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About this collection

Collection Description

Isidore Newman School is an independent, co-educational, college preparatory school located in uptown New Orleans. The school was founded in 1903 with the gift of local philanthropist Isidore Newman, who wanted to provide a superior education to the boys and girls living in the nearby Jewish Orphans Home. The school employed an education method called manual training, and was therefore called Isidore Newman Manual Training School, or "Manual". Its motto is Discimus Agere Agendo, or "We learn to do by doing". The initial curriculum combined academics with training in wood and iron work, sewing, cooking, and household management. Newman stipulated that the school be open to all children regardless of religion or social background. By 1931 the school had become college preparatory and changed its name to Isidore Newman School.


Isidore Newman School's archives span over one hundred years and contain materials historically significant to the history of New Orleans, the Manual Training Movement in education, and to the story of immigrants finding prosperity in America, a central theme in our country's history.

 

The archives contain relics and photographs relating to Isidore Newman, his wife, Rebecca Kieffer Newman, and their descendants. There are student publications such as the Pioneer and the Greenie, the former of which was founded in 1911 and is the oldest continuously published student magazine in Louisiana. During the Pioneer's early years, students carved wood blocks in art class to decorate the covers; they have survived and are works of art in themselves. The archives also contain the usual memorabilia of a school: sepia photographs of students wearing sweaters embroidered with the "M" for Manual, graduation pictures, homecoming programs, invitations, snapshots of class trips, scrapbooks, old report cards, readers, primers, and diplomas.

 
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