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Syracuse University Library launches new Web site to invite community reflections and exploration of ‘soul’
Syracuse University Library launches new Web site to invite community reflections and exploration of ‘soul’November 22, 2004Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
As part of Syracuse University’s inaugural year exploration, “University as Public Good: Exploring the Soul of Syracuse,” the Syracuse University Library has launched an interactive Web site to invite public discussion, perspectives and thoughts on the meaning of “soul” from the University and greater communities. Located at http://libwww.syr.edu/soul/, this new online forum includes “soul” resources, quotations, definitions, suggested readings and a schedule of upcoming events and programs.
“University as Public Good: Exploring the Soul of Syracuse,” is the yearlong exploration designated by Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor to engage the University and its extended communities in the exploration of “soul.”
“The goal of this Web site is to encourage members of our greater Syracuse University community to participate in Chancellor Cantor’s yearlong exploration of the ‘Soul of Syracuse’ by first contemplating the object of this exploration, the soul itself,” says Greg Griffin, chair of the Library Soul of Syracuse Committee. “My guess is that the diversity of perspectives and stories about ‘soul’ are as many as there are people willing to share their thoughts. Our committee is very hopeful that all members will come to this Web site to begin their own exploration of the soul with us.”
At the Web site’s “Share Your Thoughts on Soul” area, visitors can offer thoughts and personal meanings on “soul.” These writings will then be posted on the site for public viewing. Throughout the year, the site will gather and display the growing contributions and reflections for others to read and contemplate.
Contributions may also be included in the Library’s upcoming “What Is Soul?,” publication, which will be available in January at various locations across campus and in the community.
The “Soul Definitions and Quotes” portion of the site offers background on “soul,” including its etymology, selected definitions and its compound forms from a variety of historical sources. Also featured are some of the more famous and profound quotes that have appeared in historical and literary contexts, such as Aristotle’s:
The knowledge of the soul admittedly contributes greatly to the advance of truth in general, and, above all, to our understanding of Nature, for the soul is in some sense the principle of animal life. To attain any assured knowledge about the soul is one of the most difficult things in the world.
Visitors are encouraged to offer their favorite quotes to contribute to the ongoing discussion.
The Web site also includes a “Suggested Reading” page that lists a variety of literary sources that embrace different perspectives and contexts of “soul,” as well as suggested listening, cooking and viewing resources.
The creation of the site was headed by the Library Soul of Syracuse Committee, including Chair Gregory Griffin, senior director of development; Marty Hanson, preservation administrator; Kelly Hovendick, interim head of reference; Abby Kasowitz-Scheer, head of instructional programs; and Pamela McLaughlin, head of the access and digital services division. The Web design was done by Penelope Singer, technical specialist; and Suzanne Preate, digital imaging librarian.
For more information on the inaugural year, visit: http://soulofsyracuse.syr.edu/main.html/.