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Collection of Lower School Material

Identifier: DC010

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the Collection of Lower School Material consists of published material created for and by the students of the lower houses including the building newspaper entitled The Recorder and the Lower School Yearbook. The bulk of the material dates from the time period when the Lower School was housed in the building known as "Old Lower."


  • 1894 - 1993


Conditions Governing Access

The records are open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies and digital photographs may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from the Archivist. Researchers are responsible for determining any other copyright questions.

Biographical / Historical

Opened in 1924, this student dormitory was a gift of the Alumni Association as a “lasting memorial to the 42 Lawrenceville heroes who bravely gave up their lives in the Great War.” The Lawrenceville Alumni War Memorial Building,” designed by William Adams Delano ’91, eventually became known as “Lower School.” The brick building was comprised of two identical two-story wings, housing four Houses (dormitories): Cromwell, Davidson, Perry Ross and Thomas, named after four Lawrentians who fought in World War I, three of whom died in the war: James H. R. Cromwell ’15 (who later married Doris Duke); Philip J. Davidson ’11, died August, 1918; Gerald P. Thomas ’15, died August 28, 1918 and Perry Ross Rosenheim ’14, died April 18, 1919. A large wooden memorial tablet listing the names of Lawrentians who died in the war was located over the fireplace in the Common Room in Lower. It was moved to the Bunting Room in Hogate Hall in 1990.

Occupants of Lower School were First and Second Form (eighth and ninth grade) boys who had, until this building was complete, been living in various houses in the village. In the 1930s and 1940s, there was also a Shell Form (seventh grade) for a small number of boys who needed preparation for First Form. Each House in Lower consisted of a long corridor with a master’s apartment at the end. Boys lived side by side in “cubicles,” rooms with eight-foot high wooden walls on three sides and a curtained entrance on the fourth. Each room was furnished with a bed, chair, bureau, mirror, radiator and window. Dr. Abbott, the Head Master, championed the cubicles as Spartan-like engines of character building, but Lower was soon christened by the boys as “The Incubator.”

Lower School was virtually a school within a school. In the center of the building were the residences of the Director of Lower School, the dining room and a study hall, where each boy had his own desk. Boys in Lower had their own House sports, published their own newspaper and yearbook, produced their own plays, and elected their own officers.

When the Irwin Dining Center was built, the dining rooms in the Circle Houses were renovated into more student space, so that boys from Dawes and Raymond could be incorporated into those Houses. At this point, in 1972, boys from Davidson and Thomas were moved to Raymond, and those from Perry Ross and Cromwell to Dawes. An enlarged Alumni and Development Office moved into one wing, and Fifth Formers into the other (called “Hyatt House”) in what then was called “Old Lower.” Lower was torn down in 1987 to make room for the construction of the Crescent Houses.


4.71 Linear Feet (9 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Collection of Lower School Material are arranged into two series: Series 1: Lower School Houses, 1894-1989; Series 2: Lower School Recorder, 1926-1960s; and Series 3: Lower School Yearbook, 1936-1993.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection were transferred from Lower School to the Stephan Archives.


Appraisal has been conducted in accordance with The Lawrenceville School Stephan Archives guidelines.

Related Materials

Additional material on the houses of Lower School can be found in the Buildings and Grounds Collection (DC021).


Information in the historical note was gathered from material within the collection. Five Miles Away: The Story of The Lawrenceville School by Samuel R. Slaymaker, II and The Lawrenceville Lexicon: A Compendium of All Things Lawrenceville, Merrell Noden, editor, were also consulted.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Casey Babcock in October of 2012. The historical note was taken from the Lawrenceville Lexicon.

Collection of Lower School Material: Finding Aid
Casey Babcock
February 19, 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The Lawrenceville School Stephan Archives Repository

Box 6128
2500 Main St.
Lawrenceville 08648 U.S.A. US