Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day - The Autumn Version

While attempting to showcase this day of hoax and trickery, of practical joke and parody, we sadly discovered that Dartmouth historically hasn’t been all that big on April Fool’s Day.

However, for many years the editorial board of The Dartmouth took full advantage of its powers before turning the newspaper over to the new board by publishing a spoof issue late in fall term. Campus, national and international events and people were all potential targets. In light of current renovations to the Hanover Inn, it’s interesting to note that one year The D reported that the College was turning the Inn into a dorm, rooms going to the students who submitted the best essays on why they deserved to live like kings. The College got rid of varsity hockey in favor of figure skating, appointed George Steinbrenner as Athletic Director, and removed the bells from Baker tower because, well, the chimes were never on the right hour anyway and the bonging was just so annoying. On the world stage, The D announced there had been worldwide peace for a full 20 seconds one year, and reported on Quebec’s invasion of Ontario in another.

The humor was not always appreciated, and some readers found certain columns offensive. Still other articles were so subtle that one reader (me) briefly believed that the College actually was going to close, and sell, all fraternity houses. However, I doubt anyone took The D’s claim seriously when they reported that after 191 years in business, they would cease publishing; obviously they were having way too much fun for that to be true.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Second Folio

One of the most requested items in our collection is our copy of Shakespeare's first folio from 1623. But we want to spread a little love to the rarely requested second folio of 1632. Textually, it is similar to the first folio, though many minor editorial changes were made to update language and correct errors. It also contains what is believed to be John Milton's first published poem: "An Epitaph on the admirable Dramaticke Poet, W. Shakespeare." Milton would have only been 24 years old at the time, but the young poet served as a tie to the first folio where the brief "To the Memory of M.W. Shake-speare" appeared, likely written by Milton's father.

We actually have two copies. The one pictured here was donated to the Library by Allerton Hickmott '17, who also gave us the first folio, third folio, fourth folio, several original quarto editions and a fabulous collection of Elizabethan drama and poetry.

So, next time you are in the mood for some Shakespeare, ask for Hickmott 2, the lonely neighbor of Hickmott 1.