Prove your love to literature by branding a cow in the face!

While working at the digitalization internship today, I was describing the contents of an 1893 literary society group at the State Normal and Industrial School (what would later become UNCG). These girls, 117 years ago, had a initiative ritual which involves branding a cow in the face with the letter “C” while chanting in Latin.

I kid you not.

Other highlights from their constitution involved fining girls for speaking or writing out of turn and making them sign the constitution while swearing oaths of loyalty and secrecy. The log of their minutes reveals that they were in a heated fight with the other literary society. First, they tried to suck up to the school’s president by naming their society after him. He thought it was nice at first and then got crept out and made them change it. Second, members were expected to stalk and harass new students and members of the faculty into joining their group and not the other one. In fact, they petitioned the school to implement a strict rule that students couldn’t change from one literary group to another. Once they had made their choice, that was it.

Once the constitution and minutes are posted online I’ll add some links to this post. In the meantime, check out the Beyond Books and Buildings. These are the plain, boring version which I’ve converted to PDFs (some OCRed) and am now writing metadata about them in CONTENTdm. Ah, that reminds me, the other programs I’m using in conjugation with CONTENTdm are Photoshop and Adobe Bridge. Previously, I had only ever heard of Photoshop, so it feels pretty good to be learning some other programs to use with my work this summer.

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