Tredway Library Prize for Research

The Tredway Library Prize for First-Year Research recognizes an outstanding research paper written by a first-year Augustana student for a class in the First Year Inquiry or Honors sequence.

If you win, you will be applauded as a brilliant library researcher, and you will earn $400!

*A complete description of the prize and requirements to apply may be found at the library prize webpage.

*Want to know what a winning paper looks like? Read past winners on Augustana Digital Commons.

 We look forward to reading your papers!

Questions about the prize? Contact librarian Stefanie Bluemle (

Posted in Library Prize | Tagged | Leave a comment

Recommended reading for Spring Break

Recommended Reading Spring Break

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly (recommended by Christine Aden, Leisure Collection)

hidden-figuresDo you know of the black female mathematicians who helped propel the United States to outer space? If you’ve seen the movie based upon Hidden Figures, you know of a few of the women. (But be aware, some of the movie characters are composites of several women!) The author, Margot Shetterly, grew up in Hampton, Virginia, knowing some of these women as neighbors or acquaintances who worked at NASA, but it wasn’t until a chance comment by a friend on a visit home exposed to her just how many of them worked in integral, intellectual roles. After all, their work was classified, and the historic photos show primarily white males working at NASA! Think about that. Shetterly grew up knowing them, and still did not know the role they played in the space race. Shetterly masterfully provides historical context with the women’s personal lives and their career achievements.

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters (recommended by Anne Earel, Leisure Collection)

underground-airlinesUnderground Airlines presents a dystopian present-day world whose little details will feel familiar: technology is ubiquitous, but the best place for pancakes is still the family-owned diner off the highway. But in this world, the Civil War never happened. Slavery is not illegal everywhere in the United States; left to their own “states’-rights” devices, four states continue the practice. The Underground Railroad has morphed into the Underground Airlines; like its namesake, it is less an actual “airline” than the complicated mechanism by which slaves escape north to freedom from the “Hard Four” slave states. How can slavery exist in a world in which everyone – even those in the predominately anti-slavery northern states – know about its stark realities via social and mass media? What happens when everyone just accepts slavery as “normal,” and what might this mean for our understanding of our own reality?


Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood (recommended by Stefanie Bluemle, Leisure Collection)

hagseedAn acclaimed director is deposed from his leadership role at a major Shakespeare festival. Angry and bitter, he goes to live (and sulk) in a run-down shack in the Canadian countryside. A few years later he reenters the theater world by signing up to direct Shakespeare plays inside a prison. Before long, his new job gives him the perfect opportunity to take revenge on the people who ruined his career.

Does the plot sound vaguely familiar? Hag-Seed is Margaret Atwood’s retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. If you love Shakespeare, and The Tempest in particular, you’ll enjoy this multi-layered reinterpretation. Not a Shakespeare fan? Give this book a try! It’s fast-moving and up-to-date, and it shows how relevant Shakespeare remains even now, more than 400 years after his plays were first performed.



Posted in Leisure Collections, Recommended Reading | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Publish your outstanding work in Augustana Digital Commons


You’ve put a lot of effort into writing a great paper and so far the only person who has read it is your professor. Both of you agree it is well done. Why not share it with a worldwide audience through Augustana Digital Commons?

Here are the benefits:

  • Your work will have a permanent, academic url attached to it that you can include on employment, grad school, scholarship, and internship applications.
  • Your work is visible to prospective students and their families so they can see what student scholarship looks like at Augustana.
  • Your work can include a creative commons license so that you specify how it can be used by others.
  • Each month you receive an email letting you know how many times your work has been downloaded and with what type of institution they are affiliated.
  • For most disciplines, publishing in Augustana Digital Commons doesn’t prevent you from submitting your work to journals in your field.

Questions? Contact Connie Ghinazzi. Take advantage of this terrific opportunity to share your outstanding work with the world!


Posted in Digital Commons, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: We’ve Got the Music In Us!

Augustana College Band at a football game, circa 1928, in MSS 367 Martin M. Johnston papers, box 1.

Music is a time honored tradition at Augustana College, and over half of the current student body is involved in music in one way or another. This tradition is a bigger part of our campus history than people might realize. In its early days, Augustana had a prestigious Conservatory of Music, which was founded in January 1886. The Conservatory was a special school within Augustana that was founded to honor the Swedish connection with music, and thus bring our school even closer to its Swedish heritage. The Conservatory grew as the College did until they were merged 1932, at which time the Conservatory was considered one of the “Best Music Schools in the Midwest” (1932 Conservatory Catalog).


In Special Collections’ collection of academic papers and theses (MSS 240), researchers can find an essay written by Augustana student Julie Waetke in 1978 that gives a brief history of the Conservatory of Music. Waetke describes the founding of the Conservatory on January 18, 1886 in this passage, “The person mainly responsible for the birth of the Conservatory was Dr. Olof Olsson. On his legendary European tour, he was so impressed with the music he heard that he was determined to begin a conservatory of music at Augustana. He felt that it wouldn’t be right for the Swedes, a music-loving people, to neglect such an important area in their college” (Waetke 4-5). Dr. Olof Olsson and Dr. Gustav Stolpe are credited with the founding of the Conservatory, and without their dedication the Conservatory might not have reached the level of excellence Augustana’s music department has today. Students attended the Conservatory to become musicians— they earned certificates in music theory, music history and literature, music performance, and music education (Waetke 10-11). As the curriculum expanded, students enrolled in the Conservatory were required to take religion, literature, psychology, and physical education classes as part of Augustana’s Lutheran liberal arts education.


Image C-L39, music room in Old Main, circa 1893. Augustana College Photograph Collection.

The Conservatory (later the music department) changed locations several times throughout its history. It was originally housed in Old Main, which at the time held the library, museum, and humanities departments. It was then moved to a building called East Hall in 1928, which was located where the Brunner Theatre Center now stands. Finally, when Bergendoff Hall was completed in 1960, the music department found a permanent home of its own.

Augustana College Conservatory Rockety-I 1919 (C-L535)

Image C-L535, Augustana College Conservatory students, 1919. Augustana College Photograph Collection.

The music department at Augustana College has continued to evolve and expand since the closure of the Conservatory. The course diversity grew over the years in order to create intelligent interpreters as well as  cultured characters that live a fuller life (1916 Conservatory Catalog). Today the music program looks like a lot of programs here at our liberal arts college. Music students take English, science, math, physical education, and many other subjects to get a full spectrum of experiences and a multifaceted education. The college’s music program maintains an important and prestigious presence on campus. In addition to classes, Augustana offers a diverse sampling of performing ensembles, including two bands, an orchestra, and six choral ensembles. The music department organizes the annual “Christmas at Augustana” recital, bringing many of the groups together in one big celebration. Augustana also has chapters of Sigma Alpha Iota and Phi Mu Alpha, female and male fraternities for music students.


The Augustana Band poses on the steps of Denkmann Library, circa 1928, in MSS 367 Martin M. Johnston papers, box 1.

For more information about Augustana College’s Conservatory of Music, stop by Special Collections and request any of the collections described above, as well as the original records of the Conservatory of Music (MSS 230). To learn more about our campus history, visit Special Collections’ online exhibit, An Augustana Campus History.

Posted in Special Collections, Throwback Thursday | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday recess for the library

With campus on holiday recess, the library will operate with an academic break schedule. Please see the graphic for our open hours.

Happy holidays! We look forward to seeing you again in 2017.

Posted in Library Hours | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

RefWorks is changing – you need to take action!


RefWorks has been updated; its new features make it super easy to use. Those who already are using RefWorks will need to migrate to the new format in order to retain citations you have saved previously. This is easy to do, and we’ve created a Moodle course to help! Enroll in the Moodle course by scrolling down to “Departments and other groups,” then “Tredway Library,” then “RefWorks.” (You can also go directly to this Moodle page by clicking “RefWorks” on the library homepage, under Research Tools.) Access to the old version of RefWorks may end sometime soon after January 1, 2017, so please make this change as soon as possible.

For those who have never used RefWorks before, this is a great opportunity to start. Now, in addition to saving citations and integrating the citation style of your choice into a paper as you write it, you will more easily be able to save the full text of your articles in your RefWorks account. Sending citations to RefWorks is also much easier; store the “Save to RefWorks” button in the Bookmarks bar of your browser, and one click will send information about whatever you’re viewing in your browser to your RefWorks account, regardless of the database or catalog (or website!) you are looking at. It couldn’t be simpler.

Posted in Online Resources | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: “Over There and Over Here”

During this time of year it is important to remember those we love and those we have lost. We especially feel grateful for those who have died serving our country. We all feel the impact of their sacrifice every day, even though the individual names and faces may get lost over time. Augustana College felt the impact of World War II especially hard as they lost many young men to the war. President Conrad Bergendoff (1936-1962) carried the campus through this difficult time, and through his personal papers as well as other college records we can get a glimpse into how Augustana College’s faculty and students dealt with, and felt about, the war.

Bergie Letter MSS 5 Box 20 Folder 6.jpg

President Bergendoff’s letter to Augustana men in the service (MSS 5 Conrad Bergendoff papers, Box 20, Folder 6)

It was expected at this time that all eligible young men and women would do their part to help the war effort, and there was also a lot expected of private institutions like Augustana College. A bulletin was issued in 1942, advising students and faculty at major higher education institutions of this need for all to give every resource they had to the cause, including academic buildings, living space, and recruits (students). President Bergendoff was very aware of this issue, and from his papers we can see how he planned to be a key player in the war effort (MSS 5 Conrad Bergendoff papers, box 20). He couldn’t offer enlisted men and women any space in our residence buildings because of capacity issues, but he did offer them time in our academic buildings for a learning space. Of course there was nothing President Bergendoff could do to prevent his students from being drafted, but he gave them every learning opportunity available to prepare the young men and women for what was to come during the war, through class instruction and physical education programs.


President Bergendoff letter (1944 Rockety-I )

It was when the draft age was lowered to 18 that the college had to adjust its programs to fit the new needs of its students. “Augustana proposes to bend every effort to give its youth the best it has, to prepare them for perilous days of war and demanding days of peace” (“Augustana in War Time” 1943, Augustana College: World War II vertical file). This statement captures the college’s plan to adopt a new curriculum that could be completed quickly, and in the evenings, while drafted students worked for the armed forces. Augustana believed its students needed to  be just as ready for peace as they needed to be for the war, which is why they made the extra effort to make sure they were prepared.

ww2 pics.jpg

Augustana’s servicemen, 1944 Rockety-I

Two issues of the Augustana Observer in November 1939 included an “Over There and Over Here” section where students and faculty were asked what they would, or should, do if the United States joined the war. The students were asked in one issue if they would volunteer to go if drafted, and the consensus among the students was that they did not want to fight but would rather work for peace (November 2, 1939 Augustana Observer). Faculty members were then asked if they would advise students to volunteer, and the consensus was the same. Even though most of the faculty members that were asked were veterans themselves, they still wished that there would be a peaceful means to ending the war before the United States needed to enter it (November 9, 1939 Augustana Observer). Both groups held to their Christian convictions that it was not right to go to war, and that this was not their war to fight. Students also held the belief that it was more courageous to resist the draft that to fight (November 2, 1939 Augustana Observer). We can see this trend develop in later issues of the Augustana Observer, and the need felt by the student body to focus on peace rather than worry about an impending war. For example, during the Homecoming celebrations of 1941, the hope was that students would focus on the joy of the occasion rather than the threat of war (October 2, 1941 Augustana Observer).

Of course we now know that the United States did enter the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941; and we know that we lost many young men overseas. The young men and women that were preparing for a war faced many years of a brutal and world-changing war. Following the end of WWII in 1945, while the Augustana campus grieved for the Augie boys who did not come home, Augustana College opened its doors to veterans and offered them an education through the help of the GI Bill and President Bergendoff. One little-known aftereffect of the war was the christening of the S.S. Augustana Victory. The S.S. Augustana Victory was one of hundreds of cargo ships named after American colleges and universities created after the war in memory of those who fought. When Augustana College was chosen as one of the schools to be honored in this way, Augustana alumni came together and donated a library for the boat in honor of the Augustana students that fought, and died, in the war. The ship sailed for many years (and possibly in the Vietnam War), but it is now believed to be sunk somewhere near Puerto Rico (“Anchors Aweigh,” Connie Ghinazzi, Reflecting on the Past).

SS Augustana Victory.jpg

Image C-F377 S.S. Augustana Victory. Augustana College Photograph Collection.

For more information about Augustana College during World War II, stop by Special Collections and request MSS 5 to read President Conrad Bergendoff’s papers during that time, or ask for MSS 99 Collection on World War II to see more about the war at large. You can also see the Augustana College: World War II Vertical Files for more information about how our college was affected by the war. For more information about the S.S. Augustana Victory, you can read Connie Ghinazzi’s article, “Anchors Aweigh: The S.S. Augustana Victory” ( You can also use the online Augustana Observer and Rockety-I Database for more information about student and faculty opinions and activity during this time.

Posted in Special Collections, Throwback Thursday | Leave a comment