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Balmer School and La Jolla Country Day School
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The Balmer School and La Jolla Country Day Collection is made up of photographs and archival material collected by the La Jolla Historical Society since the 1930s to use for historical research and reference. The Collection contains material reflecting the history of the School began by Louise Balmer in 1926. The topics pertain to the history and heritage of La Jolla, California; its people, places and events. A container list is included on the PDF and HTML versions.
The Balmer School was started in 1926 in Wisteria Cottage and Balmer Annex at 780 Prospect Street in La Jolla, now the property of the La Jolla Historical Society, with four children by Headmistress Louise C. Balmer, A.B. Bryn Mawr College. The School was located in many places over the years, always preserving an informal homelike atmosphere. At times it ranged from kindergarten through fifth grade, and other times nursery school through the second grade. It emphasized high scholastic standards and good study habits, keeping alive the child’s normal intellectual curiosity and giving opportunity for creative work in various areas. In pre-school years the goals were to learn to live together, to share, to enjoy music, to have opportunities for self-expression and imagination through art, and in kindergarten to become aware of community. In September 1955, the School became the lower unit of the La Jolla Country Day School, incorporated as an independent non-profit school, and today contains grades pre-school through high school. The La Jolla Historical Society inspires and empowers the community to make La Jolla’s diverse past a relevant part of contemporary life. The La Jolla Historical Society’s Collections encompass over 80 years of actively collecting archival material, books, maps, scrapbooks, ephemera, fine art, newspapers, street and land use files, business and personal documents and historic and archaeological artifacts. The Society boasts over 20,000 photographs, over 1000 postcards, 400-plus architectural drawings and approximately 200 oral history recordings. Collecting was initiated by Howard Randolph and volunteers on the historical committee of the Library Association of La Jolla. The Collection began by gathering photographs and documentation in the late 1930s, which later became the nucleus of the La Jolla Historical Society’s Collections. The Society was created in 1963. Through many moves in location the Society continued collecting and expanding. Accumulated Collections took on its current construct in 2010 after the renovation of the La Jolla Historical Society’s campus of structures in central La Jolla, which consists of the 1904 Wisteria Cottage and 1940s Balmer Annex used for exhibits and programming, and a 1909 cottage used for business and research offices. The late Ellen Browning Scripps’ 1916 automobile garage was also renovated and now houses the Collection in a modern collections storage facility. Materials are housed in archival boxes, sleeves, envelopes and other archival-safe materials and are cared for according to standards and best practices of the museum profession. In 2016, the Society initiated new PastPerfect Museum Software to manage and catalog its Collections and in 2018 started using the Online Archive of California to upload searchable information from its Collections to enable improved public access. The Society will continue these processes and look forward to utilizing new opportunities to collect, preserve and share the history of La Jolla.
.5 linear feet
The La Jolla Historical Society holds the copyright to any unpublished materials
The Collection is open for research