Sunday, October 7, 2018

Book of Knowledge: Graceland From A to Z...

Graceland University in Lamoni, IA offers The Graceland College Book of Knowledge as a fascinating historical resource that can be downloaded as a .pdf from their website.  While the book hasn't been updated since its publication, I think the format serves as an interesting model for others anticipating a similar project at another institution.  It is also a testament to the difficulty in preserving and maintaining history of small colleges when resources are limited....and as a result, the book reflects a special labor of love.

David Goehner is the author of the work published in 1997 and was an outgrowth of centennial preparations a few years earlier.  Goehner found a three-ring binder in his office when he started at Graceland that included mimeographed pages of historical information initially compiled by a Lambda Delta Sigma Society during the 1940 academic year.  The work of this student group and then been updated by college librarian Cleo Hawthorne Moon in 1945.  The work then served during the intervening years as a reference source when various questions arose.

Information is organized like an encyclopedia beginning with Aaron C. Engle Ceramics Award in section A and concluding with the Z.I.P. Club, a men's social group.  The book also includes campus maps, commencement speakers, famous visitors, faculty, presidents, and members of the Board of Trustees.

Goehner also gives credit to earlier histories of Graceland that were used as references for his update: Roy Cheville's history of Graceland's first fifty years, Through The West Door, and Paul M. Edwards' update of the college’s history to the 75th anniversary, The Hilltop Where.

Graceland College changed its name to Graceland University in 2000.

If you are aware of similar resources on your campus or at an institution with which you are familiar, consider leaving a url as a comment below. 

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