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WHILST America has made history rapidly, it has been careless in its preservation.  The celebration of the National Centennial especially directed attention to this fact.  Colleges are by no means exceptions to this general statement.  Few of them have at command the material for a satisfactory history.  Many of the facts concerning the earlier history of Dickinson College have been lost.  A few have recently been rescued, together with many of National and State history, from the paper-stock of a rag-man's loft, and there are many scattered documents of equal interest.  This little sketch of the College, written under heavy press of other duties, currente calamo, is in no sense a complete history, and no regard has been paid, in its preparation, to symmetrical treatment.  But fragmentary and incomplete as it is, it is, perhaps more of a history of the College that has as yet appeared, and will serve, at least, as a nucleus around which to accumulate the material for a more satisfactory account of the College, perhaps by the date of its Centennial — 1883.  An Alumni Record, containing the prominent facts in the life of each Alumnus would, in that connection, be of the highest interest, and if undertaken in time, with the hearty cooperation of all the friends of the College, might be completed by the date mentioned.

The separate and fuller treatment of the history of the Scientific Department of the College, has its explanation in the suggestion of such a history as a possible auxiliary in carrying out a resolution of the Board of Trustees, authorizing the writer to raise funds for the erection of a new building for scientific purposes.  In the course of investigation, in that direction, facts of more general interest manifested themselves, and the plan was expanded so as to incorporate many of them.

As descriptions, with statements of dimensions, convey but feeble impressions in regard to the character, size, and surroundings of buildings, pictorial representation of these essential features of a college has been attempted by the aid of photography.  The photographs, printed as they have been, in the laboratory, by amateurs, at odd intervals, in large numbers, are not given as specimens of the art, but it is hoped that they may serve, at least, as satisfactory notes to the alumni and friends of the College.  The plate of the case of apparatus is given on account of the scientific interest attached to the historic pieces it includes.

By the favor of Harpers & Brothers, it has been possible to present the the excellent portrait of Doctor Durbin.

C. F.H.


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