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Click here to win a private study room!

The library has created a private, upgraded study room reserved for the “Scholar of the Month” and their friends.  Perks include:

Want to become the Scholar of the Month? You can enter electronically by clicking the button below. One entry per person per month.

We will randomly select one winner from all entries on the first day of October and email the results to all who entered. The Scholar of the Month will also be announced on the library’s blog, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.

Say goodbye to hunting for a vacant study room. Say hello to privacy, comfort, convenience, and storage space!

fine print: The Scholar of the Month contest is limited to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.  Sorry, Freshmen!

Shubh Navratri!

Navratri: September 21– September 30, 2017
by Krissa Stewart, Library Intern, Summer 2017

Navratri is a nine day Hindu festival celebrated in the fall of each year. In the eastern and north eastern states of India, Navratri is synonymous with Durga Puja, when the warrior goddess Durga battled a buffalo demon to help restore dharma. In the northern and western states, it is synonymous with Rama Lila, the celebration of the god Rama’s victory over the demon king Ravana. Despite these regional differences, Navratri celebrations always maintain the basic theme of the triumph of good over evil.

Navratri is celebrated differently depending on the region of India one is in. Some people feast, other fast. Other forms of celebration include, folk dances, plays, parades, the making of temporary shrines, singing of traditional songs, prayers, teaching children to read and write, food offerings, and animal sacrifices.


Rosh Hashanah: To a Good Year

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time for self-reflection and examination of conscience. It is observed on the first two days of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. This year, Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on September 20 and ends at nightfall on September 22. The holiday is a time to admit failings, ask God for forgiveness, and commit oneself to the repair of the world. The Jewish New Year serves as a reminder that revitalization and renewal remain ever possible.

On Rosh Hashanah, the Torah commands the sounding of the shofar, a ram’s horn, as a reminder that Abraham, offering his son Isaac in sacrifice, was reprieved when God decided that Abraham could sacrifice a ram instead. The shofar should be curled, the reason being that it represents the posture of a man bowing down in repentance. The sound of the shofar is a call to repent and to transform oneself and potentially the world.

The holiday ends with fasting and prayer services on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

Consult the following library resources to learn about the various customs, greetings, and symbolic foods of Rosh Hashanah.

Summer Research and Creative Fellows

Please join us for a presentation from Emory Conetta ’18 and Chrissy Hicks ’20, the inaugural Special Collections and Archives Summer Research and Creative Fellows, to learn about their research projects in women’s history and medieval music.

Thursday, September 21st at 4pm in the Pitts Room of the James B. Duke Library.

P.S. Remove the records!

When British troops began to advance toward the United States’ new capital of Washington in the summer of 1814, it was clear that government leaders had not prepared an adequate defense for the city and its government buildings. Upon seeing the British advancing toward Washington, Secretary of State James Monroe, dispatched a note to President James Madison.  It said that the British were pushing toward the capital, American troops were retreating – and they were outnumbered.  “The enemy are in full march for Washington. Have the materials prepared to destroy the bridges,” Monroe wrote.  And in a significant postscript, he added:  “You had better remove the records.”

Monroe’s message set off a scramble among government officials to round up all the records they could.  The British surely would burn them if they reached the capital.  And so clerks packed such things as the books and papers of the State Department; unpublished secret journals of Congress; George Washington’s commission and correspondence; the Articles of Confederation; papers of the Continental Congress; and all the treaties, laws, and correspondence dating back to 1789.  Along with these early records, the clerks also bagged up the Charters of Freedom – the collective term for the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.  And so these three documents began a long journey as the War of 1812 raged.  The journey would not end until 1952, when all three were placed together, side by side, in special encasements in the Rotunda of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.

From:  Kratz, Jessie.  “P.S.: You Had Better Remove the Records: Early Federal Archives and the Burning of Washington during the War of 1812.” Prologue 46.2 (2014)36-44.   Continue reading Jessie Kratz’s article in Prologue magazine about the numerous and perilous relocations of the Charters of Freedom.  Print issues of Prologue magazine can be found in the Government Documents Collection on the bottom floor of the James B. Duke Library.  

September 17 is designated as Constitution Day to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.  

There are hundreds of books relating to the subject of the Constitution which you may borrow from the library.  Many electronic books and streaming videos are included in the online catalog as well.  Listed below are just a few of the titles to be found:

The Constitution of the United States : with index and the Declaration of Independence / printed under the direction of the Joint Committee on Printing

Liberty, order, and justice : an introduction to the constitutional principles of American government / James McClellan

The genius of America : how the Constitution saved our country–and why it can again / Eric Lane and Michael Oreskes

The essential Bill of Rights : original arguments and fundamental documents / edited by Gordon Lloyd, Margie Lloyd

A brilliant solution: inventing the American Constitution/Carol Berkin

Forgotten founder : the life and times of Charles Pinckney / Marty D. Matthews

The summer of 1787 : the men who invented the Constitution / David O. Stewart

The Constitution in 2020 / edited by Jack M. Balkin, Reva B. Siegel

The Annotated U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence / edited by Jack N. Rakove

Women & LGBTQ+ in STEM

A new display in the Sanders Science Library highlights women and LGBTQ+ in STEM. Furman University professors are featured and library materials include:

This display was created by students to coincide with the CLP “Women and LGBTQ+ in STEM: A Panel Discussion.” Co-sponsored by the Furman Pride Alliance, Furman Women in STEM, and the American Chemical Society student chapter, the CLP will be held in Burgiss Theater on September 18 from 6:00-7:30 pm. 



Happy National Hispanic Heritage Month


From September 15th to October 15th, organizations around the U.S. will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring the many contributions that Hispanic Americans have made to our society.

Do you need to brush up on your Spanish or Portuguese? Mango Languages offers Spanish (Latin America), Spanish (Spain), and Portuguese courses. Mango Languages is an online language learning resource available for free to Furman students, faculty, and staff. It can be accessed via the All Databases link on the library’s homepage. Create a free account to get started.

During National Hispanic Heritage Month, Mango Languages is offering several specialty courses:

To help you practice Spanish and Portuguese on the go, iPhone and Android apps are available for free download linked to your Mango Languages account. 

Happy learning, and ¡Que tengas un feliz mes de la herencia hispana nacional! (Happy National Hispanic Heritage Month!)

Freshmen Hazing at Furman

Freshmen hazing was an accepted part of life at Furman University throughout most of  the twentieth century. Freshmen, referred to as “rats,” were required to wear “rat caps” like the beanie pictured above. They were sometimes required to wear rat ears and signs around their necks identifying themselves as rats.  A ceremony called Rat Court was the culmination of the hazing, in which all freshmen were “sentenced” by sophomores to complete menial tasks such as scrubbing sidewalks with toothbrushes, or dress up in ridiculous outfits and required to participate in a beauty pageant.

9/11: The World Speaks

In commemoration of the sixteenth anniversary of September 11th, the Furman University Libraries are highlighting the eBook, 9/11: The World SpeaksMore than four million people from across the United States and around the world have come through the galleries of the 9/11 Tribute Museum, formerly known as the Tribute WTC Visitor Center. A project of the September 11th Families’ Association, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, the museum began serving the public in 2006. Many of these visitors have written their poignant reflections about the impact of September 11th on visitor cards that are collected in the Museum’s final gallery.

For the first time ever, the book 9/11: The World Speaks brings together a choice selection of these visitor cards, many of which talk about the inspiration people find in the outpouring of humanity in response to September 11th. In seeing the selflessness of first responders and ordinary citizens who rushed to help strangers and friends on that day, and in the many months of recovery that followed, adults and young people write that they have been inspired to help others in their communities and around the world.

About the Author:  Lee Ielpi is a native of Great Neck, New York. Lee spent his career as a firefighter with the New York City Fire Department serving as a member of Rescue 2. Since losing his son Jonathan Lee Ielpi, Squad 288, FDNY, at the World Trade Center, Lee has dedicated himself to responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center with an eye towards making tomorrow a better day. He joined with the September 11th Families’ Association in November 2001 to represent the interests of the 9/11 community. In 2004, Lee along with Jennifer Adams co-founded the Tribute WTC Visitor Center.

Discovery by Design

Chrissy Hicks ’20 with Medieval music manuscripts in Furman Special Collections and Archives.

As Chrissy Hicks ’20 clicked play on her laptop, music that has not been heard for centuries filled the quiet study area in Furman’s Special Collections. The product of ten weeks of meticulous study and transcription, Hicks brought these original Medieval music manuscripts back to life.

Her project is part of the Special Collections and Archives Research and Creative Fellowships established this year with a gift from Furman alumna and retired librarian Carolyn Warden ’67 and her husband and retired chemistry professor Joseph Warden ’68.

Finding new things in remnants of the past is exactly what another summer fellow Emory Conetta ’18 set out to do. A studio art and art history double major, Conetta became interested in embroidery and its place in women’s history. She imagined how embroidery, as the medium for her senior show, could present the evolution of women’s issues in an unexpected way. When she found out about the opportunity in Special Collections, she began working with her faculty sponsor and mentor Sarah Archino, assistant professor of art, to develop a research topic.

Emory Conetta ’18 explored scrapbooks and yearbooks from Greenville Woman’s College students.

She pitched the idea to Special Collections Librarian & University Archivist Jeffrey Makala, and he suggested an exploration of the scrapbooks created by students of the Greenville Woman’s College in the early 20th century, the golden age of scrap booking for college students.

Read more about the journey of one of our Special Collections and Archives Research and Creative Fellows.