School records found in a dumpster on the Le Conte playground on Saturday. Photos: Alicia Abramson

When Alicia Abramson took her kids to play on the Le Conte playground on Saturday morning, she discovered something unusual. “I came across a few boxes of school records that the school appears to be dumping.  In addition to being a strange place to dispose of the records, these records are quite old … some of them go back to the 1920s through the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s,” she writes.

According to Abramson, the records consist primarily of “student cards” with the students’ names, birth dates, grades, parents’ names, occupations, birth place, and whether they are naturalized citizens.

“The records are quite interesting from a historical point of view — I bet more than a few living Berkeleyans are represented among them,” says Abramson.

Abramson wonders why the school is discarding the documents this way, whether there may be privacy issues, and asks whether a local historian might be interested in having a look at them.

Abramson took some of the discarded documents home in a bid to save at least some of them and is willing to give them to somebody who might want to add them to an archive or study them from a historical perspective. She can be reached via Berkeleyside at

Meanwhile, if anyone has thoughts or can share any insights, the Comments section is, as always, an open forum.

Some of the discarded school records date as far back as the 1920s

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...