Academics / Community

Dana Hall student publications have a riveting history

Dana Hall student voices have been published since the late 1800s. The first issue was published on December 15th, 1890, from a newspaper titled the Bonbonnière. This paper was a literary magazine as well as a newspaper. Other student publications include small newspapers that ran for 1-2 years all the way through the 1900s. The most recent student publications, of course, are the Hallmanac and Mirage.

The first issue of the Hallmanac was published in 1945. The article topics from the 1900s are similar to ones today; sports updates, upcoming school dances, what certain clubs are up to, and even profiles on new teachers. In the 1900s, the Hallmanac staff had specific roles to keep the newspaper running. Some of these jobs included sports editor, feature editor, business manager, advertising manager, typing manager, and more. There has also always been a faculty advisor. The Hallmanac went digital in 2012.

Megan Coveney ‘23, an editor of the Hallmanac, believes the Hallmanac is important because “Sometimes you can’t always say something at school, and the Hallmanac goes to alumni, parents, other facility and students.”

In the 1960s, the Hallmanac had a subscription fee; $3.50 a year for students, and $4.50 a year for a mailing subscription. The Hallmanac also included creative publications such as poems, artwork, and stories. Creative student publications weren’t separated until 1986, which is when Mirage started.

The style of Mirage has stayed consistent since 1986. The layout of the Mirage magazine has always been a variation of photos, poems, short stories, and artwork by students. Sydney Jiang ‘23, an editor of Mirage, said that the magazine is “Bringing a lot of diversity to the school in terms of how people are writing about their culture or their identity.” When Mirage first started, it was a specific feature for creative publications. These were still included in the Hallmanac for some time after Mirage started. Mirage has been voted number 1 literary magazine of Massachusetts High Schools.

Head of school, Katherine Bradley, is a reader of both the Hallmanac and Mirage. She mentioned how “You get to see the learning process in action; I appreciate watching students put themselves out there.”

Some of the short lived newspapers, in chronological order, include; the Bonbonnière (1890-1891), the Piper (1915), the Cherry Bowl (1940-1942), the Triangle Fall (1947-1952), the Diploma (1957), the Ring (1957), the Shovel (1957), Half-Time (1974), the Hall Mirror (1974-1975), and the Dragons Breath (1992-1993).  The earlier publications were heavily literary magazines, but the Cherry Bowl began to include more articles about current events regarding the world and Dana Hall. These smaller newspapers also included movie times in Wellesley and other nearby areas.

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