Have you ever wondered what classes were offered at the LaGrange Female Institute (now LaGrange College) in 1848, or what the rules were for visiting off campus in 1932? (Hint: It involved a letter from parents to the president of the college).
Those, and many more answers are readily available now, thanks to a digitization project at Lewis Library.
Charlene Baxter, Assistant Professor and Librarian for Public and Technical Services, said the library has been working with Lyrasis, a nonprofit library organization that coordinates projects around the Southeast.
“We started talking with them about two years ago,” she said. “They secured a grant from the Alfred Sloan Foundation to help libraries digitize unique materials from their collections. We’re one of several hundred institutions who are involved with this project.”
Baxter said digitization is a growing trend.
“The histories of colleges are important, not only to alumni, but to their families and historians as well,” she said. “There is a push now for libraries to not only have their collections within the walls of their institutions, but to have them available online. Now researchers don’t have to plan visits around our operating hours, and they don’t have to worry about harming delicate materials.”
The process is simple, she said. Librarians choose printed materials from the collection, then send them to Lyrasis, who scans them into a computer. Lyrasis turns that material over to another nonprofit organization, Internet Archives, who puts the materials on its website.
“Anyone can access the Internet Archives site,” she said. “It is as simple as doing a Google search for, say, LaGrange College Quadrangle. That will take you to material that is on that site.”
So far, Lewis Library has digitized a large collection of catalogs, Quadrangle yearbooks and student handbooks.
Jacque Hornsby, Archives and Circulation Assistant, said the oldest digitized document is the catalog from 1848.
“There may have been earlier catalogs, but they were lost when the academic building burned in 1860,” she said. “The greatest gap in the catalogue holdings occurs from 1860 through 1876.”
Baxter said these historical publications are invaluable.
“They are a wonderful source of information for anyone who might be interested in women’s studies, history, the history of education, ” she said. “You can follow the whole development of teacher training by looking at what courses were offered throughout the years, and see how courses and requirements have changed.”
Until the 1930s, the catalogs also contained a complete list of alumni. And until the 1940s, they also included a complete roster of each class.
“Before the 1920s, LaGrange also included a preparatory school program, and had the equivalent of some high school classes,” she said. “These documents are wonderful historical documents.”
The catalogs also served as public relations materials and an alumni bulletin.
“They were mailed to a wide variety of people,” she said. “They weren’t just something that an incoming freshman would get. They had pictures that were meant to keep the alumni up to date, so they could be recruiters for the college.”
The library’s collection of digital yearbooks date from 1914.
“The first issue was titled ‘The Sillabub,’ ” Hornsby said. “It proved to be so expensive that the next issue did not appear until 1917. Renamed ‘The Quadrangle,’ it remained in publication through 2009.”
Also available are student handbooks from 1926 through 2012. As of this year, student handbooks are not published in hard copy. They are available digitally through the college’s website.
Hornsby said the present digitization project will add the 1919 student handbook, as well as those from the early 1930s.
“A recent gift provided these handbooks as well as early issues of ‘The Scroll,’ the college’s literary magazine,” she said.
“The Scroll” didn’t start out as a magazine, though.
“It was the campus newspaper from 1922 until fall 1933, when it became the literary publication,” she said. “Our collection of ‘The Scroll’ is fairly complete, but we always hope early issues will be located and donated to us. ”
Also missing are yearbooks for the years 1915, 1916, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1926, 1927, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
“We’d love to be able to add those publications,” she said. “All we’d need to do is borrow them to have them scanned, and they then would be returned to the owners.”
The final part of the project involves the college newspaper, “The Hilltop News.”
“It is the college’s most continuously published student newspaper,” she said. “We have issues from 1958 through 1970. Beginning with 1973, significant gaps in the collection extend through the 1980s and 1990s. As always we are hoping that donations will fill in the gaps.”
The current digitization project is almost complete, Baxter said. The newspapers have been scanned and corrections are being made.
“We hope to have them available within six months,” said Baxter.
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In the Headlines
The USA South Athletic Conference has released its 2013-2014 Academic All-Conference Team. LaGrange College had 130 student-athletes earn a spot on the team, bettering last year’s mark of 123. A student-athlete must have earned a 3.0 GPA in each of the two semesters of a given year to be eligible.
Junior Cory Howard and freshman Osborn Theam were selected to the Division III PING All-America teams as announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Howard, who is on the team for the second straight year, was placed on the second team and Theam on the third. Both golfers were named to the PING All-Southeast Region team earlier.
Monday is June 30, the end of LaGrange College’s fiscal year. With a goal of 15 percent alumni giving participation to support students for the coming fall, only 47 more alumni gifts are needed. With alumni participation, it’s not the amount given but participation that counts. A gift from an alum who is married to an alum counts twice. Giving online is quick, easy and secure.
HOPE for a Day Inc., a LaGrange organization that supports community cancer initiatives, has announced its new recipients of the Carla L. White Annual Scholarship Grant. White graduated from the college in 1999 and was diagnosed with cancer five years ago at 35. Since 2012, HOPE for a Day has provided $18,000 in scholarships in White’s honor to LaGrange College students. To qualify, the student must have demonstrated financial need and be a breast cancer survivor or lost a family member to breast cancer. Shown are White, left, with new scholarship recipients Ashley Wolf and Alese Dunson along with Rebecca Roth, the college’s Senior Director of Development. The third 2014-15 scholarship recipient is Antoinette Maddox. For information on participating in HOPE for a Day’s annual walk that raises money for the scholarship and other initiatives, visit bfflhopeforaday.com.
Lee Johnson, Fuller E. Callaway Jr. Professor of Music, has donated a portion of his music library to the Suber Archives at Lewis Library. What Johnson calls the first installment, the collection includes notebooks and the handwritten score for his Symphony No. 1, written as a tribute to Fuller E. Callaway Jr. The gift was finalized during a ceremony June 24 involving Johnson, Provost David Garrison and Loren Pinkerman, retiring director of the library. Johnson said the timing of the presentation was important, falling on Pinkerman’s next-to-last day before retirement. “This donation is done in honor of Loren Pinkerman, for his dedication to the arts and to this college,” he said.
Loren Pinkerman, Director and Assistant Professor of Library Science at Lewis Library, was honored June 20 with a retirement reception at Lewis Library. Pinkerman, who has been at the college for 16 years, was praised not only for his work on campus, but also his passionate support for the arts in LaGrange and Troup County. In his remarks, Pinkerman said, “I’m thankful to Dr. Garrison, for being able to work with you and your commitment to the library; Dr. McAlexander, for your support; for everyone who has come out this evening—it has done my heart good to know that you are all here,” he said at the close of the event. Referencing a poem by Lois Cheney, he added, “As my wife, Pat, and I close out this chapter of our lives, we will always cherish the ‘bits and pieces’ from having known all of you. I thank God in his divine providence that he caused our paths to cross.”
Jeff Lukken, Director of Graduate and Degree Completion Programs, recently was named to the Georgia Municipal Government Hall of Fame. Lukken, who served as mayor of LaGrange for 16 years, was lauded for helping the city “experience remarkable progress and earn a reputation as being one of the most innovative and best managed cities anywhere,” according to his citation. Lukken also was named grand marshal of this year’s Sweet Land of Liberty parade. Last year’s grand marshal was Lee Johnson.
Daryn Thompson, a senior psychological science major, has been chosen as one of two undergraduate committee members of the Psi Chi Southeastern Regional Steering Committee for the 2014-2015 academic year. The group determines the programming of Psi Chi (International Honor Society of Psychology) at the annual conference. Daryn also is awarded $750 voucher for travel expenses for the annual conference.
It’s a great time to be a Panther. Celebrate by joining the Panther Club, a group that organizes spirit-building activities and providing them with equipment, apparel and other items they need to excel. For more information, visit here.