Friday, May 25, 2012

Now Serving ...

A sign for the Hanover Inn.For the past 230 years, the land that is now occupied by the Hanover Inn has been the site of an inn or tavern. The first proprietor on site was Captain Ebenezer Brewster who had come up from Connecticut with Eleazar Wheelock to serve as the College Steward. In 1782, Brewster converted his home to a tavern. Perhaps tiring of the business of serving drinks to students, Brewster leased the building in 1802 to Mr. Dewey who ran a coffee house there for the next 11 years.

A photograph of the Curtis Hotel.
The Curtis Hotel, 1826
In 1813 a new building was erected on the site and this eventually became the Curtis Hotel in 1816. Jonathan Currier purchased the hotel in 1838 and used the building as a private residence and boarding house until 1857. Currier sold the building to Horace Frary who performed extensive renovations on what came to be called the Dartmouth Hotel. The accommodations were spartan - heat was intermittent in rooms that had it and a bath was considered an exotic request. The hotel was destroyed, rather dramatically, in a seven-hour conflagration in 1887.

A photograph of the Dartmouth Hotel.
The Dartmouth Hotel
A photograph of the Wheelock.
The Wheelock
A collection fo menus and booklets.
Menus and Publicity
Following the fire, the Trustees of the College bought the property and constructed a new hotel on the site that they named the Wheelock. The quality of the construction of the Wheelock was subpar and the building underwent a drastic reconstruction only 12 years later after which it was renamed the Hanover Inn. In 1923 a new wing was added almost doubling the size of the hotel. Avid skiers Ford and Peggy Sayre took over the management of the Inn in 1936, using it as headquarters for their famous ski school. In 1966 the main building, so completely renovated in 1902, was razed and replaced by the fa├žade we are all familiar with.

A photograph of the Hanover Inn.
The Hanover Inn, 1967
Today we watch and wait for the next iteration of the Inn to appear from behind trucks, scaffolding and sheeting. Rumor has it the wait will soon be over; the Inn is set to reopen - at least in part - for Reunion weekend.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Game On

A black and white photograph of a smiling woman in a room filled with camera equipment and a bookshelf.Rauner Library wants you for the "Five Ws" - who, what, where, when, and potentially why. We've collaborated with Digital Humanities Professor Mary Flanagan and to create a series of games based on our large collection of Dartmouth related images. The first one is live now at Alum Tag. (Note that the game site is no longer  available.)

A black and white photograph of three men crowded around a table and examining a book of photographs.
For many of our archival images we have little or no descriptive information other than a very broad topic such as "Winter Carnival" or "Dartmouth Hall." A lot of the key elements are missing - like "Who is that standing to the left of the signpost?" or "What year is this really?" For the image to the right, we only know that is has something to do with the Aegis, Dartmouth's yearbook.

How does it work? The game asks the user to describe the image in as much detail as they can and weighs the data supplied based on frequency and other measures to determine the validity of the users' descriptions. We eventually hope to use this crowd-sourced metadata to enhance our online image collection of Dartmouth College Photographs to make the collection more accessible to users.

Go Play!