Friday, December 11, 2015

Holiday Hours at the Library

Congrats on wrapping up your finals, Samford, and congratulations to all of our December graduates!

The library will begin holiday hours today.

From Godey's Lady's Book in December of 1850, courtesy of the Samford Special Collection

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

We wish you peace, love, and joy this holiday season.

Le deseamos la paz , amor y alegría estas vacaciones.

אנו מאחלים לכם שלום , אהבה ,ושמחה בעונת החגים
نتمنى لكم السلام والمحبة و الفرح في عطلة هذا الموسم


Ni deziras al vi pacon , amon kaj ĝojon ĉi ferio sezono.
우리는 당신에게 평화 , 사랑, 기쁨 이 휴가 시즌 을 기원합니다
Мы желаем
вам мира , любви, радости и в этот праздничный сезон 

 Vi önskar dig fred, kärlek och glädje denna feriesäsong.
tam, bang je yImaq DaneHchugh maH maqtagh QI'lop

Monday, November 30, 2015

Guess the Number of Books in the Tree and Win!

Guess, Follow,

1. Guess the number of books in the book tree.
2. Follow @SamfordULibrary on Twitter.
3. Tag us with your best guess.
4. Win!

Contest open to all. In the event of a tie, winner will be chosen at random from the correct entries. Winners will be notified via Twitter.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving! Holiday Hours

The year which is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.…I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens…to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.

The Davis Library will be on a holiday schedule this weekend and next week.

"Thanksgiving Celebration." The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide.
Abington: Helicon, 2015. Credo Reference. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.
We will be closed Saturday and Sunday, November 21 and 22, and we will re-open from 8:00 -4:30 Monday and Tuesday, November 23 and 24.

The library will be closed November 25th through November 28th to observe the University Thanksgiving break.  

We will open on Sunday, November 29th, from 6pm until Midnight.

You can always check our hours on our website,

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Celebrate Liz Wells with us @ Homecoming

Come celebrate esteemed historian Liz Wells with us during Samford Homecoming 2015!

Liz with a piece of the famed Sherman Oak.

When: 10am Saturday, November 7th, 2015

Where: The Library tent on the quad in front of the Davis Library

Who: All Liz appreciators and Samford family and friends

Why: Because Liz rocks!

Liz hops off into retirement.

Liz Wells will be retiring in December after many years of service to Samford University.

Join us for refreshments, remembering, and celebrating.

We hope to see you there!

Liz knows her stuff about Samford's stuff.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Welcome to the Special Collection!

The Samford University Special Collection department (SC) was officially formed in 1955. When the present campus was being built, an area of the new library was set aside where the department could reside.
By 1957, the SC held 1,385 items. Today the collection has grown to include over 13,880 sets of records; with the size of a single collection ranging anywhere between a single folder to 100 boxes of material.  In addition, the collection now houses more than 39,000 volumes of printed materials. 

The department has three primary focuses for the collection; 
  • Collect, preserve and share the story of Samford University with materials going back before the founding of the institution in 1841, then known as Howard College, up through the present day. 
  • Serve as the repository for Alabama Baptists.  Baptist records at Samford can be traced back nearly a century. However, the university didn’t enter into an official agreement with the Baptists of Alabama until 1953. By 1956, the collection consisted of 263 church records and 183 associational records. Today the collection houses over 5,900 different collections related to Baptist history. 
  • Collect Alabama resources documenting the social, family, cultural, and religious history of the state.

In addition to the above, the department houses Irish materials, rare books, and the literary collections of Alfred Lord Tennyson, John Ruskin, John Masefield, and Lafcadio Hearn.   

The types of materials housed in the collection include newspapers, periodicals, books, diaries, correspondence files, oral histories, manuscripts, official records, videos, dissertations, photographs and audio recordings. 

This past year, material from the collection has been used in books, dissertations, film documentaries and, most importantly, the research papers of Samford students. 

The Special Collection Department is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Why do I have to sign in?

You're ready to get started with your research.  You visit the library's website--  You type your search in the handy box provided on the front page, and then, you see this:

Have you wondered why there's an extra step to get to all of the great, scholarly resources that you can find through the library?

It's because these resources are only for YOU- Samford Students and Faculty.  Not only that, but only current students, too.

Many of the resources that you can find through the library are behind a paywall.  This means that they are only available with a paid (often expensive) subscription to a database or individual journal.  

Ever used Google Scholar and gotten frustrated because of all of the articles that you couldn't simply click and read?  There's a good chance that we have access to them, or we can get them for you, because you have already paid for that access through the library.

This isn't the only reason you have to log in to use the library's databases.  It also helps us to know how we can best meet the needs of the Samford community.  We make yearly decisions about what resources to keep or get rid of, and how to best help you find what you're looking for, because you log in.  We are constantly striving to serve YOU better!

Some of our database access is provided for free to people in Alabama through the Alabama Virtual Library.  These databases are marked by a little AVL symbol next to them in the database list:

You can visit the Alabama Virtual Library at

And remember, if you have questions about what we do, why we do it, or how we do it, please don't hesitate to Ask Us!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Campus Activities: the 1960s through the 1980s

From the late 1950s to the early 1990s, the campus photographer was Lew Arnold. Along with documenting major campus events like Homecoming and Commencement, Arnold photographed smaller moments in student’s lives.

Here are some of his photos of campus activities that are favorites of the Special Collection.

A female student reading on the Quad circa 1960 to 1979. Personally, we’re big fans of her flipped hairstyle.

Greek Week in 1962 with students pointing to their sorority or fraternity affiliations.

Continuing the Greek theme, here is a sorority theme party in 1975. Unfortunately, we don’t know what sorority or what the theme was exactly, but it clearly involved apples.

An impassioned game of tug of war on the quad circa the 1980s.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Welcome (back), Samford!

Everyone here at the Davis Library hopes that you had a wonderful summer!

We want your Fall Semester to be equally successful.

Here are some things to remember to get back into the swing of things.

In the Library:

  • Here's the library's website:

  • To reserve a study room, for individual, group, or practicing a presentation, you'll need to check out the room from the Circulation desk. 

  • All Campus:

    Whether you're here in the library, or anywhere else on campus, be mindful of your laptops and any other materials or devices.  Do not leave them unsecured!  We have an open campus, and thefts do happen. 

    When you're in the library, we have cables available to check out for securing laptops.

    If you have had something stolen, or feel threatened, or if you see suspicious activity, please, call Public Safety at 205-726, 2020.  

    You can visit their webpage here for more information:

    Wednesday, July 1, 2015

    Library will close on July 3rd for Independence Day

    The Davis Library will be closed on Friday, July 3rd, for Independence Day.

    We will re-open on July 4th for normal hours to accommodate students studying for Summer I finals.

    Have a safe and happy holiday!

    Samford University students paint a fire hydrant to celebrate the United States bicentennial in 1976.

    Friday, May 29, 2015

    Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research to Relocate in 2017

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Samford University has announced that the Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) will relocate after the June 2016 institute. The university is working with the IGHR advisory board and other organizations to find a suitable host.
    The growth in Samford’s academic programming has resulted in demands on necessary resources that exceed the university’s ability to meet both programs’ requirements for a quality experience for all parties, according to Kimmetha Herndon, dean of Samford University’s Library. The Institute traditionally has been held in June, and that date did not compete with other workshops and conferences held across the U.S. throughout the year. Alternative dates to host the Institute were not available because of the university’s expanded year-round academic programming. This year’s IGHR workshop is June 7-12.
    “June has become an increasingly busy month on the Samford campus. Institutional priorities for academic programming, summer academic camps and a growing number of new student orientation sessions increased the demand on classroom, residence hall, dining and other auxiliary resources,” Herndon said. “For several years now, we have had to make adjustments in the IGHR schedule and programming to try to meet the institute’s programming needs within the available space and resources of the university.”
    The goal is to provide the best learning atmosphere possible for IGHR attendees. “The institute has been operating at capacity for several years, and we have reached the point where our campus no longer can provide the high quality experience that our attendees deserve and the university desires,” Herndon added.
    The decision was not an easy one, Herndon explained, and university officials have worked for two years to find viable solutions or alternative dates. Herndon and the university library staff are working with the IGHR advisory board to identify alternative hosts, including other locations in Birmingham and across the South.
    Herndon said Samford will continue to promote IGHR. The Samford library staff and IGHR advisory board will seek to keep the Institute and workshop in the South and to promote the historic collections in Alabama and the Southeast.
    Herndon and several board members noted that the potential move could enable IGHR to serve more genealogists and to offer a more comprehensive curriculum.
    The Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research dates to 1962, and it became a week-long event in 1965. Although the format and schedule have changed through the years, Herndon noted, the Institute has sought to “instruct genealogical researchers in the art of detailed historical research beyond knowing who their ancestors were to the deeper understanding of the times and places in which their families lived.”
    It is because of that long history that Samford is committed to identifying a possible new host campus or facility for the Institute, she added.
    “We are fortunate that there are a number of institutions and organizations across the South who could be strong partners with the Institute,” Herndon said. “Our goal is to make this transition as seamless as possible for those who have come to rely on the Institute as a source for their genealogical research education needs. We want IGHR to continue to thrive, and we anticipate being able to continue this strong tradition in support of the mission of IGHR.”

    Friday, May 22, 2015

    Library closed for Memorial Day Holiday

    The Davis Library will be closed on Monday, May 25th, in observance of Memorial Day.  

    We will re-open Tuesday, May 26th, at 8:00am.

    Have a safe and blessed holiday weekend!

    Cover of "We Love America," published by Alabama native Hester Wulffaert, which was later adopted as the theme song for the American Legion of Alabama.  Read more about it here, in the Treasure Chest: We Love America post by the University Special Collection.

    Thursday, May 7, 2015


    Samford, we here at the library are concerned for you.

    Real question, real answer. Can you see why we're worried?

    We have observed your nervous expressions, your marathon study sessions, and your excessive caffeine consumption.

    We are here to help.

    Next week, dear students, we have many activities (beginning Sunday!) to ease your tension and replenish your vigor!

    Super Fun One-Day Stuff:

    Sunday, May 10th-- The Academic Success Center and the library team up to bring you tutors in a wide array of subjects-- they'll even help with your writing!  

    Starts at 6pm in Rm. 233.

    Did I mention that they're bringing coffee and other goodies?  Yep.  That's happening.

    Monday, May 11th-- Steel City Pops.  
    100 Free Pops to the first 100 students.
    Ben Brown Plaza, 11am.

    And, at 7pm in the library-- 
    It's not just Goldfish Crackers, but we love those, right?
    Make Your Own Trail Mix!
    Sponsored by the Birmingham Chapter of the Parent's Association. The array of treats is staggering. 

    Tuesday, May 12th-- Big Spoon Creamery.  
    Put some ice cream on that stress.  
    It'll help!   
    Ben Brown Plaza, 11am. 

    All Week Long:

    Library Art Scavenger Hunt-  Find the art, turn it in at Circ, Win stuff.  Easy.  Also a great time for a quick study break, y'all!

    Origami Table-  Next to the Circulation desk.  Instructions included.  Fold a crane, take a breather.

    Surviving Finals Postcards-  If you address them and decorate them, we will mail them for you! Located at the blue table next to the front door.


    Don't fret, Samford students! 

    We've got plenty to distract you from your looming deadlines.

    Stop by the library for studying AND fun.  And coffee and popsicles and ice cream and trail mix and crafts and stuff.

    Just stop by the Library :).

    Friday, May 1, 2015

    It's that time again...

    Classes are almost over, and finals are upon us.  Here are a few things to keep in mind over the next couple of weeks:
    • The Library has extended hours beginning Monday, May 4th, and for selected days through Wednesday, May 13th.  
      • We're open until 2am 5/4 through 5/7, and 5/10 through 5/13.
      • We're also open until 8pm next Friday and Saturday, 4/8 and 4/9.
    • Keep an eye on your belongings and remain mindful of your personal safety!
      • We do not have a closed campus, and often universities are targeted during the stress and hurry of the end of the semester.
      • Keep your belongings with you or in sight at all times.  Ask about additional safety measures at the Circulation desk.
      • Practice good personal safety awareness during late study hours.
      • Call Campus Safety at 726-2020 if you feel unsafe or to report suspicious persons or activities.
    • Take a short break every 30 minutes to an hour.  Stand up and take a walk.  Look away from your computer screen.  It will help you calm down, ease tension, and study more productively.
    • Get some sleep!  All-nighters might seem like the only solution, but they won't help you be your best during your finals.
    We also have some great finals activities lined up for you, so stay tuned!

    Monday, April 20, 2015

    Spring, stress, Haiku

    Do not fret, Samford.
    Doors close, doors open, assignments
    End, and so does stress.

    Feeling inspired by the loveliness that surrounds you on our campus and in the beauty of the Earth?

    Blind to the budding trees and blooming flowers due to looming deadlines?

    Beginning to contemplate life beyond this semester or the confines of college?

    Send us your Springtime or stress or graduation meditations, following the short poem structure of haiku.  You can use the form embedded below.

    You can also email your haiku to

    Breathe deep, seek peace, Samford.

    Monday, April 13, 2015

    Live @ the Library: Author Jerry Armor

    Samford University Library is excited to welcome Jerry Armor for Live @ the Library, on April 17th at 6 p.m. in the Davis Library. 

    Mr. Armor will be presenting his latest book, A Home for Wayward Boys: the Early History of the Alabama Boys’ Industrial School, which recounts how Elizabeth Johnston, with the support of women across the state, persuaded the legislature to establish the Alabama Boys’ Industrial School in 1900.

    Jerry Armor served seven years as a juvenile probation officer, two years as a psychologist in one of the state’s prisons, and taught 30 years at Calhoun Community College and Athens State University. Today, he directs the Lawrence County Children’s Policy Council and teaches part time. He has written extensively for both academic and general interest publications.

    Author Jerry Armor
    Please join us for refreshments and hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m. A Home for Wayward Boys will be available for purchase. Book signing to follow the event.

    Live @ the Library is a free and open to the public event. Convo credit is available to Samford students for this event.

    Friday, April 3, 2015

    Library Closed for Easter 2015

    The Davis Library will be closed April 4th, 5th, and 6th for the celebration of Easter. We will re-open on April 7th at 7:30am.

    Have a safe and blessed holiday, Samford!

    Thanks to the Samford Special Collection for the images.

    Tuesday, March 31, 2015

    A Look Back: Meet the First Howard College Class of Coeds in 1913-1914

    This picture of ten of the new class of co-eds was published in the Entre Nous in 1914.

    In the 1913-1914 school year, Howard College (now Samford) became a co-educational institution by allowing women to attend regularly. There were earlier female graduates, the first of which was Anna Judge in 19895-1896, but co-education was quickly suspended. It wasn’t until 1913 that coeducation began, once more, to be seriously discussed on campus. 

    In the 1913-194 school year, seventeen women are listed as students at Howard College. Their names were Louise McCoy, Geraldine Armstrong, Mary Swindall, Lois Hendricks, Mrs. L. L Stillwell, Menona Alford, Anna Fay Barnhardt, Mrs. G.W. Bouldin, Nell Gray Ellis, Mrs. J.C Hockett, Lucy Jones, Olivia Massey, Lula Mehaffey, Anna Montgomery, Susan Norment, Miriam Tyler and Miriam Waltersdorf. 

    The Entre Nous of 1914 features photographs of ten of the co-eds, as they were known. 
    In 1916, the first female graduate from this group was Lula Mehaffey. Her photo was published in the Howard College Bulletin. 

    Lula Mehaffey graduated Howard College in 1916.

    Special thanks to Rachel Cohen and the Special Collection for text and photographs.

    Wednesday, March 11, 2015

    What's Your AVL Story? Enter to win!

    The Alabama Virtual Library Executive Council announces the “My

    AVL Story” video contest! Library patrons of all ages and from all 

    geographic locations within the state are invited to participate in this 

    simple campaign, in which we gather brief video stories about how 

    the AVL has impacted Alabamians. 

    Prizes for winners include GoPro 

    cameras, Chromebooks, gift certificates, and more! 

    The deadline for entries is March 13, 2015 at midnight.

    The deadline has been extended to March 27th!

    The Alabama Virtual Library provides access to important databases and information resources for FREE to all of Alabama, including many of the resources that you use today in school for research.  You may not even know the scope of the importance of these resources for you and for Alabama.

    Check out the AVL here ( to see what you've been using already!

    Friday, March 6, 2015

    A Look Back: Samford from a bird's eye view

    For the blog this week, we're sharing some campus aerial photogtaphs.

    Howard College, now Samford University, moved from Brimingham's East Lake area to Homewood in 1957. Before the campus could be moved, however, facilities had to be constructed to house students and classes.

    The lot was cleared and seems awfully small in this early aerial photo of the future home of Samford University.

    Campus opened in 1957. Two decades or so later, this aerial photograph shows how much the campus had grown.  Of course, there is still no Healing Arts Building or Beeson Woods. Those buildings, among others, wouldn't be added for a few decades yet.

    By the mid-1990s, campus starts to look more like it does today. Beeson Woods was opened in the late-1980s and the School of Nursing moved to their new Healing Arts building in 1988. The Law Library opened on March 1, 1995.

    As new buildings are built around campus, like the new School of Business building behind the library, it is fun to look back on what our campus looked like in the past and imagine what it might look like in the future.

    Text and Photographs provided by Rachel Cohen and the Special Collection.

    Thursday, March 5, 2015

    Closed March 5, 2015 - Library & Einstein Bros

    Samford University Library & Einstein Bros are closed today, March 5, 2015 due to forecasts for hazardous weather.

    Samford students get a snow day in the 80s


    Monday, March 2, 2015

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

    How has the Alabama Virtual Library helped you?

    What: "My AVL Story" video contest, open to all Alabamians 

    Who:  The Alabama Virtual Library Council

    When:  Contest opens Friday, February 13th, 2015 and closes Friday, March 13th, 2015

    Where:  Post videos to YouTube, Vimeo, Google Drive or any other online video hosting site, and include the link to the video in your entry!

    Why: To let everyone know about what an awesome resource the AVL has been for YOU!