Friday, October 2, 2015

Instagram Then and Now

After feeling pretty hep for blogging, we are finally moving into the current decade with an Instagram account. Instagram was going to be an easy way to share vacation photos while on the go, but, like most social media, it transformed into a venue for self expression. We have a lot to express, so it should be fun.

Postcards from Conrad Snow's MembookBeing of the archival mindset, always looking to the past for an new, more powerful sense of the present, we couldn't stay away from an example of an ur-Instagram: Dartmouth Membooks. This one is particularly fitting. A hundred years ago Conrad Snow '12 visited Europe while a student at Dartmouth. He documented his travels with dozens of postcards and other images (Instagram's original intent), then assembled them in his Membook as an act of self creation (Instagram's more typical use!). His travels became him, his pages of images transformed over time into the self we can still visit.

Postcards from Conrad Snow's Membook
Conrad Snow was pretty amazing. Later in life he was chief of the State Department's Loyalty Security Board during the McCarthy Era and was instrumental in McCarthy's eventual downfall.

More postcards from Conrad Snow's Membook
You can expect a Membook image every other Monday on Instagram ("Membook Monday") and you can see Conrad Snow's Membook by asking for it at the desk.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mountain Sticky Stew

Dartmouth Trips menu from 1977Recently, we promised you an entry on one of the strangest foods at Dartmouth -- Mountain Sticky Stew. Trips began in the 1930s, and have continued as a cherished Dartmouth tradition, involving first years hiking, paddling and eating their way through the mountains surrounding the College. Trips also spawned a lot of wild traditions, including colorful hair, flair (outrageous costumes), and MOUNTAIN STICKY STEW! (as it is titled in the 1977 recipe).

This mixture of melted cheese, meat, cake and vegetables was featured on first-year trips in the 1970s and 1980s. The 1977 version consists of Minute Rice, dried beef, cheese, peas, bread, a can of fruit cocktail, a Sarah Lee cake, 4 packages of iced tea, and onions -- with the instructions to cook the rice, melt the cheese, add the other ingredients, and then "gorge silly."

The 1984 recipe includes cheese, Koolaid and cheese cake mix. It seems like a great way to consume lots of calories in a easy-to-prepare form. But by the 1990s, "Mountain Sticky Stew" no longer appears on the menus.

Did the Stew disappear because tastes changed? Or was Mountain Sticky Stew considered a form of hazing? The archives are curiously silent. If you know anything about the Stew, please let us know!

No one in the library has volunteered to make us a sample batch.

For the Mountain Sticky Stew recipes, ask for Box 79, Folder 86 of the files of the Dartmouth Outing Club (DO-1).