As Thanksgiving approaches, you may be looking for a new recipe to try out. We have a few cookbooks in our collections. Perhaps some useful tips from 1828 on boiling or roasting turkey?
Archive for November, 2013
Posted in Amherst College Trustees, College History, Performing Arts, Town of Amherst, tagged "The Seed and the Sowers", Amherst Academy, Amherst College, Curtis Canfield, Dramatic Activities Collection, education, George Washington Graves, History of Amherst College, Rufus Graves, Samuel Fowler Dickinson, South College on November 15, 2013| 1 Comment »
Last week Peter Nelson wrote about Samuel Williston, who provided funds to Amherst College in 1840 when the institution was in danger of financial ruin, and who continued to donate to the College over the course of many years. Because of Williston’s timely donations, the College considered whether it should change its name to Williston College.
However, before Amherst had to make that decision, it had already confronted more than one identity crisis.
I learned something new as I was poring over some 19th-century college records last week: that in 1847, and again in 1869, Amherst College briefly but seriously considered the idea of changing its name to Williston, in honor of its generous trustee and benefactor, Samuel Williston.
The Trustee minutes of July 7, 1847 record that the idea was to be formally proposed and voted on at that meeting. However, as it came up at the end of a long, arduous agenda (actually extending over two days), such a momentous decision was deferred to the next meeting. But inexplicably, the idea wasn’t reconsidered until more than a year later. Jump ahead to the Trustee minutes of August 8, 1848:
Voted: That in the opinion of this Board it is expedient to change the name of Amherst College & to affix to it the name of its liberal Benefactor; Samuel Williston.
Voted: That President Hitchcock, Dr. Packard & Mr. Vaill be a committee to apply to the Legislature for leave to make the alteration.
Voted: That the foregoing votes be submitted to Mr. Williston previous to their taking effect.
Amherst’s debt to Samuel Williston is clearly not to be underestimated; in fact, it is no exaggeration to say that its very survival rested on his support. When it faced serious financial difficulties in 1840, Williston pledged $1,000. Over the next thirty years, his financial gifts to Amherst amounted to more than $220,000. (In all, his donations to various charities amounted to more than $1.5 million.)
As of today, 335 titles of the approximately 1,500 books in the Kim-Wait/Eisenberg Native American Literature Collection have been fully cataloged. I have enjoyed getting to know the collection by placing the cataloged items on the shelves in LC call number order. We are integrating these books into our general special collections shelving, rather than maintaining them as a physically separate collection, so it has been interesting seeing where they end up and what books are next to them on the shelves. Many of the books are ending up in the Library of Congress Call number range E51 through E99, as shown in the picture above. We are doing a lot of shifting to make room for these books in that range.