New Paltz Composition Notebook
On face, the thin composition book, approximately 10x7.5 inches, hardly stands out as a historical artifact of New Paltz history. Barely threaded together within brown cardboard covers, the pages yellowed over time, yet the typical blue lines reminiscent of today’s marble notebooks are visible on each piece of paper. Inside the front cover, one clearly wrote “Jane Hayden” in pencil to indicate ownership; a scrawled script in the top right hand corner on the adjacent lined paper can be faintly decoded as “Janie Hayden,” though it looks like someone smudged the pencil marking or attempted to erase the name. Below, “Examinations Oct. 1896” heads the first page, following with “7 Arithmetic” and questions in a fine script. Other pages are headed by the following subjects: literature, grammar, geography, spelling, language, and physiology. Some of the questions are followed by answers, indicated by “Ans.” As the pages progress, thick pencil drawings of elaborately-dressed women and foreign architecture fill the blank spaces alongside examination questions and even some blank pages. On the back, Gertrude Dubois wrote a fifth grade History essay about Cyrus and Croesus in 1904, almost a decade after the previous owner dated her last page at April 9, 1897.
Jane Hayden; Gertrude Dubois