Friday, March 29, 2013

Blessed Is the Name

"Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!"

 As we begin this (mostly) sunny Easter weekend, we have also been doing some Spring cleaning. 
You'll notice a new display by the Mace of a beautifully illuminated Bible. 
This is the St. John's Bible, a seven-volume work of art in ancient illumination, calligraphy, and modern sensibilities, all to glorify the Word of God. 

The image above is from Luke 23, the Crucifixion. The St. John's website describes it, saying:
"The use of gold conveys the idea of God manifesting himself in His divine love for humanity, represented by the crowd below. Luke’s gospel recounts that darkness covered the earth for three hours, indicated here by the night sky, and that the curtain of the temple, shown as shreds of purple, was torn in two. The contrast of pain with the glory of gold relates this image to current theological discussions concerning the meaning of the Crucifixion in the contemporary world."

Watch for more features from the newest addition to the Samford Family over the next weeks.

Hosanna in the Highest. Save me, Lord. 

Have a wonderful Easter holiday, 

Marliese Thomas
User Engagement Librarian 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Quiet Study

Trying to Study?

Grad students have an extra option for quiet study during midterms - Rooms 233/234/235
These rooms have been set aside for contemplation of your notes and texts, since noise carries so well in this room.
*Please note, the National Pan-Hellenic Council will be using these rooms for an event from 6-9 PM on Tuesday.

Here are other ways all patrons can take advantage of our building during Midterms:
  • 3rd Floor remains a quiet place, and groups can always look into a group study room. 
  • Headphones are available for check-out at the Circulation Desk. 
  • The Library and Computer Lab will remain open until 2 AM through Wednesday, March 13th. 
  • If you see patrons getting a little giddy and giggly, feel free to ask them to keep it down or find a group room. You can always bring concerns to the person at the Ask Us Desk and Circulation.

We aim to create an environment where you can excel, by working together or individually.

Marliese Thomas
User Engagement Librarian

Friday, March 8, 2013

Extended Hours For Midterms

March 11-13, 2013

We're open until 2 AM!

Photo by Holocene View

You asked; we answered. With the popularity of extending Library hours during Finals, we are also going to stay open late during Midterms - March 11-13. All regular library operations will be available until 2 AM, including Ask Us Chat, reference, study rooms, and circulation services. 

Special Collections and the Academic Computing Lab on the ground floor will follow normally posted operating times.

Monday, March 4, 2013

National Grammar Day

There are those who would argue that the only thing drier than an actual grammar book would be a history of the grammar book, but since it’s National Grammar Day today, we down here in Special Collections thought we’d try it anyway.

The earliest English grammar books were often not written in English, but in Latin. It wasn’t until the 18th century that English grammars (as they are known) started being written in English. These early grammars were devoted to explain English constructions to a world where Latin was still being commonly used. In fact, it was believed by many that English didn’t have any unique rules of grammar, but that the Latin rules were perfectly sufficient for understanding the rules of English. Modern Latin scholars would not agree.

Needless to say, as the England’s empire spread around the globe, there was a new need to teach English to non-Native speakers who didn’t know Latin either. The new grammars were styled as informative education textbooks, intended to help the poor, non-English speakers, children and, of course, women understand the complicated beast that is the English language.

This all brings us rather neatly to Lindley Murray. Murray was a lawyer who, in his spare time, wrote English grammar books. It is for his grammar works that he has gone down in history, as the books were used long after his death in educating students in the English speaking world. 

The Special Collection is lucky enough to hold several different editions of Murray’s books, including his English Exercises which was first published in 1797. The Special Collection has an 1814 and an 1866 edition, which are very nearly identical. The book contains exercises “Designed for the Benefit of Private Learners, As Well As for the Use of Schools” and promises to provide instruction on the “Defects in Punctuation, and Violations of the Rules Respecting Perspicuity and Accuracy.”

Sentences such as “A great proportion of human evils are created by ourselves” and “Flattery, whose nature is to destroy and deceive, should be avoided as the poisonous adder” were used in the exercises to instruct morally as well as grammatically. I suspect I’d have paid more attention in English class if those had been the sorts of sentences I was instructed to work with.

Murray was one of several educational reformers of his day. His books were used into the 20th century, along with those of the famous William Holmes McGuffey whose readers and spellers were the backbone of education in the United States for almost a century. We have a bunch of those as well, but they’ll have to wait for another blog post.

Until then, we in the Special Collection remain willing to be more flexible about defects in punctuation than Murray would approve of.

Rachel Cohen
Archivist and User Services Librarian
Special Collection Department

Friday, March 1, 2013

Liz Wells first Samford Brand Ambassador

Wells the "Face of Samford"

The first in a new Marketing initiative, Liz Wells was named a Brand Ambassador, along with junior journalism and mass communications major Clayton Hurdle. Liz was nominated by a Samford alum for her outstanding work and presence as head of the Special Collections and Archives at Samford Library. 

The person who nominated her wrote, "Mrs. Wells was the face of Samford to all of these people who might not interact with anyone else while on campus. ...I witnessed her treat each visitor as a welcomed VIP, and she ensured that her student workers and full-time employees also treated the visitors with the same warmth. And she also took the time to mentor, counsel, and love each of her student workers. When many people across the country think of the face of Samford, they think of Liz Wells and they think well of Samford because of her."

Each month, the Office of Communications and Marketing will name Brand Ambassadors from nominated individuals who positively represent Samford University. At the end of the year, all Ambassadors will be honored in a year-end event.

Liz was previously honored in 2012 with the Jennings Marshall Service Award for significant and sustained service contributions to the University.

Congratulations, Liz, on this fantastic honor!
For the full news release, please visit this link.