Elon students donate books to Italian library
As they prepared to return home from their semester abroad, Elon students contributed to a special library in Florence, Italy.
Departing Italy for the United States, Elon students studying abroad in Florence often leave behind books of every sort and fashion because they are just too heavy to carry home. This year these abandoned books were put to good use for generations to come.
Hidden away in what was once the edge of Florence is the English Cemetery, which includes the grave of such notables as the romantic poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the slavery abolitionist Theodore Parker. In addition to the gravesites, the cemetery also includes an English language lending library. The library offers lending privileges to anyone who donates a book. So many books were donated by Elon students in the name of the university that students studying in Florence now have yet another option when seeking a quiet place to read, write and learn.
The small library catalogues the books it receives and stamps those books with the names of the donors. Elon students have donated at least a full shelf of books bearing the mark of the university, extending the influence of this semester’s study abroad class decades into the future.
The cemetery was first opened in Florence during the early 19th century as a burial site for Protestants although soon English expatriates became among those most frequently interred. The graveyard quickly became known simply as the English Cemetery although people of all nationalities are buried there.