A Database Cooler Than Its Name!

The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection, a full-text database of thousands of magazines and publications from the late 1600s through the 1800s, provides a fascinating look at published information on any and all subjects important to people through our early history. For those needing PRIMARY SOURCES this is a great resource!

From advertisements for early sewing machines (some of these are scary), to essays on the honor of fighting a duel (think Hamilton!) to suggested medical treatments (jalapeno peppers for Scarlet Fever) to poems written to ladies with small pox (seriously!), this database gives us a look into life in earlier times.

These periodicals can be searched in our Discovery search or chosen from our alphabetical list of Databases.

From the College Archives: The First Randolph-Macon Diploma

R-MC opened its doors for instruction in the Fall of 1832 in Boydton, Virginia.  Most of our early students did not complete the classical curriculum required to get the A.B. degree; the degree required proficiency in Latin and Greek, and Greek especially tripped them up! The first student to graduate was John Chapman Blackwell, who received his A.B. in 1835. Blackwell was the only student in his graduating class, having completed a year at Washington College (now Washington & Lee University) before transferring to the new Randolph-Macon College as a sophomore. We are fortunate in owning the very first diploma issued by the college, shown here:

Image of first Randoplh-Macon diploma
First diploma issued at R-MC

John C. Blackwell was awarded an A.M. by the College in 1840 and an honorary doctorate in 1861. Like many of our early graduates, he was a Methodist minister and an educator, teaching at the Preparatory Department of R-MC, at Greensborough (N.C.) Female College, at Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute, at Petersburg Female College, and at Randolph-Macon College.