Friday, March 14, 2014

A Look Back: the Handwritten Matriculation Records of Howard College

Matriculation record containing the names of every student who attended Howard college from 1842 until July of 1887

The Special Collection in the University Library houses the official archives of Samford University, and is home to the historical records of the university from its beginnings as Howard College in Marion, Alabama, through today.  

Some of the earliest surviving materials from Howard College are the handwritten matriculation records, which contained the names of every student, their mailing address, and their parents' names, beginning in January of 1842 when classes started.  

The cover of SC 856, containing the names of all students who attended from the school's founding through July of 1887

When classes began at Howard on January 3, 1842, there were nine students.  Other students joined them throughout the month.

Handwritten records containing personal notations from the college President Samuel Sterling Sherman
The earliest records included personal notes about individual students from the first President, Samuel Sterling Sherman.  These notes were not always complimentary; one reads "[the student was] so dull he couldn't learn & left May 16."

President Sherman's note, "so dull he couldn't learn"
 When the book ends in 1887, there were 103 students on campus.

Handwritten records of student attendance in 1887
Today, over 4900 students attend Samford University.

Visit the Special Collection in room 32 on the lower level of Davis Library from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday while the University is in session.

Thanks to Rachel Cohen, Archivist and User Services Librarian, for pictures and text.

No comments: