Friday, November 30, 2012

St. Andrew's Day

Photo by Murdo Macleod from The Guardian

Who was St. Andrew?

Andrew was, well, I'll let a greater writer than I am tell you that. In Mark 1:16-18, Jesus, "passing by the Sea of Galilee, saw Simon and Andrew, Simon's brother, casting a set into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, 'Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" He was one of the less prominent Disciples, being omitted from the writings of Matthew and Luke completely. John writes about Andrew more extensively, putting him in a position of authority to intercede between people and Jesus. He continued to preach the gospel throughout the region until his death.

The Martyrologium Romanum gives us some insight into his final days, "30 November is at Patrae of Achaia the feast dat of St. Andrew the Apostle, who preached the Gospel of Christ in Thrace and Schythia. He was arrested by Aegeas the Proconsul, at first locked in prison, then most gravely cut, and finally suspended from a cross. On it, he lived for two days, teaching th epeople; and having asked the Lord that he not be taken down from the cross, he was surrponded with a great spendor from Heaven, while a light shortly shown, and he gave up the ghost."

St. Andrew's Cross

State Flag of Alabama

Tradition accounts that the cross upon which Andrew was crucified was an X-shape, thus creating the shape of the Saltire, or St. Andrew's Cross, which is now the national emblem of Scotland and the state flag of Alabama.

St. Andrew is known as the patron for fishermen, singers, those who suffer from gout and sore throats, unmarried women, and women wishing to become mothers.

Historically, St. Rule is credited with bringing relics of St. Andrew to what is now Scotland, after receiving a vision. St. Andrew was first recognized as the patron saint of Scotland in 1320 at the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, asserting the country's independence from England.

Not Just Scotland

St. Andrew is revered in many other European countries, including Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, and Romania. 

In Poland, St. Andrew's Day, or Andrzejki, is celebrated on the night of November 29th and the day of November 30th. It is considered the last night to celebrate before fasting begins during the Advent season, somewhat similar to Mardi Gras before Lent. As the patron saint of maiden women, many Andrzejki games and traditions involve single women seeking clues about their future husbands. 

So, Happy St. Andrew's Day, or, for the Scottish, 'Here's tae us - Wha's like us'! 

Peterson, P. M. (1958). Andrew, brother of Simon Peter: His history and his legends. Leiden: E. J. Brill.

Edition in Propylaem ad Acta Sanctorum Decembris, Brussles, 1940. cf. Epistle of the Presbyters and Deacons in Bonnet, Acta, pp. 32-44 and Passio in Bonnet, Sup., pp. 69-70.

"Official Symbols and Emblems of Alabama: State Flag of Alabama". Alabama Department of Archives & History. Retrieved 30 November 2012.

"Who was St Andrew?". Retrieved 30 November 2012.

McSweeny, Declan. "Liverpool gives St Andrew's Day a Polish twist". Retrieved 30 November 2012.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's Snowing in the Library!

Need a study break? Help us decorate our Christmas trees by making a snowflake!

You'll find all the materials you need on the First Floor, by Circulation -- scissors, paper, and instructions. 

If you want to get really crafty, check out our Pinterest Holiday board for more snowflake patterns. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Hours

Due to the Thanksgiving Break, we will have modified hours this week:

Wednesday 21: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Thursday 22: CLOSED
Friday 23: CLOSED
Saturday 24: CLOSED
Sunday 25: 6:00 pm - Midnight

On Monday, November 26th, our hours will return to normal. For all library hours, check here or call the hours hotline at (205) 726-4015. All online resources should be available to Samford students and affiliates at all times.

We appreciate your cooperation as our staff has the opportunity to enjoy this time with their loved ones.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Marliese Thomas, User Engagement Librarian

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Precious: 40 Years After Tolkien

A new exhibit has appeared in the hallowed halls of Samford Library, and for many it hearkens back to memories of childhood cartoons, fantasy reading, or maybe just 2003 Orlando Bloom.

Thanks to the generosity of Beeson Divinity student Rebecca Poe Hays and her father, Dr. Hal Poe of Union University, we can (temporarily) bring you the world of Middle Earth, as created by J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien was a member of The Inklings, a group of literary-minded friends including C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, Nevill Coghill, H.V.D. Dyson, and later, Tolkien's son Christopher. 

Tolkien began with The Silmarillion while living in France during World War I, though it was not completed and published until after his death. This was the beginning of Middle Earth, which included the more famous The Hobbit, first published in 1937. A sequel, The Lord of the Rings, became so detailed and great, that it was unfinished until 1949 and was finally published in 1954-1955 in the three separate volumes we know today: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and Return of the King.

The exhibit JRR Tolkien Forty Years On includes first editions in hardback and paperback (including pirated copies), movie posters, and other documentation related to Tolkien and his amazing world. There is also a photo slideshow, courtesy of Allan and Susan Hammack, from their visit to "The Shire" aka New Zealand, just prior to filming The Hobbit, to be released this December.

We hope you enjoy this flight of fantasy and history. It is our pleasure to maintain the display until January 2, 2013. 

Marliese Thomas, User Engagement Librarian

Reference: Notes of Dr. Hal Poe, Union University
Photos by Eric Allen

Business Databases on Trial

We have six databases on review from ProQuest, and we need your feedback!

The ProQuest Business Collection includes ABI/Inform, Accounting & Tax, Banking Information Source, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS), ProQuest Asian Business and Reference, and ProQuest Entrepreneurship. Together, these databases include thousands of academic and trade journals, industry trends reports, current business news (domestic and international), and more than 7,000 books.

For a full description of each database and to try them out, click here or visit the Database Trials page. Once you've had a chance to look around, please let us know what you think. Contact Lori Northrup or your liaison librarian. 

Thanks so much!

Marliese Thomas, User Engagement Librarian

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day: A Samford Legacy

On November 11, 1918, an armistice was signed that ended the fighting in World War I. In celebration of this peace agreement, Armistice Day was recognized each year.

In 1954, the name was changed in the United States to Veterans Day to include recognition for veterans of all military service but remained on November 11th. The British, Canadians, and Australians call it Remembrance Day and primarily dedicate the day to remembering soldiers who died in World Wars I and II, wearing the red poppy as symbol.

With its military school roots, Howard was heavily involved in supporting the efforts of both world wars, through fundraising, creating supplies, and running student military training programs. Even though Howard officially abandoned compulsory military curricula in 1913, it was reintroduced five years later by unanimous vote of the student body, and a Civilian Pilot Training Program and Naval Air Corps school was begun in 1942. A Navy V-12 training program was a major part of Howard life from 1943-1945. So incorporated were these programs, that for a while, athletes were known as Howard Seadogs! In the University Archives, you can find correspondence between President Major Harwell Davis and students who were deployed overseas.

Following the Second World War, Dr. George V. Irons was assigned as director of the Veterans' Liaison Service, part of Counseling Services, to help military veterans entering school deal with the intricacies of applying for benefits and providing appropriate certifications.

Today, Samford still maintains a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program for the Air Force, which still aims to combine liberal arts values with military training and discipline.

As we think about yesterday, Veterans Day, we must think about our history, often our family, our present, and our future. If there's one thing we can see from Samford's history with wartime preparedness, it's that education is just as crucial for the battlefield as it is for the boardroom. Critical thinking and mental flexibility haven't changed, even if the uniforms have.

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war,
no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."
- President George Washington

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the Children of God."
- Matthew 5:9

Resources: "Veterans Day." Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary. Detroit: Omnigraphics, Inc., 2010. Credo Reference. Web. 12 November 2012.

Sulzby, James Frederick. Toward A History Of Samford University / By James F. Sulzby, Jr. n.p.: Birmingham, Ala. : Samford University Press, 1986.

Marliese Thomas, User Engagement Librarian

Thursday, November 8, 2012

How the Nation Voted

We all know what our own ballots looked like, but here's a great Prezi presentation on a breakdown of election results from across the nation, including some controversial state propositions (However, I would comment that Florida seems to be a closer margin that is implied in the presentation):

Monday, November 5, 2012

Temporary loss of select databases

Due to changes in the Alabama Virtual Library's statewide subscriptions, we have temporarily lost access to the following databases:

Academic Onefile 
Educator's Reference Complete 
Expanded Academic ASAP 

If you have trouble accessing the full-text of a journal or article, please                Ask Us!, and we will see about finding it through another source.

Who Was Guy Fawkes?

If you are from England, you might be familiar with the fireworks displays on November 5th, in celebration of Guy Fawkes' Night. But for those of us in the states, it might seem a little confusing.

More than a few songs throughout the years have immortalized this holiday, with none (I'd bet) more famous than the line "Remember, remember, the fifth of November." But why? Who was Guy Fawkes and why do the British set off fireworks in remembrance?

Fawkes was a conspirator in the Gunpowder Plot, a plan to blow up King James I and all the members of both Houses of Parliament in 1605. After 45 years of rule under Elizabeth I, Catholics had little to no freedom to practice their religion. James, at first, seemed to have sympathies towards the Catholics, but political moves and plots solidified his stance to maintain the support of the Puritans.

Fawkes was a fierce believer in Roman Catholicism, having converted as an adult and served in the military. Though not the leader of the conspiracy, he was the main one chosen to carry out this plan of placing barrels of gunpowder underneath the Parliament buildings and lighting them on November 5th. However, an anonymous letter tipped off officials, and Fawkes was caught and arrested.

In reaction, the public would hold displays of burning Fawkes in effigy and shooting off fireworks to symbolize the explosion that never happened.

"Fawkes, Guy (1570-1606)." The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide. Abington: Helicon, 2010. Credo Reference. Web. 05 November 2012.

"Gunpowder Plot." The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide. Abington: Helicon, 2010. Credo Reference. Web. 05 November 2012.

Robinson, Bruce. "The Gunpowder Plot." History. BBC World Service, 29 March 2011. Web. 05 November 2012. ‹›. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Elections are coming... and we're here to help!

Government Documents Librarian Carla Waddell has pulled together a number of great (and free) resources to aid you in researching the candidates for local, state, and national elections. You’ll find ways to research voting history & local issues that’ll be on your ballot.

Check out this Research Guide to the Elections, then rock the vote!