Calling Doctor Ellis  LbNA # 58673

Placed DateMay 17 2010
LocationEllis Library (University of Missouri Campus), Columbia, MO
Found ByThe Backwards Duo
Last UpdateAug 31 2012


This letterbox / geocache is only available when Ellis Library is open. To see the current and upcoming scheduled hours, click here. Parking is available metered on Hitt Street and in the Turner Avenue and Hitt Street parking garages. More information concerning parking on campus may be found here.

Communication has evolved throughout generations adapting to new technologies and ideas. The public telephone is one example that has been a constant companion since its inception as a pay device by William Gray in 1889. Two were in use within the University of Missouri's repository of knowledge, Ellis Library, until recently. And it is there our journey through a brief history of these devices begins.

The above coordinates are Ellis Library's west entrance doors where one of the payphones once stood. Inside the second set of double doors is a directory on the south wall (to the right). Find the telephone number for Cynthia Cotner, and jot down the last three digits. Using these digits, we will locate a microfilm in Special Collections.

Assuming the three digits from the phone number are Z, the call number is as follows:

Spec. Coll. Microfilm Rm. 406
Film Book A B Reel C Frame D

A = Divide Z by 3, then add 80
B = Multiply Z by 3, then subtract 86
C = Using the last two digits of Z, subtract 2 and then divide by 13
D = Subtract 47 from Z, then divide by 2

Room 406 is found on 4 West. The quickest route is to walk past the bookmark cafe on the ground level and turn left after the security office. Follow the hallway and ignore any doors encountered until the two silver elevator doors are in sight. Take them (or the nearby stairs) up to the third floor (3, not 3R, on the elevator). Take a left on that floor and follow the hallway up the half flight of stairs to Special Collections. Room 406 is at the end of the hall on the left. Microfilm readers may be found in rooms 403 and 404 in that same hallway.

Maps of the building can be found on the website here (and should clarify things a bit).

The microfilm in question contains a short history of the telephone industry and its struggle with monopolizing. Using information on the various frames, you will determine the hiding place of the container. It is located on floor E F (where F is a cardinal direction) near the sign reading GH I (where G and H are parts of the same word). There are two of these signs on that particular floor, and the container is nearest the one next to a JKLM (once again, JKLM are all components of the same word).

E = In footnote #9, transpose / switch the digits of the page number
F = On page CRS-2, third paragraph, ninth word, first letter
G = On page CRS-6, fifth paragraph, ninth word, third letter
H = On page CRS-4, first paragraph, fourth word, last four letters
I = Divide the page number in footnote #7 by 3
J = On page CRS-5, third paragraph, fifteenth word, first letter
K = On page CRS-5, third paragraph, eleventh word, second and third letters
L = On page CRS-6, fourth paragraph, fifth word, first two letters
M = On page CRS-6, fourth paragraph, first word, first letter

When finished, please return the microfilm to its box and place it in a return area in Special Collections.

Please note that, at the final location, nothing needs to be opened to find the container. Also, it will not be hiding on or within any shelving (so books and shelves can be ruled out). Be mindful of people studying nearby and be as quiet as you can. It's a library, after all.

Permission for this letterbox / geocache has kindly been provided by Director of Libraries, Jim Cogswell, and Head of Security and Facilities, Patricia Jones. Special thanks to Special Collections Reference Librarian, Karen Witt, and Head of Shelving, Ryan Bish, for their assistance in making this letterbox possible.