North Carolina Libraries, Vol 67, No 1 (2009)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library and the Sciences, 1795-1902

Bill Burke


Early in the history of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, three library collections developed: the University Library and the libraries of the university's literary societies (the Dialectic and the Philanthropic societies, informally known as the Di and the Phi). The university collection was not diverse. It emphasized the classics and theology, reflecting a curriculum strong in ancient languages, mathematics, natural philosophy, hemistry, and moral philosophyand weak in general literature. Student use of the library was infrequent, due in part to the fact that the favored method of instruction at the university was based on recitations and textbooks and not on outside reading and library research.

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