Friday, April 28, 2017

Your Next Travel Dictionary: The All-in-One Guide for the "Speedy Learning of the Italian Tongue"

Frontispiece to Florio's Queen Anna's New World of Words. Floio is depicted in Elizabethan clothing in an oval frameIf you’ve ever wondered how to say “mouthful” in Italian, you might want to consult John Florio’s Queen Anna’s New World of Words, a hefty Italian-English dictionary written in 1611. There you’d be delighted to find that the 17th century Italians called it a “boccata,” which Florio translates as:
A mouthful, a mouthing. Also a word used when one is about to tell a thing and knows not what it is, or that a scholar would feign read his lesson and cannot, and we by some sign or voice would let him know that is out, and says he wots not what, we use to say Boccata, as in English, Tush, yea in my other hose, jump as Germans lips, and such other phrases.
What a mouthful! In defense of Florio’s verbosity, this definition is a significant improvement from the 1598 edition, which includes “you are as wise as a Waltam’s calf” as an acceptable alternative to “mouthful.” I hesitate to recommend the 1598 edition in fear that, if you did in fact call someone as wise as a Waltam’s calf, you might be accused of being behind the times. To avoid the unpardonable blunder of outmoded usage, the updated 1611 edition is the only way to go—and, what’s more, it comes with a complete guide to Italian grammar, which Florio borrowed (plagiarized) from his father! If it’s good enough for Queen Anne and the English cosmopolitan élite, it’s good enough for you. If you weren’t wondering how to say mouthful in Italian, Queen Anna’s New World of Words has 74,000 other fascinating Italian words, translated into beautiful, albeit long-winded, English.

John Florio, son of a Protestant Italian émigré during the Roman Inquisition, was a linguaphile, polyglot, translator, and high-profile language instructor who lived in London. His English translations of Montaigne’s Essays and Boccaccio’s Decameron from French and Italian are canonical, and his groundbreaking bilingual dictionaries confirmed his status as cultural mediator. He considered himself an Italian, though he never set foot on what today would be considered Italian soil. He snobbishly turned his nose up at English culture (not recommended for beginning travelers), which he considered barbaric and uncouth. Italian, in Florio’s day, was a sort of lingua franca, an all-access-pass to European culture and courtesy. Florio penned two dictionaries, two language pedagogy books (also recommended), and numerous translations, marking the beginnings of Italian language acquisition as a symbol of status and refinement in England. His dictionary is said to have influenced Shakespeare, who set many of his plays in Italy. Some scholars even suggest that Florio was Shakespeare’s ghostwriter—a rumor I encourage you to spread. Within the 700 pages of Florio’s tome (pocket-size edition not currently available), you’ll find risqué words collected from the Index of Forbidden Books, curse words, insults, numerous words to talk about dogs, food words (buon appetito!), idioms, and cultural insights: everything you need to keep your Italian hip… in a Baroque way. So the next time you need to say “mouthful” in Italian, check out Florio’s Queen Anna’s New World of Words, or just point and gesture like all the other tourists.

Quote from "To All Readers" section of the preface. "To be a Reader, requies understanding; to be a Critike, judgement. A Dictionarie gives armes to that, adn takes no harme of this, if it mistake not. I with thee both, but feare neitehr; for I stil rest Resolute. John Florio"
Ask for Rare PC1640.A2 F6 1611.

Posted for Joseph Waring '18

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Audubon's Prospective Patrons

The cover page of Audubon's Birds of America prospectus: "Under the particular patronage and approbation of his most gracious majesty. Birds of America, from drawings made during a residence of twenty-five years in the United States and its territories by John James Audubon, citizen of the United States...
Tomorrow marks what would have been John James Audubon's 232nd birthday. Our copy of the famous naturalist's Birds of America, which once belonged to Daniel Webster, is the only item in our collection that is on permanent and prominent display in the Rooke Reading Room. Still, while the beautiful images of birds that fill this set of books are indisputably his most popular and memorable achievements, we here at Rauner hold another Audubon item that is a rarer bird than his well-known magnum opus. In 1826, Audubon had arrived in England to look for an engraver for his avian images. At that time, he began to give thought to the creation of a prospectus in order to advertise his book and acquiring dedicated subscribers to each successive number of plates. Audubon's plan was to create five numbers of five plates per year, for a total of twenty-five birds annually. Ultimately, he would issue four hundred and thirty-five plates over the span of eleven years.

Page 14 of the prospectus, listing numerous subscribers to the publication beginning with George IV and Charles X.At present, there are one hundred and twenty known surviving copies of Aubudon's Birds of America. However, the prospectus is itself much scarcer. An old source, Waldemar Fries's The Double Elephant Folio (Chicago: American Library Association, 1973), states that at the time of its printing there were only sixteen known extant copies of the prospectus, which was published in six editions over the course of several years. Rauner's copy is not one that Fries lists so it must have surfaced some time between 1973 and 1993, which is when its online catalog record was created. Our version is the fourth edition, or Edition D, which wasn't dated but most likely printed in early 1829 after ten numbers, or fifty plates, and been printed and distributed. In the back of the prospectus, Audubon lists the current subscribers who include King George IV of the United Kingdom and King Charles X of France, as well as numerous university libraries such as Edinburgh, Cambridge, and Oxford.

To see Rauner's copy of the fourth edition of Audubon's prospectus, come in and ask for Rare Book QL674 .A9 1827a. To see Audubon's Birds of America, walk into the Reading Room and take a look in the glass display case. For a special treat, come by on Friday mornings when we turn the page to reveal the new bird for the week (we call it the Friday Fowl).

Friday, April 21, 2017

Wheelock's Demise

Image of Eleazar Wheelock. He is older, with grey hair and has on a dark cloth shirt with a white tie. Historians agree that Eleazar Wheelock met his end on April 24, 1779, but that’s about where agreement ends. Some record his age as 68 and others as 69. Most simply skip over the details and only report the date.

David McClure, the most contemporary of the writers, in his 1811 Memoirs of the Rev. Eleazar Wheelcok, D.D. Founder and President of Dartmouth College, is the only historian to provide any detail. He notes that at the beginning of April 1779, Wheelock’s health went into rapid decline. From there McClure paints an almost perfect bedside death where Wheelock, surrounded by family, declares that he does not fear death, repeats the 23rd Psalm, and expresses a desire to “depart and to be with Christ.” He records Wheelock’s last words, as “Oh my family be faithful unto death.” He then notes that Wheelock “expired without a struggle or a groan. The peace and joy of his mind, in the moment of death, impressed a pleasing smile on his countenance.”

Image of handwritten title page to Dewey's notebookThis is how death was supposed to play out in the 18th century, particularly for a devout man of the cloth like Wheelock. But is this really how he died? Until earlier this year, we had no reason to think otherwise, but recently a staff member discovered an alternative account while researching deaths in Hanover. This alternative account was recorded by William Worthington Dewey. According to Chase’s History of Hanover and Dartmouth College, Dewey arrived in the area at the age of two years in 1779 when his father, Benoni Dewey, came here to run the blacksmith shop. William W. Dewey appears to have run a temperance house for a period of time, built several local houses and may have been a farmer. In addition to these varied trades, he also had a strong interest in local history that tended toward the macabre. During his lifetime, he compiled a set of notes of deaths in Hanover and the surrounding area. One of the first death’s he discusses is that of Eleazar Wheelock. Dewey’s description of Wheelock’s last moments was clearly gleaned from his father. Here is his father’s account:
His decease was instantaneous. About 9 O Clock AM He was at my Fathers shop in apparent good health & took from thence an article for a Goldsmiths use & went & deposited it on the western side of the common & without stopping took a borrowed saddle & carried to another house some forty rod distant & carried it to the attic && returning on the stairs remarked that he was faint & dropped down & never breathed afterwards – A very few minutes only intervened from the time he that left our house & the news of His decease.
Handwritten notation of above quotation on Wheelock's death from Dewey's notebook.
This rendition of Wheelock’s final moment stands in stark contrast to that given by McClure, but has, in its simplicity, the ring of truth. Unfortunately, until we discover another account that conflicts with or verifies one or the other of these versions, we will never be able to determine what actually transpired.

To read William Worthington Dewey’s account of Wheelock’s demise, or to just read his interesting account detailing the deaths of Hanover residents between 1769 and 1859, come to Rauner and ask to see MS-1264, Box 1, Folder 2: "List of deaths in the vicinity of Dartmouth College, including likewise the hamlet usually called Greensborough from AD 1769 to 1859"

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Magnificent Map

Map of Bermuda showing coastlne and divisions of the island into plots.At the height of the mid-17th century Golden Era of the Dutch Republic, a distinct cartographer by the name of Joan Blaeu surpassed the work of all his contemporaries (such as Janssonius and Frederick de Wit) by releasing the stunning Atlas Maior – an eleven-volume exploration of earth’s geography as it was known to Dutch merchants in the 1660s.

Blaeu’s impressive magnum opus adopts the typical stylistic aspects of Baroque-era excess and ornamentation. Its 594 hand-painted maps and illustrations, ostentatious two-foot vertical dimension, and effusive Latinate braggadocio amounted to the most expensive and physically largest book of the entire seventeenth century (with a modern equivalent price of about $18,000).

detail of Bermuda map cartouche shown Neptune holding his trident and an ship over a verbal description of the map.I analyzed the eleventh volume (the Americas) for a final project in Italian 23 (17th Century Italian literature), translating parts of Blaeu’s Latin text. Notable subjectivities and mercantilistic slants are evident both in the physical, cartographic representations of America as well as in his anthropological, textual descriptions: Blaeu had close ties to the Dutch West Indian Company and the lucrative business they conducted through what many modern commenters would consider exploitation of indigenous people.

The map of Bermuda offers a neutral example of such subjective distortion of reality. The shockingly accurate coastline of the fifteen-mile-wide Atlantic island is portrayed as lying a mere stone’s throw from the idealized American east coast, with “Virginia,” “Cape Cod”, and “New England” separately dragged hundreds of miles from their true position for conceptual emphasis of the island’s general relative location. A quaint juxtaposition of cartographic realism and subjective idealization results.

To see it, ask for volume 11 of Blaeu's Geographia, Rare G1015.B48 1662.

Posted by Paul Maravelias ‘17

Friday, April 14, 2017

From Bondage to Conscription

Letter; Blanchard to Bartlett; June 13, 1782; first pageOn June 13, 1782, James Blanchard, who had served in the 3rd New Hampshire Regiment as quartermaster and paymaster from 1776-1781, wrote to Josiah Bartlett, then a member of the New Hampshire State Supreme Court. In the letter Blanchard replies to Bartlett's request to have one of his slaves conscripted into the revolutionary forces: “in your instructions to me you empowered me to enlist him in the New Hampshire Line.”

The enlistment of slaves during the Revolutionary War was not unusual. New Hampshire enacted a law in the fall of 1777 that allowed owners to enlist their slaves as substitutes for themselves or their relatives or in return for their enlistment bounty. However, by the end of 1777, Congress, in an attempt to appease southern slave owners, discouraged this practice. On the loyalist side, Lord Dunsmore, the royal governor of Virginia had enacted a law in April 1775, that promised slaves owned by rebels their freedom if they fought on the side of the British. 

Blanchard was not happy about Bartlett’s request “of doing a thing that I had always reprobated others for.” Instead he tells Bartlett that he should sell him because Blanchard believed the slave “had a propensity for stealing.” Throughout the letter, the name of the slave is not revealed. However, in a postscript he is referred to as Peter, which is interesting because two years later there are two additional letters from Blanchard to Bartlett regarding the escape of a slave named Peter. In those insistences, Blanchard, tasked by Bartlett to recover said Peter, relays a saga that involves Peter being illegally sold by some shadowy characters to a man “at Livingston Manor … by the name of Alkenburg (a Tory),” and then declaring himself a free man. Blanchard informs Bartlett that during the course of his investigation, he had a “very considerable expense in employing men to look for the black dog,” and that he plans to sue the Tory and the other men involved, one of whom he calls “an itinerant horse Jockey.”

Letter; Blanchard to Bartlett; April 12, 1784; first pageLetter; Blanchard to Bartlett; May 8, 1784; first page

Unfortunately, we may never know what happened to Peter, but Blanchard became an advocate for veterans, serving as agent for several veterans pursuing claims against Congress. Josiah Bartlett, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, became the 4th Governor of the State of New Hampshire.

Blanchard's letters to Bartlett are contained in a small but rich collection of letters that are part of MS- 181, the Josiah Bartlett papers. Other correspondents include Bartlett’s co-signer of the Declaration of Independence William Whipple, as well as John Langdon and Nathanial Peabody.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Learning Your Lessons

Image of an Axe on the ground illustrating the rhyme of "A"We always thought the New England Primer was the most morbid of alphabet books--at least of the ones that were meant for children. But, we just bought one printed here in Hanover in 1811 that gives it a run for its money. Where the New England Primer uses "In Adam's fall, we sinned All" to illustrate A, The Royal Alphabet, Embellished with Cuts, Designed for the Amusement and Use of Little Children (Hanover: Charles Speare, 1811) offers the following charming rhyme:

"The Axe which traitors often dread
And husbandmen employ;
Will sure, in time cut off the head
Of every naughty boy."

Image of Christ being crucified on a cross to illustrate X.
X focuses on the crucifixion of Christ, but at least offers future hope. What lessons are being taught here? Surely more than the alphabet. One wonders what Hanover kids thought of it in 1811.

To see it, come in and ask for 1926 Coll R6878.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Fogg and Steam

The cover of Fogg and Steam by Frank Coldfelter, showing a steam locomotive coming through a snowy mountain pass.
We owe the title of our post today to a book of the same name written by Frank Clodfelter in 1978 about the railroad artwork of Howard Fogg, Class of 1938. Fogg was born one hundred years ago today on April 7th, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York. An only child, Fogg and his family soon relocated in 1920 to Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, where he first became entranced by steam locomotives moving down the old Lackawanna Railroad, before he finally settled outside of Chicago in 1923.

Fogg entered Dartmouth in the fall of 1934 as a member of the class
A portrait of Howard Fogg in his WWII aviator flight gear with "J. L. Fogg Jr. 42J" printed across the bottom in white lettering.
of 1938 and graduated with a degree in English. After his sojourn in New Hampshire, he went back to Illinois to earn a degree from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts with the intention of becoming a political cartoonist. However, while still in art school, Fogg sold his first train painting for $25. Soon after, he abandoned his aspirations of political cartooning and took a job with the Union Pacific Railroad, all the while painting and selling watercolors of trains in his spare time. He then found employment as an apprentice engineer with Baldwin Locomotive Works, although his stay there was brief: in 1941, Fogg was drafted into the military, became a second lieutenant in the Army Air Force, and flew seventy-six missions as a fighter pilot in World War II.

One of Fogg's paintings of a steam locomotive coming through a snowy pass (the image was used on the front of a Christmas card).During the war, Fogg married Margot Dethier; after moving to Summit, New Jersey, they had three sons while Fogg's true career began as the company artist for the American Locomotive Company (Alco) in 1946. At that point, Fogg began an impressive run of prodigious output, averaging nearly thirty railroad paintings a year for decades afterward. He and his family later moved to Boulder, Colorado, where Fogg would continue to pursue his passion for trains by becoming a very successful and well-respected freelance artist. He died on October 1st, 1996, in his adopted town of Boulder, Colorado. He was one of five honorary members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, a designation that underscored the high regard which working railroaders had for his dedication to detail and accuracy in his paintings.

To leaf through Fogg and Steam, come to Rauner and ask for Alumni F688f. To read more about Howard Fogg's time at Dartmouth, ask for his alumni file. We would like to thank Jeff Ashworth '71 for bringing Fogg and his 100th birthday to our attention. For more about the captivating art of Howard Fogg '38, he recommends Ronald C. Hill and Al Chione's The Railroad Artistry of Howard Fogg, published in 1999. To read more about Fogg's experiences as a fighter pilot during World War II, read Richard and Janet Fogg's Fogg in the Cockpit, published in 2011.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Adrift in the Soviet Era

Image of four scientists on a mount of ice holding up two flags. On flag has Stalin's image on it.In May of 1937, four Soviet scientists and their faithful dog were set down on the ice in the Arctic Ocean with supplies (five tons of food!) and an insulated tent in an endeavor to better understand drifting ice and the dynamics of Arctic waters. After 274 days and innumerable measurements of water and air temperatures, wind speeds and water depths, they were picked up by icebreakers over 2,800 kilometers from where they started.

Four photos montaged to show an icebreaker coing to retrieve the scientistsThroughout their drift, they took photographs and these were turned over to one of Stalin's favorite designers, Alexander Rodchenko, and fellow constructivist artist Varvara Stepanova. In their hands, the photographs were transformed into photo montages that sought to accent the heroic qualities of the expedition and celebrate it as "A Feat Worthy of the Age of Stalin." They managed to make what must have been an extremely boring expedition (over nine months of drifting on the ice) into a dynamic, exciting event. You can see it all in their Podvig, Dostoinyi Stalinskoi Epokhi: Fhotoseriya (Moscow: Soyuzfoto Fotokhudozhnik, 1938).

Photo montage of the arrival home of the scientists. It shows a train, hogs on the platform and a Soviet official adressing a crowd.
We haven't cataloged this yet, but when we do, we will add a link to the catalog record here.
UPDATE: to see it, ask for Stef G630.R8 P638 1938

Friday, March 31, 2017

Barrie at Bay

A photograph of Melville Island, primarily a large snow-covered mountainside with several small figures at the mid-right and one tiny individual standing in the lower left corner of the frame.
In October of 1916, the world-renowned arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson had returned to his winter quarters on Melville Island in the far north of Canada. As the leader of the Canadian Arctic Expedition (1913-1916), he had just spent the past several months discovering new islands in the Arctic Circle, including Meighen Island and Laugheed Island. Although the return to Melville was meant to signal the beginning of the expedition's official completion, Stefansson would defy his orders and strike north again one last time, eventually returning home in 1918. It was the last time that he would venture into the Arctic.

First page of Barrie's Letter to Stefansson: "3 Robert Street, Adelphi, W. C. 2. London. June 9, 1918. Dear Sir, It may amuse you as it has amused me to know the history of your letter to the author of "Barrie at Bay," which you sent off from Melville Island in Oct 1916 and which has just been forwarded to me. In those two years you must have been living a stirring..."While on Melville Island at the conclusion of his 1916 exploratory adventure, Stefansson evidently found time to catch up on news about the world war that had begun since he had set out on his expedition back in 1913. During his perusal of what must have been a stockpile of old papers, Stefansson happened upon a write-up of an interview conducted by "Anon" in the October 1st 1914 issue of the New York Times. The interview was ostensibly a tell-all about the author of Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie, by his manservant Brown and provided several opinions about the war and what America's role should be. After reading it, Stefansson took the time to send a letter of appreciation to the reporter who conducted the interview.

Page two of Barrie's letter to Stefansson"...time while I have been a dreary stick at home (I have always wanted to do the things you do). However you are chiefly (?) wondering why your letter was sent to me, and I have to confess (with bowed head) that it came to its rightful owner, as it was I, in some spirit of gentle (?) diablerie, who wrote that paper about myself. Long forgotten and now recalled by you, and I was very pleased to think it gave any one on Arctic exploration bent (Cpt. Scott of the Antarctic was a close (?) friend of mine) a moments exhilaration. Now I know why I wrote it. With kindest regards Ever Sincerely (Signed) J. M. Barrie
Nearly two years later, on his way back to civilization, Stefansson must have been surprised to receive a personal letter from J. M. Barrie himself. In his missive, Barrie somewhat abashedly confessed to being the author of the fictitious interview (which is how he had belatedly received Stefansson's letter) and concluded by expressing his delight that it had been of enjoyment for "any one on Arctic exploration bent."

To see photographic images from Stefansson's Canadian Arctic Expedition (MSS-229), come to Rauner and have a look at them in person, or take a look at the digital archive available online.  To see the letter from J. M. Barrie to Stefansson, ask for MSS-196, Box 2, folder 45.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Insta-Exhibit

Poster for "Insta-Exhibit" exhibition. It shows nine images from Rauner Library's Instagram: an Ethiopian scroll; a cuneiform tablet; a jugsaw puzzle; a minitature book of Rudolph; a marbled endpaper; two people and a piece of the Old Pine; a manuscript drawing of a ship; a mineature book next to a hair pin; an a detail from a medieval manuscript.This is getting absurd. Here I am using one form of social media (this blog) to promote a physical exhibition that is based on another form of social media (Instagram) that, at least for us, is a virtual gallery of our physical objects. Arghh, to almost quote xkcd, It's So Meta Even This Acronym....

But really, it is a great exhibit that you should come in and see. It features items from some of our most popular Instagram posts from the past 18 months. The actual physical objects are in the cases alongside the wise and whimsical commentary of Bay Lauris ByrneSim '15 and Hannah Chung '16.

So, even if you are not on Instagram, now you can enjoy our posts through May 1st! And, if you are on Instagram, follow us at @raunerlibrary.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Staring at the Sun

An oval portrait photograph of Charles A. Young, arms crossed, with a full beard and mustache. He looks to be in his mid-40s.
Yet another snowy day in late March on campus has us casting our eyes in desperation to the sky in the vain hope of seeing a warm and welcoming sun. It also brings to mind another sun-worshipper who got his start gazing heavenward in Hanover. Charles Augustus Young, the best and brightest of Dartmouth's class of 1853, was a world-renowned astronomer and a native son of the Upper Valley. After initially teaching Latin and Greek at Phillips Andover Academy, he went on to be the chair of mathematics, natural philosophy, and astronomy at Western Reserve College (now Case Western Reserve University). After a lengthy tenure as a professor of astronomy at Dartmouth, he moved to Princeton for the conclusion of his long and prestigious academic career. Young's expertise was in solar physics, a field in which he discovered a layer of the sun's chromosphere and invented the automatic spectroscope.

Charles A. Young's passport issued by the United States Consulate in Tien-Tsin on Sept. 11, 1874. It reads "The undersigned, United States Consul for Tien-tsin, requests the Civil and Military Authorities of the Emperor of China in conformity with the ninth article of the British Treaty of Tien-tsin to allow Charles A. Young, Esquire, a Citizen of the United States to travel freely and without hindrance or molestation in the Chinese Empire and to give him protection and aid in case of necessity. Mr. Young being a person of known respectability is desirous of proceeding to Peking & the Great Wall and this passport is given him on condition of his not visiting the cities or towns occupied by the Insurgents." The passport is authorized by the signature of Eli Sheppard and states that it will remain in force for a year from the date of issuance.While at Dartmouth, Young's reputation was such that in May of 1874 he received a telegram from another major luminary in the field astronomy, James C. Watson. Watson was an astronomical prodigy who was, among other accomplishments, a recipient of the prestigious Lalande Prize in 1867 and the director of the Ann Arbor Observatory. Upon his death, a bequest from his estate established the James Craig Watson Medal, an honor that is still awarded today by the United States National Academy of Sciences for contributions to the field of astronomy. In the 1860s and 1870s, Watson was involved in some of the most important astronomical observations commissioned by the U. S. Government, and his message to Young was an invitation to join him on a trip to Peking, China, to witness the rare occurrence of the transit of the planet Venus across the face of the sun. After securing his passport, Young embarked upon a long journey across the Pacific to China as a member of one of eight separate observation groups sent out by the U. S. to observe the transit.

A stereoscopic photograph card that contains two side-by-side images of what appears to be the primary telescope in the Peking Observatory from 1874.
In addition to bringing back stereoscope cards of Peking and his observations on the transit, Young also returned with numerous fascinating Chinese books and other souvenirs from his visit abroad. To explore the rest of the Charles A. Young papers, which contain photographs, scientific data, and correspondence, come to Rauner and ask to see ML-49. Young's passport is MS 874511, and his alumni file is filled with articles and photographs from different stages of his life and career.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Trampling on the Mother Country

Image of the Boston Tea Party: Americans throwing the Cargoes of the Tea Ships into the River, at Boston"Before we proceed to describe what America is at present, or by what means she became independent of the Mother Country, it cannot be disagreeable to our readers, to be informed of the persons, customs, and manners, of the original inhabitants of North America."

A lovely start to a book that has "endeavoured to divest [it]self of every spark of national prejudice." It is a History of North America written for the youth of England and published by Elizabeth Newbery in 1789. The revolution was still fresh, the constitution big news on both sides of the Atlantic, and, presumably, school children were anxious to learn more. Elizabeth Newbery had taken over the publishing firm she operated with her husband John Newbery that, in essence, invented the modern children's book (the Newbery Award is named after him).

Image of title page and frontispiece. The Frontispiece shows an allegorical image of America trampling a dog like creature with emblems of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.
We took a look at the book. "Mother Country" in the first sentence is a hint that it is not completely devoid of national prejudice, but the statement is countered by an image of "America trampling on Oppression." The book was reprinted in the States. Several printers, including one in Bennington, Vermont, picked it up and, in an era without international copyright, happily stole it from the motherland.

Our copy was clearly owned by a kid. It has drawings of ships sketched onto the flyleaves. Come on in and take a look at a child's eye view of the revolution by asking for Rare E188.C75 1789.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Sign from Above?

title page of Prodigies & Apparitions showing  conjoined wins holding a banner with the title on it. in the background is a depitciton of a battle in the heavensIn the 1600s, a prodigious snowstorm like the one forecast for today might not have been seen as a classic "Nor'easter," but as a warning from a greater power. We just cataloged a very cool little book from 1643 that describes a series of events that the author saw as signs of future doom: Prodigies & Apparitions; or, England's Warning Pieces (London: Bates and Markland, [1643]).

Image of a church busting into flames during service as a fireball from the sky strikes it during a stormAmong the descriptions are examples of lightning striking churches, the birth of conjoined twins, and a battle in the heavens. England had a lot to be concerned with at the time. Charles I was fighting for his crown, a battle he lost a few years later, and then lost his head over in 1649. It was a tumultuous time in English politics that tore the society apart. As this book indicates, the warning signs were there for anyone with a sharp eye.

A depiction of a battle in the heavens. A black ston is falling form the sky chased by a dog
I guess we should watch out! To see the warnings of another era, ask for Hickmott 516.

Friday, March 10, 2017

All we can say is, "Wow!"

Title page of the 1553 edition of the Eneados
Historically, the amazing breadth and depth of Rauner's collections is a result of book-loving Dartmouth alumni and their generosity in passing along their treasures to us so that a new generation of Dartmouth students can explore and marvel at them. Just recently, a group of students in Professor Sara McCallum's Vergil class came to Rauner to flip through numerous editions of the great poet's works. Among the gathering of tomes was a recently catalogued copy of the Aeneid that was first translated by Bishop Gavin Douglas into Middle Scots in 1513. Douglas's translation, titled Eneados, is interesting for a variety of reasons, including that it's the first direct translation from the Latin into an Anglic language and it's the first time that the word "Wow" appears in print (according to the Oxford English Dictionary).

First page of the 1553 edition of the Eneados including a woodcut initial "L".Although we don't have a 1513 edition of Douglas's Eneados, we are lucky enough to have a version printed in 1553 that was a gift from Allerton Hickmott, class of 1917. This small but handsome book is printed with a blackletter typeface that gives it a distinctly early modern look and displays numerous lovely little woodcut initials throughout the volume.

First page of the 1710 edition's General Rules for Understanding the Language of Gavin Douglas's Translation of Virgil.We also have a much later edition from 1710 that formerly belonged to George Ticknor, class of 1803. Ticknor's copy of the text is a fascinating look into textual transmission and reception several centuries after the translation's initial creation. The typeface is now mostly roman, and therefore more familiar to a modern eye. Also, the publisher has included numerous linguistic tools, such as a list of general rules and a glossary, to assist the reader in understanding Douglas's strange and seemingly foreign language.

To try your eye and mind at Middle Scots, perhaps with the help of an early 18th-century appendix or two, come to Rauner and thumb through these wonderful gifts from two important alumni. For the 1553 edition, ask for Hickmott 399, while the 1710 edition is Ticknor LT V7aEd.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Coffee Break

typographic title page of Samuel Stearns' the American HerbalIt is a cold, rainy day and the students are starting to hunker down to prepare for Winter term finals. It's a good day to hole up and study with a cup of coffee and the lines at the Library coffee shop are long. Those looking for their caffeine and comfort might want to know the advice from The American Herbal by Samuel Stearns (Walpole, NH: Thomas and Thomas and the Author, 1801).

Stearns believed that coffee "assists in digestion" (nice after dinner beverage), "promotes the natural secretions" (we don't want to know), "prevents sleepiness" (duh!), "relieves the spasmodic asthma," and can be effective against kidney disease. But beware, it is "hurtful to thin habits, the bilious, melancholic, hypochondriac, and those subject to hemorrhage." Too much coffee have you feeling bilious or melancholic? Not to worry, Stearns says a cup of chocolate can cure those.

To see what other foods and drinks might do for you, ask for NH Imprints, Walpole 1801b.

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Night Tragedy Struck

Daily Illustrated News, Los Angeles, CA, Monday, February 26, 1934, Front Page. Headline reads "Gas Kills 9 Dartmouth Students" Other articles on page.
It was cold that night in February 1934, when eleven Dartmouth students, members of Theta Chi, settled down to play bridge on the lower floor of their house on North Main Street. Earlier that night, they had watched Dartmouth defeat its rival Princeton at hockey. At 12:30 am two students left their brothers to return to their dormitories. Sometime after 2:30 am the others retired to their rooms upstairs. At 6:30 am janitor Merton D. Little entered the house to fix the furnace fire, noticing a slight odor of coal gas. Presuming everyone still asleep he left and returned at 1:30 pm to clean up the lower rooms. At that time, according to the official report, he thought “the quietness of the house” was due to the students being at dinner. It was not until 4:30 pm when he returned, once again, to make the beds that he found all nine students and one dog dead in their beds.

The official cause of this mass tragedy, the greatest in Dartmouth’s history, was carbon-monoxide poisoning. According to medical examiner Dr. Ralph Miller:
Investigating cause of nine deaths. Chief of police Dennis J. Hullisey of Hanover, N. H., shown inspecting the boiler in the cellar of the Theta Chi fraternity house where nine students were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning the night of February 25. Investigation revealed that a slight explosion in the furnace had broken the flue pipe and allowed the gas to penetrate the basement and the upper floors of the house, killing nine Dartmouth College Students in their sleep. 2-26-34. Associated Press Photo From New York please use credit. The smoke pipe of the furnace had been blown off in an explosion, after which some one had apparently re-shut the furnace door without noticing the displaced pipe, and that the carbon monoxide gas accumulating from an improperly banked fire had escaped through the break instead of going up the chimney.
In the aftermath fingers were pointed, accusations of incompetence emerged and facts were doubted. An uncredited newspaper article entitled “The Dartmouth Mystery” proclaimed that coal gas could not have been the cause as “the annual casualties within the United States from this cause would run into the thousands.” Rumors included suicide pact or poisonous liquor as the cause.

Removing victim from scene of Dartmouth tragedy. Authorities shown removing the body of Edward Moldenke from the Theta Chi fraternoty house at Hanover, NH February 26, where he and eight of his fraternoty brothers were killed the night of February 26 by carbon monoxide poisoning. Investigation revealed that a slight explosion in the furnace had broken the flue pipe and allowed the fumes fo the gas to penetrate the basement and upper floors fo the house, killing the men in their sleep. Associated Press Photo From New York please use credit.
In the end it was confirmed that William Simpson Fullerton, Edward Morris Wentworth Jr. , Harold Barnard Watson, Americo Secondo DeMasi, John Joseph Griffin, William Mandeville Smith, Jr., Wilmot Horton Schooley and the brothers Edward Frederick and Alfred Henry Moldenke indeed died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

To read more about the tragedy, the investigation and the aftermath ask for our Vertical File on the subject. To get a closer look at the administration’s response and actions ask to see Box 6942 of DP-11, President Hopkins’ presidential papers.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Victoria's Lent

Cover of book in black morocco leather with msall gold crown stamped in center.Lent starts this week, which reminded us of an ironic little indulgence in the collections. We have a copy of John Jackson's The Sinfulness of Little Sins: A Course of Sermons Preached in Lent from 1849 that contains a sermon on "Pride and Vanity." All well and good, nothing odd there. But, our copy happened to have been owned by none other than Queen Victoria. So it is bound in full morocco leather, with the crown gold stamped on the cover. The gold continued onto the edges, expertly gilded, of course. Open it up, and the inside flyleaf and paste down are beautifully patterned silk. Little sins? It is all in the context--this was surely one of the more modest books in her library.

Flyleaf and paste down of book. hey are a pale cream colted silk with a floral pattern.
To prepare for the season of denial, ask for Bindings 113.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Something Wilde

Wow, what a cool discovery we made this week. For a nineteenth-century British literature class we had out a slew of materials related to Oscar Wilde. Among them was the 1882 printing of Rennell Rodd's Rose Leaf and Apple Leaf with an introduction by Wilde. It is a great example of the aesthetic movement--bound in vellum, printed on a thin vellum paper and interleaved with green paper to give the whole book the air of leaves. That alone was pretty amazing, but then we noticed a faint inscription on the front cover.

"For my mother, the poems [of] my friend"


Turns out the inscription, mostly worn away, is in Wilde's hand. We got tingles when we realized this was the copy he had given his mother. He would have been 28 years old, and his own first book of poems was selling well. His mother, Jane, had some notoriety at the time as an poet, participant in the Irish nationalist movement, and having just been convicted of libel against a woman her husband had seduced.

It doesn't appear anyone in the library had noticed the inscription because it is not in the catalog. The book came to us from Richard Mandel '26, former chair of the Friends of the Dartmouth College Library, and member of the Grolier Club. Presumably, as a bibliophile, he was aware of Wilde's hand on the book.

To see it ask, for Rare PR5220.R34 R6 1882.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Way up in the north: the land of the Sami

a librarian holding a book that is four times the size of her head beside her. She's sitting on a big table with the book open on top of it and looking at the book from the right side.Little had I known that my search for an item to post on Instagram would lead to the discovery of one of my favorite books at Rauner! Contrary to the imposing vibe that the huge size of this book exudes, the pencil-drawn illustrations inside appear much more approachable, similar to something you would see doodled in the notebook of an elementary school student -- though with much greater precision and detail. After some research, I learned that these were illustrations by Johan Turi, the first Sami author to publish secular works in the Sami language. Turi drew these illustrations to include in his 1931 book titled Muittalus Samid Bira, also known as Turi's Book of Lappland to an English-speaking audience.

black and white pencil drawing on a paper. Nine reindeers are lined up from the left bottom corner of the paper to the right top corner of the page. Three reindeers in the back are smaller than the other ones and children are riding them. Eight reindeers are lined up from the top right corner of the page to the left bottom corner of the page, just below the other line of reindeers. Conifer trees are drawn in the bottom of the drawing. Human figures are drawn in front of each reindeer lines. The Sami are the northernmost indigenous group of people in Europe, residing in parts of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia. Turi's depiction of the lives of the Sami people in this book provides insights into the cultural and traditional conventions of Sami society.

Reindeer are the dominant feature in all of Turi's drawings as they play a significant role in the livelihoods of the Sami people.
You will notice that, in this drawing, there are two distinct groups traveling in opposite directions, illustrating the migration patterns for two different seasons. The group above are migrating towards the north, a spring migration pattern, whereas the group below are migrating towards the south, which occurs in autumn. Evidence indicating the coexistence of different time frames in this drawing are the horns of the reindeer. The horns of the reindeer in the bottom group are full-grown, which would have been true in autumn, whereas the horns of the reindeer in spring would not have fully matured yet.


A pencil-drawn image of a big circle divided into three parts, like one would cut a pie. Inside each parts are filled with reindeers, interspersed with human figures here and there. There are four animals, presumably dogs, outside the circle in the bottom left corner of the drawing. In autumn, when the reindeer are migrating southward, herds get mixed together frequently. To identify their animals, the owners install a stockade where they gather all the reindeer and begin to separate them. Each stockade has the same number of enclosures as there are owners. Then, the owners would use lassos to catch the reindeer to check to whom it belongs and put that animal in the appropriate pen.

A pencil drawing of a small tent with a line of three reindeer sleighs in front of the entrance of the tent. On the right side in front of the tent are a line of four people looking at the doorway of the tent where a man and an woman are standing and talking to each other. There is a smoke coming out from the top of the tent, presumably from a fire place. Aside from the reindeer herding, Turi introduces other aspects of Sami life such as courting, tent-building, and an annual trip to a church in Jukkäsjarvi, Sweden.

The book we have at Rauner only has illustrations and is without text descriptions. However, Baker-Berry Library has an English-language version of Turi's Book of Lappland, which includes explanations of each drawing.

If you'd like to see our book with only the illustrations, ask at Rauner for Stefansson DL 917.L2 T82. To better understand the illustrations, check out Turi's Book of Lappland from Baker-Berry and bring it over with you.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Dreadful Penny Dreadful

typorgraphical cover of The Dreadful Fate of Sir J. Franklin. It is a simple pamphlet on yellowing paper.When Sir John Franklin and his crew disappeared into Arctic waters in search of a northwest passage, it set off a massive hunt that lasted years. Expeditions from the United States and Great Britain failed time after time to find any trace. In 1854, nine years after Franklin set sail, John Rae discovered evidence of the demise of Franklin and his crew and sent the news back to England. It caused a sensation.

The search had captured the popular imagination, and the public still held out hope that the ships were in safe harbor, so Rae's bad news did not sit well. But there was one industry that was fully prepared to spread the news: the publishers of "penny dreadfuls." These inexpensive little publications reveled in the sensational and rushed to print the details they could glean from more respectable sources--sources that cost more and appealed to a different social stratum.  The Dreadful Fate of Sir J. Franklin (London: Saunders, Bros, 185_) describes the "melancholy termination" of Franklin's expedition. Included was this quote from Rae's official report:
From the mutilated state of many of the corpses and the contents of the kettles, it is evident that our wretched countrymen had been driven to the last resource--cannibalism--as a means of prolonging existence."
Just what the medium begged for. To read the sad tidings, ask for Stef G660.D72.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dartmouth Chocolates

Image of Dartmouth Chocolate adversitement showing a well dressed man in an overcoat with a hat carrying a box of chocolates. There are two women, also well dressed clinging to his arm. Each woman holds a Dartmouth pennant.For Valentine's Day we offer you some Dartmouth Chocolates from Smith and Sons of White River Junction. From the cover of this 1912 promotional pocket calendar included with the chocolates, they seem to have an almost magical power. This Dartmouth Man's one-pound box has attracted a Gibson Girl for each arm. Is it him, or the chocolates they are after? To be safe, better get the chocolate!

The text inside the pocket calendar promises that you can exchange six them for a full size poster of the image, "one of the most beautiful things Mr. Clarence Underwood ever painted." We only have two...

image of a round hard candy with Dartmouth College and a D worked into the candy in greey.
Inside our chocolate box is a little mystery. A piece of hard candy with "Dartmouth College" and the Dartmouth D worked into it. We're not sure why it is there, but it still looks edible.

To take a look ask for Realia 140.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Basilisk in Rauner

Wood cut image of a basilisk. The basilisk is a very long serpent with an arrow coing out of its mouth and a crown on its head.This year's Winter Carnival theme is "Dartmouth College of Icecraft and Blizzardry." Rauner is hosting an open house this evening (Friday, February 10) from 6:00-7:00 with plenty of old books and manuscripts, and even a very Dartmouth sorting hat. It will get you in the mood for a magical weekend.

What you may not know is that there is a Basilisk in Rauner. It is not down in the cavernous depths below the building, but on the second floor in the Rare collection. It is not very threatening to staff--none of us have been eaten, yet. Generally it stays politely within the covers of Conrad Gesners's Icones animalivm qvadrvpedvm viviparorvm et oviparorvm (Tigvri: excvdebat C. Froschovervs, 1560). There are some other cool beasts lurking in the pages--all very real to Gesner.

Wood cut image of three dragons. The one dragon is a snake-like serpent, another has wings and is in flight, and a third has wings and is rearing up. Wood cut image of a hydra. The hydra is serpent like with seven human-like heads each wearing a crown.

Come in this evening to see Rauner's Basilisk, or you can ask for Rare QL41.G372 anytime.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Off-Coloring Book

Coloring book style picture of two children in battered clothes standing by a trash heap. the caption reads "Welcome to my world"
There is something so disturbing about this book. It is an artist's book meant to make you uncomfortable and it succeeds. It is about Jean Genet, so by nature it is a bit on the raunchy side, but no worse than lots of things in our collections. What is so jarring is the juxtaposition of the theme, Genet's debauched lifestyle, and the medium, a children's coloring book.

Some things just should not be colored in--they are better in black and white and kept far away from the innocence of a box of Crayolas! Come in and take a look at Chip Duyck's Let's Play! Coloring and Activity Book based on the life of Jean Genet. It brings new meaning to adult coloring books!  Ask for Presses P595dule.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

When Two Worlds Meet

East Asian and Asian-American students have been the most rapidly growing minority groups at Dartmouth College since the mid-20th century. However, archival records on the communities' experiences are scarce; it was only around the 1970s that these students began to organize collectively around their shared ethnic and cultural identities. 

At Rauner, we are currently displaying an exhibit, "When Two Worlds Meet," which provides perspective on East asian and Asian-American student experiences on campus by looking at the archival records of some of the very first students of Asian descent at Dartmouth. To contextualize these students' experiences at Dartmouth, the exhibit also presents glimpses of larger historical conversations between East Asia and the West. These conversations include attempts by East Asians to document and communicate their cultural heritage and life experiences to Western audiences. The other side of the conversation consists of Western perceptions and interpretations of East Asian civilizations, whether accurate or not.

Several of the books published by Homer B. Hulbert, who was
featured in our last blog post, are included in this exhibit. An illustrated travel log of China written by a Dutch traveler, various pamphlets and publications from the Japanese internment camps during the World War II, and wartime propaganda graphic novels from China are also featured in the exhibit. The exhibit will be installed from now through March 17th in Rauner Library's Class of 1965 Galleries on the mezzanine floor of Webster Hall.

To read more about this exhibit online, visit the Exhibitions at Rauner webpage.