Month: March 2016


music1At one time, Centenary had a large music department. In fact, the music department was the largest department the college’s first year, with 87 studying instrumental music and 72 studying vocal music. Fine Arts & Music were special features for Centenary at a time when few other schools had facilities for musical instruction that rivaled theirs.

There were many musical clubs for students in the early years – The Mandolin and Banjo Club, The String Glee Club, the C.C.I. Concert Band, and the C.C.I. Orchestra, which thrived for many years.

banjo mandolin club 1898

The Glee and Mandolin Club of 1898

The music department, or Observatory of Music, remained unchanged for many years, thanks to the untiring energy of its students and faculty. Mr. Mets, former Head of the Music Department, was a teacher of Piano and Organ at Centenary from 1906 to 1946 – a staggering 40 years!

The music department received its own building in the mid 1960s when the Joseph R. Ferry Music and Arts Building was constructed. The building was named after Joseph R. Ferry, graduate of Centenary in 1907 (when it was still Centenary Collegiate Institute) and member of the trustees since 1948.  Formerly the Denman Gymnasium and swimming pool, it was expanded with a new wing and the existing structure was converted to practice rooms, rehearsal spaces, a recital hall, classrooms, and offices for music teachers. The building opened in the spring semester of 1965.

ferry building

Architectural plans for the 3rd floor of the Ferry Music and Arts Building

By the mid 1990s, the building was just called the Ferry Building, an indication of the diminishing music program. The building has found several new uses and functions as classrooms and office space. The college still offers several music classes for those students interested in learning and making music. 


The library is in the middle of converting its catalog from the Dewey Decimal system to the Library of Congress system.


Ready for books!


Ready for shelves!

All of the books in the Quiet Area (the academic books) have gotten new call numbers and are in the process of being relabeled and shelved in their new locations.

dewey to lc428The first time the library saw such a large scale reshelving was in 1954, the day they were moved from the old library to the newly built Taylor Memorial Library. Every member of the College community helped move the books that day. Students were separated into groups by dorm and each group was given assigned times to help the shift.

Head Librarian Ruth Scarborough selected seniors to be put in charge of each group. Their job was to make sure that their group was working steadily while also keeping the books in order. Staff and Faculty were designated as ‘checkers’ and ‘helpers’. Checkers were positioned in the old library to make sure that everything was being moved in order, and helpers were in the new library to make sure that the books were being shelved in order. According to documentation, the project took only one day.

dewey to lc429

The current project has several more steps and so it is naturally a longer process. The books are getting new labels and being put in order by their designation. After all the books have been relabeled, they will be put in the proper order.