annual Financial Reports, compiled for the religious community, provide valuable statistical and financial data from 1881 to 1959, and statistical data only from 1969 to 1974. Set 1 is the copy kept on file in the Provincial Administration, while set 2 is the copy retained by the school; there is some variation, so both sets have been retained.

This series also contains an incomplete Criteria for Evaluation of Catholic Elementary Schools, as formulated by the National Catholic Educational Association. The two sections found here, Philosophy/Objectives and School/ Community, were completed in 1968 and 1969 as part of a province-wide evaluation of the schools in which the sisters were teaching. The Annual Report of Religious, submitted to the Diocese of Seattle, is perfunctory and provides little useful information.

Box Folder Contents
13 1 Personnel and Works/Semi-Annual and Annual Financial Report, 1881-1952 (Set 1)
13 2 Personnel and Works/Semi-Annual and Annual Financial Report, 1881-1927 (Set 2)
13 3 Personnel and Works/Semi-Annual and Annual Financial Report, 1928-1959 (Set 2)
13 4 Personnel and Works Report, 1969-1974
13 5 Diocese of Seattle Annual Report of Religious, 1944-1950
13 6 Criteria for Evaluation of Catholic Elementary Schools, 1968-1969
13 7 Miscellaneous Reports/Evaluations, 1939, 1965-1970

 Series 11: Subject Series

The folders in this series are arranged in alphabetical order. Of general interest are the school and parish anniversary folders, which include publications with interesting historical data and photographs.

Box Folder Contents
14 1 Anniversary - Centennial, 1981
14 2 Benefactors
14 3 Dedication of New School/Convent, 1950
14 4 Erection of Via Crucis, 1934
14 5 Providence Auxiliary, 1960s
14 6 St. Michael Parish, History/Pastors
14 7 St. Michael Parish, Centennial, 1975
14 8 St. Michael Parish, Dedication, 1966, 1994
14 9 Stationery

Series 12: Newsclippings

Loose newsclippings and one partially disassembled scrapbook document student life and extracurricular activities in the 1950s and early 1960s. Also found here are the originals of the newsclippings removed from various series and replaced by acid-free copies.

Box Folder Contents
15 1 Newsclippings, 1950s
15 2 Newsclippings, originals
15 3 Scrapbook, 1950s-1960s

July 3, 2000