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1949 Campus Map

College campuses are always changing and evolving as the needs of students and faculty shift, and nowhere is this more true than here at Grinnell. The Grinnell College campus of today looks very different than the campus of the past. This can best be seen by examining the campus maps housed in Special Collections and Archives.

Maps offer a helpful glimpse into the past of the College by showing what buildings existed and where they were located.  Utilizing maps allows patrons to track changes to campus over time. For example, in maps created before the late 1960s, it is easy to see the separation of men and woman on campus through the existence of the Men’s Dorms on north campus, and the Women’s Quadrangle on south campus. Special Collections houses a variety of maps, from ones that show the campus of the past, to ones of future plans that were never utilized.

This particular map dates from 1949. Although not strictly accurate in terms of scale, it does include almost all buildings and fields that were present on campus at the time. The exceptions seem to be the stables and the golf course.  If current Grinnell students were able to travel back in time, they would hardly recognize portions of the campus as it existed in 1949. Unfamiliar sights would include Darby Gym and the Women’s Gym, the Union, Music Hall, Blair Hall, Magoun Hall, and Veteran’s Housing. Absent would be important locations on campus such as Burling Library, the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, the Robert N. Noyce ’49 Science Center, and the Charles Benson Bear ’39 Recreation and Athletic Center.

The map features a level of decoration not usually seen on renderings of campus. Around the edges are written lyrics to “The Sons of Old Grinnell” as well as coats of arms for six of the buildings on campus. Small stick drawings show students around campus engaging in a variety of activities, from fencing and archery, to running to make it to class on time. Also included on this map is the placement of trees which is unusual for a map that’s purpose did not include campus planning.

We encourage anyone with an interest to drop by Special Collections and look at our extensive map collection in person.  Special Collections and Archives is open to the public 1:30-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and mornings by appointment.

"Foxe’s Book of Martyrs" by John Foxe (1516/17 – 18 April 1587)

John Foxe (1516/17 – 18 April 1587) was an English Historian and martyrologist. His book Acts and Monuments of the Christian Church, was first published in 1563.  It is commonly known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, and is an account of Christian martyrs throughout Western history, emphasizing the sufferings of English Protestants. This edition was published in London for the Company of Stationers in 1641. The book has a chain attached to the top of the front and back covers, showing that it was once part of a chained library. Book chains served as a security system in Medieval and Renaissance libraries to ensure that books were not removed from shelves without assistance or authorization. There are currently only five chained libraries in the world today that remain intact with all of their books, furniture, and chains.

Chaining books to shelves, lecterns, or reading pews began during the Middle Ages before the popularity of the Gutenberg press, when all books were handwritten and therefore expensive. By chaining the books to a shelf, libraries could allow more people to access their collections, because they would not have to worry about people misplacing or stealing books due to increased usage. However, not all libraries chained their books as the process was expensive. Only books that merited this extra cost, either because they were especially valuable or because they were part of a reference collection that would have heavy traffic, warranted the extra expense.

Books stored on shelves were typically placed with the spine facing the back of the shelf, in order to allow the chains to hang over the edge. The chains were always attached to one of the edges or corners of the covers, never to the spines, to avoid causing greater wear. This also allowed readers to take down the book and open it without twisting the chain. Often a design was drawn across the edges of the pages in order to identify the shelved books. 

In libraries with a smaller collection, books would usually be chained to lecterns or pews, which provided a seat for patrons at each book. One library in Dublin even constructed three wire alcoves, or “cages” in the 1770s where patrons would be locked inside, in response to thefts in the library.

We encourage anyone with an interest in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs or in the history of books to drop by Special Collections. Special Collections and Archives is open to the public 1:30–5 p.m. Monday through Friday and mornings by appointment. 

 

Sixty Sermons on Various Subjects

Sixty Sermons on Various Subjects was written by Jonathan Parsons. It was published in 1779 and printed by John McCall. The full title notes than Parsons was the minister of the Presbyterian congregation in the town of Newbury-Port, Massachusetts.

The sermons found in this volume are “Evidences of Regeneration,” “Application,” “Of the Unchangeableness of God,” and “The Beatific Vision.” This is a second volume of a two volume set. Unfortunately, we do not have the first volume. Rather unusually, what makes this book of particular interest to patrons is not its content. Instead, the defining feature of this particular copy held by Special Collections and Archives is that it is still in its original paper wrappers.

Today when people walk into a bookstore, they see shelves of brightly colored spine labels with the title and author’s name prominently displayed. However, this was not always the case. Before the early 19th century, the text block of a book and its cover were produced and purchased separately. Stepping into a bookshop, a customer would see shelves of text blocks stacked on top of one another, and wrapped in blue paper. After purchasing a book, the text block would be taken to a binder where a cover would be created depending on a variety of specifications usually involving expense desired, including cover material and decoration.

Most books were given a cover, not only to protect the text block, but because a beautifully crafted cover was a symbol of wealth and status. The fact that a cover was never created for this particular copy of Sixty Sermons on Various Subjects allows patrons to see first-hand a part of the history of book printing and binding.

We encourage anyone with an interest in book history and printing to drop by Special Collections and look at our holdings. Special Collections and Archives is open to the public 1:30–5 p.m. Monday through Friday and mornings by appointment.

Some Library Services Unavailable January 4

Sierra, the software that the Libraries use to manage our physical collections, is being upgraded the morning of January 4. Because of this upgrade, the Classic Catalog and My Library Account will be unavailable beginning at 9:00am. 3Search will be available, but will not display call numbers or availability information for items in Grinnell’s Collections. All services are expected to be restored by 11:00am. Access to online databases, interlibrary loan, and other services will not be affected.



 

Libraries Study Break, Dec. 14 with Con Brio


Please join us for a quick break from studying with homemade cookies and milk and student performers.

Study breaks are at 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15 and Tuesday, Dec. 16 in the Burling Library Lounge. Con Brio will sing on Monday and the Ritalin Test Squad will perform on Tuesday.

Cookies will be delivered to the Kistle Science Library, as well.

This event is co-sponsored by the Libraries Student Educational Policy Committee (SEPC), the Student Government Association, and the Libraries.



 


- See more at: http://www.grinnell.edu/news/libraries-study-breaks-fall-2014#sthash.JsU...

Please join us for a quick break from studying with homemade cookies and milk and student performers.

Study breaks are at 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15 and Tuesday, Dec. 16 in the Burling Library Lounge. Con Brio will sing on Monday and the Ritalin Test Squad will perform on Tuesday.

Cookies will be delivered to the Kistle Science Library, as well.

This event is co-sponsored by the Libraries Student Educational Policy Committee (SEPC), the Student Government Association, and the Libraries.

- See more at: http://www.grinnell.edu/news/libraries-study-breaks-fall-2014#sthash.JsU...

Please join us for a quick break from studying with homemade cookies and milk and student performers.

Study breaks are at 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15 and Tuesday, Dec. 16 in the Burling Library Lounge. Con Brio will sing on Monday and the Ritalin Test Squad will perform on Tuesday.

Cookies will be delivered to the Kistle Science Library, as well.

This event is co-sponsored by the Libraries Student Educational Policy Committee (SEPC), the Student Government Association, and the Libraries.

- See more at: http://www.grinnell.edu/news/libraries-study-breaks-fall-2014#sthash.JsU...

Please join us for a quick break from studying with homemade cookies and milk and student performers.

Study breaks are at 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14 and Tuesday, Dec. 15 in the Burling Library Lounge. Con Brio will sing on Monday and the Ritalin Test Squad will perform on Tuesday.

Cookies will be delivered to the Kistle Science Library, as well.

“Up From the Roots,” a Concert to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Thirteenth Amendment

The Office of Cultural Affairs, Grinnell College Libraries, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion present “Up From the Roots,” a concert commemorating the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 4, at Herrick Chapel. The program features soprano Randye Jones and saxophonist Damani Phillips, along with the Young, Gifted, and Black Gospel Choir. They are joined by pianists Marlys Grimm and Ha Na Song, vocalist Gary Jackson, organist Sam Salamone, and drummer Tim Crumley.

The program focuses on the African-American influence on music from the end of the American Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-20th century, and includes a myriad of traditional African-American musical selections.

“We are taking a different approach to the impact African-Americans have had on the history and culture of the United States,” explains Randye Jones, who also serves on the Libraries’ staff. “We want to look at the role they played in shaping the musical development of this country by touching briefly on the roots, the Negro Spiritual, and some of its many branches, namely Gospel music, Blues, Jazz, Rhythm and Blues, and even how African-Americans influence Western Classical music.”

“Up From the Roots” is free and open to the public.

Celebration of Life for Richard Fyffe

A celebration of life for Richard Fyffe will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 15, at the Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA).  The Grinnell College Libraries is sad to announce that Richard passed away peacefully on Thursday afternoon, November 5. He served as the Samuel R. and Marie-Louise Rosenthal Librarian of the College from 2006 until this fall. The entire Grinnell College community benefited from Richard’s extensive knowledge, collaborative skills, leadership, and thoughtfulness. Grinnell College is a better place thanks to the hard work and dedication of Richard Fyffe, and he will be greatly missed. 

Story Time Study Break

With a backdrop of children’s book illustrations from African artists (courtesy of Grinnell Prize winner Golden Baobab), come listen to children’s stories from around the world at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, in Burling Gallery.

We will share a story or two, then have books available to read together in small groups.

Bring your friends from everywhere. We especially welcome Big Brothers and Big Sisters to bring their Littles, and International Students to bring their host siblings. 

Milk, cider, and cookies for all. 

Hosted by Friends of Faulconer Gallery.

 

 

WWII V-mail in the Jimmy Ley Collection

James “Jimmy” Ley attended Grinnell College for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942. An extensive collection of correspondence written by Ley during his time at Grinnell and in the Army Air Force, as well as personal items, photographs, and military documents were donated by members of his family to the college archives in the fall of 2014.

The correspondence in the Jimmy Ley Collection provides wonderful insight into the life of a Grinnell student during the early 1940s, and also of a solider during the Second World War. Ley was a prolific letter writer. The majority his letters were written on paper and mailed home to his parents and other family members. However, when Ley was shipped overseas to England, he and his family exchanged a few letters using Victory Mail, also known as V-Mail.Letter from the Jimmy Ley Collection

V-Mail, invented by Kodak, used a photographic process to take pictures of handwritten messages using microfilm. The microfilm was then mailed overseas. Once it arrived at the destination, it was enlarged and printed for the recipient to read as easily as a normal letter. Shipping microfilm instead of sending full sheets of paper in envelopes drastically reduced the weight, speed, and cost of overseas correspondence.

In this particular V-Mail letter sent on August 6, 1943, Ley writes little about the war.  V-Mail was censored before it was sent, and patrons can see the censor stamp in the upper left-hand corner. Ley does mention that his squadron is sleeping in tents, claims that the food is very good, and also talks about visiting a local town near where he is stationed. Ley sent this message about half a year before he went missing-in-action over Abbeville, France while serving as an engineer gunner on a mission.

To see more of Ley’s correspondence, including postcards, handwritten letters, as well as more examples of V-Mail, visit the Special Collections and Archives. Special Collections and Archives is open to the public 1:30-5:00pm Monday through Friday and mornings by appointment.

You can also read more about V-mail at the National World War II Museum website.