Tuesday, April 17, 2018

From Inner Space to Outer Space

Artificial heart modelWhen he was a child, Arthur R. Kantrowitz and his younger brother Adrian liked to build things.  Using old radio parts, they constructed an electrocardiograph on the table in their Bronx kitchen in the 1920s. As the brothers grew up their paths diverged. Adrian became a physician and heart surgeon, while Arthur turned to physics and engineering. However, throughout the 1950s and 1960s they continued to collaborate on mechanical inventions that would prolong the life of patients with heart failure, such as the inter-aortic balloon pump (1967) and the left ventricular assist device (1972).

Arthur’s real passion, however, was fluid mechanics, particular the behavior of super-hot gases in confined spaces, which included experiments in nuclear fusion, laser propulsion, magnetohydrodynamics, and supersonic high intensity molecular beams. His invention of the nose cone (“Means for and method of controlling attitude of re-entry vehicle”) for rockets and space vehicles was instrumental in getting both man and machine safely back to earth. Altogether, Kantrowitz held 21 patents including a wide-angle isotope separator, a space vehicle, an axial-flow compressor, and a high-powered laser.

1937 patent diagram for Castering WheelsOne of his earliest inventions, however, was more tangible. In 1937, Kantrowitz submitted a patent request related to caster wheels, in particular the behavior of shimmy in said wheels. He proposed that by permitting the wheel only to move a limited distance “laterally relative to the axis of the castering spindle…the tire deflection is partially neutralized continually and its interaction with the angular motion can be reduced enough to prevent shimmy."  Kantrowitz felt that this application could be of significant importance when it came to a “castering wheel for aircraft and other vehicles.” The patent was approved in September 1939.

Kantrowitz was a scientists his entire life. He was a chief physicist at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics from 1935-1946, after which he taught physics and engineering at Cornell University until 1956, when he founded the Avco-Everett Laboratory in Everett, Massachusetts, which he ran from 1956-1978. In 1978, after his retirement from Avco, he joined the faculty of the Thayer School of Engineering as a part time professor and senior lecturer.

Calculations on Health Care Costs
We recently re-processed Arthur Kantrowitz's papers and looking through them, it is apparent that he never stopped working to improve the life around him. That is probably why, in 1992, he took a look at health care costs, trying to solve a problem that has yet to be solved. Found in a folder entitled “Unfinished calculations,” it seems that he ran out of time. Arthur Kantrowitz died at the age of 95 in 2008, six days after his brother.

You can ask for MS-1097 to see more. As soon as the finding aid is ready, we will post a link here.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Illustrated with a Poem

MacLeish text "Now we don't know" next to Migrant Mother imageWe seem to be obsessing over photograph books lately. Not sure why, but here is another one! In 1938, while the Depression still raged, the poet Archibald MacLeish made use of the Farm Security Administration's invitation to writers to make creative use of their vast photographic collections. MacLeish produced a poem, but rather than use the photographs to illustrate the poem, he reversed the usual format. On the dust jacket blurb, he writes: "Land of the Free" is the opposite of a book of poems illustrated by photographs. It is a book of photographs illustrated by a poem.

MacLeish text "We're wondering" next to image of woman on a cot in a tent
The "poem" is also referred to as a soundtrack, and similarly to how illustrations change the way you read a text, MacLeish's poem alters your vision of the photos.

MacLeish text about a riot next to image of a riot scene
It is a cool interplay of text and image well worth your time. Come in and ask for Land of the Free, Rare E169.M16.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Cruise of the "Pandora"

Photo captioned "My last look at the North-West Passage"We have blogged about William Bradford's mammoth photographic ode to the North, Arctic Regions, in the past. We just found in our collections a book that could be considered its little cousin: Allen Young's Cruise of the "Pandora" from 1876. Like Arctic Regions, it uses actual pasted-in photographs as illustrations. The scope and size is considerably smaller (it contains just twelve photos in a book you you can easily hold in your hand), but it shows the same kind of environmental and cultural tourism Bradford displays.

Photo captioned Cape Riley where the first relics of Franklin's Expedition were found."There are photos of Cape Riley "where the first relics of Franklin's Expedition were found"; a sentimental "last look at the North-West Passage": and the quarter deck of the Pandora after a successful hunt. The book also shares Bradford's awe toward the Arctic. Even though the journey had the dual purpose to complete the Northwest Passage and search for Franklin's lost ships, to Young, the region was a place of wonder and beauty.

Photo captioned Quater-deck of Pandora--A mornign's bag
To take a look, ask for Stef G665 1875 .Y5.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Americans

Photograph from The Americans showing a segregated bus in New OrleansIn 1959, as the country began to wake up (again) to its legacy of racism, an artsy photography book by a Swiss-born photographer was issued by Grove Press. It was so unsettling. Robert Frank's masterpiece, The Americans, took a cold, critical look at 1950s America and exposed it in a style evocative of the 1930s Farm Security Administration photographs. It was scorching. Things were supposed to be better now--the Depression was over and we had won the war. But, somehow they weren't.

Cover of French edition of The AmericansJack Kerouac wrote a Beat-inspired introduction that gave the book a counter-culture kick and set Frank up as a poet employing the medium of film and light. What most people didn't realize was that the book of minimally captioned photographs, without text except for Kerouac's short intro, had been released a year earlier in France. The French version contains the same images, but also an extended essay on American history and culture by French poet Alain Bosquet. The essay contextualizes Frank's work and simultaneously uses the images as illustrations. The two books set side by side represent very different aesthetics attempting to do different things for different audiences.

Photo from The American of apartment windows in Hoboken, New Jersey
We are now fortunate to have both "firsts" in our collections. Ask for Rare E169.02 .F713 1958 for Les Américains. The Americans will be cataloged soon. Come take a look and see what has changed and what hasn't.

Friday, March 30, 2018

First Press in Vermont--in Dartmouth Hall

Opening page of An Oration on Early EducationWe have been moving though a very old backlog of minimally cataloged books and manuscripts. Most of them have to do with local history or Dartmouth and were in a collection called "Vault 4," a location that no longer exists except in the memories of some long-time staff members. We stumbled on a real prize this week, An Oration on Early Education. Okay, the text is a bit of a snoozer; it was one of the 1779 Dartmouth commencement addresses but was printed in "Dresden" by Alden Spooner. Spooner had been brought to Dartmouth the year before to act as printer for the College and the town. He operated his press in Dartmouth Hall for a little over a year, then he moved on to Windsor, Vermont. According to Ray Nash, who compiled a bibliography of Spooner's press at Dartmouth, this was the 32nd output of the press.

For a long time people thought the printing press Spooner used was the actual first press brought to the colonies--the same press that printed the Bay Psalm Book. That could be true, but there is no hard evidence to support it and many historians of early American printing doubt it. We do know it was the first press brought to Vermont and the press is now on display at the Vermont Historical Society.  Of course, when Spooner was printing in Dartmouth Hall, he was technically in Vermont, or at least the folks in "Dresden" and Bennington declared it so during a territorial spat involving New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The campus and community flipped back to New Hampshire shortly thereafter.

To take a look at the florid prose of the Oration, ask for D.C. History LB2325.W663 1779. If you want to learn more about Spooner's press, the best place to start if Ray Nash's Pioneer Printing at Dartmouth, D.C. History Z209.H3N3.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Dartmouth's Unsolved Mystery

Headline article reading "Two Fire Companies, Volunteers Battle 5 Hours as Flames Gut Dartmouth Hall; Arson Hinted."For one of the most iconic buildings on Dartmouth's campus, Dartmouth Hall has quite the checkered history. If you've seen any of our other blog posts on the building, you know that it replaced another building that was demolished by students in the late-18th century, and that it burned down in 1904, only to be restored for a brief few decades of glory before burning a second time in 1935. Whereas the details of the building's destruction the first two times are known, the 1935 incident remains a mystery.

The 1935 fire began inside the building in the early hours of April 25th, and it took two fire companies and numerous volunteers five hours to wrestle the flames under control. The fire was supposed to have started in the basement, burning unnoticed until it began to spread through the ground floor and caught the attention of a student, who sounded the alarm. The fire quickly became dangerous, climbing through inaccessible shafts to the upper floors and, ultimately, the roof.

The fire wasn't the only thing to spread quickly, though, as rumors of arson began to sweep the campus like wildfire. Over many articles published in April 25th and 26th, bits and pieces of "evidence" began to accumulate: the fire had started conveniently at the base of a shaft that ran right up to the belfry - allowing the fire to cause maximum damage in minimal time. Several other fires were started in other buildings around the same time, including one in Beta Theta Pi, where the brother who discovered the flames claimed to have seen a figure fleeing the scene.

Photograph of Dartmouth campus with sites of fires marked, headline reads "Traveler Plane Covers Firebug's Trail."

A rash of articles suggested pyromania and questioned the possible motives of an arsonist, however, the College claimed to have found no solid ground for connecting the other fires lit on April 25 to the one in Dartmouth Hall. If anything, the College insisted at the time, the smaller blazes were some perverse prank on the part of a few students.

The file we have on the fire in 1935 mostly stops there. Other than the articles dating April 25th and 26th, there are only a few other documents, mostly focused on fundraising and plans for a restored building - this time to be made completely fireproof. Only one other article, dated June 2 and headlined "Clue Found to College Pyromaniac: School Authorities Admit Suspicion of Some Person in New Attempt to Destroy Buildings," suggests that the debate - and even the fires - may have continued.

To conduct your own investigation into this unsolved Dartmouth conspiracy theory, come by Rauner and ask for the Vertical File "Dartmouth Hall Fires and Rebuilding, 1935" - and while you're at it, check out some of the other files on the historic building!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Colonial Views of the Pearl River Delta

A water color painting of a Chinese junk on the ocean at sunsetThese stunning water-colors come to you from an unlikely source. The artist, Major General Henry Hugh Clifford, served in the British Army during the 19th-century imperialist campaigns. He was a combatant in the Xhosa Wars and the Crimean War and received the Victoria Cross, Great Britain's highest honor for gallantry in wartime, for his actions during the Battle of Inkerman.

A water color painting of Victoria Harbor in Hong KongWhile in Crimea, Clifford was appointed deputy assistant quartermaster-general; a few years later, in 1857, he was sent to China during the Second Opium War, which resulted in the capture of Guangzhou (Canton) by British forces in January of 1858. He returned to England in 1860 and resumed his upward climb through the ranks.

A water color painting of a street scene in Canton
Clifford, although a highly decorated military man, was apparently also an accomplished artist. During his brief time in China, he found the time to paint more than seventy water-color paintings of Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and the people who lived there during that period. To see more of southern China through the eyes of a British soldier, come to Rauner and ask for Iconography 1609.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Arms Robbery

Typescript list of materials bequeathed to Dartmouth by Corey FordWe were looking through a file on Corey Ford for some photos. Corey Ford, for those who don't know, was a writer, humorist, avid sportsman, local legend, and honorary member of the Class of 1921. The Rugby house is named after him--he was a beloved figure on campus for a couple of generations of Dartmouth students.

While looking for photos, we stumbled on a long list of things he bequeathed to the Dartmouth Museum--a five-page list that captures Ford's range of interests: big game trophies, coins, and lots of artifacts from around the world. In the "Historical" section shown here, there are candle molds, chairs, long-stemmed pipes, paper money, and one entry that caught our attention: "2 small flintlock derringers." That there were guns is no surprise, the worrisome factor was the handwritten note next to the entry that reads,"1 stolen, 1969."

We are guessing it was stolen between the time the materials were bequeathed and their arrival at the museum since this appears to be the work of a registrar, and the document is dated mid-November 1969.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Stimulating Reading

Typographic title page to Natural History fo Coffee, Chocolate, Thee, Tobacco.Most pamphlets published in the 17th century had the coffee-house crowd in mind as the audience. Coffee houses served as a kind of gentleman's forum for debate, and they would buy the latest tracts and have them available for their customers. These were the fodder for the political and social discourse that thrived in the coffee-houses. That is why we were excited to find this little gem. It is not an earth shaking polemic like one of Paine's tracts, but an almost self-referential pamphlet: The Natural History of Coffee, Chocolate, Thee, Tobacco (London, 1682). Added on is a tract on elder and juniper berries and another on making "Mum," an alcoholic drink made from wheat malt, oat malt and beans!

The favorite stimulants that get the lead billing were all still a little exotic in England. They were products of the New World or far off eastern lands. Their medicinal qualities are emphasized, surely making the gentlemen in the coffee houses feel enlivened by their good sense as they read, talked, and sipped.

Sorry, you can't bring your coffee or "thee" into Rauner, but you can enjoy reading about them by asking for Rare TP638.C53 1682.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Sealing Wax and other Fancy Stuff

Page opening from Thomas Chadbourne's medical recipe bookWe just bought a cool medical recipe book that was kept by Thomas Chadbourne, an early graduate of the Dartmouth Medical School (now the Geisel School of Medicine) who later set up practice in Concord. The notebook is from his days in Hanover and he attributed several of his recipes to Nathan Smith, founder of the Dartmouth Medical School.

While this is nice documentation of the early days of medical training at Dartmouth, it also says something about how doctors saved and organized information. Medical recipes were handed down from mentor to student, and kept for further reference. But the same recipe book that contains medicinal mixtures for "bone ointment," "whooping cough," and "cholera morbus" also has recipes for varnish and for sealing wax. In fact, the sealing wax recipe is right next to a note about the correct dosage of opium for asthma and other lung ailments. I guess that would be the "other fancy stuff."

This just arrived so it isn't cataloged yet, but it will be soon.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Accounting for Wheelock

Portrait ot Wheelock at his deskNone of Wheelock’s biographers, nor any of the historians of the College, ever mention Wheelock’s youth, other than to note his piousness and his attendance at Yale. This may not be surprising considering how thin the documentation for this part of Wheelock’s life appears to be. The earliest letter by Wheelock in Rauner’s collection is from December of 1733 shortly after his graduation from Yale.

But lurking in Wheelock’s papers is an account book that details Wheelock’s debts and credits for the years 1726 to about 1752. This makes the account book the earliest documentation of Wheelock’s life created by him. It would appear that the account book has been overlooked for some 250 years. This is not really unusual; accounts and finances are often viewed as ancillary when it comes to the historical record and it is true they do not shed light on the thoughts and dreams of individuals the way a letter or a diary might. What accounts do provide is a picture of how businesses or individuals managed their affairs, how labor was compensated, and what work a particular person was engaged in. In addition, they can be used to trace purchasing patterns, or document the everyday activities of a particular person or business.

In the case of Wheelock’s account book, it reveals some surprising things about his early life.

Two-pae spread of Wheelock's account book
18th-century account books were laid out as a two-page spread with the debit column on one side and the credit column on the other. The debit side recorded money received, or at least owed to the owner of the account book and the credit side recorded money the owner of the account was paying out for services or goods.

Let’s start with an entry from 1726 in the debtor’s column.
to one quart of roume 2-6 tow yard chinse      1 4s 9p
to tow boys hats      15s
to tow yards of silk at     8p 6s
to one gallon of molasses     8s
The items listed are just a partial transcription of a much longer inventory and they reflect goods that Wheelock must have been selling to the individual named in the account. The account book for the years 1726 to about 1730 consists of hundreds of lists like this in the debtor column.

Page of Wheelock's account book
In the creditor column, we find evidence that indicates that the young Wheelock was running a sloop back and forth between New Haven and (possibly) Oyster Bay, New York. Entries from 1726 to 1730 reference purchases he made to outfit the vessel and payment to individuals who were working on board the boat. Entries such as this one:
Jeames Douck Ceditor
for a set of blockse for a sloope
to fore days work a bord the vesel
a half day a bord e vesel
Wheelock, who was born in 1711, would have been a mere 15 years old in 1726. The account book indicates that Wheelock was in New Haven, Connecticut, during this time period. This places him away from home, which would have been his father’s farm in Windham, Connecticut, three years before he is said to have enrolled at Yale. New Haven, which is about 68 miles from Windham, would have been a long day’s ride, or more, by horse, so it is unlikely that Wheelock was commuting on a frequent basis.

So, what the account book tells us is that Eleazar Wheelock was living in New Haven engaged in the shipping and merchant business prior to and into the early years at Yale.

This is just one piece of the picture from this resource. Other evidence that can be derived from the account book include a sense of his income over time, how his activities changed when he entered the ministry, and how he made money off of slave labor, but those topics are for future posts.

To take a look at the account book, ask for MS-1310, Box 38.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A Long Time Coming

Franklin D. Roosevelt's inscription to the Dartmouth College LibraryWe just acquired something that was presented to us 78 years ago. It took a while to get here. It is a mimeograph, typescript copy of Franklin D. Roosevelt's January 3, 1940, State of the Union address--the version handed out prior to the actual speech. This copy is inscribed by Roosevelt: "For the Dartmouth College Library." But, it appears FDR did not send it directly to Dartmouth. Instead he gave it to his former law partner, and active Dartmouth alumnus, Basil O'Connor '12, presumably to pass on to Dartmouth at his next opportunity. I guess O'Connor forgot.

First page of State of the Union Address, 3 January 1940
O'Connor had an impressive career. Beyond being law partner with FDR, he was president of the March of Dimes and the American Red Cross. He was also an avid collector of Dartmouth ephemera. After he died, his estate sold off most of his papers, but donated his Dartmouth-related collection to us. We are not really sure of the life that this document led for the past 78 years, but it just surfaced and was offered to us by a manuscript dealer. It is now happily at the Dartmouth College Library awaiting cataloging

Here are Roosevelt's concluding thoughts:
In the spirit, therefore, of a greater unselfishness, recognizing that the world--including the United States of America--passes through perilous times, I am very hopeful that the closing session of the Seventy-Sixth Congress will consider the needs of the nation and of humanity with calmness, tolerance and cooperative wisdom.

May the year 1940 be pointed to by our children as another period when democracy justified its existence as the best instrument of government yet devised by mankind.
We wonder what our children will say about 2018 and democracy.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Map Stories

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words - this is certainly true if that picture is a map. When we think of what purpose maps serve, we often jump immediately to their use as tools for navigation, or finding things. We focus less on the stories a map can tell us. But whether we unfold a tourist's guide to find our way around a new city, or crack open an atlas while curled up in our own home, maps transport us to new, sometimes far off places, and help us navigate unfamiliar territories with confidence and excitement. And the details on a map - where boundaries are drawn and how places are named - speak volumes about the perspective and worldview of the cartographers and intended audience. Some maps make assumptions about landmasses or geographical layouts that are later proved false, but which provide a window into the way the world looked to those who, at the time, viewed the map as authoritative.

For the next several weeks in Rauner, we have an exhibit that explores this hidden potential of maps. Our cases examine maps as telling stories about perspective, speculation, and journeys. Juxtaposing, for example, relief maps of the White Mountains with Christopher Robin's map of the Hundred Acre Woods, Thorin's map from The Hobbit with an English seafaring chart, and Dante's circles of hell with maps of polar expeditions, each case considers one of the three themes across maps in different styles and across time.

All of our maps have exciting, nostalgic, intriguing, and wondrous stories to tell. To come and see some of them, stop by Rauner and head up to the Mezzanine level to find Map Stories: A World on a Page, open through April 13. If you can't make it in person to see the exhibit, you can read more about it online: https://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/rauner/exhibits/map-stories.html.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Serious History

Elizabeth [I] Hears of the Death of Mary [Queen of Scots] Humor - and especially black humor - often sticks in the imagination in a way that a dry reading of a subject doesn't. The Monarchs of Merry England and More Monarchs of Merry England aren't exactly political cartoons, though the illustrations and text serve much the same purpose. Sometimes the juxtaposition of the comic imagery and the actual sordid details of the event make the reality all the more vividly memorable.

Does the execution of Mary Queen of Scots really seem like something to dance about? But you know it solved a lot of problems for Elizabeth I.

His [William the Conqueror] Soldiers Restrained from Taking Advantage of Victory GainedWas William the Conqueror restrained in his dealings with the local populace during his advance into England? Not so much really.

Another interesting thing about these images is the depth of knowledge the author assumes the reader has. Who was Isabella and why was it important that she not have any intended?

Isabella [of France], untrammelled by any Intended
For those of you hanging on the edge of your seats.....and after some quick research.... Isabella was the daughter of Charles VI of France. By marrying her, Richard II was attempting to consolidate England's claim to the throne of France. Despite what the imagery suggests, she was seven at the time and Richard died a few years later.

Ask for Illus R59mon and Illus R59mor.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tiny Treasures

If you've ever seen Rauner's Instagram, you may know that Tuesday is a bit of a special day when we post pictures of our coolest and littlest artifacts. We recently went through our most popular post of 2017 and discovered that our followers are big fans of these #tintytuesday posts, especially those featuring miniature books! And by "miniature," we mean really really tiny. The generally accepted definition of a miniature book is that it measures less than three inches, and many of the ones in the collection are somewhere around the size of a thumbprint. In cases where they fit comfortably in the palm of your hand, or slip into a pocket for easy transport, miniature books have a few claims to utility. Mostly, though, they're just a lot of fun, and often surprisingly elaborate and beautiful. For fingerprint sized books, they definitely rival their larger counterparts in aesthetic design!

In celebration of the completed cataloguing of our Madelyn Hickmott miniatures collection, and as a nod to our many miniature book fans on Instagram, we've put together a case exhibit of some of our favorite miniatures! Come by and check it out in the lobby of Rauner. Less than half of the collection is in the case, so if you're especially curious, come in to the reading room and ask at the front desk to see the others, including Miniatures 25, shown above.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Trout Fishing in America

We just picked up a beautiful copy of a 1960s classic that inspired a generation of hipsters to try to write novels: the first printing of Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America. The cover art declares itself as a hippy bible, though Brautigan was fairly cynical about the younger generation that adored his work.

A blurb on the back cover says it all:
Mr. Brautigan submitted a book to us in 1962 called TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA. I gather from the reports that it was not about trout fishing--The Viking Press.
Needless to say, our first edition is not published by Viking but by the Four Seasons Foundation in San Francisco. To take a look, ask for Rare PR3503.R2736 T767 1967.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

To Each his Own

Diagram from Woodcok's patent showing arangement of desks on the diagonalHave you ever wondered whether there was a reason for the arrangement of student desks in school rooms? Well, in 1855, Virgil Woodcock of Swanzey, New Hampshire, did. A carpenter by profession, Woodcock argued that his “Diagonal Arrangement,” which included favoring single desks over double desks, had many benefits. Firstly, it would provide each student with “a separate desk and chair” thereby giving the student “full control of his books and writing.” In addition, he declared that this arrangement “releases every one from any interference with another and gives to all the privilege of inhaling the pure air, without taking it second handed from the one sitting near him.”

From his description it appears that the separation of one student from another was the key thinking behind his idea,
[N]o one scholar can see the face of another without one of the two being at right or left half face. When school is called to procession, all can rise at once and step into files in the aisles without coming in contact with one another.
Trying to sell this new concept to teachers, he pointed out to them that “scholars are more directly in view of the teacher, and can therefore be kept in better order, which greatly diminishes the labor of the teacher.”

Woodcock submitted his arrangement to the US Patent office and on March 6, 1855, was granted a patent “for the term of fourteen years.”

Woodcock’s pamphlet is part of a notebook containing signatures of school commissioners, teachers and other notables approving of the new arrangement, some of whom also provided Woodcock with affidavits to that effect. Both items are part of Codex 003426.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Ledyardites

Ledyard Canoe Cabin, 1930Almost a century ago, eight Dartmouth students created a small organization in the hopes of finally taking advantage of their proximity to the Connecticut River. With a $5,000 donation from Reverend John E, Johnson ’66, they built a modest boathouse down by the bridge and bought a few canoes. They chose to name their club after Dartmouth legend, John Ledyard, the famed explorer who, in his first year as a Dartmouth student, decided the academic life wasn’t for him, felled a pine tree, carved out a canoe and set off down the Connecticut towards the sea. During the spring of 1921, a year after they created the club the founders set off in their canoes to retrace the paddle of their namesake.

Today, Ledyard Canoe Club is a thriving campus community, of which I feel extremely lucky to be a member. We have carried on in the tradition of our founders, setting our canoes in the Connecticut each year to paddle to the sea, and we have also expanded on that tradition. Throughout the history of the club, Ledyardites have paddled internationally, in such places as Japan, Korea, and Ecuador, as well as domestically down the Rio Grande, the Mississippi, to Lake Powell and in the Florida Everglades. Ledyardites have competed in World Championships and at the Olympics. To fully detail each exciting trip taken by a Ledyardite would take far more than a single blog post and through the course of my research I am continually awed by the depth of experience this club has had.

History of Canoe Club, page 1History of Canoe Club, page 2

More and more, throughout my research I have found myself being drawn into Ledyard’s history and connecting with the club and past Ledyardites in ways I did not expect. While Ledyard has changed, expanded and improved throughout the years, the elements I admire so much in the community it is today--our adventurous spirit, support for one another, and love of the club--I see reflected over and over, reaching straight back to our beginning. Longtime Ledyard advisor and whitewater coach, Jay Evans ’49, understands perfectly, saying in a letter sent 18 years ago, “Ledyard has a sense of place. It is a setting, a land and waterscape, a cast of mind perhaps, a legacy for sure, passed on from one generation to another.”

History of Canoe Club, page 3History of Canoe Club, page 4

This spring, we will be celebrating that legacy with the Ledyard Explorer’s Symposium. In April, just a week before our official anniversary, various alums and current students will present on our namesake, the club’s history and the future of the club. My research in Rauner this term is devoted to curating an exhibition which will complement the Symposium and make our history more accessible to the Dartmouth Community. I hope to introduce students to Ledyard’s rich history and lasting spirit of exploration.

"End of first Down River Trip 1922"
I highly doubt that our founders would be surprised by Ledyard’s enduring vibrancy. After all, our first president, Professor Richard Goddard ’20, became the club’s advisor for thirty years and stayed in communication with Ledyard throughout his life, like many Ledyard alums. I expect myself, and many of the current Ledyardites I know, will be carrying on that tradition, just as each year Ledyardites set our canoes in the Connecticut and head on down to the sea.

Posted for Jaime Eeg '18, recipient of a Rauner Student Research Fellowship for the 2018 Winter term. The Rauner Student Research Fellowships provide full funding for a Dartmouth student to conduct research with primary sources during an off-term on a topic of their choosing. For more information, visit the fellowship's website.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Roberts on Twain on Cooper (it's not pretty)

Heavily line edited pages from the bookWe just received Kenneth Roberts's copy of a book of essays by Mark Twain. We have Kenneth Roberts's library and a collection of his papers, so this is the perfect place for the book. The treat, though, is not the association, but what Roberts did to the book. Apparently he took offense at Mark Twain's essay "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses." It is not clear if Roberts approved of Cooper's style, but it is pretty obvious he had some troubles with Twain's prose. Roberts dissects Twain's essay in a kind of rabid attack on the text with pencil in hand. He offers line edits to nearly every sentence to clean up Twain's style and deletes whole swaths of the essay.

Two pages showiing text marked for deletion
The book came to us through the generosity of Joel Shimberg who bought it back in 1967 and has taken care of it for the past 50 years. We are so happy it has landed here, reunited with Roberts's library and open for research use. To see it yourself ask for Roberts PS1311.I6 1897.

Friday, February 2, 2018

I Thereafter...

Photograph taken of an aging Daniel Webster
 "It is, Sir, as I have said, a small college. And yet there are those who love it!" These memorable words, as uttered by Daniel Webster during the Dartmouth College Case, have long since been enshrined in Dartmouth lore. However, while a great deal of academic literature has been written on the outcome of the case and its significance as a landmark Supreme Court Case, far less has been written about the proceedings of the case itself and the factors that created such an outcome. Throughout the course of my Rauner Fellowship, my main research focus is on the dynamics and relationships that existed between the various actors and political factors that exerted influence within the Dartmouth College Case. I hope that an analysis of this landmark case may provide greater insight into our modern conception of Constitutional legitimacy.

The research process has been simultaneously very exciting and very daunting. Having had very little prior experience working with special collections and archives, the work of approaching a project grounded in primary sources has posed several unique challenges. Working with handwritten letters and newspaper clippings is a far cry from the academic articles and government documents I am generally accustomed to. It is exhilarating to come across new pieces of information in these letters that may not even be found in existing academic articles written on this topic, but learning to decode the handwriting of these manuscripts has also given me a great appreciation for the difficulty of conducting such analysis.

During the past week, I came across a letter from Daniel Webster to Jeremiah Mason, a fellow lawyer, notifying him of their victory in the Dartmouth College Case. Embedded within this manuscript was what I suspected to be a crucial passage relating to the outcome of the case and Webster’s interpretation of their success. However, these important lines were clustered in four lines of indecipherable text at the end of the letter.

First and back page of Marsh letter
While the letter’s handwriting had started off neat and legible, it had quickly devolved over the course of its two pages. Although my advisor Mr. Carini had cautioned me early on about the difficulties of transcribing letters, I only came to finally appreciate and understand his words at this moment. After spending nearly an hour puzzling over these final lines, I passed the letter along to Mr. Carini and Mr. Satterfield in the hopes that their professional expertise would be able to shed light on these indecipherable lines. Together, we were able to piece together a few more words from the final lines of the letter, specifically the line, "Our Bench argument goes on. I thereafter…" However, we remained stumped as to what the last two lines of the letter were.

Second page and facing blank page of Marsh letterDespite having since revisited this letter repeatedly throughout the last few days, the final lines of Webster’s letter to Mason remain elusively out of reach. I've come to realize that this is just a natural part of the process of working with manuscript. I hope that as I continue to work with Webster’s letters, I will reach a point where I no longer have trouble with reading his handwriting. However, as a reader, if you think you've figured out what the last four lines of the letter say, please feel free to send us your thoughts!

To see the letter in person, visit Rauner Library and ask for Webster 819174.1. To see the photograph of an aging Daniel Webster, ask for Iconography 1649.

Posted for Weiling Huang '19, recipient of a Rauner Student Research Fellowship for the 2018 Winter term. The Rauner Student Research Fellowships provide full funding for a Dartmouth student to conduct research with primary sources during an off-term on a topic of their choosing. For more information, visit the fellowship's website.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Voices of Dissent: Dartmouth Feminists of the '90s

Cover ot Spare Rib showing three women haning a Dartmouth 1972 BannerIn the early ‘90s, two new publications emerged at Dartmouth. Both written by women, both claiming to be feminist works, the first was called Spare Rib, and the second Inner Bitch. Spare Rib arrived in newspaper form, with a slightly-bitten apple wedged inside the title. From the spring of 1992 to the winter of 1995, Spare Rib released at least 11 issues. The editors wrote, “Spare Rib is a manifestation of all that Dartmouth women have accomplished, the challenges that face us now, and the victories we hope to gain in the coming years.” Each issue contains interviews and editorials discussing the role of women in the College, as well as femininity in greater society. The writers at Spare Rib were passionate about feminism, and they presented their stance calmly and intellectually.

Open Inner Bitch. The zine’s mission statement speaks for itself:
Deep within you, beneath the strained smiles, the cordiality, the good grades, the conceding laughter, YOU HAVE AN INNER BITCH… Well, this whole rag is in honor of that Inner Bitch. We want to help her grow and become as strong and as bitchy as womanly possible. We want to give her the power to speak her mind. Because silence is a kind of death. It keeps a part of you dormant, like a leg that’s permanently fallen asleep. And it makes it easier for the next woman to get hurt, and the next and the next.
"Ideal Woman" graphic from Inner BitchThe writers at Inner Bitch demanded that women empower themselves. They wanted women to own their sexuality, ignore society’s wishes for straight hair and smooth legs, and defend themselves violently against men. In order to release one’s “inner bitch,” the zine prescribes everything from an “Inner Bitch Makeover” to “Top 10 Things to Do With a Severed Penis.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its aggressive hatred of men, Inner Bitch only ever circulated two issues.

Despite their obvious differences, Spare Rib and Inner Bitch engage in one dialogue. Both publications discuss the pressure of beauty standards, how media portrayal of women “perpetuates sexual inequality.” Both touch upon the issue of sexual assault, blaming “the boys of Webster Avenue” for making social spaces unsafe for women. And both Spare Rib and Inner Bitch encourage women to seek their own pleasure in bed, rather than merely satisfying their partners. The newspaper and zine explore many other topics, as well, each trying to guide women as they navigate Dartmouth’s intensely male culture.

Cover art for Inner Bitch showing a collaged image of a woman with a a gun
Twenty years after Dartmouth became coeducational, the community was still unsure where women belonged on campus. The fact that these separate publications discuss so many of the same issues indicates that Dartmouth women still consistently grappled with sexism and inequality, throughout the 90’s and even to the present day. In Spare Rib and Inner Bitch, we see two opposite ways of writing about adversity: Spare Rib falls somewhere near the middle of political and social discourse, and Inner Bitch is far, far to the left. It’s up to you to decide which is more inspiring––cogent journalism, or an angry, hilariously graphic zine. To see for yourself ask for DC Hist LH1.D3 S63 and LH1.D3 I54.

Posted for Sarah Alpert '21