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Libraries Honor Black History Month

February is Black History Month and to celebrate the Furman Libraries have several displays featuring black scientists, artists, and authors. Each library location has a unique display or exhibit so be sure to visit each one before they’re changed. Keep reading for a brief description of the displays at each location.

Sanders Science Library

The science library display is more permanent than the others and will be available all semester. We hope it will be inspiring to all who interact with it. This display features eight African American scientists who have contributed to our knowledge of the world in their respective fields. Some of the disciplines represented include biochemistry, medicine, physics, and mathematics. We created cubes for each individual and when you open them you’ll be able to read a brief biography, an interesting quote, view a photo of the person, and scan a QR code to view videos (TED Talks, Story Corps, etc.), books, and additional information about their life and work.

Maxwell Music Library

The theme for the music display is African American representation in opera. We used the book Blackness in Opera as a general guide in the creation of this display. The display features four contemporary operatic performers and summaries of several operas that are important when discussing the portrayal of African American people in this medium. In addition to this display, the library has several books on this topic that may be of interest to anyone looking to dive deeper into this subject.

James B Duke Library

Furman’s main library has several book displays this month. The largest one is located to your right as you enter the library. This display is split into two different parts. On one half it contains books related to black history discussing topics such as redlining – a form of real estate, mortgage, service, and development discrimination against prominently black neighborhoods. The other half of this display honors author Jason Reynolds who the Library of Congress has appointed as the 2020 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Finally, the end cap of the leisure reading section contains an excellent selection of books addressing a variety of topics related to race in America. All books on these displays are available for check out so please take one home to read!

Libraries Celebrate Faculty Achievements

The Furman University Libraries and the Office of the Provost cordially invite you to a celebration of scholarly and creative achievements in 2019. The reception will showcase Furman faculty members who have completed a degree, received a grant from an external funding source totaling more than $1,000, ​and/or published books, book chapters, journal articles, exhibits, recordings, performances, films, or other works.

When: Friday, February 21. 4:30pm – 6:00pm.

Where: James B. Duke Library, Blackwell Atrium.

Wine, beer, and heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served.

For further Information contact Kathy Hamlin.

Phone number: 864-294-2191.

E-mail address:

2020 Summer Research and Creative Fellowships

For the fourth year, Special Collections and Archives will offer two 10-week summer fellowships for Furman undergraduates. These competitive fellowships will allow students to perform original research using materials in Special Collections and Archives for a research or creative project of their own design. In past years, Fellows have: transcribed medieval music manuscripts into modern musical notation; performed background research for a senior studio art installation; edited short films about Furman history; done historical research on South Carolina elections; and written a creative essay based on our collection of Hogarth prints. What will you propose to do?

The rare books, manuscripts, and archives housed in the Furman Libraries range across several centuries. Fellows will explore these collections and use them to work on a project that can be discipline-based, related to their major or minor fields of study, or to further their career goals and creative aspirations. Projects can be interdisciplinary or creative in nature, based on the skills, background, and demonstrated interests of applicants. Our collections are diverse and rich with cultural meaning, and we encourage Furman students to use them in the creation of new knowledge, art, or music.

Fellows will receive a summer stipend ($3,000) in addition to lodging on campus for the period of June 1 – August 15, 2020, and will be expected to be in residence during that time. While Fellows will work independently, it is expected that they have a faculty sponsor who can provide occasional advice and guidance (either on-site or remotely) during the fellowship period. Fellows will also work closely with the faculty and staff of the Furman Libraries during their time in residence.

Following its completion, Fellows will be expected to submit a short report on their fellowship experience and a copy of their completed project to be added to Special Collections and Archives and FUSE. They may also be asked to take part in a public presentation of their work for the Furman community during the fall semester following their fellowship and participate in Furman Engaged! in the spring.

Previous Student Research and Creative Fellowships:

2017 [see news story]

2018 [see blog post]

2019 [see news story]


First-year students through juniors are eligible to apply for a 2020 summer Fellowship.

Instructions for Applicants:

Course credit is not required for this fellowship. Applicants should submit a research proposal by Monday, March 16th outlining the work they would like to do during their fellowship, especially noting how the collections in Special Collections and Archives will help them achieve their goals, together with a current resume. Applicants should also discuss their project and application in advance with a Furman faculty member who will act as their sponsor, and submit (or have submitted) a letter/email of support from the faculty sponsor at the same time. In addition to collection information found on the Special Collections and Archives website and library catalog, we strongly encourage inquiries about project ideas, our holdings, and our collection strengths. Please send all questions and all application materials to Jeffrey Makala (

Newspaper Editorials Foreshadow the Civil War

A newspaper printing shop from the mid-1800s.Back in 1997, Dr. Lloyd Benson, Furman’s Walter Kenneth Mattison Professor of History, launched an ambitious online project titled “Secession Era Editorials.” The purpose of the website was to provide online access to political newspaper editorials written in the “secession era”, a precursor to the American Civil War.

On his original website, Dr. Benson noted:

Few Americans were more involved with the coming of the Civil War than the newspaper editors whose words have been collected here. Circulation-hungry and fiercely devoted to the political parties that sustained them, these writers were passionate and nearly inflexible in their views. The editorials they wrote remind us that the people of the era experienced events not with the comprehensive hindsight and revealed secrets of the historian but rather through the disconnected and opinionated fragments supplied by these journalists.

Dr. Benson continued his work collecting the editorials with the help of Furman students and faculty. By 2007, he and his team had transcribed over 350 newspaper editorials on 4 highly politicized topics: The Dred Scott Case, John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry, The Nebraska Bill, and the Sumner Caning Incident. For over a decade, this research was available online from a project website hosted by the Department of History.

Thanks to a partnership with the Furman Libraries’ Digital Collections Center, the project now has a new home with improved searching and browsing capabilities:

See the new Secession Era Editorials Project website.

Please Note: Some editorials in this collection contain offensive language, opinions, and other content. The editorials serve as evidence of the time period in which they were created and enable us to engage in more truthful conversations about history. The views expressed in these editorials do not reflect Furman University’s values or our commitment to embrace meaningful diversity and equality in all of our endeavors. If you have questions or concerns, please e-mail

Furman Honors Joseph Vaughn

Headshot of Joseph Allen Vaughn smiling and looking to the leftJan. 29th is now a day of remembrance, celebration, and hope in honor of Furman’s first African American undergraduate student, Joseph Vaughn. Read more about the Joseph Vaughn Day Commemoration Ceremony held on Jan. 29th, 2020.

You can learn more about Joseph Vaughn by exploring Furman’s digital collections:

Photos from Yearbooks:


Student Newspaper Articles:


Furman Magazine Articles:


Oral Histories:Joseph Vaughn and Lillian Brock Fleming share a laugh


More Resources

Students Enhance Furman’s Coin Collection

Roman coin with head of Nero. Latin inscription says NERO CAESAR AUGUSTUSFurman’s Richard Prior Coin Collection is now available online thanks to Furman summer research fellows Rebecca Fulford (’21) and Allyson Stevens (’21). The two fellows, under the direction of Chiara Palladino, Assistant Professor of Classics, collaborated with the Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives and the Digital Collections Center to complete their project.

First, they described each of the 26 coins, including painstakingly measuring/weighing them, and describing the words and imagery on each side of the coin. Then they used the Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE) website to identify each one. This was a challenging task considering the poor condition of some of the coins.

Each coin was then digitized by the Digital Collections Center, and the digital photos were married with the robust descriptions. The coins and descriptions are now available on a brand new website showcasing all of Furman’s online coin collections.

Explore Furman’s Coin Collections website.

As a final step, the descriptions were converted to a Linked Open Data (LOD) format and uploaded onto Nomisma, an online database that, using LOD technology, collects coins housed in various collections worldwide, including the British Museum, Harvard, etc. (View a complete list of partners here:

View examples of Furman’s coins in Nomisma:

This small collection, and the high level of collaboration, is expected to be a model for future digital humanities and digital scholarship projects with the Libraries’ coin collections and other materials.

Jewish Week Events

A gallery of posters related to the Holocaust

Jewish Week is here and the Jewish Student Association has a lot of great events planned. In partnership with them, your Furman Libraries are displaying a series of posters from the U.S. National Holocaust Memorial Museum. ⁠⁣
See below for a full list of JSA events for the week. ⁠⁣

A View of Furman’s Past

Early 20th century Furman viewbooks are now available online in the Furman University Viewbooks collection. According to Merriam-Webster, a viewbook is “a promotional booklet with pictures that is published by a college or university and used especially for recruiting students.”

As photographs became easier and cheaper to create and mass-produce in the late 19th century, many colleges and universities began producing viewbooks to entice prospective students to their campuses. You can learn more about the history of viewbooks and their impact on higher education marketing from this article “A Brief History of College Viewbooks.”

In the meantime, feel free to explore the buildings of Furman’s old downtown campus through these pages of the past.

Reedy River Falls at the Foot of Campus


Interior of Library. Finished in Quartered Oak
Interior of Library


When is a Bulletin Not a Bulletin?

Cover of the Bulletin of Furman University Alumni Number. August, 1945. Elizabeth Lake Jones, Dean of Women is on the cover.The Furman Bulletin is, perhaps, one of the University’s most interesting and confusing publications. And now it’s available online in all its glory as the Furman Bulletins digital collection.

The Bulletins began in January 1912 with the dedication of the James C. Furman Hall of Science and ended in 1974 as a 4-page profile of the University and its student body. In its 62 year run, it also served as a supplemental course catalog, as a scholarly publication for the original research of faculty and sometimes alumni, as an alumni magazine, as a history of the University, as a photobook of the campus, and as a source of information for prospective students. Furman’s Special Collections Librarian and Archivist, Jeff Makala noted that “It would take a team of serials librarians to properly understand the relationship between the various named and unnamed parts of the Furman Bulletin.”

Despite the ever-shifting scope of the publication, one thing is for certain: it provides a rich look at the history of the Furman campus, curriculum, and students.

Library Open 24 Hours + More!

If you have not already heard the big news, the library will be staying open 24 hours during exams!!!

December 11 – 13 ⁠

The library will be open from 8:00 am on Wednesday, December 11 until 8:00 pm on Friday, December 13. ⁠

⁠December 14

10:00 am – 8:00 pm ⁠⁠

December 15 – 18

The Library will then be open again from 10:00 am Sunday, December 15 through 2:00 am Wednesday, December 18. ⁠

The Library will then reopen at 8:00 am on Wednesday, December 18 and close at 5:00 pm.⁠

December 19

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

December 20

9:00 am – 12:30 pm

December 20 – 31