Thursday, March 30, 2017

#TBT in the Archives 3/30/17: Little Red Schoolhouse

The Little Red Schoolhouse has been connecting Shippensburg University to its educational past since 1970. Located on the west edge of campus along North Earl Street, the schoolhouse is a great illustration of the history of rural education in Pennsylvania.

This postcard from the 1970s shows the Little Red Schoolhouse in its current home along North Earl Street on the west side of campus.

Campus leaders first proposed relocating a historical schoolhouse to campus in 1968. As the result of a successful campaign by the Shippensburg State College General Alumni Association, the 1968-1969 Legacy Fund raised $25,000 to fund the project.

A committee organized by the General Alumni Association then located the perfect schoolhouse for the project: The Mount Jackson School, known locally as the Potato Point School. The building sat on farmland located just north of Newburg, owned by Samuel Myers. Myers donated the building to the college for the project.

The Mount Jackson School at its original location north of Newburg. Some rehabilitation work would be needed during the project to relocate it to the Shippensburg campus.

The schoolhouse was located on land owned by Samuel Myers of Newburg.

Built in 1865, the one-room schoolhouse served students ages 5 through 21 continuously until it closed in 1954. The last teacher at the school was Harold Etter, a Shippensburg graduate. Subjects taught at the school included reading, grammar, arithmetic, geography, history, music and art.

The interior of the schoolhouse before moving to the Shippensburg campus.

Crews disassembled the school brick by brick to move it to campus in September 1969. With a new roof, refurbished interior, and a large variety of items donated through the generosity of alumni and friends of Shippensburg, the school was dedicated on May 9, 1970. Donated items included maps, bookcases, desks for students and teacher, books, primers, inkwells, a pot-bellied stove and more.

The Mount Jackson School during reconstruction on campus.

After interior renovations, the schoolhouse was filled with items similar to those that would have been used daily by school students and their teachers. The items were gifts of alumni and friends of the college.

The Shippensburg community was very excited to welcome the building to campus. It was thought that the Little Red Schoolhouse was a fitting addition to the landmarks on campus because it showcased the basic beginnings of education in Pennsylvania. For much of its history, the university has been concerned primarily with the education of teachers. Many of its graduates taught in rural schools like the Mount Jackson School at some point in their careers.

A museum was set up in the schoolhouse, and student members of the local chapter of the Pennsylvania State Educators' Association gave tours at the schoolhouse daily throughout the 1970s. Teachers at the campus lab school have also taken their elementary school students to the Little Red Schoolhouse to experience a day in the life of students of the past.

The schoolhouse joins several other buildings on campus as being listed as a historic site by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and is marked with a roadside marker.

This model of the Little Red Schoolhouse was given to Shippensburg University in 1994. It is now housed in Archives & Special Collections.

Today, Alumni Relations is in charge of the Little Red Schoolhouse, with events and educational programs held there periodically. Shippensburg University Archives & Special Collections has a variety of photos depicting the reconstruction process, the original school, visitors, and tours and events. To see more and schedule an appointment, email

Thursday, March 23, 2017

#TBT in the Archives 3/23/17: Rare Books

Before Spring Break, #TBT visited Special Collections, which comprises a substantial part of the Pennsylvania history housed in SU Archives & Special Collections. This week, we hop next door to the Rare Book Room.

Many of the furnishings in the Rare Book Room were acquired thanks to fundraising by 1967-1968 alumni.
In addition to the literary and historical volumes housed at SU Archives & Special Collections, the collection also contains a variety of rare books, which are housed next door to the archives on the second floor of Ezra Lehman Memorial Library. The room, which has a homey atmosphere thanks to chairs, a desk, and soft lighting calibrated for the volumes on the shelves, contains books deemed rare for any number of reasons. For example, first edition copies of novels by SU alum Dean Koontz are included here, as well as fragile histories from Cumberland and Franklin counties. Also permanently housed here are illuminated manuscripts, like the Book of Kells facsimile, and volumes of art.

Let's take a closer look at the Rare Book Room:

Author Dean Koontz graduated from Shippensburg in 1966. First editions of his books occupy shelves in the Rare Book Room.

Astronomicum Caesareum was written by Petrus Apianus in 1540. It is a Renaissance manual which explained use of the astrolabe. Movable discs in the SU copy also teach astronomy principles.
Apianus was court astronomer to Emperor Charles V.

This very fragile volume of Franklin County, Pennsylvania history was published in 1879.
Shippensburg University owns a facsimile copy of the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript. The original is in Dublin, Ireland. The manuscript contains the four gospels of the New Testament and each page is richly illustrated.
Très Riches Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry, is a copy of the Book of Hours commissioned in 1410 and is known for its vivid illustrations, as shown in this facsimile copy.
Visconti Hours is another illustrated manuscript of the Book of Hours held in the Shippensburg University Rare Book Room collection.

This color plate is one of dozens featured in The Holy Experiment: A Message to the World from Pennsylvania, by Violet Oakley, a copy of which is in the Rare Book Room.

Like books in Special Collections, books in the Rare Book Room do not circulate - you cannot check them out. However, appointments may be made to look at these volumes for research purposes by emailing Additionally, copies of Dean Koontz's novels are available in the SU Authors Collection on the first floor of the library, and the Book of Kells, Visconti Hours, and Très Riches Heures are currently on display as part of the illuminated manuscript exhibit, also on the first floor.

Monday, March 20, 2017

ShipLibrary on Social Media

ship library social media icons - facebook twitter insta pinterest blogger youtube
snipped from ShipLibrary homepage

Where in the social-media world can you find ShipLibrary?

Facebook - general news and updates
Twitter - tweets about questions answered
Insta - fun updates, tips, and library images
Pinterest - boards of library related info and fun
Blogger - the Library Blog (you are here)
YouTube - tutorial videos and library-related info

adapted from Osceola Heritage Park

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

2017 Spring Break Library Hours - Mar 10 - Mar 20

Spring Break is upon us!
During spring break, the library will be open as follows:
Friday, March 10, 7:30am - 4:00 pm
Saturday, March 11, Closed
Sunday, March 12, Closed
Mon-Fri, March 13 - 17, 8:00am - 4:00 pm
Saturday, March 18, Closed
Sunday, March 19, 4:00pm - Midnight

Monday, March 20: Regular Spring Semester Hours Resume 

Librarians will not be available to answer reference questions in person over fall break. If you need research assistance, please email us! Have a great break!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Thursday, March 9, 2017

#TBT in the Archives 3/9/17: Special Collections

At one time or another when searching through the Ezra Lehman Memorial Library catalog for a research project, you may find the book you're looking for but the location may read "Special Collections - Contact" What does that mean?

Special Collections books are housed in SU Archives & Special Collections.
Special Collections makes up a substantial portion of the items housed at SU Archives & Special Collections. Most of the volumes in the collection are related to Pennsylvania history. Some of the titles on the shelves include county histories, histories from all eras of Pennsylvania, legislative journals dating to the 1800s, commonwealth legislative and executive documents, histories of Pennsylvania German immigrants, and histories of significant events, like the Johnstown Flood of 1889. Other books include literature and world histories.

Here are some examples of Special Collections holdings:

The Classroom Teacher was a 12 volume set published in Chicago in 1927. The volumes include descriptions of model curriculums for public schools, updates on best practices, and pointers on starting guidance counseling and business education programs. The set must have been useful for Shippensburg education students in the mid-20th century, and is still valuable for studying the history of education.

Report of the Department of Mines, Part 1: Anthracite was published from 1870 through 1930 in Harrisburg and included reports from fifteen mining districts across the state. Similar reports are still printed by the state on the mining activities in Pennsylvania.

This is volume two of The Works of Charles Dickens, a four-volume set that includes the full text of several Dickens novels. This volume includes the classic Great Expectations, and each page includes two columns of text.

Histories of India occupy at least one shelf at Special Collections. This set, History of India, comprises 11 volumes and covers Indian history from the ancient era through the 1800s.

The Story of Johnstown by J.J. McLaurin, published in 1890, is one of at least 15 histories of the flood of 1889 on the shelves at Special Collections. It is richly illustrated with photos of the aftermath.

This is one of several photos included in The Story of Johnstown.
These books don't circulate, meaning you can't check them out. But it's easy to get your hands on them if you need them for a project, or are just curious! Email with the call number of the book in question to set up an appointment.

Check out #TBT after Spring Break for some highlights from the Rare Books Room, another great section of SU Archives & Special Collections!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

2017 Spring Break Library Hours - Mar 10 - Mar 20

Spring Break is upon us!
During spring break, the library will be open as follows:
Friday, March 10, 7:30am - 4:00 pm
Saturday, March 11, Closed
Sunday, March 12, Closed
Mon-Fri, March 13 - 17, 8:00am - 4:00 pm
Saturday, March 18, Closed
Sunday, March 19, 4:00pm - Midnight

Monday, March 20: Regular Spring Semester Hours Resume 

Librarians will not be available to answer reference questions in person over fall break. If you need research assistance, please email us! Have a great break!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

#TBT in the Archives 3/2/17: Stars come out at Ship

Look up next time you visit the CUB. Near the third floor are posters for big-name bands and artists that have visited Shippensburg University. Famous authors, politicians, and yes, musicians have been visiting campus for more than 40 years. Let's take a look back at visitors of the past ...

Julian Bond in 1975.
In 1975, Julian Bond visited campus to talk about his work. A freshman senator in Georgia at the time, he was already well-known for his work as co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and co-founder and president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Bond served as NAACP president, 1998-2010.

Rev. Jesse Jackson at Heiges Field House in 1992.
Bond wasn't the only civil rights leader to visit campus. In 1992, Shippensburg welcomed Rev. Jesse Jackson as the keynote speaker at the Gifted Minority Scholarship benefit dinner. Jackson is known for his work in Civil Rights, beginning with involvement in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) with Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s and continuing through the decades to include presidential campaigns, and advocacy.

Other speakers at the Gifted Minority Scholarship benefit dinner have included actress Della Reese, who addressed the gathering at Heiges Field House in February 2005, and singer Harry Belafonte in 1996. Reese talked about her career, including work on television's "Touched by an Angel," and her faith. Belafonte recalled his childhood in Harlem, and the inspiration he took from the work of Martin Luther King Jr.

Speakers during the 1990s addressed important issues. Among them was Slaughterhouse Five author Kurt Vonnegut, who talked about the legacy of World War II in April of 1995. "The legacy of World War II is to remind us yet again of what stupid, cruel animals human beings are, because everybody behaved abominably, including us," Vonnegut told the audience at the College of Arts & Sciences Colloquium Series. Feminist and writer Gloria Steinem addressed Shippensburg in 1989. Her lecture concerned what feminists were hoping and expecting in the 1990s.

Pat Benetar in 1988.
Of course bands are a popular draw at Shippensburg as well, and have been since the late 1960s. Countless bands have played at Heiges Field House, Memorial Auditorium, and the H. Ric Luhrs Center. In 1988, Pat Benetar rocked the campus. A year later, .38 Special played a selection of their greatest hits at a concert organized by APB. Collective Soul played in November 1995, and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones followed up two years later. Current students at Ship can recall appearances by Ludacris, Kenan Thompson and Panic! At the Disco.

It's interesting to see how The Slate has covered these events throughout SU history. Student perspective as illustrated in articles is a gauge of the campus mood at the time. The Slate covered all these events and more. Back issues of The Slate are available for viewing at SU Archives & Special Collections. Email or phone, (717) 477-1123, ext. 3357 to make an appointment.

Cumberland, 1975
The Slate, Oct. 17, 1988
The Slate, Oct. 24, 1989
The Slate, April 11, 1995
The Slate, Nov. 7, 1995
The Slate, Feb. 13, 1996
The Slate, Feb. 22, 2005
Record Group 30, Box 4, Shippensburg University Archives & Special Collections, Shippensburg, PA.