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James C. Furman Library

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by Special Collections on 10 June 2013

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Transcript of James C. Furman Library

James C. Furman Inside the Library of
James Clement Furman (1809-1891), a Baptist Reverend and Doctor of Divinity, was the first president of Furman University, and the son of its namesake Richard Furman. He attended as a student in 1830 when it was a theological school, and later became its senior professor in 1845, before presiding over the university until 1880. However, some of his original books and papers contain his mark, whether it is his signature or many sketches scattered across multiple pages. Have you ever wondered what you would find in the personal library of a 19th century University President? The books and papers that were contained in his library give us clues about Furman University's first president. It also shows what might have been found in other libraries during the same period, like the one pictured above.

The following is a selective re-creation of what might have been in the personal library of James C. Furman using materials from the department of Special Collections and Archives at Furman University. These sketches might have been made at his desk, where you would have also found other written materials like... An Oration, at the Charleston Orphan-House, by Richard Furman


"Carolina Baptist," newspaper


Minutes of the South Carolina Baptist State Convention


Pamphlets containing sermons by James C. Furman


"The Bible Union Reporter,"
magazine Special Collections and Archives does not have all of the original books that were in James C. Furman's possession. Many of them are copies or different editions. Some are only known because of Sander's article. For a longer list of materials in James C. Furman's Library, visit our website at

http://library.furman.edu/specialcollections/furman/james_c_furman_library.htm Or you can contact us at: specialcollections@furman.edu. Special Collections and Archives also houses artifacts that might have been on his desk. Furman's Ink Well Furman's Spectacles Furman's portable lap desk could have also been where many of his papers, correspondence, and sketches were made. An article from the newspaper "The Baptist Courier" provides some initial insight. Over the span of several months ( during 1909-1910), R. W. Sanders visited James C. Furman's home and did a continuing piece on the contents of his library. Here is a small sample of the books found on his shelves.
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