Friday, January 7, 2011

Cane Rush

A photograph of a crowd from behind, standing outside.
Spectators Watching Cane Rush
Canes have a long and varied tradition at Dartmouth. During the 18th and 19th centuries freshmen were not allowed to carry canes. The carrying of canes was reserved for upper class students only, as it was a symbol of maturity, class and distinction.

Cane rush is one of a number of rushes that have come and gone in the history of the College. These rushes (different from rushing a fraternity) usually involved the physical removal or capture of some item or items. The competitions usually took place between the freshman and sophomore classes.

A photograph of a group of shirtless men.
Members of the Class of 1886 following the
Cane Rush of 1883 against the Class of 1887
In 1868 the faculty abolished a long-standing tradition called football rush because they found it disruptive and destructive to both students and property. Its loss was much lamented by the students who felt the need for some physical outlet for energies that had been bottled up in the course of study. In the spring of 1869 they replaced the football rush with a new custom, cane rush.

For cane rush, freshmen would appear in a prominent place, often at chapel, carrying canes. The sophomores would then respond en masse trying to remove the canes from the freshmen. As with football rush, this was not a gentle competition and usually resulted in damage to property and persons. Cane rush was banned by the Faculty on several occasions, but this had little effect and the tradition appears to have carried on into the early-20th century.

A circular piece of can. The words "Taken from '85 Sep 16 '81" are written on it.
A piece of a cane removed from a member of the Class of 1885
Ask for Rauner Photo File: Cane Rush, and Rauner Vertical File: Cane Rush

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

100 Years of Winter Carnival Posters

A dark purple poster featuring the words "Winter Carnival" over a large capital "D," all in white. Over the lettering is a stylized image of a skier. The bottom of the poster reads "A century of Dartmouth posters."In celebration of 100 years of graphic design fun and folly, the Friends of the Dartmouth College Library and the University Press of New England are happy to announce the publication of Winter Carnival: A Century of Dartmouth Posters. The book features full-color plates of each of the Winter Carnival posters housed in the Rauner Special Collections Library and essays by Steven Heller, Gina Barreca '79, Jay Satterfield and Peter Carini.

An exhibit in Baker-Berry Library accompanies the publication. The text for the exhibit is taken directly from the book and the images are from Rauner Library's vast collection of photographs documenting the history of Dartmouth. The essays are both celebratory and critical of the posters and of the social milieu that created them. We could never hope to capture the full spirit and history of Winter Carnival in a single exhibit, so we have opted to try to illustrate the sentiments expressed in the book. While you are there, don't miss the 40 posters hanging down Berry Main Street by the circulation desk!