Monday, September 19, 2011


What you see above is how the Manhattan Trade School report cards look today (well, about 25% of them -- I have three additional boxes). When I first acquired them back in 1996, each individual student's file was stapled together, and they stayed that way until I began the Permanent Record project about two years ago, at which point I removed the staples so the cards would be easier to work with. Some of the cards have little rust stains where the staples had been.

I thought about saving the staples. A serious historian or conservator would have done that, right? Historic staples! But that seemed like a bit much, even for me, so I just threw the staples away.

Anyway: The Permanent Record series on Slate finally kicks off today, and the first installment is all about the cards and how I acquired them. The series begins here.


  1. I love this project. It made me want to go find some report cards of my own. I am fascinated-- thank you so much! Keep up the great work :)

  2. I had a similar experience with discarded records.
    I never tried contacting the individuals or their families but I worked it into a school history project. one example

  3. I think so that every person have a great mind,but you have so talented mind with a great idea's .... you have done a great project ...
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