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The University Archives serves as the collective memory of the University of Maryland, from the granting of the charter for the Maryland Agricultural College on March 6, 1856, to the present day.

Established by the Board of Regents in 1972, the Archives is the official repository for all of the university’s permanent records and actively gathers administrative files, university publications, photographs, audiovisual materials, and memorabilia that document all aspects of campus life.

Visit the University Archives website at www.lib.umd.edu/univarchives

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Just How Dirty is Testudo’s Nose?

Tell us if this situation sounds familiar. You find yourself walking past the famed Testudo statue in front of McKeldin Library and really want to give his nose a solid rub for good luck. The only problem is that you don’t know how many dirty, germ-infested hands have touched that same exact surface just moments before. Such a scenario could dissuade anyone, even the most loyal of Testudo lovers, from giving the 80-year-old statue a rub for good luck.

You have no need to worry, though, because it turns out that Testudo’s nose is much cleaner than you may think. Copper and its alloys, including bronze, are anti-microbial surfaces, which in short means that the surface kills bacteria, yeasts, and viruses on contact. This discovery is nothing new or ground-breaking. In fact, early human civilizations, dating back to 2000 B.C., used copper as a means to better sterilize their drinking water. Recently though, copper and its alloys have been put to use in public places in an effort to prevent the spread of bacteria and germs transferred on frequently touched surfaces.

Rubbing Testudo's nose is an easy way to pick up some luck.

Rubbing Testudo’s nose is an easy way to pick up some luck.

So the next time you pass up the coveted opportunity to give Testudo’s nose a rub for good luck, remember that he is killing more bacteria and germs than he is actually spreading. Chances are his nose is much cleaner than a lot of other surfaces we have no problem touching every day. No need to fear the turtle.

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