Thursday, December 7, 2017

#TBT in the Archives 12/7/17: End of semester studies

With the fall semester coming to a close, most students (graduate and undergraduate) are frantically completing term papers, preparing for exams, and presenting final projects. In the midst of all this, everyone is doing the same thing - stressing out!

Studying, projects and stress are a normal part of the college experience - even at Shippensburg. And though current students have the benefit of the internet, group chats, and other web tools to complete their projects and help them along, students of the past also found ways to efficiently complete the semester.

Of course, one's dorm room has always been a favorite place to study, even though friends and roommates might be distracting.

A Shippensburg student studies in his room during the 1952-1951 academic year.

Another student and a friend (hidden behind the newspaper at right) take time to catch up on the news in 1952.

When the weather allows, campus lawns offer a relaxing place to meet with friends and catch up with work. Though the weather is currently a bit cold for students to enjoy that study method, spring temperatures will return in a few months.

Springtime studies outdoors.
Students study outside the library in 1989.

In 1977 the Department of Academic Services published a helpful booklet called Your Study Skills or ... The Care and Feeding of Your Grade Point Average. Available at the time at the college bookstore or by visiting the department, the booklet written by campus administrators offered helpful tips on taking notes, preparing for tests, completing research papers, and other crucial parts of completing college.

These suggestions for test anxiety shared in 1977's Your Study Skills or... The Care and Feeding of Your Grade Point Average still have useful advice for students in 2017: Get enough sleep, put things in perspective, get organized, and take a deep breath.
Though some of these 1977 suggestions about the library might be outdated (tapes, cassettes and filmstrips?) the Ezra Lehman Library remains a favorite resource for stressed Shippensburg students.
Students in the reference section of the library in 1977.

As computers became increasingly useful to students in the late 1980s and early 1990s, computer labs were available across campus for various applications including preparing typed final term papers. Today, computer labs and laptops available at the library's circulation desk continue to be vital tools for students.

Computers sure looked different in the 1990s! But the looks of concentration worn by these students certainly seem familiar!

Though study tools and hairstyles may have changed, Shippensburg students continue to face the end of each semester bravely, completing tests and papers despite the stress. Shippensburg University Archives & Special Collections has lots of images and yearbooks depicting study sessions of the past as well as a copy of Your Study Skills or... The Care and Feeding of Your Grade Point Average. To look at these, make an appointment to visit by emailing

Are you feeling stressed as you study and prepare for finals? A variety of resources are available to help you succeed! Librarians are able to help you navigate library resources and databases and figure out citations. Plus, the Learning Center on the main floor of the library ( can help with writing coaching and content tutoring. Don't forget to take a break from all of your hard work -- visit Lehman Library's galleries to enjoy fun "Winter Stress & Decompress" activities such as cutting out paper snowflakes, doing puzzles, and coloring. Good luck!

Barbara Crist and Len Czarnecki, Your Study Skills or ... The Care and Feeding of Your Grade Point Average (Shippensburg: Shippensburg Collegiate Press, 1977).
Cumberland 1952 (Shippensburg, PA: Shippensburg State Teachers College, 1952).
Cumberland 1970, (Shippensburg, PA: Shippensburg State College, 1970).
Photographs, Record Group 30, Shippensburg University Archives & Special Collections, Shippensburg, PA.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Finals Week Library Hours Dec 10 to Dec 15

Happy Finals Week!
During Fianls Week the library will be open late:

Sunday, December 10, Noon - 1:00 am (mon)
Monday, December 11, 7:30am - 1:00 am (tue)
Tuesday, December 12, 7:30am - 1:00 am (wed)
Wednesday, December 13, 7:30am - 1:00 am (thu)
Thursday, December 14, 7:30am - 1:00 am (fri)
Friday, December 15, 7:30am - 11:00 pm
Saturday, December 16, Library Closed
Sunday, December 17, Library Closed

Monday, December 19: Intersession Hours Begin

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Cookies with Carter Monday December 11 @ 7-8pm

It's that time of year again! President Carter will be giving out cookies and milk on the main floor of Lehman Library on Monday December 11th from 7:00-8:00pm. Don't miss a sweet treat as you take on finals week!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Extended Library Hours Dec 3 to Dec 9

Finals Week Approaches!
During the week before finals, the library will be open for extended hours:

Sunday, December 3, Noon - 1:00 am (mon)
Monday, December 4, 7:30am - 1:00 am (tue)
Tuesday, December 5, 7:30am - 1:00 am (wed)
Wednesday, December 6, 7:30am - 1:00 am (thu)
Thursday, December 7, 7:30am - 1:00 am (fri)
Friday, December 8, 7:30am - 11:00 pm
Saturday, December 9, 9:00am - 9:00 pm

Sunday, December 10: Finals Week Hours Begin

Thursday, November 16, 2017

#TBT in the Archives 11/16/17: Thanksgiving

Turkey Day is just around the corner! As Shippensburg students get ready to take a few days off, see family, eat delicious meals, and give thanks, we thought it would be fun to explore past Thanksgiving celebrations on campus.

Students attending Cumberland Valley State Normal School in the early 20th century liked to save napkins from special dinners and events on campus. Several in the archives are from trips to Washington D.C., and others are connected to dinners and dances. The person who saved the napkins often wrote the date of the event and the occasion, and in some cases, had their friends sign. A Thanksgiving napkin at the archives is decorated with cherries and greenery and is dated 1906.

A napkin from the 1906 Thanksgiving dinner.

Much like today, the campus came together at the end of each November to enjoy a formal Thanksgiving meal. Though turkey and gravy were always on the menu, the vegetables and pies offered each year tended to change.

Mashed potatoes, celery, creamed onions and candied sweet potatoes were the side dishes in 1922. The meal closed with a mince pie a la mode. "Saratoga Flakes," listed next to the salad, is a type of frosted flake cereal.
Ten students signed this Thanksgiving menu from 1923.  Some side dishes disappeared this year, and the dessert was apple pie with ice cream. 
Dessert changed again to peach pie in 1924, and sweet potatoes returned to the menu. Also offered were buttered peas.
The economic turmoil of the 1930s meant the 1931 Thanksgiving menu was not printed in an ornate pamphlet. However, students still ate their fill of traditional Thanksgiving dishes, including buttered carrots, and pumpkin custard pie a la mode.

Not only did Thanksgiving mean food and friends, but Shippensburg students also celebrated with football games and theater. In 1924, Shippensburg battled Slippery Rock on the gridiron, and students could watch for just 50 cents.

1924 football ticket.

Dramatic plays were also on the menu, with students playing starring roles.

 A cast photo for "Stop Thief," performed November 27, 1919.
The cast of "Green Stockings," presented in November 1921.

Whether it be football, theater, or food, Shippensburg students have always made the most of the Thanksgiving holiday. What are your plans for Thanksgiving 2017?

Class Files, Shippensburg University Archives & Special Collections, Shippensburg, PA.
Oversize photographs, Record Group 31, Shippensburg University Archives & Special Collections, Shippensburg, PA.
Photographs, Record Group 30, Shippensburg University Archives & Special Collections, Shippensburg, PA.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Turkey Day Break Library Hours - Nov 21 to Nov 27

Happy Turkey Day Break 2017!

Library Hours for the 2017 Thanksgiving week and weekend are:
  • Monday 11/20 Regular Hours
  • Tuesday 11/21 7:30 a.m. -- 10:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday 11/22 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Thursday 11/23 Closed for Thanksgiving Break
  • Friday 11/24 Closed for Thanksgiving Break
  • Saturday 11/25 Closed for Thanksgiving Break
  • Sunday 11/26 4:00 p.m. -- Midnight
Regular hours resume Monday 11/27/2017
Remember, Library Extended Hours start the week before Finals Week!

Flashback to earlier Thanksgiving activities at Ship with this #TBT in the Archives post from 2015!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

#TBT in the Archives 11/9/2017: Pennsylvania Museum Extension Project

As part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal during the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) put millions of people to work throughout the United States. In Pennsylvania, the WPA's most ambitious project involved arts and education in the form of the Pennsylvania Museum Extension Project (MEP).

Based in Harrisburg with workshops located across the state, the Museum Extension Project was the first of its kind in the nation when it launched in 1935. It ended up producing millions of models, art pieces, illustrations, dioramas, and more for use by educators in public schools across the state.

A display case containing 24 varieties of crop seeds showed students the first step in growing food.

With training educators as its main mission during the Great Depression, Shippensburg State Teachers College had a model elementary training school on campus attended by local primary school students. Thanks to the Museum Extension Project, the model school and future teachers had the use of a wide variety of models, dioramas and lantern slides to teach history and science.

These materials now reside at Shippensburg University Archives & Special Collections, and many of the dioramas are on display on the main floor in the Learning Center.

A scale model of Eli Whitney's cotton gin connected students to the spark of the industrial revolution.

Museum Extension Program leaders tried to locate workshops in communities where skilled artisans resided. For example, a workshop in Lancaster County produced scale models of furniture and related items. Some of these models are in Shippensburg's collection.

This tiny printing press only occupies approximately six square inches, but offers a detailed view of a crucial piece of early technology.

By 1939, project staffers began working with the Pennsylvania Historical Commission (later the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission) to document historic sites, houses, and other structures. As a part of this relationship, the MEP began producing dioramas of these sites. Many are in the Shippensburg collection.

A model of a pueblo village.
Dioramas depicting industry, like this oil well, showed students industry close to home.

Still other products of the MEP included lantern slides, which could be used by teachers to show students models and dioramas that did not physically exist in the collection. Dozens of lantern slides at Shippensburg show classical and indigenous dwellings. Other lantern slides include plates showing the traditional costumes of native peoples of the Americas and Asia.

Dioramas and models are on display in Ezra Lehman Memorial Library anytime the library is open. To check out the lantern slides and accompanying description, make an appointment by emailing

Curtis Miner, "Art With a Purpose: Pennsylvania's Museum Extension Project, 1935-1943," in Pennsylvania Heritage (Spring 2008), accessed November 7, 2017,
Pennsylvania Museum Extension Project Collection, Shippensburg University Archives & Special Collections, Shippensburg, PA.