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Noted Scholar, Alumnus to Present Talk
Ahead of Collection Opening

April 21, 2009

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

MACON —  Noted scholar and Mercer alumnus Dr. Y. Lynn Holmes will talk about his career and extensive collection of ancient artifacts from the Holy Land at Jack Tarver Library at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday on the lower level of the library. The talk marks the opening of a new exhibit, “Holmes Holy Land Ancient Artifact Collection,” which features items from Dr. Holmes’ collection of ancient artifacts on loan to the University. 

“It really is a fabulous collection – coins, jewelry, pots, weapons and domestic items,” said Beth Hammond, dean of university libraries. “These artifacts are an exciting and new campus resource that could lend itself to additional programming, curricular development and Mercer community activities.”   

The first group of 45 items– some dating as early as 6,000 B.C. – will go on display on the main floor of the library. The artifacts will be rotated yearly for another grouping of artifacts from Dr. Holmes’ collection.

“It is Dr. Holmes’ hope that these artifacts will be of interest not just to Mercer but to the general public, schools and colleges,” Hammond said.  “He particularly wanted them to be available to the Middle and South Georgia areas because the Atlanta area already has similar resources for those communities.”

Dr.  Holmes earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Mercer in 1962 and a Bachelor of Divinity in Old Testament studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and his Master of Arts and Ph.D. in ancient history from Brandeis University. 

During the course of his career as a teacher and a scholar, Dr. Holmes held research fellowships from the Rotary Foundation, the American Council of Education and the National Defense Foreign Language Program. His scholarship took him to the Middle East on numerous occasions and he began collecting artifacts very early in his career; his collection now numbers more than 700 pieces. 

Dr. Holmes retired as president of Brewton-Parker College, where he also held a professorship in history. In addition to his time at Brewton-Parker, he has served in a number of faculty and administrative positions at other colleges and universities. He has published numerous papers in scholarly journals on ancient history and the Modern Middle East.  His book Those Glorious Days: a History of Louisville as Georgia’s Capital – 1796 to 1807, was published by Mercer University Press in 1996.

About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has approximately 7,600 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah; three regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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