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Detail from photo of a conference at the national Institute of Panama

Esther Neira de Calvo (1890-1978) was a prominent Panamanian educator, women’s rights advocate, politician, and diplomat.  The extensive Esther Neira de Calvo papers, housed here at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections, document her extensive work as an advocate for women’s rights as well as her interactions with leading American women’s rights crusaders, including Carrie Chapman Catt and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Esther Neira de Calvo was born in Panama and studied at the Institut Pedagogique de Wavre-Notre Dame in Belgium, College of Mount St. Vincent, and Columbia University in New York. During her career in Panama, she served as Inspector General of Education (1923-1927), director of Panama’s Normal School for Women (1927-1938), and head of the Lyceum, a university preparatory school for women (1938-1945). In her native country, she also founded the National Society for the Advancement of Women (1923) and the Women’s Patriotic League (1945). As an elected delegate in 1945 to the Third Constituent Assembly, she contributed to the drafting of a new national Panamanian constitution, which was enacted in 1946.  She moved to Washington, D.C. to serve as Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission of Women of the Organization of American States (OAS) from 1949 to 1965.  The following year, the government of Panama appointed her Ambassador, Alternative Representative to the OAS.  She held that position from 1966 to 1968.

Carrie Chapman Catt (1859-1947) was an important leader in the American women’s rights movement. In 1900, she replaced Susan B. Anthony as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Owing to her efforts and those of her fellow suffragettes, the U.S. Congress passed the 19th Amendment in 1920 granting American women the right to vote in political elections. Moreover, Catt was instrumental in the creation of the League of Women Voters. After World War I, Catt participated in the peace movement.

photo of a conference at the national Institute of Panama

The Esther Neira de Calvo papers contain a photograph depicting both Catt and Neira de Calvo in Panama (box 6a, folder 23). In the image, dated Tuesday, March 13, 1923, Catt stands at a podium addressing the crowd at a conference at the National Institute in Panama. Catt spoke about feminism in her address titled “For the Women of Panama.”  This speech was a follow-up to the Pan-American Conference of Women held in Baltimore in April 1922, which Neira de Calvo had attended as a delegate of Panama.  In the photograph, Neira de Calvo, the President of the National Society for the Progress of Women, is seated to Catt’s right at the head table. Christine Bradley South, the wife of the U.S. Minister to Panama, is seated to Catt’s left. The man at the head table is most likely Minister South.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), the wife of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, worked actively for equal rights for women throughout her lifetime. She served in the League of Women Voters on the Legislative Affairs Committee. She is also known for her work with the United Nations, and she helped draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Roosevelt often traveled to visit leaders around the world.

photograph of Neira de Calvo with Eleanor Roosevelt

The papers also include a photograph of Neira de Calvo with Eleanor Roosevelt (box 7a, folder 116). In the picture, dated October 10, 1941, Neira de Calvo shakes hands with the First Lady, who awards her an honorary Doctorate of Pedagogy from Russell Sage College in Troy, New York, for her achievements in women’s education. The event took place at an Inter-American convention. At that time, Neira de Calvo was Director of the Women’s Lyceum in Panama and Delegate of Panama to the Inter-American Commission of Women.

As demonstrated by these two photographs, which are 18 years apart, Neira de Calvo’s work on behalf of women’s rights spanned decades. She tirelessly advanced her goals. In the process, she met and cooperated with some of the leading luminaries of women’s rights in the twentieth century.

—Scott S. Taylor, Manuscripts Archivist

January 15, 2019

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O'Reilly Media has launched a new platform for Safari Books Online (also called O'Reilly for Higher Education), which is now available in HoyaSearch. The new platform contains over 40,000 books, plus videos, learning paths, and O'Reilly Conference videos. The book title list contains over 98% of the most popular titles from the classic Safari collection.

What's Changing
The collection is moving to a completely new platform, featuring new searching and reading functionality. You'll notice some of the following major points:
  • Unlimited simultaneous users (a change from the 10 simultaneous users on the old Safari platform)
  • Single Sign-On (SSO) authentication for users (not through EZproxy), permitting users to automatically create reading lists, set language preferences, and subscribe to email updates without manually creating an account. Users will be asked to enter their Georgetown email address before being directed to the familiar Georgetown NetID login screen.
    • Note: This change eliminates access to walk-in users.
  • Access to video and text-based "Learning Paths," or curated modules on concepts and technologies, previously unavailable in the classic Safari.
Classic Safari
O'Reilly Media will be sunsetting the classic Safari platform for Georgetown users on January 19, 2019. At that time, all titles directly linked to the classic platform will cease working - O'Reilly is not providing redirecting services. URLs will need to be swapped out for those pointing to titles on the new platform. O'Reilly is not providing a shortcut for recreating URLs from the old platform to the new. Between now and the sunset date, the classic Safari will be available in HoyaSearch in parallel with the new Safari.
Access and Linking
Access to the new Safari Books Online package is available now in HoyaSearch. Links to the classic Safari Books Online platform in the Databases A-Z list will be swapped out at the close of the Fall 2018 semester. 
Direct links are possible on the new Safari platform. As the new Safari platform uses SSO authentication, the proxy URL should not be added. To link to a specific title in the new Safari platform, the characters "/?ar" must be added to direct users through the SSO system. For example, a book with the following URL:
should be provided to users as 
This information has also been included in the library's FAQ system.
We recognize that this is migration affects a significant, high-use collection of materials in the middle of the academic year. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the E-Resources & Serials Unit at eresources@georgetown.edu
Posted 20 December 2018, 14:13 ET
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Electronic Resources Updates
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Detail of Cottonian binding

From long tables displaying bright covers of contemporary bestsellers to late 19th-century gift books within Special Collections, students, readers, and scholars are surrounded by eye-catching bindings. I long assumed decorative bindings like these were bound up in marketing efforts—a book needs to attract sufficient attention to encourage reading, conversation, and of course purchase of the title. “Cottonian bindings” refined my perspective on these relationships.

“Cottonian” binding refers to a portion of the books (still numbering well over a thousand) in the personal library of Romantic poet Robert Southey. These books were covered in pieces of patterned cloth over their plain paper bindings to protect them from wear, at a much lower cost than the calf or gilt morocco leather bindings in which wealthy book owners often had their paper books rebound. The term “Cottonian” was a sly riff on Sir Robert Bruce Cotton, whose extensive and priceless personal library became the foundation for the British Library. The paper-bound portion of Southey’s library was not even sent out to respected binders or covered by the poet himself. The books were covered by some of Southey’s own daughters, as well as other daughters of British Romantic luminaries—Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge.

Cottonian bindings

The printed fabric bindings varied greatly in design and color, but as you can see were kept consistent across volumes of the same book. The relatively subdued deep red cloth covering Antiquarian and Topographical Cabinet first mimics a literal cabinet—whose purpose is to best feature the objects within it. I find it delightful the Cabinet itself becomes part of a larger cabinet of curiosities, because of the unique story of its binding. The book provides a contrast to the floral motifs encasing the other two-volume works next to it.

Cottonian bindingsCottonian bindings

The vibrant floral covers of The Life and Errors of John Dunton and Narrative of a Forced Journey through Spain and France as a Prisoner of War visually present celebratory bouquets to the men whose military and literary achievements are praised within the pages. However, in a preface to The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, his son Charles shares that the bindings chosen by his sisters were “sometimes contriving a sly piece of satire at the contents of some well-known author by their choice of its covering.” For that reason, there is room for consideration of these floral bindings as more ironic commentary by these women toward men who write self-congratulatory autobiographies.

Cottonian bindings

Cottonian bindings

Cottonian bindings do more than uniquely present some of Robert Southey’s extensive collection, speak to the range of costs of bookbinding, or illustrate the role of young women in off-market book production near the beginning of the 19th century. For instance, The Life and Errors of John Dunton is marked with Robert Southey’s name at the bottom of the title page. Yet these volumes were not identified in Southey’s library by his name or even the label with the work’s title pasted to the spine. They became known by the cloth binding the daughters chose, affirmed by how they are referred to by their binding even now. Women rebound, even began to reclaim, these works by physically preserving and aesthetically making the books known by the bindings they fixed to the books.

The social influence of Cottonian bindings did not remain in the space of Southey’s library. According to Michael Sadleir, the bindings made such an impression on the influential literary figures who passed through the Southey library that publishers were inspired to produce their own cloth bindings with embossed floral work and elaborate designs into their books. With this, a female-driven means of thriftily reinforcing book bindings in the space of a home library made its way into the commercial realm of publishing.

If Sadleir’s argument stands, Cottonian bindings are direct precursors to the highly decorative bindings I was familiar with before. Not only are Cottonian fabric covers highly variable and beautiful, providing commentary on the texts within them, they also facilitate consideration from a range of critical angles. Through these bindings, the Southey influence stretches beyond the messaging and technical influence of Robert’s poems into and beyond the unique, re-covered containers of the wide range of books he owned.

--Anastasia J. Armendariz (C’2019), Paul F. Betz Collection Research Assistant, Booth Family Center for Special Collections

December 12, 2018

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Rare Books
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Items from Woodstock Library Rare Book Collection
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Woodstock Library Rare Book Collection

Chinese Print

The Jesuits at Woodstock College were trained in academic and spiritual disciplines. This was done in the spirit of Ad majorem Dei gloriam, for the greater glory of God. Their training in languages, world literatures, and global civilizations enabled them to live in different geographic locations and among diverse cultures and people. Thus, their work, or “missions”, took them all over the world where they contributed to, but most often gained from, the societies they inhabited.

In the 20th century, Woodstock Jesuits were sent to China, following a long tradition of Jesuits in China which began in 1582 with Matteo Ricci. While there, they not only taught and learned from the Chinese people but they consumed and enjoyed their traditions.

As any traveler can testify, souvenirs are important material markers of time spent abroad. Among the keep-sakes the Woodstock Jesuits brought back from their work in China were a group of prints depicting scenes from the The Three Kingdoms, the historical novel attributed to Luo Guanzhong (ca. 1330-1400) and set in the 2nd century at the close of the Latter or Eastern Han Dynasty.* The story centers around three characters, Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei, who make an oath to become brothers and to defend the Han Empire in the Peach Garden.

Chinese Print

The famous first line of the novel is: the empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide.  In the context of the prints obtained by the Woodstock Jesuits one can’t help but contemplate how closely it echoes the history of the Jesuits – from its extraordinary beginning and flourishing during 16th and 17th centuries, to its suppression and expulsion from Europe in 1773, to its restoration in 1814.

Post by Amy Phillips, Rare Materials Cataloger for Woodstock Library

* Many thanks to our colleague, Ding Ye, for helping us identify these prints.



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Detail from photo of woman painting

Images of Women and a Visual Literacy Exercise

Here are two of my favorite images of women from the women’s collections at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections.

In gathering these images, I’m reminded of how important it is to recognize the value of visual artifacts such as photographs and graphic images. Visual literacy is the foundation of learning — children learn from pictures before they can read text. Images can provide a more immediate connection because they tend to elicit a more emotional response than reading a textual item. Many people already mentally transcribe textual reading into images in order to facilitate their understanding of information conveyed in words. Examining visual artifacts may reveal aspects not apparent from just reading text, making the development of perceptive and observational skills a valuable part of research. In life, visual literacy—the ability to communicate through images and to make sense of them—helps us to better read an increasingly multimedia world, especially when combined with other sensory literacies, including textual and digital literacies.

Try a visual literacy exercise by applying some of the following questions to the photographs shown here. I have provided the barest information about each. See if you can figure out something about the “who, what, where, and why”. Remember: all images are from collections at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections. Check out the online finding aids for these collections in order to find out more about each woman.

Photo of first woman traffic police officer in U.S.

Leola N. King, the first traffic policewoman in the United States,
on duty in Washington, D.C.
(Cornelius van Engert papers, GTMGamms169, Box 10, Folder 32)


Step 1. Pick an image.

  • Look at it for a few minutes. Avoid reading any caption or accompanying text.
  • Capture your first impression in a few words about what the image shows.
  • Note everything you see in the image.

Step 2. Determine the purpose of the image.

  • Read any existing information that accompanies the image.
  • Who made the picture?
  • Who was the audience?
  • When was image created?
  • Why was the image created?

Step 3. Interpret and Communicate

  • Verify and support your interpretation of the original using reference sources (including the originating collection).
  • Share the picture with a colleague.
  • Compare perceptions. See anything new?
  • Do you agree with each other’s interpretation?
  • If you were provided with only a written description of the image, what would you miss?


Photo of woman painting a poster on skyscraper

A National League of Women’s Service poster painter
in New York City.
(Cornelius van Engert papers, GTMGamms169, Box10, Folder 32)


(Questions adapted from Visual Literacy Exercise by Helena Zinkham, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, June 2004).

--Lisette Matano, Manuscripts Archivist

November 20, 2018

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Items from Woodstock Library Rare Book Collection
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Woodstock Library Rare Book Collection

On this day in 1989, six Jesuits and their domestic worker and her 16 year old daughter were brutally murdered by American trained Salvardoran soldiers at their residence at the University of Central America (UCA) in the city of San Salvador. They were murdered because they and the UCA were perceived by right-wing political powers as favoring the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), an insurgent group that fought against the corrupt government. Moreover, one among them, Ignacio Ellacuria, S.J., was openly critical of the government and the violence it perpetrated against its own people. The Jesuit Order, which ran the UCA, always expressed and lived in solidarity with those made poor and victimized by the political perversions of the Salvadorian regime The names of those martyrs are:

Ignacio EllacuríaS.J.

Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J.

Segundo Montes, S.J.

Juan Ramón Moreno, S.J.

Joaquín López y López, S.J.

Amando López, S.J.

Elba Ramos

Celina Ramos

The liberation theologian, Jon Sobrino, S.J., was close friend and colleague of the assassinated Jesuits at the UCA. About his friends he wrote:

Witnesses to the Kingdom Book Cover“It is true that they worked and served in the university, in the Society of Jesus, in the church, but in the final analysis they were not serving and working for the good of the university, the Society of Jesus, or the church. They were working to bring the crucified people down from the cross, in the language of Jesus, to eliminate the anti-kingdom and build the kingdom of God. Thus, they did not use the poor as a means to further their academic or religious interests – an ever present temptation, since we human beings manipulate for our benefit even that which is most sacred – but on the contrary, they used the latter as means for practicing mercy.” (Witness to the Kindgom: The Martyrs of El Salvador and the Crucified People. New York: Orbis Books, 2003. page 198)


Post by Amy Phillips, Rare Materials Cataloger for Woodstock Library


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Detail from untitled woodcut by Kiyoanaga Torri

The ability to print and reproduce artwork was the art world's pre-internet. Printing and sharing images allowed artists to study new styles, merge methods of art production and represent old subjects in new media, revolutionizing the art world. Without the capability of reproducing prints, Iowa born artist Bertha Boynton Lum would have never combined the French subjects of Commedia dell'arte in the style of Japanese woodblock prints.

 Costume Ball, woodcut on paper by Bertha Boynton Lum

Costume Ball (1924)
Woodcut on paper by Bertha Boynton Lum
Georgetown University Art Collection 1111.1.653


Born in 1869, Bertha Lum started her career in the design department at the Art Institute of Chicago at the peak of the fin de siècle style. She returned to the Art Institute in the early 19th century to work with Arthur Wesley Dow, who introduced her to Japanese Woodblock printing. While printing was not popularized in Europe until the 15th century, printing was used in Asia as early as the third century. Lum spent a seven-week honeymoon in Japan and sought a printmaker who could teach her the traditional ukiyo-e method (pictures of the floating world).

Untitled woodcut on paper by Kiyoanaga Torri 

Untitled [3 Women in the rain, two with umbrellas] (ca. 1783)
Woodcut on Paper by Torii Kiyonaga
Georgetown University Art Collection 1111.1.5061


Lum’s work is most akin to the bijin-ga (beautiful person picture) genre. One of the great masters of this genre is Torii Kiyonaga, born Sekiguchi Shinsuke (1752-1815), who passed away around 75 years before Lum’s first visit to Japan. He started out making promotional materials depicting Kabuki actors for theaters. Untitled [3 women in the rain, two with umbrellas] is a prime example of the bijin-ga style.

Toward the end of Lum’s trip to Japan, she discovered a shop that reproduced old prints like that of Kiyonaga’s work. She returned to Minneapolis with the woodcutting tools they sold her and began her practice. Four years later, she returned to Japan for a longer stay, and a professor of the Imperial Art School in Tokyo introduced her to engravers and printers with whom to train. She returned to the United States and printed there until she moved to Peking, China during the 1920s. She stayed in China until 1953 when she moved to Genoa, Italy and died there a year later.

While her work is in the bijin-ga style, Costume Ball (1924) alludes to French lithographs that depict Commedia dell’arte (comedy of the profession), such as the work of Jules Chéret (1836-1932) master of the Belle Époque (Beautiful Era).

lithograph by Jules Cheret 

(Commedia dell'Arte Figures) for Maîtres de l'Affiche (plate 201) (1898)
Lithograph by Jules Chéret
Georgetown University Art Collection 1996.38.6


In this work, (Commedia dell'Arte Figures) for Maîtres de l'Affiche, we see several figures from the Commedia dell’arte. Commedia dell’arte was a theater production originating in Italy known for its masked typed characters. Perhaps the most famous masked type is that of the Harlequin. In Chéret’s figure his Cherette, possibly a Colombina figure (a perky maid), accompanies two Harlequin figures (servant figure known for colorful clothing) and one Pierrot (sad clown wearing a white flowy costume with large buttons). Lum also depicts a Pierrot figure wearing a black mask and a white frock with a ruff. Coincidentally, Lum’s Pierrot figure playing an instrument is highly reminiscent of André Derain’s painting created in the same year, Harlequin and Pierrot (1924), that is housed at the musée de l'Orangerie, thus underlining the French connection.

Lum’s work speaks to the fluid nature of prints. The print’s ability to travel across the globe allowed for Lum, an American woman, to combine French subjects of Italian theatre in a Japanese style.

--Katie O’Hara, University Art Collection Curatorial Intern and Graduate Student in Art and Museum Studies

November 12, 2018

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Items from Woodstock Library Rare Book Collection
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Woodstock Library Rare Book Collection

This year marks the centenary of the influenza epidemic that claimed an estimated 50 million lives worldwide, and nearly 700,000 in the US.1 At the end of World War I global troop movements provided the perfect conditions for the disease to spread. By some calculations, nearly one third of the world’s population contracted the disease.

Though Woodstock College was a somewhat secluded population, it too felt the effects of the influenza epidemic. We get a glimpse of the effects of the disease on the community, from the pages of the diaries held within the archival collection, which describe the advent of the disease.

Page of Woodstock Philosophers Diary

Woodstock Choir Diary Pages

To combat the spread of the disease recreational activities and visitors were curtailed and barred, respectively. Spiritual measures were also taken. During the height of the epidemic, with a number sick novices, an around the clock prayer vigil was held before the sacrament. With nearly 110 cases of the "grippe" reported at the novitiate in St. Andrews-on-Hudson, there was very real fear within the community. 


Woodstock Philosopher Diary

Choir and orchestra practice was also cancelled so as to mitigate the Jesuits contact with each other, and so as to avoid disturbing the sick within the infirmary.

Fortunately, unlike some of the other novitiates in New York, Woodstock escaped with relatively few deaths.

For more information on how Jesuits responded to the Influenza epidemic visit the Woodstock Theological Library.

Post by Adrian Vaagenes, Digital and Archival Services Librarian 


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Detail of lunar globe

The movie First Man is out in theaters, and we all know quite a bit already about the first man on the moon. But what do you know about the first photographs of the far side of the moon?

Soviet Lunar Globe Many unusual and interesting objects find safe haven in the University Archives. One of our favorites is a 1967 Soviet globe of the moon, which likely came to the Archives from the Georgetown University Astronomical Observatory.

Russian language labels on base of Lunar globe: Сделано в СССР РСФСР Министерство просвещения Главучтехпром Ф-ка Природа и Школа г. Москва

Professor Yuri Naumovich Lipsky (1909–1978) led the study of the first photographs of the far side of the moon, from the Luna-3 spacecraft flyby in 1959 and the Zond-3 flyby in 1965. The first full globes of the moon’s surface, as well as selenographic maps, were produced under his direction.

English language legend on Soviet lunar globe: Scale 1:10,000,000 The Globe has been made from the photos obtained by the Automatic Interplanetary Stations Luna-3, on October 7, 1959, and Zond-3, on July 20, 1965, by the Sternberg State Astronomical Institute and the Topographic and Geodetic Service of the USSR. The visible side of the Moon was reproduced from the recent Photographic Lunar Atlases. Scientific guide - Y. N. Lipsky. Moskow, 1967 T-01041 23-1-67 Edition 5000 Order No. 2379

Scientists were of course mapping the near side of the moon long before Professor Lipsky and his extraordinary spaceborne cameras reached around it. The map below comes from Giovanni Battista Riccioli’s Almagestum novum (The New Almagest), 1651 (call #80B30 in the Library’s rare book collections). Riccioli (1598-1671), a Jesuit astronomer, introduced a new system of lunar nomenclature that is still in use today.

Lunar map in Riccioli's The New Almagest

McNally crate site on lunar globe

Many of the names preliminarily assigned to craters and landscapes by the Soviets on our lunar globe would later change to internationally agreed designations. Georgetown’s Fr. Paul A. McNally, S.J., who became director of the Georgetown Observatory in 1928, had a crater named after him in 1970 after this globe was produced. The blue dot on this photo shows approximately where that crater is on the globe. As to the place names surrounding it, Kovalevskaya is the only name in this photo that remains accurate, as the International Astronomical Union (IAU) chose to use the other names displayed for different craters.

The IAU, at its 17th General Assembly in 1979, voted to name a crater in the very center of the far side of the moon in Professor Lipsky’s honor, at coordinates 1.97 degrees S, 179.56 degrees W. Our lunar globe and Riccioli’s The New Almagest are available for study in our reading room.

Stephanie Hughes, Communications and Projects Coordinator, Booth Family Center for Special Collections and Steve Fernie, Library Website Coordinator

November 1, 2018

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Detail from 1829 engraving of Georgetown College

Georgetown College Engraving 1829

In the early days of Georgetown College, the naming of campus buildings seems to have been a remarkably uncreative activity. Buildings were named for function, like the Infirmary which opened in 1833 (known to us as Gervase) or the Small Boys Building (now known as Maguire) which opened in 1854 to separate the "small" boys or prep students from their older counterparts and the potentially bad influences that they might exert.  

And if not named for function, our buildings were named for geographic location. An example is the West Building, or the western wing of the south row, which were both early designations for Isaac Hawkins Hall. The most familiar example of geographic location influencing naming is the North Building, which became "Old" in 1926 when New North opened.  

Consideration of our early naming practices seems to naturally raise a question which I get asked far less often than I'd expect: we have an Old North and a New North and we have a New South, so shouldn't there logically be or have been an "Old" South as well?  

Ryan-New South Opening 1905The answer is that there was indeed a South Building. In fact, that was one of the names associated with our first building, begun in 1788. This was also known over time as the Carroll Building and the Old College. The South Building was razed in 1904 to make way for Ryan Hall, 54 years before work on New South began--or perhaps I should say on the building we call New South today. Because it appears that when Ryan Hall opened in 1905, consideration was given at least briefly to naming it New South. One lone document in the archives testifies to this: the cover of a dance card from the dance held to celebrate the building's opening on February 21, 1905, which identifies the building as New South. However, likely because the University wanted to recognize the financing of the building by Mrs. Thomas Fortune (Ida) Ryan, four of whose sons attended Georgetown, the New South designation did not stick and the building was named Ryan Hall instead. And so, the New South name was still available for use in the 1950s.

--Lynn Conway, University Archivist

October 24, 2018

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