Paly to start journalism archive project, looking for missing Campanile editions

Christian Leong, Author

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As the start of the Palo Alto High School journalism program’s spring archiving project rapidly approaches, organizers are seeking help from alumni to donate missing copies of The Campanile newspaper.

According to Paly’s annual student yearbook Madrono , The Campanile began publishing school papers in 1918. However, the school does not have any copies that were published prior to 1923, according to Librarian Rachel Kellerman, who is directing the archiving project.

The school is also missing The Campanile publications from 1928 and a significant chunk from 1967 to 1979, Kellerman said.

The ambitious project involves two stages: One, assembling and preserving print copies of all of Paly’s rich print media history; and two, making that history available in fully searchable documents online along with the journalism program’s existing digital media archives.

The Media Arts Boosters purchased a $9,000 scanner using funds from the Brin-Wojcicki Foundation, to help facilitate the project of scanning every print publication produced by Paly journalism in order to preserve its history.

Kellerman said she is especially excited because the project will not only preserve the decaying articles hidden in the back of the library, but also add perspective on the happenings at the school during each different time period.

“For the school, all the stories that were written have a focus about the school,” Kellerman said. “World events like World War I were going on, and the journalism program shed a light on what was going on at Paly [at the time]. It gives our students perspective on their community and how it responded to world events.”

Kellerman asks that anyone owning these missing copies to come forward and help preserve the history of Paly journalism.

She’s also looking for community volunteers to work with paid and student staff on the scanning project in the Journalism Library of the new Media Arts Center.