The great freshman text-book is out at last, and is for sale at the usual places and prices. Excepting the excitement over the foot-ball contests, nothing stirs the thought and feeling of the undergraduate so deeply as the appearance of the catalogue. And when the book finally appears, he pores over its pages as over the pages of a thrilling love story. So it is well worth our trouble to discover what striking changes this latest recorder of the facts of college life contains.
Doubtless general interest is at once directed to the summary of instructors, students, etc., in the different departments of the university. The college has: seniors, 232; juniors, 236; sophomores, 232; freshmen, 258, and special students, 110. Total, 1068. Students in other departments are apportioned as follows: Divinity, 25, Law, 154; Scientific, 22; Medical, 264; Dental, 33; Graduates, 72. The Bussey Institution and the School of Veterinary Medicine have 4 and 27 students respectively. With the officers of government and instruction, the total number in the university is 1662, an increase of 76 over the total for 1884-85. These figures show that the class of '86 has lost 2; '87, 20, and '88, 23. '89 excels last years freshman class by only 3. The number of special students is 110, a gain of 40 over 1884-85. Last year's total for the college, 1006 is increased by 62. There are are similar gains in most of the other departments. The Law School, however, has lost 1, and Bussey Institution, 2; losses which Harvard may well grieve over.
The calendar is unquestionably second in importance, and here the reader finds that the Christmas recess is from Dec. 23, 1885, to January 2, 1886, inclusive, which necessitates the second term beginning on Monday, Jan. 4. But the most surprising thing of all on these pages, even in the whole book, is this: "May 31, Monday. Memorial Day; a holiday." The italitics are the present writer's.
Other matters of general interest are these, The number of bound volumes in the several libraries is 304,809; the number in Gore Hall being 232,800. In 1884-85 these numbers were 290,800 and 220,300 respectively. Among the list of prizes, etc., appears the announcement of the Dante Society, already discussed in these columns. Other features of the catalogue are substantially the same as last year. The dignified form of a bound volume, and the patriotic color are still preserved. Another year has but to pass before no class in college will have its memory stained by the old pale blue paper covered catalogue of 1882-83, and previous years.