Monday, September 28, 2015

Meet Jasmine Smith


My name is Jasmine Smith and I am very excited to be working as an intern for the Delaware State University Archives and Special Collection. In December of 2013, I graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina with a bachelor’s of arts in history. I am currently working on my masters in library and information science with a concentration in museum studies through an online program at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

As an undergrad, I realized I did not want to follow the traditional route and teach history, but instead work at a museum. What exactly I want to do in the museum field I do not know. What I do know is that I want to be in a profession where I am able to provide the public with a better understanding of not only United States history but world history as well. I want to be able to teach the public about what went wrong in the past so that history will not repeat itself for future generations. I want to be able to help others learn more about where they came from through text and visuals.

I live in Magnolia, DE where there are not many large history museums within traveling distance. So I had to think outside the box to come up with a way to get my foot inside the door of a historical research environment. I initially decided to volunteer at the Delaware Public Archives which, since then, has opened up other doors.  I am now employed at the Delaware Public Archives, and I’m happy to be the newest intern at the DSU archives. I have realized that an archive can be very similar to a history museum.

If you are like me, and did not know what an archive is, you should definitely come check us out! We house a lot of interesting documents about the history of Delaware State University. Who knows, you might learning something new.  

Written by Jasmine Smith

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Push-em back, push-em back, Way back!

Welcome back to campus Students!  Hopefully you are settled into your routines and are geared up for another fantastic semester.  Do you like your classes? How is the homework load?  Are you trying anything new this semester?

Now that you have a handle on the academics it’s time to get pumped for our sports teams! Do you know all the yells and songs? Homecoming is right around the corner and we need to be prepared to back-up our footballers when they face off against South Carolina State on October 24.  Why not go old school at the next game? Take a look at these cheers from 1964.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Get Lost in the Library

My name is Paul Scherry, younger brother of Rejoice Scherry who is DSU’s very own archivist.  Today I was browsing through the shelves of the archival office, (which by the way are open to the public) and I discovered a hidden treasure!  I play this little game, where I go to a shelf and look for the oldest possible book.  I don’t care what the book is about, who wrote it, or what kind of shape it’s in.  The only thing that matters is how old it is. 

Well this time I hit the jackpot.   I found a book dated to the year 1694! To put that in perspective, the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620.  Imagine holding a piece of history that was printed only 74 years later.  Its leather binding is in surprisingly good shape, with an unsurprising amount of “red rot” (dried and crumbling leather).  The pages on the exterior have been heavily browned with age, but when I opened the book, I found the paper to be only slightly yellowed.  Just over three centuries old and this book is in better condition than some books currently sitting openly in DSU’s collection! 

I can honestly tell you that at this point my heart was pounding.  Then I looked at the title which read Hudibras, written by Samuel Butler.  Even though I had no knowledge of this piece of literature, I immediately began to feel as if this artifact, older than the United States themselves, was talking to me.  I looked at the first few blank pages and I found the owners signature!  He or she, signed “J. Green” and dated the year, 1758.  Now I was ecstatic!  Someone in 1758 bothered to signify ownership of this book about two decades prior to the American Revolution.  Little did that person know was that I, a junior in college at Del Sate, would crack open this book three hundred years later and see the personal touch they left behind.  

It gets better.  On page 320, I found something else a reader left behind.  Tucked into the spine of the book was a dried out and flattened four leaf clover.   To think I stumbled upon someone else’s good fortune made my day. 

As I sit here writing out this little highlight, I think this book was sending me a message.  In today’s modern world, we have access to unlimited sources of knowledge.  With the swipe of a phone screen, we can find anything.  But let me ask you this: would you find a signature? Would you find a hidden treasure?  Would you be able to physically hold an artifact made over three hundred years ago?  There are still discoveries like the one I just had yet to be found in libraries.  The next time you have a few minutes to burn in between classes, instead of staring into your cellphone, get lost in the library. You might be surprised by what you find!