Friday, September 2, 2016

The Nugget at Webster Hall

Nugget ad from the D, September 25, 1916
Hanover's movie theater, The Nugget, will celebrate its centennial later this month. It opened up during the first week of classes in 1916. Not only could you see a movie, but you could also catch baseball scores on the "World Series Wire." We often joke that the demise of student scrapbooking that happened just a few years later is related to the Nugget's appearance. With a theater in town, students had something new to do. Add radio and the Model T to the movies, and who would want to spend all their time assembling their "Memorabilia of College Days"?

Most people don't know about the Special Collections link to the Nugget's history. In 1944, the Nugget burned down. It was considered so essential to the town and the College that Dartmouth offered up Webster Hall as an alternative venue until a new theater could be built.
Lining up for the Nugget in Webster Hall, May 1951
For the next seven years, when people went to "The Nugget" they actually came to Webster Hall, now home to Rauner Special Collections Library. We still have alumni come in and tell us about how they used come here for the latest Hollywood releases.

To learn more about the Nugget's history, come in and ask for "The Nugget" Vertical File. You can also see some great photos of the old building by searching "Nugget" in our Photo Files.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

In the Grub Box

Top of wooden boxWe fantasize about someday doing an exhibition of chunks of wood in our collections. We have many: a box made from wood from Shakespeare's house: a fragment of a goal post; dozens of carved pieces of the Old Pine; plus lots of other odd bits and pieces. Today we discovered a small wooden box made from the wood of Roald Amundsen's skis that he used on his attempt to navigate the Northeast Passage in 1918-1924. Amundsen was already famous for being the first to pass through the Northwest Passage and as the first person to reach the South Pole.

Bottom of wooden box
Penguin on side of box
The ski was given to members of the Byrd Antarctic Expedition on July 12, 1929, a little more than a year after Amundsen's death. That would be the heart of the Antarctic winter, cold as hell and dark. So, the members of the expedition turned the skis into keepsakes. This segment of the ski was hollowed out and fitted with a sliding panel. Then it was lovingly carved with a "remembrance" of the Chinook dogs on the top, a penguin on one side, a seal on another, and the latitude, "78ยบ 34 S" on a third side. The underside has the details of the object's origin.

Lat 78 34 S
Inside we found a 1928 dollar signed by several members of the Byrd Expedition.

Dollar partially inside of box
To take a look, it is inside of the "grub box" used by Arthur Walden on the Byrd Expedition 1928-30, so ask for "Grub Box," Realia 80.