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How Greenville endured pandemic and quarantine in the early 1900s

Courtney Tollison, pandemic history
Courtney Tollison, Distinguished University Public Historian and Scholar

Courtney Tollison ’99, Distinguished University Public Historian and Scholar at Furman University, has written a commentary about epidemics and their impact over the last century. She notes that in a 15-year span in the early 20th century, Furman students were quarantined six different times for various illnesses from measles to Spanish Flu, which globally, claimed an estimated 50 million lives.

For this current COVID-19 epidemic, she is working with her history students to create a pandemic archive to be placed in Furman’s archives, including photos, media accounts, reflections and journals. The purpose? In The Greenville News, Tollison writes, “When that future pandemic occurs, we want those who follow us to have materials that will inform who we were and how we prevailed.”

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