Thursday, October 31, 2013

Special Collection Open House Today, 2-4pm

Light refreshments will be served. Don't miss it!

What:  Visit the Special Collection's Open House
When: October 31st, 2013, from 2-4pm
Where:  the Lower Level of the Library
Who: Our archivists and you
Why: It’s where Samford History Lives 

October is National Archives Month when archives both large and small are celebrated around the country. Actively collecting and organizing unique materials, archives bring the past into the present by preserving and protecting the flotsam and jetsom that are later formed into history.

History is born out of Archives.

And here on Samford’s campus, the library’s Special Collection department takes care of Samford’s history, Alabama Baptist history, Alabama history and all sort of other things like rare books and pamphlets,  civil war surgical tools, beautiful maps,  three lotus slippers, and drafts and proofs of Charles Spurgeon'sermons.  

The Special Collection is open from 9am to 5 pm Monday through Friday for any member of campus or the public who would like to handle our materials.

Founded in 1957, the Special Collection is proud to have been built entirely on gifts. Generous professors, alumni and members of the public have given wonderful materials for student’s use. 

Visit today!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Our Favorite Things from the Special Collection, Part Three

The Samford Special Collection and University Archives Open House is tomorrow, October 31st, 2013, from 2-4pm.  Don't hesitate to stop by the Special Collection for snacks and a glimpse into Samford's history.

Here's the final installment of the favorite things of the folks who work in our Special Collection.  Each is unique and only preserved because of the hard work that these archivists do to preserve our history.  These three love the collection so much that they couldn't just pick one favorite!

Liz + A Piece of the Sherman Oak and the McClurkin letter
"Sherman Oak, named for the first president of Howard College, Samuel Sterling Sherman, was the celebrated tree on the East Lake campus. Although some note an earlier tree naming, Dr. J. M. Shelburne, in 1915, president of Howard College, began the celebration of Arbor Day. He chose the largest oak on the campus at that time and dedicated it to the first president of the College.

"The stately sturdy tree served as the meeting place for the Howard College community.  Under its large branches, couples met, dated, and proposals of marriage were made. Every Entre Nous, showing photographs of the campus and student activities, feature the Sherman Oak.

"In 1957 Howard College left the East Lake site and moved to Edgewood/Lakeshore campus.  The tree remained.  However, lightening, blight, ad age were enemies to the Oak.  In 1998, the tree was cut down.  Pieces of the tree were saved and stored.  This piece came to Special Collection. 

"Sharing a picture of the tree and this piece brought tears to a lady visiting the Collection.  'I had my photograph taken under that tree when I was a senior in high school, visiting the campus.'  This is a tangible piece of the East Lake campus, which exists no more.

"J. E. McLurkin was an upper classman when he left Howard College’s Marion campus in 1887 to attend school on its new East Lake site. McLurkin wrote his 'Cusin' about coming to the 'Magic City' and described in detail this huge, somewhat frightening city. His letter telling of the international and industrial life in Birmingham is a wonderful first hand account of this New South city.

"He also describes his opportunities to preach.  He shares his doubts to never be no more than just a farmer boy, but this experiences at Howard College had opened new 'paths' for him.  However, no matter how wonderful the new Birmingham sites were, he was not as well pleased as he would be in Marion, but 'he hoped to be better pleased when he got better acquainted.'

"In the fall of 1987, the 100th anniversary of Samford moving to Birmingham, President Thomas Corts read the letter to the incoming   freshman class.  Even after 100 years, the relevancy of McLurkin’s words reminded us of the expectation of the new, the unknown, but opportunities for students and the institution, 'when we get better acquainted.' "

—Liz Wells, Processing Archivist & Special Collection Librarian

Tabitha + Lotus Shoes from the Hearn Collection
"Among the many, many items we have in our Special Collection, I find the Chinese Lotus Shoes one of the more fascinating items.  These little shoes, which are “adult” size, are so beautiful and so ornate to be associated with such a cruel practice of binding feet.  This practice often started with little girls before the age of 6.  Binding the foot caused the arch of the foot to break and allowed the heel and toes to be brought closer together.  Having such small feet was considered a 'status symbol,' especially among 'elite' families.  Eventually, the practice of binding feet was made illegal in 1912."—Tabitha Moore, Microfilm Lab Manager

Rachel + Dr. Funderburg's stuffed caiman and the 1528 Aldine Press Edition of Pliny the Younger
"So, I confess I couldn’t pick just two things. The caiman belonged to Dr. Lonnie Funderburg, a professor on campus. Rumor has it that when he gave his extensive book collection to the library, he demanded that his caiman come along as well. It’s been with the collection ever since. 

"My other great love is the oldest book we have in the collection printed by the famous Italian Aldine press in 1518. It has its original binding and beautiful details like yaps and an inscribed text block. The English printers in the 16th century were pretty poor at their job, but the Italians produced some of the most beautiful books in Europe. Among their various achievements, the Aldine Press invented italic font, so I think of them every time I cite a source." – Rachel Cohen, Archivist/User Services Librarian

These are just a few of the amazing things we have in Samford's Special Collection.  Visit today!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

SC's Favorite Things, Part Two

Only two days left until Samford's Special Collection and University Archives hosts their open house on October 31st, from 2 to 4pm.  The Open House is part of the Special Collection's recognition of American Archives Month, which honors the work of archivists and highlights the importance of archives in preserving history.

Here are some more of the favorite things of the amazing people who work in Samford's Special Collection.

Jennifer + Portrait of Julia Tarrant Barron
"This portrait of Julia Tarrant Barron is infamously known to many on campus. However, Julia, as the portrait is lovingly called by the Special Collection staff, is a favorite of mine in the collection. Regardless of the dark appearance of the portrait, Julia Tarrant Barron was a kind and generous leader in 19th century Alabama. She opened her home and shared her resources in order to help start Judson College, Howard College (now Samford University) and The Alabama Baptist newspaper. Julia Barron was a wealthy woman who gave all she had to give to the Baptists of Alabama.  When she died, she died a pauper.  Without her, we would not exist as we are today." – Jennifer Taylor, Chair of the Special Collection

Emma + Civil War era traveling surgical kit
"It’s sort of a creepy piece, but that might be why I like it. The medical kit is so beautifully boxed and shows a piece of how life was in the past." – Emma Mcquiston, Student Assistant

Kalyn + Godey's Ladies' Book
"I like the Godey’s Lady book, because it is the precursor to modern fashion magazines."-- Kalyn Fuller, Student Assistant

The final installment of our Favorite Things will be up tomorrow.  Don't miss this slice of history.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Special Collection's Favorite Things, Part One

In honor of American Archives Month, the Samford Special Collection and University Archives is hosting an open house Thursday, October 31st, from 2 to 4 pm.  

To get everyone geared up for the occasion, the amazing folks in Special Collections got together some of their favorite things, and we're listing them here, along with their particular reasons for appreciating these treasures.
Chelsea + Stuffed Bulldog Mascot circa: 1950
"The dog kinda freaks me out, honestly. But it’s that part of him that makes him a fun part of the collection, and also an interesting piece of Samford’s history."—Chelsea Pennington, Student Assistant

Alicia + Architectural Rendering of the Wright Center
"I am an interior architecture student, so all the architectural drawings and paintings of the campus are very interesting to me. I love this painting of the Wright Center because it is not only beautiful, but a very accurate rendering." – Alicia Alexander, Student Assistant

Bradley + Geneva Edition of the Bible printed in 1595 
“The Geneva Bible is truly a historically significant part of our collection. Predating the King James Bible by 51 years, it is largely based on William Tyndale's translations from the original Hebrew and Greek. It even includes study aids! Not bad for being first published in 1560.”—Bradley Harris, Microfilm Assistant

More favorite things to follow in the coming days, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

American Archives Month

The Society of American Archivists has proclaimed October American Archives Month.

From their website:

American Archives Month
 is a collaborative effort by professional organizations and repositories around the nation to highlight the importance of records of enduring value. 

Archivists are professionals who assess, collect, organize, preserve, maintain control of, and provide access to information that has lasting value, and they help people find and understand the information they need in those records.

To celebrate, we encourage you to visit our world class archives here at Samford Library.  Found on the lower level of the library, the Samford Special Collection is full of primary source documents, unique objects, and invaluable records of the history of the university, local Birmingham area and family history, and the Alabama Baptist Historical Collection.

103 year old Entre Nous.

Here are just a few of the amazing items housed in the Special Collection.  You can find out more about them by visiting the Special Collection's Treasure Chest.

Image from 1862 diary.
1862 diary entry.

17th Century Book Clasps.

Booker T. Washington letter, 1907. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Letterpress in the Library

Today marks the opening of the .918 Letterpress Printed Ephemera Show in Swearingen Hall, curated by Samford professor Scott Fisk.  


From the website: 

In conjunction with the .918 show, the library has put together a display entitled "The Letterpress Process."  Set up on the east side of the main stairway in the library, this display outlines the mechanisms involved in creating letterpressed materials.  

compostition and typesetting

Also on display are a few of the extensive number of letterpress items found in the Special Collection of the library.  Most books and many other printed materials were made using the letterpress process until the mid-twentieth century.  

The .918 Show and "The Letterpress Process" will run until November 26th.  Be sure to visit both.

918 defined

To find out more about letterpress, use Credo Reference, available through the library's website, or stop by on the second floor of Davis Library and Ask Us.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Liz Wells Wins Whiting Award

On October 4th, 2013, Liz Wells, Special Collection Librarian and Archivist here at Davis Library, was awarded the Whiting Award by the Society of Alabama Archivists at their annual meeting.  

Marvin Yeomans Whiting was the Birmingham Public Library’s first archivist (1976-1996), a founding member of the Society of Alabama Archivists and a pioneer in the professionalization of archives in Alabama. The Birmingham Public Library co-sponsors the award.

Liz's dedication to preserving and disseminating Alabama history is well known, especially to those who have availed themselves of her knowledge and expertise during visits to the Samford Special Collection, and to her colleagues and coworkers.  

Congratulations, Liz!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Resources Affected by Government Shutdown

Government Website Shutdown Notice

If you've attempted to visit a website in the .gov domain today, you may have seen a notice like the one above.

Due to the current US government shutdown, many web based resources may be affected, including databases used for research, like the education resource site has a list of affected government services and resources, available here:

You can call 1-800-FED-INFO with your questions about government services.

This shutdown begins October 1, 2013, and will continue until further notice.

For more information about what library linked resources are affected, Ask Us.