BY ABIGAIL TETZLAFF, MANAGING EDITOR
Over the homecoming weekend, Lindell Library’s staff hosted a 20th-anniversary celebration commemorating the inception of the library.
Built in 1997, the Lindell Library replaced the George Sverdrup Library so the latter could be renovated into classroom and office spaces as it stands today. As shown in videos library staff played during the event, the current library is situated on formerly residential grounds populated by dwellings within the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.
The event featured cake and drinks, and it welcomed all; former staff, alumni and current students reconnected. President Pribbenow made an appearance to share some remarks on the lower level of the library.
As a part of the celebration, library staff presented an open house where they allowed guests into the archival reading room, the newly minted digitization lab directed by Stewart Van Cleve and took visitors behind the circulation desk where many of the librarians’ offices are located.
Rebecca Ganzel fielded questions on the contents of the archives and displayed an eclectic mix of the archive’s curiosities. An old, green beanie with a “ ‘70” patch sewn on the side was kept under glass. According to Ganzel, these small caps were worn ceremonially by the freshman of yore as an identifier and rite of passage during their first year.
Ganzel also displayed a stained glass window, an imitation of an original window from a cathedral located in Augsburg, Germany. The piece, which depicts the biblical Daniel, was originally housed in the Augsburg Room of Christensen Center, but it sustained smoke damage during an unexpected linen fire on the upper floor last year. The window and its wood casement were shipped off to be cleaned and repaired in the wake of the fire, said Ganzel, and was returned recently. The window found a new home in the archives.
Along with aged copies of “The Echo” and a few pieces of Norwegian, Swedish and German music scores from the archive’s collection, there was one particular oddity that sat quietly beneath a display case: a statue of two white rabbits, both with large, human-like eyes, long ears and dark front paws, and one perched slightly atop the other.
Ganzel had no explanation for the statue, why the archives housed it or how the archive acquired such a curio, but Ganzel elaborated that the archive was not short of strange items. Other items which were not on display but were mentioned by Ganzel were a piece of bone from a whale’s sternum and a pair of incredibly small women’s shoes brought from China where it was customary to bind girls’ feet so they remained the size of a child’s.
These items, the bone and the shoes, were acquired through ministerial students who left Augsburg to do missions work abroad. It is unclear if the rabbits were acquired the same way
This article first appeared in the Friday, October 20, 2017, Edition of The Echo.