When Blue Cards Were Blue Cards

Blue Cards are the records of the extracurricular activities that students have participated in during their time at Choate. Nowadays, these cards are accessible through the Choate portal and serve as a record of a student’s accomplishments. Like Blue Cards themselves, Choate has a rich history of recording student activities and interests — though these records weren’t always online.

In the 1940s, when The Choate School and Rosemary Hall were not yet merged, Choate students would have their activities, sports, clubs, honors, and even their trips to the infirmary recorded on 8.5” x 11” cards that were blue in color, granting them the term “blue cards.” These confidential records were stored in locked storage areas.

Ms. Judy Donald, Choate’s Archivist, explained that their initial purpose was “to record what a student has done during their time here, both academically and athletically, as well as socially, in terms of clubs and so forth.”

It is unclear if Rosemary Hall students had their own type of Blue Cards.

Prior to having Blue Cards digitized, Deans’ Assistants wrote Blue Cards for every Choate student by hand. Each card followed the same basic format: “Fall, 1936: John participated in…., he won…, and he played… Winter, 1936-1937…” This process would be repeated each semester.

Although Blue Cards are no longer blue, or cards, they continue to their purpose remains unchanged: to showcase the clubs and extracurricular activities that students partake in.

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