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The Secret Book

On the grounds of campus, there is a room with no doors or windows. And yet, it guards one of the most well-kept yet well-known traditions. With an inscription of a number on its floor, it leads to a memory that many would like to be a part of before they graduate. If one we’re curious and clever enough, you could use that number to find a certain secret book in our very own (non-secret) Cooper Library.

Images of Tillinghast's artwork on campus

David Tillinghast’s brick and steel silo was meant as a connection to agriculture and literature, in which the contents of the book reflects in its imagery. The book was made as a companion piece to the silo, and in actuality was never meant to become what it became today. Many students at first decided to write their names and words of encouragement as a reminder of their presence at their alma mater. It eventually continued with every graduating class.

For years seniors have scoured Cooper Library for this special book in order to put their signatures and well-meaning messages for students to come in the future. Filled with rich images of field grass, it becomes a literary time capsule of the time. Being a part of this small legacy is one of the many ways one can make a mark on campus. But unfortunately for this year, this will not be the case.

For us at Clemson, we care too much to put our fellow peers in danger. In the wake of COVID-19 us here at Atelier InSite wanted to create a digital memorial to this special part of campus legend so that nobody is left out. This will be our very own unique way to commemorate this special legacy, and we hope that many of you will be able to participate.

Check out our Instagram!  @cooperp211.t45.2001

Here's an older article written on the Secret Book in Glimpse a Clemson University site on research and creative discovery.


Image taken from the original secret book.