Archive for December, 2012
Seriously, can one really have enough final exams? In case exams week didn’t exhaust your desire for challenges, here are a few more from the Examinations Collection in the Archives. The collection contains mostly late 19th-century and early 20th-century exams, but the samples below are from the years 1848-49 and 1858-59.
Many students have fantasized about burning their textbooks, maybe some have even done so, but few taken it to the level of the Amherst College students of the 1860s to 1880s. In Archives and Special Collections, we have programs, photographs, newspapers articles and other ephemera from 14 ceremonial textbook burnings during these decades. The general formula seems to involve the freshmen burning (what we presume to be single representative volumes of) their first year mathematics textbooks in a boisterous late night ceremony, often complete with band, bier, funerary oration and throngs of wailing mourners. Programs were created in secret and handed out surreptitiously. Often the sophomores attempted to disrupt the proceedings and the faculty took a very dim view of the affairs, particularly in the early years.
And now for something completely different. In 1920 Wesley M. Goodell presented to the Amherst College Library a handsome leather-bound quarto volume bearing the spine title “Classification of Bible Synonymes with Annotations.”
But as the saying goes, Never judge a book by its spine (or something). What it is, in fact, is a transcription of every verse in the Bible, executed by a young man named Angelo Newton Franklin Goodell, in shorthand.