|Rare texts from Dickinson College discovered in Centres library
First commencement addresses from school dating back to 1700s
RELEASED: March 28, 2002
DANVILLE, KY-Two handwritten books filled with lecture notes and commencement addresses from the first three graduation ceremonies at Dickinson College have been discovered in the Centre College archives. After more than 200 years, these volumes will find their way back to Dickinson in Carlisle, Pa.
Centre College's John C. Ward, vice president and dean of academic affairs and professor of English, will travel to Carlisle and present the volumes as a gift to Dickinson on April 12. The ceremony will take place at Memorial Hall. Dr. William G. Durden, president of Dickinson, and Neil Weissman, provost and dean of the college, will be in attendance.
The volumesdating back to the 1780swere discovered by Bob Glass, head of technical services and special collections at Centre.
The lectures and addresses were given by Charles Nisbet, the first president of Dickinson College. Dickinson was chartered on Sept. 9, 1783. Nisbet became president with the opening of this college in 1784.
The volumes found their way to Danville, Ky., being passed down through family ties. They were handwritten by John Young (the father of John C. Young and the grandfather of William C. Young) while attending Dickinson in the 1780s. John C. Young and William C. Young served as Centre presidents. John C. Young graduated from Dickinson in 1823 with honors. William C. Young graduated from Centre in 1859. Centre's second president, Jeremiah Chamberlain, and third president, Gideon Blackburn, were also Dickinson graduates.
The Dickinson Special Collections department was recently seeking information about Chamberlain when it contacted Glass. Glass mentioned the Nisbet volumes and that it was appropriate for them to be in Dickinsons possession.
"They were very excited," Glass said. "It would be the equivalent of someone at North Dakota State University calling and saying they had found old newsreel of the 1921 Centre-Harvard football game in a closet and asking if we'd want it."
To learn more about the history of Centre College and to see special collections, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/library/archives/spec_coll.html.
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