In Between Schoolwork: Jottings and Drawings

Our School Archive provides fascinating insights into academic learning and student interests. In between schoolwork, there was always time for students to daydream. Do you have memories of writing lists or drawing caricatures in textbooks as you listened to the teacher? 


I have enjoyed discovering ‘jottings’ inside textbooks and diaries in our Heritage Collection. Such as lists of sporting heroes or students writing their signatures in various scripts inside textbooks. While these activities may have been frowned upon by teachers as acts of ‘vandalism,’ today we appreciate these ‘doodles’ as acts of creativity and reflective of the social history of the era. 


Such as a splendid drawing of ‘The Kalgoorlie Express Train,’ sketched inside the book cover, ‘A Brief Survey of British History’ by Townsend Warner, c. 1925. Who made the drawing? The book has the name of Telfer. V. Arkle (Peer 1923) written inside the cover or was it his brother, Hunter M Arkle (Peer 1930) or another student in a later decade?


Or a small pocket sized 1958 AGS Yearbook Diary featuring a Giant Brand Licorice Card glued inside the cover showing the actress Kim Novak with handwritten comment, ‘My beloved wife.’ And inside the back cover, a Licorice Card No 12 of Elvis Presley, with handwritten comment, ‘The Pelvis’. Items such as these reflect the private lives and creativity of students. Do you have any unusual memorabilia items from your CGS or MMGS schooling? 



The CGS Archives and Heritage Collection spans 1879 to the present-day including Malvern Memorial Grammar School (Malvern Grammar) memorabilia.


Any research queries or offers of donation are welcome by contacting The Archivist on (03) 9524 6249 or archives@caulfieldgs.vic.edu.au.


Judith Gibson
School Archivist




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