Book by Samuel Lander Donated to Library

August 19, 2010

S. Lander BookA math book written by Lander University founder Samuel Lander during the Civil War is now among the holdings of the Larry A. Jackson Library.

The book, titled "Our Own School Arithmetic," is one of only seven copies known to exist. It was given to the library by a donor who preferred to remain anonymous.

The book recently returned from a North Carolina conservator that specializes in restoring old books, where it was deacidified, a process that stops the spotting of pages, which Lander assistant librarian Mike Berry calls "common with books of that age." A new spine was put on the book as well.

The text, published in 1863 by Sterling, Campbell & Albright, of Greensboro, N.C., is one of three math books that Lander, a respected scholar and theologian, contributed to a series of schoolbooks by southern writers.

In his preface to the book, Lander expressed pride "in presenting the public perhaps the first Arithmetic whose authorship and publication belong exclusively to the Confederate States."

David Mash, dean of Lander's Library Services, calls the methodology of the book "daunting by modern standards."

Placed in an acid-free binder and kept in a low-moisture, temperature-controlled environment, the book could last for hundreds of years.