Nugalia: Introduction

By - Systems Librarian September 15th, 2011

St. Paul’s School’s Horae Scholasticae is the oldest school or college literary magazines in continuous publication in the United States, the first issue having appeared on June 1, 1860. Prior to the publication of the Alumni Horae in 1921 and The Pelican in 1945, the Horae Scholasticae also served to chronicle the School’s history and news of school life, as well as publishing the early literary efforts of many noted 19th-century authors such as Francis Marion Crawford and Owen Wister.

Many of the earlier editions of the Horae Scholasticae contained a column of newsy tidbits called “Nugalia” that encapsulated the day-to-day experience of student life at St. Paul’s School.  The June 1st, 1935 edition of the Horae Scholasticae – a celebration of the first 75 years of publication – included this description of the Nugalia column:

The Nugalia (Lat., “stuffs,” “triffles,” “nonsense”) is one of the aboriginal columns of the Horae.  In the early issues “The Rural Record”, the School log or diary, supplied a large part of the news.

In 1872 the name of the department was changed from “School Items” to “Items,” and in 1877 it took its present title “Nugalia.”  The editors of those good old times embellished the scanty School notes with doggerel, puzzles, and current jokes.

In the spirit of the early editors of the Horae Scholasticae we have created a new feature located in the sidebar of Ohrstrom Blog. Throughout the year we will be publishing small but interesting excerpts gathered from past Nugalia columns and featuring them in the sidebar.   Check back weekly for a regular bit of insight into the history of student life at SPS – and the occasional dose of doggerel!

From the Archives: Club Banners

By - Systems Librarian May 10th, 2011

Most people who look up and notice the club banners on display in the lobby of the Blass Club House probably associate them with the club sports competition begun at St. Paul’s School in 1888. In actuality the Isthmian, Delphian and Old Hundred banners have nothing to do with sports. Their origins have more in common with this year’s revived Club Cup competition than with the sports-only club rivalries that are a better-known part of school history.

The club banners were the inspiration of Samuel Smith Drury, Rector of St. Paul’s School from  1911 to 1938. In the Spring 1921 Alumni Horae he described his new plan to use the existing rivalries from the club sports competitions to inspire academic excellence among the students:

It occurred to some of us that we might utilize commendable athletic club rivalry in the realm of studies. So we took all the examination marks and by reckoning to what club each boy belonged, we found that a certain club led the School in studies. At the reading of the ranking I had the banner of that club on the desk, and then handed it to Davis I, the captain of the Hockey Team, asking him to place that banner in the Big Study until another club by its average won the privilege.

In a letter dated December 21, 1922, Drury asks John Gregory Wiggins, family friend and original carver of the Form Plaques located in the Upper Dinning Hall of Coit, if he would send along “any designs you may have of your rendering of the Old Hundred, Isthmian and Delphian emblems to be used on scholastic banners.” A few months later, in the Spring 1923 Alumni Horae, the School in Action entry announces:

At the recent half-term ranking the silk banners presented by Mr. F. Kingsbury Curtis (79) were used for the first time. The body of the banner is of the club color, the name in white letters above and the club emblem below. The Delphian Club led in scholarship for this period, an honor held by the Isthmians at both rankings in the Fall.

This documents the first time the club banners that we now have on display in the Blass Club House were used to reward academic excellence among the club teams. Later, in the Winter 1930 edition of the Alumni Horae, Drury reminds readers of the purpose of the stars on the banners:

You will remember that at each ranking one of the three Clubs wins a star for its banner by out-ranking the other two in studies.

It isn’t clear how long this tradition was carried out at St. Paul’s School, or how frequent the rankings took place, but by counting the stars it is clear who dominated the competition: Isthmian had 54 stars,  Old Hundred had 36 stars, and Delphian had 24 stars.

Elements of the tradition started by Samuel Smith Drury have been revived by the new Club Cup competition this year, which awards points for scholastic as well as athletic achievements.  Drury’s enthusiasm for the academic banners comes through in his writing in the Alumni Horae, and it is easy to imagine that he would be just as excited by the new Club Cup competition.

Read more about the Club Banners HERE.

Read more about the history of the club system HERE.

Reflections from the Horae: Ohrstrom Library, 1991

By - Systems Librarian June 3rd, 2009

Lisa Laughy – Archives Assistant

The following is an excerpt from an article found in the Alumni Horae Digital Archive, now available online.  The Spring 1991 issue of the Alumni Horae celebrated the then newly completed and dedicated Ohrstrom Library.  In her article, The Libraries of St. Paul’s School, Librarian Rosemarie Cassels-Brown wrote her reflections on the place Ohrstrom Library would fill in this ongoing history:

On a cold, sunny, but as yet snowless January day, just after the School returned from Christmas vacation, a colorful line of students and faculty, clad in parkas and heavy winter coats, stretched across from Sheldon to Ohrstrom. Piles of books were handed along, to be placed on the shelves in our new library. Conversations in the line were animated; the mood was one of celebration. . . . Although in terms of the number of books moved in this fashion it was a largely symbolic gesture, to those participating in the book brigade it meant: this is our library, . . .

I sometimes wonder, as I move through this extraordinary building or take visitors around, what those who dedicated so much of their time and energy to the library in the early years of the School would think if they could see our new Ohrstrom Library —a spacious building, full of light, where students and teachers can pursue serious research as well as read for pleasure; . . . I hope our predecessors might be persuaded that in spite of much that would be new or unfamiliar to them, we are still concerned to be “an effective agency in the literary culture of the [students].”

To read the full article click HERE to access the Alumni Horae Digital Archive, then under the “Browse” tab, in the “1990 – 1999” folder, look for the “Spring 1991” folder for The Libraries of St. Paul’s School article in that edition of the Alumni Horae.

Article Source:

Cassels-Brown, Rosemarie. “The Libraries of St. Paul’s School.” Alumni Horae
Spring 1991: 16. Alumni Horae Digital Archive. Ohrstrom Lib., St. Paul’s
School, Concord, NH. 2 June 2009 <>.

Alumni Horae Digital Archive Launch

By - Systems Librarian May 29th, 2009

Lisa Laughy – Archives Assistant

Ohrstrom Library is proud to announce a special Anniversary Weekend preview of the newly launched Alumni Horae Digital Archive.

Alumni Horae, the St. Paul’s School alumni magazine, is published four times a year by the Alumni Association in order to engage the alumni community of SPS, to connect alumni to each other, and to enrich the School community. The magazine contains alumni news, features, book reviews, Form notes, and obituaries as well as information about current School life and athletics.

The entire print run of the St. Paul’s School alumni magazine, has been scanned and is now accessible online. Every issue of the Alumni Horae from 1921 to the present has been professionally scanned using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to create a searchable online database.  The articles are also available in PDF format, which reproduces every page of the Alumni Horae as it was originally published, including all diagrams, tables, and photographs.  The PDF files are available for downloading and printing.

Click HERE to access the Alumni Horae Digital Archive.

Click HERE to access the user’s guide to searching and browsing the archive.