Thursday, October 22, 2009


The Edgar Allen Poe Digital Collection was launched to accompany the 2009 Poe Bicentennial exhibition, “From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe,” a joint venture of the University of Texas Harry Ransom Center and the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia.

The digital collection incorporates images of all Poe manuscripts and letters at the Ransom Center with a selection of related archival materials, two books by Poe annotated by the author, sheet music based on his poems, and portraits from the Ransom Center collections. Poe’s manuscripts and letters are linked to transcriptions on the website of the Poe Society of Baltimore.

Most of the items in the exhibition from the Harry Ransom Center collections once belonged to William H. Koester (1888–1964). Koester, a resident of Baltimore, began collecting first editions and manuscripts of Poe in the 1930s; his major acquisition was the collection of the Richmond Poe scholar and collector J. H. Whitty. In addition to the manuscripts of “The Domain of Arnheim,” “The Spectacles,” and some of Poe’s most famous poems, the Koester collection includes many letters written by and to Poe, books belonging to Poe (including the author’s annotated copies of the Tales and Poems and Eureka), and a large group of sheet music for songs based on Poe’s works.

Monday, October 19, 2009


October seems an appropriate month to remember Edgar Allan Poe. On Poe’s bicentennial, enjoy two fascinating web sites:
A great introductory site filled with primary resources, interesting facts and myths about Poe, and an interactive game
"Richmond's Poe Museum boasts the world's finest collection of Edgar Allan Poe's manuscripts, letters, first editions, memorabilia and personal belongings” (Source: Enjoy selected works, biographical information, educational resources, and more.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009



Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release October 1, 2009

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Every day, we are inundated with vast amounts of information. A 24-hour news cycle and thousands of global television and radio networks, coupled with an immense array of online resources, have challenged our long-held perceptions of information management. Rather than merely possessing data, we must also learn the skills necessary to acquire, collate, and evaluate information for any situation. This new type of literacy also requires competency with communication
technologies, including computers and mobile devices that can help in our day-to-day decisionmaking. National Information Literacy Awareness Month highlights the need for all Americans to be adept in the skills necessary to effectively navigate the Information Age.

Though we may know how to find the information we need, we must also know how to evaluate it. Over the past decade, we have seen a crisis of authenticity emerge. We now live in a world where anyone can publish an opinion or perspective, whether true or not, and have that opinion amplified within the information marketplace. At the same time, Americans have unprecedented access to the diverse and independent sources of information, as well as institutions such as libraries and universities, that can help separate truth from fiction and signal from noise.

Our Nation's educators and institutions of learning must be aware of -- and adjust to -- these new realities. In addition to the basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic, it is equally important that our students are given the tools required to take advantage of the information available to them. The ability to seek, find, and decipher information can be applied to countless life decisions, whether financial, medical, educational, or technical.

This month, we dedicate ourselves to increasing information literacy awareness so that all citizens understand its vital importance. An informed and educated citizenry is essential to the functioning of our modern democratic society, and I encourage educational and community institutions across the country to help Americans find and evaluate the information they seek, in all its forms.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2009 as National Information Literacy Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the important role information plays in our daily lives, and appreciate the need for a greater understanding of its impact.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Samford Students Share their Secrets
November 1 - 30, 2009
First Floor, University Library

In early October, Samford students received a small white postcard in their mailboxes asking them to "Share Your Secret." Over the course of the month, the Samford community and anyone else who found a postcard around campus were encouraged to share a secret anonymously that they have never told anyone. The secret could be “a regret, fear, worry, betrayal, desire, confession, or humiliation…anything you wish, as long as it is true and it is a secret.” Organized by a pair of Samford students, the goal of the project is to provide the Samford community with an outlet to share something that is, perhaps, bigger than themselves.

The idea stemmed from an original art project called "PostSecret," created by Frank Warren. See, and

The postcards will be displayed in the Library during the month of November. As observers view the returned postcards, it is hoped that they will find a connection with the anonymous secrets… and realize that their own secrets aren’t so bad after all.


On Thursday October 22, 2009, Dr. Orville Vernon Burton will deliver the J. Roderick Davis Lecture. The theme of this year's lecture is "The Age of Lincoln."

The lecture will be delivered at the Wright Center at 7:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

An officer of the Congressional National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Foundation, Dr. Orville Vernon Burton is a prolific scholar having produced fifteen authored or edited books and more than one hundred articles. His most recent work, The Age of Lincoln, won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Literary Award for Nonfiction and was selected as book of the month by the Book of the Month Club, the History Book Club, and the Military Book Club.

For further details, including directions to the Wright Center, please click here.


As part of this year’s Homecoming festivities, Samford University Library is proud to present Dr. Carmen Acevedo Butcher. Dr. Butcher will be our featured speaker for “Live at the Library” on Saturday, November 7th at 9:30 a.m. in the main reading room of the library. The presentation, “Coming Home to Christ in a Facebook World: Our Friend, Teacher, and God,” is open to attendees of all ages.

Dr. Butcher is an associate professor of English and Scholar-in-Residence at Shorter College in Rome, Georgia. She serves as a commentator for Georgia Public Broadcasting and has also appeared on GPB’s Georgia Gazette and The Issue. She has written for Christianity Today, Christian History & Biography, The Well, publications from Cambridge University Press, Western Michigan University’s Medieval Institute, Magistra: A Journal of Women’s Spirituality in History, and others. In addition to writing articles and giving local, national, and international lectures, she is the author of books on medieval literature, Christian mystics, and linguistics. Her books include God of Mercy: Ælfric’s Sermons and Theology published by Mercer University Press; A Little Daily Wisdom (formerly Incandescence: 365 Readings with Women Mystics), Hildegard of Bingen: A Spiritual Reader, and Man of Blessing: A Life of St. Benedict with Paraclete Press; and in collaboration with John Algeo, the fifth and sixth editions of Problems in the Origins and Development of the English Language and Answer Key published by Heinle/Wadsworth of Cengage Learning. In April 2009, Shambhala Publications released her translations of The Cloud of Unknowing and The Book of Privy Counsel, two classic medieval works on Christian contemplative prayer.

Dr. Butcher was the 2006 Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year for Georgia and received the 2007 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship at Shorter College. She has been a Fulbright scholar and lecturer twice. She was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea for the 2004-2005 academic year, and she was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of London from 1989-1991, conducting research in the British Library, the Bodleian, and other Oxbridge libraries.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit Dr. Butcher’s web site at or contact Eric Allen at or (205) 726.2846.