Friday, February 19, 2010

Ernest Hopkins Oral History

The College's ongoing custom of conducting oral history interviews with Dartmouth's retired presidents was begun back in the winter of 1958 when then Librarian of the College and Dean of Libraries Edward Connery Lathem '51 sat down with Dartmouth's eleventh president, Ernest Martin Hopkins.  Dean Lathem, with assistance from several alumni and former Hopkins staffers, interviewed the former president over a period of approximately six years, both here in Hanover and at his summer home in Maine.

Rauner Library has recently begun the process of bringing these Hopkins interviews into the digital age so that his voice may join the voices of those presidents who succeeded him in the twentieth century: John Sloan Dickey, John G. Kemeny, David T. McLaughlin and James O. Freedman.  (President Emeritus James E. Wright will soon follow.)  Transcripts of the first ten hours of the more than 35 hours of recordings are now available online and more will soon become available.  These transcripts are straight from the original 10" reels, without editing or indexing.   They reveal a man whom many credit with moving Dartmouth into the twentieth century.  He also was a good storyteller.  Listen and see for yourself.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What's the German Word for Cheating?

While at Dartmouth, William Newton Johnston, Class of 1893, was an average student. He belonged to a fraternity and the telegraph association, and maintained the wooden cage where the baseball team practiced during the winter. During the second and third terms of his sophomore year at college, Mr. Johnston studied German, receiving an examination grade of 80 the second term and 90 the third term.

Perhaps his improved grades can be traced to this crib sheet. Measuring 55 cm long, it is a mere 5 cm wide, a very compact scroll attached to two small pieces of wood, easily rolled and unrolled in one's hand.

There is no indication in College records that the faculty ever noticed his crib sheet. Johnston left Dartmouth in good standing after two years to assume work on the railroad and later in business, ending his career as deputy insurance commissioner for the state of New Hampshire.

Ask at Rauner for Realia 509.