Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Arctic Mariner

Ugh, what to do when you are on the search for Sir John Franklin and stuck in the ice... for the entire arctic winter... waiting... getting hungry... very bored... kinda cold....

Let's write a song! Then we can print it with the Ship's printing press! Hey, let's print it on silk to make it really fancy!

We just acquired one of those remarkable survivals of polar exploration. This broadside was printed by Benjamin Young, the ice quartermaster on board the Intrepid. The Intrepid set off with the Resolute in 1850 to search for Sir John Franklin and, unsuccessful, returned in 1852. We are not sure who on board wrote it, but copies were probably printed on both silk and paper: paper for the crew, silk for the officers.

To sing along, and imagine life locked in the ice, ask for Stef M1978.S2 A738 1851.

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Aura of the Original

Human body surrounded by glow of "Insensible Perspiration" In Special Collections, we sometimes get a bit obsessive about "aura,"that mystical energy that surrounds authentic historical artifacts. It is utterly context specific, and created solely from our cultural expectations, but it is still real. People get a tremendous rush from seeing the original and interacting with it. It opens people's minds to new ways of knowing, excites their imaginations, and, we think, makes them more likely to learn from their encounters. It is one of the reasons why active learning works so damn well in Special Collections.

So, we were delighted today to find a new term to express that "aura" from Ebenezer Sibly's A Key to Physic and the Occult Sciences (London: Printed for the Author, 1800?): "The Insensible Perspiration." It is just so much better than the sensible kind!

To learn more about it (with the original book, mind you!) ask for Rare RS81.C96.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Global Geography

three photos of farmsteads in Lebanon
While searching the stacks for materials related to regional agriculture, we discovered a University of Chicago PhD dissertation among the collections. The text, titled "The Evolution of Land Utilization in Lebanon, New Hampshire," was written by Edward Nathaniel "Nat" Torbert, a member of the Dartmouth class of 1925. The data in this tome, which is nearly three inches thick, explores the ins and outs of farming from 1800 up to the date of its composition.

three photographs of Lebanon including the train roundhouse in West LebanonAlthough Torbert's research is interesting, especially when discussing the move from rural to urban environments in the 1800s, we were most fascinated by the photographic prints that he pasted into the pages of his
dissertation. Images of White River Junction, West Lebanon, and Lebanon abound, and each one provides a captivating portal back to life in a small rural town in the 1920s. Perhaps the photos are so particularly compelling because Torbert went on to be an award-winning amateur photographer.

Torbert was evidently a man meant to be outdoors and in the field. He initially was a professor of geography at San Jose State College, but soon shifted into a more active role: he worked with the Tennessee Valley Authority for several years before moving into successive international positions that revolved around his specialty in economic geography. From 1950 to 1951, he worked on a reclamation program in Haiti. Soon after, Torbert headed to Afghanistan as the chief planning engineer for an irrigation project that was meant to bring water to 3.5 million acres of farmland.

three photographs of Lebanon including the Coburn Park areaHowever, after only a few months there, he contracted bulbar polio, a particularly nasty variant of the disease which attacks the brain stem. At first, he and Elise, his wife, assumed that he had the flu. Within two days, his arms and vocal cords were paralyzed. A week later, after being airlifted out of the country on board the US Ambassador's plane, Torbert passed away in the Seventh Day Adventist hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. In a letter home, his wife said that she was "not prepared for the rapid progress of the disease nor for its fatality," that Norbert never regained consciousness enough to realize he had polio, and that "he remained sweet, patient and cheerful until the very end." Soon after, the United States Department of the Interior awarded him its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. At the awards convocation, Douglas McKay, Secretary of the Interior, described Torbert as "broad in his thinking, considerate in his approach, firm in his beliefs, skillful in his operations, and unyielding in his devotion to purpose."

panoramic photo of White River Junction, VT, looking eastward to West Lebanon

To see Nat Torbert's dissertation, including some amazing views of early 20th-century Lebanon, ask for Alumni T63e.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Telegraphing the Play

Telegram from start of gameOn November 7th, 1908, Dartmouth squared off against Princeton at the famed Polo Grounds for "the only big football game that New Yorkers [could] witness" that year. Obviously, most Dartmouth students couldn't make the trip down to New York for the game, but they were anxious about the fate of their team. So a telegraph machine was set up in the gymnasium and a telegraph operator, "Miss Rodey," received 114 telegrams sent directly from the game that detailed every play.

The D from November 10, 1908, sets the scene pretty well:
A large crowd gathered in the Gym last Saturday afternoon to hear the reports from the game in New York. These came by direct wire from the Polo Grounds, and were by far the most complete and accurate received this year. Each play was carefully transmitted, and the location of the ball was always stated at the end of each scrimmage. This enabled the following of the game on the diagram board with unusual precision.
Telegram from middle of game
Get this... Someone saved all of those telegrams and had them beautifully bound and presented to the Library in 1916. You can come in and relive the game, play by play, by flipping through the series of transmissions. The internet has nothing on Dartmouth in 1908.

Telegram from end of game: Darmouth 10, Princeton 6
Ask for DC History GV957.D3D3 1908.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

From the Library of...

Rudyard Kipling's bookplate
Just recently, our processing specialist undertook the daunting task of reprocessing the Bookplates Collection at Rauner Library. The collection contains more than twenty thousand bookplates, a few bookplate sale catalogs, brochures, leaflets, and Harold Goddard Rugg's correspondence with dealers and collectors. The collection began in 1928 when Josiah Minot Fowler, a member of Dartmouth College's class of 1900, donated the F. J. Libbie collection of bookplates to Dartmouth College. He also commissioned two brass plates dedicating his gift to the memory of his parents George R. Fowler and Isabel Minot Fowler. Fowler’s gift contained about 3,900 early American plates, 3,000 modern American plates, 250 American proofs, 300 Canadian plates and about 7,500 English and foreign plates. Each plate was mounted on white cards, arranged alphabetically and stamped with Fowler's name.

Victor Hugo's bookplateCharles Dickens's bookplate

In 1945, Arthur F. Gray and Arthur H. Gray 1911, donated Theodore Dreiser's bookplatetheir collection of bookplates which contained about 8,000 plates. That donation was facilitated by Bremer Whidden Pond, a member of the class of 1906. Each of the plates were mounted on gray cards, stamped "Gray," and interfiled with the existing Fowler collection. Since 1945, other bookplates have been added to the collection, including donations by Dr. Mary Adams in 1969, and by Harold G. Rugg, who also solicited additional bookplates from donors and bought many from dealers. Some of the more notable bookplates are shown here and include Rudyard Kipling, Charles Dickens, William Butler Yeats, and Robert Frost. Other notable bookplates in the collection once belonged to Charlie Chaplin, most of the Founding Fathers (including Hamilton and Washington), and FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Robert Frost's bookplateW. B. Yeats's bookplate

The finding aid for the collection isn't public-facing yet. Until it is, you can look through the bookplates of notable figures by coming to Special Collections and asking to see MS-1137, Box 42.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Dartmouth's Vermont Thanksgiving

Full-page view of ProclamationIt was the middle of the American Revolution. Thomas Chittenden, "Governor and Commander in Chief" of the recently formed "State of Vermont" (really more a republic, separate from the thirteen colonies, but fighting alongside them in the Revolution), issued a proclamation of Thanksgiving. It directed the people of Vermont to lay down all labor on Thursday, November 26, 1778, and embrace a day of thanksgiving for all the good that had arisen "amid the many private and public Distresses of a temporal Nature."

Chittenden issued the proclamation in Windsor, Vermont, but it was printed here at Dartmouth by Alden Spooner, during the brief period when Hanover flipped its allegiance to Vermont and called itself "Dresden, Vermont." Spooner made an egregious typo working in his dark quarters in Dartmouth Hall: Chittenden sprouted an extra T in his name.

Close-up of "Chitttenden" with three ts
Even now, when the Christian god is still routinely evoked in political discourse, the utter disregard of anything resembling a separation of church and state is a bit shocking. Of course there wasn't the Constitution yet, and the governor was comfortable ordering the citizens of the state to pause from their regular duties to "pay their vows to the LORD," and give thanks for "God's gracious Presence with the General Assembly of the United States of America.... That this once howling Wilderness may, in a spiritual Sense, bud and blossom like the Rose."

Close-up of "Dartmouth College" docketing
Come in and take a look at our copy, docketed Dartmouth College, by asking for Broadside 778568.

Friday, November 16, 2018


Title page to second draft of screenplay for The Princess BrideEven though he wrote many popular screenplays and books, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the Presidents Men, William Goldman, who died today at the age of 87, will probably be best remembered for the adaptation of his book The Princess Bride. The quirky tale of pirates, princesses, giants and the power of love was made into a movie by Rob Reiner in 1987.

However, Goldman’s original adaptation dates to 1973. Several attempts to get the project off the ground were in the works throughout the 1970s and early '80s but the movie wasn't made until Reiner, coming off directorial success in both This is Spinal Tap and Stand by Me, became involved.

Close up of line from screenplay "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoyaa. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
We recently reprocessed the papers of director, screenwriter and producer James Goldstone and among the many scripts in the collection we found the second draft of Goldman’s original adaptation of The Princess Bride, dated December 1974. Unfortunately, there was no supporting material accompanying the script and so it is left to our imagination why Goldstone had a copy in his possessions.

Was he one of the many people involved in trying to get the movie made, back in the day? Maybe he was considering directing it? Or maybe it was just another script making the rounds in Hollywood.

Having read the script, I can report that the final product is pretty close to this original.

If you would like to read the screenplay for yourself, ask for MS-1073, The Papers of James Goldstone.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

"Splendid" Lillard

Page 128 from vol. 25 of the Dartmouth student newspaper that describes Dartmouth's victory over Harvard
Dartmouth's recent football victory over Harvard, after several decades of agonizing defeats, brought to mind another time long ago when Dartmouth was king of the gridiron and its students were scholar-athletes in the truest sense. One of those men was Walter H. Lillard, known as "Cappy" to many, a member of Dartmouth's class of 1905. Among his many exceptional accomplishments, Lillard was on the Dartmouth football team that notched the college's first-ever victory against Harvard in 1903. Lillard, although being a bit small for a football player, still put on a performance in the left end position that the Dartmouth called "splendid." The memory of Dartmouth's stunning shut-out of Harvard that year must have been in the minds of the men who hired Lillard to be the assistant football coach for two years after he graduated. Phillips Academy in Andover soon poached him to serve as their football coach as well as teach English Literature; by doing so, he became the first faculty member at the school also to serve as football coach. Eventually, Dartmouth was able to lure him back to campus in 1908 as the head coach.

After receiving an A. M. from Dartmouth in 1910, Lillard returned to Phillips Academy, Andover, to coach and teach English. Lillard found the hierarchy of American college sports, with its designation of varsity and junior varsity, to be distasteful. He soon instituted a policy at Andover that required all students to participate in athletics of some kind. Six years later, he accepted the position of principal at Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts, where he served for twenty-six years.

Page from Lillard's passport showing his photograph (and the x'ed out photos of his family)In addition to his  school responsibilities, Lillard was very active in his community, serving as Civil Defense director, chairman of the Red Cross chapter and a member of the board of library trustees and school building committee. In 1945 he was appointed American field representative in Vienna, Austria, where he worked with the Intergovernmental Committee of Refugees. We have his passport from his trip to Europe, and the photo in it suggests that the United States government back then was less stringent about what sorts of photographs were acceptable for official documents.

To look through more of W. H. Lillard's papers, come to Rauner and ask to see MS-1159. The early 20th-century copies of the Dartmouth are on the reading room shelf, if you want to read all about how the football team trounced Harvard for the first time so many years ago.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Encyclopedic Enlightenment

Title page of the Encyclopedie's prospectus
Denis Diderot's Enyclopédie, ou dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers, a mammoth undertaking that was launched in 1751 and took over twenty years to complete, is arguably one of the most famous encyclopedias ever made. The work ticks a lot of boxes for people who love "firsts," as nebulous as such claims may be: first to include contributions from a wide number of well-known people such as Voltaire and Rousseau, and first general encyclopedia to describe the mechanical arts. Diderot's work is also hailed as representing the intellectual thought of the Enlightenment, and is sometimes credited as an inspiration for the French Revolution because of his and others' entries on political authority.

A plate titled "Agriculture" from the Encyclopedie.Here in Special Collections, we're fortunate enough to have a complete set of the Encyclopédie and we also have a facsimile of the prospectus. Sent out as a way to drum up financial support in advance of the actual publication, the prospectus promised a ten-volume work with a clearly defined finish. Ultimately, however, the sprawling encyclopedia swelled to twenty-eight volumes, frustrating its subscribers and even causing a few lawsuits along the way (as well as a run-in with the royal censors).

To see our copy of the Encyclopédie, come to Rauner and ask for Rare AE25 .E53. To see our prospectus facsimile, ask for Rare AE25 .E25 1751a.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

First Frost

“This is the very first I ever had published …” reads Robert Frost’s words penned atop this newspaper. On November 8, 1894, The Independent, a New York newspaper which ran from 1848-1921, became the first professional publisher to feature poetry by Robert L. Frost.

However, The Independent was not the first to print Frost’s poetry, or even “My Butterfly.” Frost worked with a printer in Lawrence, Massachusetts to self-publish two copies of a collection he called Twilight, one for himself and one gifted to his future wife, Elinor. Only Elinor’s copy of Twilight survives today –  after personally delivering Elinor’s copy to her at St. Lawrence College and perceiving rejection, Frost destroyed his copy.

While Elinor's copy of Twilight is housed in special collections at the University of Virginia, Dartmouth’s Rauner Alumni Collection features an original copy of the Independent, issue number 2397. This particular copy features a brief note penned by Frost dedicated to one Earle Bernheimer. Bernheimer, it turns out, was a patron of Frost who supported him financially in exchange for bits of writing from the poet. Their letters suggest that, at least for Frost, the relationship was more business than friendship, and that he got Bernheimer to progressively pay him more and more for less and less. Ultimately, Bernheimer had to sell his collection of Frost’s works during a divorce settlement. It is quite possible that this piece was part of that very collection.

The poem, “My Butterfly” itself was written by Frost at eighteen and was also featured in his first commercially published book of poems A Boy’s Will. Another thing that stands out about the poem is its use of poeticisms – formalistic flairs like thee, tis, and o’er – which slowly fled Frost’s work as he progressed as a poet. On January 30, 1895 Frost composed a letter concerning “My Butterfly” to Susan Hayes Ward, an editor for The Independent, “If it is seriously I must speak, I undertake a future. I cannot believe that poem was merely a chance. I will surpass it.”

The rest of Frost's inscription quoted above is "...unless you count the three or four I had in the Lawrence High School Bulletin when I was at school." We have one of those, too. To see "My Butterfly" ask for Alumni F9296my; to see the Bulletin, ask for Frost LH1 L285 H54 1892.

Posted for Bradford Stone '19.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Going Back to the Well

Page opening of Jenson's edition of Pliny.We have blogged before about Nicolas Jenson's obsession with the perfect page and his devotion to an austere typography, so we don't have much to say about this book, except to exclaim, "Damn, look at that page!"

This is Jenson's 1476 printing of Pliny's Natural History, translated into Italian by Christophoro Landino. The size of the book is daunting, then you open it up and see the luxurious margins Jenson provided to set off his unrelenting text block. Purity of form.
Person holding book to show scale.

To see it ask for Incunabula 137.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Translating Tamil

First page of a letter from Levi Spaulding to his nephew Lyman Spaulding, August 22, 1863.
In June of 1819, a young man named Levi Spaulding embarked on a trip to South Asia that would ultimately lead him to the island country of Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka. The small nation had just been colonized by the British in 1818, and Spaulding's intent was to serve as a minister of God to its indigenous people. Spaulding had originally intended to be a farmer in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, where he was born in 1791, but his father's death in 1809 changed the trajectory of his life. Instead, he enrolled in Dartmouth College as a member of the class of 1815 and had a spiritual awakening there after several years of religious indifference. After graduating, he promptly attended Andover Theological Seminary and received his degree in 1818. Only a short year later, Spaulding was on a ship headed for India. He would return only once to his native country for a two-year furlough and spent his life ministering to the Tamil people of Sri Lanka and southern India. He died in Uduvil, a town at the north of the island, in 1873 at the ripe old age of 82.

The title page from Spaulding's Tamil translation of the New Testament (vol. 2).One of the most daunting initial challenges for Spaulding was a lack of suitable religious texts. When he wrote to his nephew in 1863 to describe his early days as a missionary, Spaulding mentioned that upon his arrival he discovered that there were only two grammars in the mission, no dictionaries, and no Christian texts. There weren't even enough English Bibles for the missionaries. Spaulding dedicated himself to translating various tracts, sermons, and other religious texts into Tamil, including Pilgrim's Progress. Spaulding recounted in his correspondence that he would often pick up new words during his conversations with the local community and then immediately pencil them on his shirt sleeves for later transcription. Eventually, the fruit of his labors was both a Tamil-English dictionary and a Tamil translation of the New Testament.

To see a volume of Spaulding's Tamil New Testament, come to Rauner and ask for Alumni S7393t v.2. To read his correspondence with his nephew, ask for MS 838563.1.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Doctor Franklin and Lord Dartmouth

Engraving of the 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, William Legge
This week, we welcomed to Special Collections a visiting delegation of Rotarians from the United Kingdom. First editions of works by Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare were on display for them, as well as historic Rotary Club publications and a few items connected to the college's namesake. William Legge, the second Earl of Dartmouth, was the leading trustee for the English trust that funded Eleazar Wheelock's initial educational venture, Moor's Charity School. In an an effort to drum up financial support for the founding of Dartmouth College, Wheelock named the school after Legge. Wheelock hoped that the nobleman would be flattered and respond with a generous donation; Lord Dartmouth declined the invitation to contribute.

In addition to his connection to America through Moor's Charity School, the Earl of Dartmouth had
Engraving of Benjamin Franklin
another important tie to the colonies. From 1772 until 1775, he served as the United Kingdom's Secretary of State for the Colonies; the position had been newly created in 1768 to bring the American colonies to heel after the passage of the controversial Townshend Acts in 1767. Among the items we had on display for our British guests was  a letter written (or, at least, dictated) by Benjamin Franklin to Lord Dartmouth in December 8th, 1772. In his letter, Franklin states that he would like to share his perspective on the general sentiments of "leading people in America" with Dartmouth, particularly their concerns about recent measures taken by the British government. Franklin suggests that Dartmouth may not be receiving a true account from his official government representatives in America.

At this time, Franklin was living in London. He had originally moved there as a representative of the Pennsylvania Assembly to protest the influence of the Penn family. However, over the two decades
Manuscript text of the letter from Franklin to Dartmouth
that he was there, his role soon morphed into a defender of the colonies at large, including the Massachusetts Colony. He became well known in London political circles in particular for his vehement rejection of the 1765 Stamp Act. In 1772, Franklin was writing to Lord Dartmouth because he had recently come into ownership of a packet of letters written by the current Governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Hutchinson, that both recommended strengthening executive power in the colonies and asserted that colonists would never have the same full rights that they would enjoy if they still lived in England. That very same month, Franklin would send those letters to the Massachusetts Assembly. Six months later, they were published widely in America and served to fuel the fires of rebellion.

To read Franklin's letter to Lord Dartmouth and see the engraving of him, come to Special Collections and ask for Ticknor 772658.1. To see the engraving of Lord Dartmouth, ask for Iconography 741.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A Simple Cobler

Title page of "The Simple Cobler"Some title pages are just irresistible--you know from the start of this pamphlet that nothing is likely to be as it seems. The title reads:
The Simple Cobler of Aggawam in America. Willing to help 'mend his Native Country, lamentably tattered, both in the upper-Leather and sole, with all the honest stitches he can take. And as willing never to bee paid for his work by Old English wonted pay. It is his Trade to patch all the year long, gratis. Therefore I pray Gentlemen keep your purses.
It was written by Nathanial Ward, a minister in Ipswich, Massachusetts, and author of the first law code for New-England. In this work, printed in London in 1647, tattered shoes are just a metaphor for the moral depravity of both England and New England under Charles the I. The metaphor of a Simple Cobler is so quaint, and so utterly inadequate for what was about to transpire. Less than two years later, Charles the I was beheaded and England thrown into civil war

To give it a read, ask for McGregor 182.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Illustrated Rose

Poet entering the gatesWe just picked up a beautiful early edition of the Romant de la Rose (Lyon, 1503). It is the perfect complement to our early 14th-century manuscript of the poem. This copy has a series of woodcuts that enliven the text, add an interpretive layer, and evoke the manuscript tradition of our earlier copy. But, while our manuscript has only seven images, this copy is illustrated throughout with 140 woodcuts, many with manuscript notes from an early reader.

Man and woman entering a castleWoman warming herself by fire

Man speaking to an angel
It is a stunner, so come in and take a look by asking for Rare PQ1527.A1 1503.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Dartmouth Commercial Crisis of 1903

Broadside announcing the Tuck School - Thayer School baseball game scheduled for April 4 1903 While preparing for a Tuck Reunion event that occurred this last Saturday, we stumbled upon a fascinating broadside announcing a "Great Commercial Crisis!!" Intrigued, we read on. "Capital vs. Labor," the flyer declared, before then going on to describe an upcoming baseball game between the Tuck School of Management ('Capital') and the Thayer School of Engineering ('Labor'). The program lists all of the players by position, complete with nicknames and dubious monikers: 'Jaygould' Brown, the Man without a Country; H. E. Plumer, the Mud Pie Mixer; and 'Monsieur' Murray, Le Professor, to name a few.

The Tuck School was a fledgling institution at the time, merely two years old to Thayer School's thirty-three years of existence, but clearly it didn't take the two schools long to form a collegial relationship. The Special Code of Rules at the end of the broadside declares that the defeated team will be responsible for setting up drinks at Deacon Downing's bar. A Tuck School class photograph for the 1903 graduates doesn't give any hint of the sort of humor clearly evident in this printed promotion for a casual ball game held during the Easter break. Although it was doubtless easy for the students to joke about the conflicts between capitalists and the work force, given their privileged station in life, it is also nice to have a perspective that contrasts with their formal appearance in their group photo. It's also interesting to note that the entire class could just field a nine-man baseball team.

Group photo of the nine members of the Tuck School class of 1903

To see the baseball broadside, come to Rauner and ask for Broadside 903254. To see the group photograph of the Tuck class of 1903, ask for the "Tuck School -- Students" photo file or download a copy yourself from the Dartmouth Photo Files database online.

Friday, October 5, 2018

100 Years of Bethlehem (N.H.)

A page from the Taylor scrapbook containing an article about a mink farm fire.Hattie Whitcomb Taylor was born in 1898 in a small farmhouse in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, about seventy miles north-northeast of Hanover. In her sixties, serving as an amateur historian with a wealth of knowledge of the region, she wrote a history of Bethlehem. In addition to her book, Taylor also created a remarkable record of small-town New Hampshire life that spans nearly the entire twentieth century: four scrapbooks filled to bursting with photographs, postcards, letters, newspaper clippings, and handwritten supplementary information.

A page from the Taylor scrapbook showing photographs of an organ grinder and an ice geyser from a broken water main.Photographs of the 1947 Bethlehem Winter Carnival parade are cheek-to-jowl with newspaper articles about a civic leader who was killed in a truck accident and a local mink farm going up in flames. An organ grinder's photograph shares a page with images of a beautiful frozen geyser of ice from a broken water line that left the town without water pressure for two days in 1935. Bethlehem firemen assist Littleton, New Hampshire, firemen in extinguishing the Northern Hotel fire in January of 1924. The governor of the state is welcomed to town in 1897 by a marching band, their instruments proudly on display. These photographs and pages capture the feeling of small-town pride and tragedy in a way that is seldom found in the pages of a printed book.

To read Taylor's history of Bethlehem, New Hampshire, come to Rauner and ask for White Mountains F44.B4 T39 1960. To turn through the four large scrapbooks that contain a century's worth of memories, ask to see White Mountains F41.37 .T385 v.1-4.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

What to do in Italy

Frontispiece and title page to The Voyage of ItalyAh, the struggle of making sense of things! Think of the poor English gentleman setting out in the 1670s on the Grand Tour. Italy--so much to see, but what of it matters? What should he know when he returns home, cultured, worldly, and all grown up? If he had a good tutor along, things would be easier, but lacking that, a guide book might help.

Enter Richard Lassels, "Gent, who Travelled through Italy Five times, as Tutor to several of the English Nobility and Gentry," and his The Voyage of Italy (Paris, 1670). With nearly 700 pages of detailed information in a handy pocket-sized volume, he filled the eager traveler's need for a comprehensive education. Besides giving the reader a must-see list for each city, he evokes epic journeys of the past to instill a rich history into each place while giving the Grand Tour novice the sense of belonging to a great tradition:
Some twelve miles before we came to Rome, we saw the Cupola of St Peter's Church and were glad to see it a farr off, as the weary Trojans in Aeneas his company, were glad to see Italy after so much wandering...
To wander the streets of 17th-century Rome with Lassels, ask for Rare DG424.L337 1670.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Coeds and Cohogs: A Student-Curated Exhibit

This summer, as a part of their final project, the students in Darrin McMahon's "History of Equality" class created an exhibit at Rauner Library titled "Coeds and Cohogs: The Struggle over Female Integration at Dartmouth College." Using documents curated from the archives at Rauner Library, the exhibit considers the evolution of the College’s social character in the decades since the adoption of coeducation in 1972. Each of the three cases in the exhibit represents a distinct but interrelated facet of this unfolding process.

They treat, respectively, three complex and shifting perspectives: male students, women students, and the Dartmouth administration. When placed in dialogue with one another, the cases seek to explain how women's issues on campus today have been shaped by distinct instances of convergence and discord at Dartmouth for more than forty-six years.
Photographs of Dartmouth student protestors from the 1980s with signs and posters related to women's issues on campus
The exhibit was curated by Matthew Ix '20, Dante Mack '20, Chris Meister '20, David Nesbitt '20, Madeline Press '20, Ian Reed '21, Rushil Shukla '20, and Dayle Wang '20, all students in Darrin McMahon’s “The History of Equality” HIST 08 class, during the Summer of 2018. It will be on display in the Class of 1965 Galleries from September 17th through November 5th, 2018, and there will be a reception during Homecoming 2018 where the students will talk about their project.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Webster Hall that Almost Was

Photograph of Rauner Special Collections Library's reading room
Last week, Robert Venturi died at the age of 93. Venturi was an American architect and founding principal of the firm Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates. He was a major contributor to the postmodern architectural movement, and in 1991 he won the Pritzker Prize (and acknowledged that it was owed as much to his wife, Denise Scott Brown, as it was to him). We here at Special Collections are lucky to benefit from one of his firm's notable projects: in 1998, Venturi, Scott Brown completed the renovation of Webster Hall, where Rauner Special Collections Library now resides.

Still, long before Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates had imagined their redesign of Webster Hall's interior, one that would ultimately win them an Honor Award for Architecture from the American Institute of Architects, the
A single sheet with an artist's rendering of the quadrangle on the top half of the page and a layout of the Webster Hall first and second floor on the bottom half.building had already been the target of many other proposed plans. Originally, Webster Hall was meant to have a domed roof and to form part of a balanced college quadrangle, with Sanborn Hall on the opposite side of the lawn. A later suggestion for the venerable building, after the Hopkins Center's auditorium space had rendered it redundant, was to make it into an indoor swimming pool.

A photograph of Webster Hall during its time as an auditorium, with rows of seats and an elevated stage.Luckily for us, the College and Venturi had better things in mind. Nowadays, students, faculty, staff, and visitors marvel at the natural light that streams into the reading room, at the beautiful natural cork floors, and at the majestic glass tower where the collections are housed.

To see more of Webster Hall as it once was, come inside and ask for the Webster Hall Vertical File and the Webster Hall Interior Photographic File. To see photographs of the renovation and subsequent Rauner Special Collections Library, ask for the Special Collections Library Rauner in Webster Hall Photographic File.