Archive for May, 2013

Semester Summary Work Journal

Unfortunately for me, I was not able to keep  very thorough work journal for my project because i had bit of a rough last half of the semester. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma right around the time these journals started being due (March 20).

For the first two-three weeks of April, I had a really hard time with treatment and therefore got very behind on research. Luckily, I had read my secondary sources and looked at Walsingham yearbooks before Spring Break, so I had a start. I had also made contact with Sr. Rose at Walsingham early on in the semester as a potential interviewee.

I finally got things together enough by mid-April to start my oral histories. I interviewed Sr. Rose and Mary Johnston (Vice Principal of the lower school) on April 22 with Jake Lewitz indexing. I really enjoyed this first interview! Sr. Rose was really helpful in talking about the history of the school and Mary had actually gone to Walsingham as a student and was non-Catholic. Her perspective got me started on the exploration of the non-Catholic community at Walsingham.

Sr. Rose was so nice as to set up an interview for me for the next week with Steve Delaney, the upper school campus minister. I also interviewed two students from the upper school at the same time. It was really interesting to learn about Steve’s role, and to talk to two current non-Catholic students. They all gave me really great insight into Walsingham today.

After this interview, I was lucky to receive a copy of the “Chronicles of Walsingham Academy” from Sr. Rose. This was a journal that the founding Sisters kept from 1947-55. It proved invaluable in my research about the history of the school and I just love working with primary documents!

Lauren Stephenson, from class, had given me Tim Wolfe’s name because she knew that he had worked at Walsingham at one point. Though, very busy, he managed to squeeze me in for a short interview on May 5. I really liked talking to Tim because he was more of an outsider in the school’s community than anybody I had interviewed before. His insights into the college prep style of the school, its counseling program, and its community in general were very helpful.

I spent a little time towards the end of April looking at newspaper articles about Walsingham but could not find much and decided the sources I was using were proving to be enough for my research

Lastly, I looked at Maggie McDonald’s WDP project from 2008 about the Catholic community in Williamsburg and listened to all of her oral histories. This was super helpful, especially her interview with Sr. Berenice Eltz.

Lastly, I threw it all together and hope that it paints a good portrait of Walsingham! I really enjoyed the project!


The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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