Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Hand of Lincoln

Sheet of nineteen Abraham Lincoln signatures on White House stationary from 1861
We had the distinct pleasure of welcoming the administrative unit from the Thayer School of Engineering to Special Collections this week. In the process of looking for materials that might be of interest to them, we discovered a thrilling item that we hadn't previously realized was in the stacks: nineteen original signatures by Abraham Lincoln. The autographs are written consecutively on a sheet of stationery from the "Executive Mansion" in Washington, D.C., and date from December 20th, 1861. At the top of the page is written the statement, "I certify that the signatures written below are genuine. John Hay."

John Milton Hay served as one of Lincoln's private secretaries and personal assistants for the entirety of his presidency, and it is likely that this sheet of signatures was generated at Hay's request to fill a high demand for the president's signature by autograph-hunters. Autograph collecting was a hugely popular pursuit during the 19th century; famous people in particular were asked for their signature ad nauseam. John Hay not only had the distinction of serving as a private secretary to Abraham Lincoln until the bitter end. He also served under President Garfield as Assistant Secretary of State and under both President McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt as Secretary of State. This career statesman's long tenure in the corridors of power finally ended in the summer of 1904, when he died in Newbury, New Hampshire.

To see Abraham Lincoln's signature nineteen times in a row, come to Special Collections and ask for Codex 002138.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Dressed to Distress

Dartmouth student cheerleader in redface and wearing deerskin leggings at a football game."At football games, some Dartmouth students have been known to go barefoot and wear nothing but red war paint on their upper torsos, whooping it up on the sidelines with a jug marked XXX as a joke" – John McCallum, Ivy League Football Since 1872.

For much of the college's history, Dartmouth held a connection with Native Americans based more in fascination than in fact. Inspired by real historical students enrolled in Eleazar Wheelock's short-lived Indian Charity School but with very few contemporary Native American classmates, Dartmouth students began creating "Indian" traditions and symbols around the turn of the 20th century. The rise in popularity of college sports became a particular catalyst for this type of branding, as newspapers in Boston started calling Dartmouth teams "Indians" in the 1920s. From gracing official college letterheads to serving as the inspiration for the popular "Wah Hoo Wah" call, the symbol pervaded every facet of college life. Nowhere was the "Indian" more visible than when used as a costume during sporting events.

Cheerleader costume consisting of leggings and moccasins.Two of these wearable "Indian" symbols are housed in Rauner Special Collections. The first is a set of costumes worn by Dartmouth cheerleaders from the 1950s to the early 1970s. Meant to represent the popular image of an Indian, the costumes are made from deerskin leather and include leggings, loincloths, and raccoon-fur hair pieces. Cheerleaders (all male at the time) would have worn these costumes during sporting events at the college, performing halftime imitation "war dances" for the crowd.

Fans followed the example of these official cheerleaders, often creating their own costumes for the game and reenacting a popular college song about Eleazar Wheelock bringing education – and alcohol – to the local Native Americans.

The blatancy of costume caricatures was undoubtedly part of the catalyst for Native American Dartmouth students to publish a petition in 1968 calling for the removal of the Indian symbol from college life. The petition specifically mentions halftime war dance imitations as a point of grievance.

Bill Yellowtail, a Native American Dartmouth student in 1971, sums up the position of the petition, which successfully convinced the college to abolish use of the symbol: "We feel we did our part in eliminating another false illusion. Too many people in this country still think of Indians as savages doing war dances and wearing feathered headdresses and having two-word vocabularies: 'how and ugh'."

large paper mâché "indian" head.
The second related item at Rauner is another of these unofficial "Indian" costumes – a paper mache head dating to the late eighties, most likely repurposed from a Carnival devil costume; one can see where the horns have been cut off and the holes patched over. The head is a strikingly abrasive caricature that sports bright red skin and an exaggerated, contorted expression. Found discarded behind a fraternity after a football game, the head might have been worn to the sporting event or used only in the context of the fraternity. The head represents a resurgence in the unofficial use of the Indian symbol long after its abolishment. An alumnus donated the item in 2005.

Proponents of the "Dartmouth Indian" argued for decades that the mascot was, among other things, a respectful representation of Native Americans – a symbol that reflected Dartmouth's origin as a charity school for native students in the 1750s. One cannot help but be skeptical of this claim when considering these two costumes and their uses.

To see the cheerleading costumes, come to Rauner and ask for Realia 82. The Indian head is in our Uncatalogued Realia collection, and the cheerleading photographs are in the Cheerleading II Photo File.

Posted for Savannah Eller '22, recipient of a Historical Accountability Student Research Internship during the 2019-2020 academic year. The Historical Accountability Student Research Internships provide limited funding for a current Dartmouth student to conduct research with primary sources during the school year on a topic related to issues of inclusivity and diversity in the college's past.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

"Crank Letters"

A crank letter accusing the dean of having Murder in the curriculum
“Five or six undergraduates on a Saturday night got to house-hopping, as they called it. Going around to houses that were having beer parties or liquor available, and getting free beer and free liquor, moving from house to house until they were, if not drunk, at least, well, intoxicated, if there’s a distinction....Somebody in the group decided they would go and challenge some undergraduate. His name was Cirrota....Well, they got into a fistfight in the boy's room. He was knocked to the floor, and got...a brain hemorrhage, and died.”  -- Former College President John Dickey

This "incident," as it was often called by College administrators, took place on the night of March 18th, 1949. Raymond "Ray" Cirrota '49, the victim of the attack, was taken to Dick's House after complaining of a headache and then died that same night. The story quickly got picked up by the state and national newspapers, putting Dartmouth at the epicenter of a sensation: a murder on campus, alcohol abuse, debauched soirees at fraternities, stars of the football team implicated, an unclear motivation, and a College administration that kept its mouth shut. As the case went to trial, this setup was clearly hospitable for misinformation and an intense if ungrounded response by the larger public. Cirrota’s killing remains
Page one of the letter reproduced in the post
tragic and certainly called for deeper investigation at the time. However, the true details of it remained murky for a while after the fact, while speculation on the part of the media and the general public was profuse from the get-go.

A folder in Dean Lloyd Neidlinger’s records on the case testifies to the stormy backlash directed at the College. This folder, titled "Crank letters," has letters of discontent that were sent to the dean's office from all over the East Coast after new of the Cirrota incident were made public. Some letters were made with a typewriter and others were scribbled down by hand. The people who wrote them were locals, alums, teachers, the Society for the Prevention of the Cruelty to Animals, and other concerned citizenry, including the aunt of a certain delinquent in New York and a couple who preferred to remain anonymous and with good reason, considering the spite in their writings.

The earliest letter arrived on March 22nd from Oranger, New Jersey, from an outraged alumnus:

"My dear Dean Neidlinger: 

Fie! Oh Dartmouth College! Long live Dartmouth? Lo Sin! Down Dartmouth! Burn and scorch it from the face of the earth!! Even God Almighty knows that Dartmouth could hit the news headlines in many other ways than “Murder on the Campus.” Those responsible for the death of a student should be punished in like manner. But, I doubt very much if justice will triumph in this disgusting heinous affair. Especially, if those responsible have fathers who are men of wealth. If such is the case, then money is evil and so are the fathers who plan to buy their sons out of this foul situation. I say, curses of hell should follow those involved in this dead student’s murder- the guilty should be dogged until they draw their last breath, whether it be the beaters of death regarding Cirrota or those seeking light punishment or exoneration of the guilty involved. 

You, Dean Neidlinger, are in part, responsible also. Isn’t it odd that you know nothing about the drinking brawls and excessive drinking that prevails on your campus? What kind of a college Dean are you? Look into your filthy campus and weed out the foul human elements who thrive on prejudices, hatred, acts of anti-everything that’s not decent and against the whole social order of man. 

Dartmouth, a center of learning, distinguished etc. ??? No, my dear Dean, Dartmouth has become a degrading ugly, institution of baseness. The devil himself is dean of Dartmouth, not you!!! 

Erase the besmirched name of Dartmouth, if it’s at all possible. Personally, I don’t think you are capable. I prefer to remain anonymous and forget I ever went to Dartmouth. And- may God deal with the guilty and take a hand in the course of Dartmouth. 

Sincerely, a shocked individual"

page two of the letter reproduced in the post
The anger vented by this letter sets a tone which borders the absurd and invites ridicule from readers. Yet, the assumptions the writer made are by no means counter-intuitive. The dean and the administration could not escape the fact that a student had died on their watch and that some of the suspects came from affluent backgrounds that were handy when those men later applied for jobs or admission at other colleges in the aftermath of the judicial proceedings. For the man who wrote the text, Dartmouth is a symbol of depravity and the case itself justifies the violent rooting out not only of the men involved in it but of all “vile elements” from the school. Another distressed citizen wrote to the Dean condemning “alcoholism and fraternity snobbishness”, and establishing that certain characteristics of the campus culture paired well with murder. A Mr. Drew from Lowell, Massachusetts, underscored the widespread alcoholism that prevails at Dartmouth by providing a list of criminal cases involving students from the College, of which the Cirrota case was only the latest and most disturbing.

After the Grand Jury of New Hampshire returned the first verdict in the trial, a $500 loan and a
Two short responses to the Cirotta death that were sent to the dean
suspended sentence, the public was outraged once more. A Ms. Mc Dough of New York accused the school of bribing the local police and the district attorney. An anonymous postcard from D.C. described the verdict as an indication of great problems within the community where the case was prosecuted. The last letter that received a response from Neidlinger’s office alleged indifference on Dartmouth’s end with regards to the trial and an institutional failure with regard to the teaching of moral values. The dean’s response did not address these accusations directly but instead argued that the lady who sent the letter was greatly misinformed. Other responses that the Dean wrote in defense of the school claimed that these accusations concerned issues that affected American youth overall and couldn't be resolved by the administrators at any single institution. Either way, the "Crank letters" in the Cirrota case capture not only the history of that case but also a cultural moment in US history.

To explore the Raymond Cirrota Case records, come to Rauner and ask for DA-46, Box 3139.

Posted for Veselin Nanov '20, recipient of a Historical Accountability Student Research Internship during the 2019-2020 academic year. The Historical Accountability Student Research Internships provide limited funding for a current Dartmouth student to conduct research with primary sources during the school year on a topic related to issues of inclusivity and diversity in the college's past.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Sampling the She-Wolf and the Spinster

Front cover of the book "Sampler" that shows the red stitching usually associated with quilting
Today is International Women's Day, which marks a great opportunity to highlight some of the exceptional women authors and artists represented in our vast collections. One fascinating work is Sampler (2007), a compilation of 200 poems written by the nineteenth century poet Emily Dickinson, each of which is accompanied by a print by the contemporary artist Kiki Smith. Sampler, which was produced by the independent art-house publisher Arion Press, offers a uniquely valuable entry point into a discussion of the dynamic relationship between womanhood and art-making over the course of the last two hundred-plus years.

Dickinson (1830-1866) may well be one of the most well-known literary voices, male or female, in American history—but this was not case in her own day. A recluse and "spinster" by her late-twenties, Dickinson hardly published any of her poetry during her lifetime, choosing instead to circulate it privately among her friends and family. And while she may not be an overtly “feminist” writer in the way we might categorize one today, she has often been championed by feminist critics as a poet who opted out of the traditional social expectations placed on nineteenth-century women.

Several of Dickinson's poems included in Sampler allude, rather subversively, to the restrictions placed on women during her day. Take "I'm Wife—I've finished that":

I'm "wife"—I've finished that—
That other state.
I'm Czar—I'm "woman" now—
It's safer so.

How odd the girl's life looks
Behind this soft eclipse.
I think that earth feels so
To folks in heaven, now.

This being comfort—then
That other kind was pain.
But why compare?
I'm "wife"! Stop there!

Here we can see Dickinson grappling with her feminine self-identity: the difference between being a woman and a wife, as well as the difference between men and women. A man can be a Czar, but
Text of "Stop There!" from "Sampler," page 46
woman only a wife. "Stop There!"

Kiki Smith's (b. 1954) visual accompaniment to Sampler brings the themes of feminine self-identity and women’s work only further to the fore. The book's cover makes this immediately apparent, with "Sampler" and Dickinson and Smith's names cross-stitched across it in maroon embroidery thread. In fact, making "samplers"—pieces of cloth with embroidered or cross-stitched pictorial scenes or phrases—was a common pastime for American women in the 18th and 19th centuries, and was a way to showcase their aptitude for domestic skills. Throughout the book, Smith continues to play with the distinctly feminizing aesthetic of needlework. Each of her prints is composed of small red hatch lines, which are meant to mimic the effect of cross-stitching, and were directly inspired by historic textile collections held in major American art museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Drawing of Emily Dickinson from "Sample"
Smith is a multidisciplinary artist well-known for her feminist subject matter, and her art often explores the cultural and social role of women through representations of the female body. And although Smith is rarely so subtle in her work (the image of the feral she-wolf plays a reoccurring role in her art), she is in many ways a perfect companion for the reserved New England poet. Like Dickinson, Smith too is preoccupied with how women operate within and outside of social expectations and cultural boundaries and Smith’s contributions to this wonderful compilation reaffirms the continued relevancy of Dickinson's poetry especially with respect to the personal and lived experiences of women.

You can view Sampler by asking for Presses A712dick at the reference desk.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Banning Books

Title page for "The Squire's Recipes." On Monday, we welcomed Professor Peggy Baum's Writing 5 class, titled "Rights of Writers." Peggy wanted her students to engage with issues that challenge journalists, so we found some great items in the collection that engage with the issue of censorship. One of them was a book titled Mother Goose Rhymes, and across the cover was blazoned the word "CENSORED." The volume was filled with innocent rhymes made dirty by the blacking out of certain verbs, making the point that the mere act of censorship can cause innocuous words to contain dark import. We thought that this would be a great subject for a blog post but, when we did a quick search online, we found that the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine had scooped us seven years ago.

Preface to "The Squire's Recipes" that describes the circumstances surrounding its 'discovery.'However, their article set us on a new tack. We discovered that the book was one of many written by Kendall Banning, a member of the class of 1902. Apparently, in addition to numerous volumes of prose and poetry, Banning had also written a "fake 1784 cookbook"! Our curiosity piqued, we mentioned the oddity to Jaime Eeg '18, the Edward Connery Lathem '51 Special Collections Fellow. As it happened, she was in the midst of planning an exhibit on cookbooks, set to open in April 2019. Eeg plucked the very volume from her cart of treasures, handed it to us, and we began to read.

Recipe for "The Dartmouth Drachm."As a Christmas prank in 1912, or thereabouts, friends of Banning were gifted a little book, titled The Squire's Recipes, that appeared to be a collection of mixed drink recipes collated by Banning's great-grandfather Calvin Banning in 1784. Banning claimed that he had discovered the pamphlet in his grandmother's attic in Connecticut, and soon the secret was out. Libraries all over the nation asked for copies, newspapers announced the discovery of a long-lost New England early printed text, and prohibitionists foamed at the mouth. Soon, after his great-grandfather's reputation began to be besmirched, Kendall Banning came clean and confessed that the ancient tome was actually of his own making. As a loyal son of Dartmouth, he had included a recipe for a drink called 'The Dartmouth Drachm.' He warns that, "because of its potency, it should be repeated cautiously."

To see a 1912 reprint of the original book, come to Rauner and ask for Alumni B227sq. To read some innocent nursery rhymes made dirty, ask for Alumni B227mo.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Marginalized Spaces

Front cover of Dartmouth's dormitory room layouts and prices
What do the physical spaces that we occupy on campus say about our identities and our experiences? I’ve become increasingly interested in the ways that geography influences our experiences. Thinking about the physical allocation of space on campus, it is hard not to draw conclusions. The African and African American Studies Department, Native American Studies Department, the Latin American and Caribbean House, Shabazz (the Black student dorm), the Chinese Language House, and the Native American House are all located in one small segment of campus. While some may argue the close proximity of the majority of cultural and affinity hubs is indicative of nothing more than logistical convenience, their respective locations parallel the institutional commitment to these marginalized communities. Dartmouth’s sites dedicated to nonwhite and nonwestern people are stowed away in a corner of campus that one would likely only migrate to if forced to seek out nonwhite academic engagement or communities of color.

But, what happened before these centers existed? Was campus similarly geographically bound by divisions? As a Dartmouth Library Historical Accountability Student Research Fellow for the Winter 2019 term, this has been one of the questions that my research at Rauner sought to answer. I am particularly interested in examining the intersections of race and class with respect to Black and Jewish students in the early 20th century.

Given the relative dearth of information about these students, I turned to the physical locations of
Dorm layout for Streeter Hall showing relative room costs
students. Because each dorm was priced individually, class and race based segregation were a very real possibility and fairly easy to track down. My research took me to Budd Schulberg’s papers. Schulberg  ’36 was a Jewish student active in Pi Lambda Phi fraternity (one of two fraternities that accepted Jewish students) who went on to become a novelist and screenwriter. Schulberg’s papers contain significant correspondences and other communications. Related to my project, the collection also contains a pamphlet of dorm locations and prices from 1932. Inside the slightly faded sheets are floor plans for all of the dorms as well as room descriptions and prices.

To compound these dorm prices, I looked for information about where students (particularly Black students and Jewish students) lived. I found that many of the Jewish students did not live on campus which makes me think that their decisions to reside off campus may have had a lot to do with anti-Semitism present on campus. It is noted in some Dartmouth student senior theses examining the Jewish experience that overt discrimination was not very common because most students knew that it was better to keep their prejudiced views to themselves. However, there was an understanding that being Jewish inherently otherized those students so much so that in the early 20th century (and likely beyond) many Jewish students decided to not engage with or deliberately hide their religion. Embedded within this discussion of discrimination, race is mentioned as an addendum: the College had a Jewish controversy and a Jewish and Black problem.

Front page of a Washington Post article about Grayson McGuireStill, thinking about geography as one potential manifestation of inequality presents a compelling lens to think about the experiences of Jewish and Black students. Robert Grayson “Mac” McGuire Jr ’32, the only Black alumni in the class of 1932, lived in Streeter 111 during his senior year. (I lived on the second floor of Streeter my sophomore fall.) The cost of McGuire’s room was fairly cheap in comparison to other rooms on campus; it only cost him $200 for the year which, adjusted for inflation, would be about $3,700 in 2019 dollars. Interestingly, McGuire came from a relatively well-off family and was described as both attuned to the needs of the Black community and “almost white”. Perhaps the author of the article sought to emphasize McGuire’s supposed good qualities, but I read the piece as overtly racialized in a manner that continued to privilege whiteness as the standard to which one should aspire. This article as indicative of the conceptualization of one of the few Black alums from the era coupled with the ways in which dorms were priced and the overall treatment of Jewish students presents more questions than answers. Nevertheless, these documents contribute to an evolving and essential dialogue about intersectionality and the lived experience of Dartmouth’s marginalized communities.

To learn more about Robert Grayson McGuire Jr. '32, come to Rauner and ask to see his alumni file. For more about Budd Schulberg, come and ask to see his papers (MS-978).

Posted for Alexandrea Keith '20, recipient of a Historical Accountability Student Research Fellowship for the 2019 Winter term. The Historical Accountability Student Research Fellowships provide full funding for a current Dartmouth student to conduct research with primary sources during an off-term on a topic related to issues of inclusivity and diversity in the college's past. For more information, visit the fellowship's website.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Christmas Premonitions

1938 Christmas card sent out by Dilys and Alex Laing
This coming Saturday would have been the 105th birthday of Theodor Geisel '25, known the world over as children's author Dr. Seuss. While looking for some way to note this day via blog post, we stumbled upon a shocking discovery that derailed our search and instead led us to another momentous anniversary of a completely different kind. This year, 2019, marks the 80th year since the Third Reich invaded Poland and triggered the formal beginning of World War II. How did we get from Seuss to the Sudetenland, you ask? Through a Christmas card sent by one of Geisel's college buddies, Prof. Alexander Laing '25, in December of 1938.

While in school with Geisel, Laing had written a poem that humorously explained the proper pronunciation of "Seuss" (more like "zoice" than "soose"). Hoping to find an original version of this poem in Laing's alumni file, we instead stumbled upon the card. It contains numerous racist images and statements that were culturally acceptable at the time and emphasizes that the Laings are boycotting Japanese, German, and Italian wares, ostensibly because of the political stances and actions of those three countries. To put the card in context, without being an apologist for its content, it's worth noting that Laing was a major social activist for positive change on campus and beyond. In particular, we've blogged before about his strong efforts to eliminate a longstanding Dartmouth policy that limited the number of Jewish students on campus.

What's also fascinating about the card, aside from its casual racism, is the way that it accurately predicts the formation of the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis more than nine months before World War II formally began with the invasion of Poland. Although the writing was likely very clearly on the wall by then, given the anti-communist agreement that the three countries (and Spain) had all recently entered, it's still fascinating to see evidence of it. It also makes one wonder about whether or not people had any inkling that this ideological alliance would eventually become a global military power.

Between dropping out of college before graduation and the mailing of that card, Laing had experienced a fascinating and winding life journey. He was a trade journal editor and a seaman for a while before returning to Dartmouth to be a tutorial advisor and then eventually finish his undergraduate degree in 1933. By 1938, Laing had become an assistant librarian at the college and he eventually went on to be a lecturer in English before being named professor of belles lettres in 1966. He died in 1976 in a bicycle accident in Norwich near the Ledyard Bridge.

To see the Christmas card, or several other ones that were drawn much later by his third wife, Veronica Ruzicka, come to Rauner and ask to see the alumni file for Alexander Laing '25.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Faculty Advocates for Accessibility

Memo stating that the College must be responsible for providing access to the differently abled."It is the responsibility of the College to supply whatever assistance is required in order to reasonably and adequately respond to the needs of the handicapped in our courses." - Richard H. Crowell, Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, March 16, 1987

Since 1976 and the codification of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973—a precursor to the Americans with Disabilities Act that required educational institutions to make significant changes to internal policies and physical plants as a measure of providing equal opportunity for the differently abled— the College had undergone a series of changes to comply with the legislation. As with any institutional change, the College had significant successes and some failures. It was the job of the Section 504 Committee— an administrative standing committee to review the College’s compliance with legislation regarding institutional accessibility for the differently abled established in 1986 — to help the College improve its compliance. In February of 1987, the members of the Committee sent out a series of requests to department chairs for departmental self-evaluations.

What is most apparent in these self-evaluations is the extent to which the professors at Dartmouth College thought critically about and did their best to accommodate the differently abled. It is also apparent that some departments vastly underestimated the ability of persons with impairments.

General recommendations for how to create more access on campusThe Drama department submitted one of the most lengthy, in-depth self-evaluations. While they did comment that "the success of an actor is determined far more by inner qualities than by any handicap," they also remarked that numerous courses would be "inappropriate" for students with ambulatory, sight, and hearing problems. Non- and semi-ambulatory individuals and individuals with vision impairments would not be recommended to take dance, lighting, or costume design courses. It is not clear whether the department would prevent a differently abled student from taking these classes. It is clear that the department was incorrect with their assumption that the differently abled would be incapable of taking these courses— there are low-vision dancers, students in wheelchairs very capable of learning costume design and history, and actors with lupus who have successfully taken lighting courses at this very college with minimal accommodations.

STEM departments were often great advocates for disabled students at the College. Each STEM department’s self-evaluation emphasized that "it should be understood that the fundamental policy of the division is that a concerted effort will be made to accommodate any and all disabled students in all departments and courses within those departments." The Math department spoke in great detail about how professors in the department committed large amounts of time converting course material into appropriate formats for deaf and blind students. This entailed, in some cases, reading textbooks to a recorder. The Math and Social Science Program chair also wrote passionately about"one of the best and most exciting students" he ever taught— a student who was deaf from birth. The chair gave a detailed account of how this student gave "one of the finest oral reports for his term project [he had] ever experienced," and how this student improved his teaching quality by giving pointers on how to more effectively communicate. List of accessible buildings on campus.

The Department of Anthropology had similar stories of how faculty members have historically accommodated disability— in Winter 1987, one professor, without any official policy or urging from the administration to do so, accommodated a blind student by allowing the student to tape lectures, spending numerous hours taping exams, and consulted with the student’s mother on finding substitutes for the course’s textbook that was not available in braille.

Language departments emphasized their frustrations with the College's accessibility and the inaccessibility of most of their classrooms. The French and Italian department was particularly blunt about this, and went so far as to comment that "even a student would have difficulty opening the doors of [Dartmouth Hall]." More importantly, the department acknowledged its inability to truly complete a sufficient review of their own programs. Members of the department felt that because they had not been trained in teaching to students of different abilities that any curriculum evaluation would be "at best, the work of well-intentioned amateurs." All of the humanities departments shared concerns about the physical accessibility to faculty offices and classrooms.

French and Italian accessibility self-evaluation.Members of the Education department, somewhat ironically, extended their evaluation beyond the classroom. They spoke about the need for the College to make more dormitories, fraternities, and sororities accessible and expressed outrage that the College was sponsoring affinity housing for Russian, Women's Studies, and Educational Studies on the fourth floor of the East Wheelock cluster— a cluster without elevator access. They urged the College to be proactive and acknowledged the "substantial commitment" required from all members of campus to truly make Dartmouth College accessible to all people of different physical abilities.

While Dartmouth has most certainly undergone several changes throughout its history, our faculty have remained excellent. We are lucky to have educators that are willing to go out of their way to accommodate students. The positive sentiments mentioned in these self-evaluations are most certainly not commonplace. Nor can I say that every professor will be equally good at accommodating students. But it is my hope that bringing these self-evaluations into public knowledge will both acknowledge and honor the substantial effort put forth by many faculty members to make the College accessible.

Accessibility self-evaluation by the Drama department.If you would like to read the Section 504 Committee Department Self-Evaluations yourself, come to Special Collections and ask for the Records of the Office of Planning, Design and Construction (DA-643), Box 651, "Handicapped Access 1987–88 Facilities Planning."

Posted for Samantha Koreman '20, recipient of a Historical Accountability Student Research Fellowship for the 2019 Winter term. The Historical Accountability Student Research Fellowships provide full funding for a current Dartmouth student to conduct research with primary sources during an off-term on a topic related to issues of inclusivity and diversity in the college's past. For more information, visit the fellowship's website.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Tough Love

Poster reading "The fact that yours is better than anyone else's is not a guarantee that it's any good. The Book Arts Press Valentine's Day Thought for 1998."
Poster reading "You never stop learning what you can give up. The Book Arts Press Valentine's Day Thought for 1991"The Book Arts Press is a small operation now run by the Rare Book School out of Charlottesville, Virginia. Originally founded by Terry Belanger at Columbia University, the BAP was the precursor to Rare Book School itself and provided a space in which to experiment with the history of printing and the book. Nowadays, The Book Arts Press only appears on publications that are generated by the school.

A longstanding tradition of the Press is to issue a keepsake poster on Valentine's Day that challenges its viewers with a sometimes hard-to-swallow adage. Here in Special Collections, for some reason, we have a number of these posters from the 1990s. Our personal favorite is, "The fact that yours is better than anyone else's is not a guarantee that it's any good." If you're not really one for Valentine's Day and prefer harsh truths to sweet nothings, then come to Special Collections and ask to see Presses B642fac (the posters are all housed together in the same portfolio).

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Shutting Down Shockley

Page from the 27 Oct 1969 issue of "The Science World", showing a photo of Shockely being confronted by applauding Black students on campus.
"Black students at Dartmouth acted with courage, restraint and astuteness to prevent Shockley from mouthing slanders against them and their race..." - Errol Hill, 1969

Being a Black student at Dartmouth is hard enough in 2019, but what was it like being a Black student here ~50 years ago? This is the question I sought to answer as a Historical Accountability Student Research Fellow. To examine the Black student experience at Dartmouth in the 1960s and 1970s, I relied largely on the Papers of Errol G. Hill - Dartmouth’s first tenured Black professor.

Errol Hill was born in Trinidad in 1921. He came to America in 1960 after receiving fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Theatre Guild of America to attend Yale University, where he earned his Bachelor's degree, his Masters of Fine Arts and his Doctorate of Fine Arts, all in 6 years. In 1968, he came to Dartmouth as an Associate Professor of Drama, was promoted to a full professor the following year and eventually was appointed the John D. Willard Professor of Drama and Oratory. Aside from his role teaching at Dartmouth, Hill played an active role in Black student life by serving as an advisor to the Afro-American Society, being involved in the introduction of the Black Studies program, and acting as the college’s first affirmative action officer.

Hill’s collection at Rauner is extensive, documenting his personal and professional life, and it really helped me garner a view of campus life during the time he taught here.

One of the major events chronicled in Hill's collection is Dr. William Shockley's visit to Dartmouth's campus in 1969. Dr. Shockley, a nobel prize winner and professor at Stanford University, was invited to Dartmouth as part of the fall term meeting of the National Academy of Science, which was being held at Dartmouth. Shockley had requested the opportunity to deliver his contributed paper on psychometrics, in which he suggested that there might be genetic differences in intelligence among races. Under the constitution of the Academy, any member is entitled to deliver a paper at a regular meeting on his own request, and thus Shockley was scheduled to give a controversial lecture, titled "The Offset Analysis of Racial Differences."

On October 15, 1969, as Shockley began his speech, twenty-five to thirty Black students stood up and applauded for him, along with the rest of the audience. However, seventeen of those Black students refused to sit down and did not stop applauding, preventing Shockley from giving his speech. All
carbon copy of Errol Hill's "The Shockley Incident: a considered viewpoint."
seventeen students were suspended for one term, without restrictions. In protest, every member of the Judicial Advisory Committee for Black Students (JAC), which included Errol Hill, resigned. The JAC had released a 29-page report after the incident concluding that no college penalty should be assessed and that charges against students should be dismissed, as Shockley’s speech was 'group libel' and therefore not protected under the constitution. The report is available in Rauner, as well as a statement about the incident written by Hill himself.

In that statement, titled "The Shockley Incident: a considered viewpoint," Hill asks important questions about to what end free speech should be restricted to protect minority students. Hill's viewpoint is unique and significant, and he establishes his status as an ally to the students by taking a definitive stance against Shockley, saying "there is apparently no law against the slander of the black race by a white scientist." As he would mention years later in his oral history conducted by the college, Hill was often seen as by the Black students on campus as a liaison between themselves and the administration: "I was the only person that they would allow to come in and talk with them about the problems they were having." This statement exemplifies why Black students felt comfortable speaking with Hill, who unlike the majority of the college, sided with them and understood that responsibility for the incident lay "with those who aided and abetted the expression of these slanders by giving Shockley permission to speak and providing him a platform to do so."

So much has changed for Black students at Dartmouth but, at times like this, I realize that there is still so much more to be done. It is almost impossible to read about the Shockley event and not draw parallels with David Horowitz's talk on campus earlier this year. Dartmouth is still inviting bigoted speakers to campus that threaten the safety of minority students who are still having to protest and stand up for themselves. As we celebrate Dartmouth's 250th anniversary, I urge us all to reflect on those years, what Dartmouth did wrong during them, and what Dartmouth can do better. And to continue to act with the courage of the Black students who protested Shockley’s appearance in order to make campus a better and more inclusive place.

The Papers of Errol G. Hill (ML-77) are available in Rauner Library, as is his oral history (DOH-12). One can also learn more about the Shockley incident by viewing the Shockley Incident records (DA-23).

Posted for Anneliese Thomas '19, recipient of a Historical Accountability Student Research Fellowship for the 2019 Winter term. The Historical Accountability Student Research Fellowships provide full funding for a current Dartmouth student to conduct research with primary sources during an off-term on a topic related to issues of inclusivity and diversity in the college's past. For more information, visit the fellowship's website.

Friday, February 8, 2019

An Uncanny X-Carnival

Color cover of Bizarre Adventures No. 27
Winter Carnival has once again arrived on campus, and with it come the usual events and sights that have become long-standing traditions here at Dartmouth over the years. This year's theme, "ICE AGE: 250 Years of Winter," is represented on the green by a large snow sculpture of what looks like, perhaps, a mammoth. It's hard to tell because of the rain that we've had here in Hanover this week. Over the decades, similar sculptures have captured the imaginations of carnival-goers and even a national audience. We've blogged before many times about Winter Carnival, and how it was so in the national zeitgeist in the early 20th century that at one point Hollywood made a movie about it.

First page of the story about Iceman and Winter Carnival, with Bobby Drake admiring a snow sculpture of Angel, an X-ManHowever, today, we want to move from big screen to small print and talk about a time when an X-Man attended Winter Carnival, way back in 1981. Bobby Drake, known more familiarly as the superhero Iceman, was one of the original five X-Men created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in 1963. The perpetual youngster of the group, Iceman often was overshadowed by the other members of the team like Cyclops, Angel, or Jean Grey (aka Marvel Girl or Phoenix). However, the young mutant comes into his own as a visiting sophomore at Dartmouth during Winter Carnival. Originally published in 1981, it was one of three X-Men-related stories in issue number 27 of Marvel's Bizarre Adventures magazine.

page from the Winter Carnival X-Man story, showing Iceman foiling the robbers' attempts to steal computer components from Dartmouth
In the story, Iceman stops thieves from stealing components of Dartmouth's state-of-the-art computer system, and then goes on to be the guest of honor at Winter Carnival, where he is finally and truly "in his element." Although Bizarre Adventures wasn't technically a comic book, the story was re-printed in 2016 in the back of a variant edition of Uncanny X-Men no. 600, which was donated to special collections by Dartmouth Library's Digital Humanities Librarian, Laura Braunstein.

To see both versions, come to special collections and ask for Rare PN6728.X2 U536 2016. Or, if you're in the area for Winter Carnival this year, check out our exhibit in the foyer called "Out in the Cold," installed in collaboration with the larger festivities occurring all over campus for the next few days.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Manchurian Commendation

Image of the imperial seals of the seventh Emperor of the Qing Dynasty along with text in Chinese and Manchu from the center of the scroll
China is a country made up of more than fifty-five minority groups, with the Han people group comprising over 90% of the population. The Manchu people are the fourth largest minority in China and lend their name to the northeastern region known as Manchuria. While here in the United States, that word most likely brings to mind the title of a movie ("The Manchurian Candidate") and the relatively recent Cold War, The Manchu people have lived in northeast Asia for more than a thousand years. They were re-branded as "Manchus" in 1635 by an emperor of the Qing Dynasy, Hong Taiji; their language, also now known as Manchu and distinct from Mandarin Chinese, is still in existence today.

Here in Special Collections, we are fortunate to have a surviving example of that language in the
An excerpt of Manchu writing from the imperial scroll
form of an imperial decree issued in 1846 by the Daoguang Emperor, seventh emperor of the Qing Dynasty. Written on a silk scroll measuring seven feet long by thirteenth inches wide, the decree is written in both Manchu and Chinese characters and carries the official red chops, or stamped seals, of the Imperial Palace. The text is a posthumous honor awarded to the parents of Wang Fuh Tsai, who was the military governor of a territory in "Chinese Turkestan," or in what is now known as the Xinjiang province in northwest China. Given that the edict is written in both Manchu and Chinese, and it is addressed to Wang Fuh Tsai's parents, it's safe to assume that he was ethnically Manchu.

To see a beautiful example of calligraphic Manchu, and to examine the official seal of Imperial China during the 1800s, come to Rauner and ask for Codex 835654.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Frozen Beauty

Icebergs in a channel with a pink sky backdrop
It has been a bit nippy in the lower 48 this week with the arrival of the polar vortex. We were spared the worst of it, but still, temperatures have been well below zero the last couple of nights and yesterday was pretty brutal if you were facing into the wind. Luckily for us, we have the Stefansson Collection on Polar Exploration at hand, so whenever we feel too oppressed by the long winters in Hanover, we can find plenty of books that describe much worse. We can also find books that remind us of the pure beauty of winter, when the stars are crystals in the night and the sun sparkles off of the snow. Today, we will opt for the beauty.

A sailing ship with ice hanging from the mast in ice filled waters
To see more, ask for W. H. Browne's Ten Coloured Views Taken During the Arctic Expedition of Her Majesty's Ships "Enterprise" and "Investigator" (London: Ackermann, 1850) at Stef G610 .B88.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Flaming Red Communism at Dartmouth

One-page memo from President Hopkins to Treasurer Edgerton
One of the great joys of working in special collections is the serendipitous discovery of some small detail that further expands our knowledge about a subject or aspect of Dartmouth's history. We've blogged before about how Rauner Library was part of the Shared Academic Experience as part of New Student Orientation back in September of 2018. Incoming freshmen visited the Orozco murals in the basement of Baker Library with Professor Mary Coffey and then came over to Rauner Library to see archival films, Orozco's original sketches from the Hood Museum, and examples of how the murals were received by Dartmouth students and alumni. For the same event, we happened upon a letter written by President Ernest Hopkins to Dartmouth's Treasurer, Halsey Edgerton. In the memo, Hopkins provides a hint of some interesting and somewhat humorous details related to the Mexican muralist who had been commissioned to paint the frescoes at Dartmouth amid a fair bit of controversy.

The first item of interest is that Orozco was one of two "sensations in mural painters" that were in the zeitgeist; the other painter that Hopkins alludes to is Diego Rivera. The college, with the encouragement of the Chair of the Art Department, Artemus Packard, had originally considered bringing both artists to campus, but the funding didn't pan out. Instead, Packard chose Orozco because his work was more in the traditional style than Rivera's. It's also interesting to note that money from the Rockefeller (yes, those Rockefellers) tutorial fund was used to pay Orozco because he was brought to campus as an instructor and not merely a muralist. One might catch a whiff of hypocrisy in Orozco's willingness to receive Standard Oil money in exchange for his services, given that Hopkins describes him as a "flaming red communist." However, even if Orozco was aware of where the money was coming from, he clearly didn't have a problem with vocally rejecting exploitative capitalism even as he benefited from him. As Hopkins notes, Orozco once told a wealthy patroness that he hoped she would be assassinated, even while he was in the midst of painting a fresco for her in her own home.

The institution of Dartmouth College, thankfully, was exempt from Orozco's fury because he considered it to be "eleemosynary," or a site of charitable giving. However, he still felt (at least according to Hopkins) that the faculty should be "annihilated." With that in mind, Hopkins closes the letter by warning Treasurer Edgerton not to oppose Orozco at any point. He playfully says that he'd "hate to lose a good treasurer" and that Edgerton represents "all that he [Orozco] abhors."

To take a look at the correspondence related to the painting of the Orozco murals, come to Rauner and ask for the Collection relating to the work of Jose Clemente Orozco (DL-34, Box 6122, Folder 23).

Friday, January 25, 2019

The Impression of a Birthday

Wood cut of two faces among flowers from Kew Gardens"From the oval shaped flower-bed there rose perhaps a hundred stalks spreading into heart shaped or tongue shaped leaves half way up and unfurling at the tip red or blue or yellow petals marked with spots of colour raised upon the surface; and from the red blue or yellow gloom of the throat emerged a straight bar, rough with gold dust and slightly clubbed at the end."

We offer you these flowers as described and hand set in type one hundred years ago by Virginia Woolf, today, on her birthday.

First page of text from Kew Gardens
Want more? Ask for Kew Gardens, printed by Virginia and Leonard Woolf in 1919, Val 827W884 S5.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Visions of War

Page from Visions anti-fascist publication showing citizens holding rifles and machine guns behind a barricade.
This week, a Dartmouth Art History class, "The Photographic Medium," is visiting us to look at a variety of ways in which photographic images and technologies have evolved over the last 170 years. The class promises to be an exciting one, with examples of stereoscopic cards, alumni photo albums from World War I, and Gardner's Sketchbook of the Civil War, among others, available in the room for the students to explore. One of the important themes that we will be touching upon is how photography becomes a powerful tool for wartime propaganda. Along with a pictorial of the Polish military on the eve of World War II, we also have nearly a full run of Visions de Guerra i de Reraguarda, a publication that was issued by the Catalonian minister of propaganda from 1937 to 1938 during the Spanish Civil War. These texts were meant to increase global support for the anti-fascist movement in Spain as well as raise morale for the Republican fighters who were beginning to flag after more than a year of bloodshed.

In a clear statement of regional and cultural independence, the photographic captions in each volume are printed in both Spanish and Catalan. The publication was issued biweekly in two series, A and B.
Page from Visions anti-fascist publication showing two fighters waving to the camera.Series A is committed to showing scenes from the initial military coup in Barcelona and Madrid in July 1936 and its immediate aftermath, while Series B is focused on current events of the war. Here at Rauner, we are fortunate to have a complete run of Series A and 1-17 of the 20-volume Series B. The scenes of common citizens, dressed in everyday clothes but wearing helmets and holding rifles and fighting for democracy against a fascist regime that ultimately would defeat them in 1939, are disconcerting and yet strangely inspiring.

To see the A Series of Visions de Guerra i de Reraguarda, come to Rauner and ask for Rare DP269.15 .V57. To see the B Series, DP269.15 .V572.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Dubious Drugs

Rev. N. H. Downs' Elixir broadside ad
We know we've posted before about 19th-century drug advertisements, but this week we had some visitors come in to look at our various pharmaceutical-related materials and couldn't help ourselves. Two broadsides, in particular, tickled our fancy. Perhaps some of the draw for these particular items is that they are both from close to home. One proprietor hails from Haverhill, New Hampshire, while the other is based out of Cornish Flat, New Hampshire. In the Haverhill broadside, which seems to extol the healing properties of northern New Hampshire flora, the author goes so far as to try his hand at a bit of poetry. He personifies tuberculosis as "Consumption, gaunt and ghastly," and claims that the disease will "soon will make his dread appearance, / And will seize his hapless victims." The only solution, predictably, is to:

Go and buy some DOWNS' ELIXIR
Some real N. H. Downs' Elixir;
Made of all most healing Balsams
Found in all the Northern forests, --
Balsams of the Pine and Fir tree:
Made in Burlington -- a City
Standing near the Champlain waters...

Go and buy it, and be happy.

Although this broadside ends on a dubiously happy note, the Cornish Flat broadside begins on a
"The Woman's Friend" broadside ad
decidedly grumpy note, judging from the portrait engraving of who we assume is the creator and purveyor of this particular medicine. Ironically, the dour-looking man in the engraving is most likely meant to be smiling, and his drug is described as "the Woman's Friend." While the Haverhill ad relies upon a touch of the humanities to move product, the description of the Cornish elixir insists that science is on its side and appeals to universal laws of biologic function. According to the good doctor,  after a few weeks of taking his medicine, "Nature assumes her legitimate office, and at once the delicate girl is enabled to commence aright in a course indispensable to female health and happiness."

To see how chemically-induced happiness was peddled over a hundred years ago, come to Special Collections and ask for either or both of these broadsides. The Haverhill ad's call number is Broadside 000288, and the Cornish Flat ad is Broadside 000101.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Pigskin Panorama!

Map of United Stats showing all of the college football teams as players in uniformThere are three things about this "Pigskin Panorama" that should give you pause. It is from 1939, and it maps all of the college football teams in America. Look at it for a minute--then read about the oddities below.

Enlargment of "All-American" team list
The first two are contextual. Dartmouth has a good football team now--that last few years we have been competitive in the Ivy League, but things were different in the 1938 season. In that era, Dartmouth was a national powerhouse. On the back of the map there is one Dartmouth player listed as first-team All-American, and another listed as second team All-American. All-Americans!

Close-up of Dartmouth player on map
That's one thing. The next one is just how big the Dartmouth player is that is representing team--look around the map, those big players are for the really big teams!

Close up of list of football leagues
Then the third thing--and this is the most interesting. Eight teams are designated as members of the "Ivy League," and Cornell is listed as the Ivy League champion. "But wait," you history buffs cry out, "the Ivy League wasn't formed until the 1950s! How can this be?" You are right, the league didn't come into being until 1954, but the name had been bandied about by sports writers since the 1920s, and this map is for fans, so there you go, the Ivy League in 1939.

To see it, ask for Iconography 1737.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Rauner Exhibit: "Limits to Power: Daniel Webster and the Dartmouth College Case"

Poster of Daniel Webster exhibit
This year marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of Dartmouth College. In addition to our podcast, "Hindsight is 20/19", Special Collections is starting the year-long celebration with an exhibit titled "Limits to Power: Daniel Webster and the Dartmouth College Case." The Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, better known as the Dartmouth College Case, is a critical turning point in Dartmouth's history. Had this case been settled in favor of Woodward, and by extension, the State of New Hampshire, Dartmouth as we know it would not exist today.
The case was also a turning point for our country. The outcome of the Dartmouth College Case cemented the concept into United States Constitutional law, already present in English common law, that private charitable organizations serve the public good.
In addition, the case is one of several that is still cited today as the basis for the protection of corporate persons under the Constitution. Justice John Marshall’s opinion in this case has been cited in recent Supreme Court cases such as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Citizens United v. FEC.
This case also solidified Daniel Webster's, Class of 1801, already significant reputation as a constitutional lawyer. Webster was only 37 years old at the time, and his oratorical style, persuasive argument, and keen sense of strategy vaulted him to fame. Webster would go on to argue some 170 cases before the Supreme Court during his lifetime, but none are as well-known as this one.
While the emotional pull of his peroration, and the often-quoted line from it "It is, Sir, as I have said, a small college. And yet there are those who love it!" is the focus within the College community, it was his strategic decision to argue the case of corporate personhood based on English common law that won the day. Chief Justice Marshall had used this argument himself several times, both as a lawyer and in judicial opinions. It is likely that Webster was aware of this and made a conscious decision to cast his argument in a light that would appeal to the justices and to Marshall in particular.*
We invite you to enjoy this exhibit which lays out the narrative of the Dartmouth College Case. It was curated by Peter Carini, the College Archivist, and will be on display in the Class of 1965 Galleries in Webster Hall from January 2nd through March 27th, 2019. If you can't make it to Special Collections in person, you can read the exhibit text online here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Hindsight is 20/19

Eyeglasses over the text of the College Charter
This week kicks off Dartmouth's celebration of our 250th anniversary. There is going to be a lot going on in 2019 and we are joining in the fun with a podcast series to tell some of Dartmouth's most important stories through 25 objects from the collections--one item per decade.

We are pretty happy with how it is coming together. We will be exploring key moments in Dartmouth's history and spinning them out to talk about larger cultural issues. We are unsparing in our look at Dartmouth's past. We applaud Dartmouth's moments of forward thinking and the times when students took the lead in creating progress on campus, but we also look at Dartmouth's complex relationship with slavery, race, and gender, and point out the times we failed as an institution. We have a sense of humor about the past as well. A lot of weird things have happened, and we love talking about them.

The first episode is out and more will follow soon. Take a listen at Hindsight is 20/19.

Friday, January 4, 2019

In the Public Domain

Manuscript of "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"The start of 2019 is pretty important for free and open access to information. We have been in a weird holding pattern for the last 20 years waiting for works to enter the public domain. The Copyright Term Extension Act (aka the Sonny Bono Act) was passed in 1998. It extended copyright status from 75 years to 95 years for most works, so for the last 20 years not much has been entering the public domain. But, starting this year, you can celebrate every New Year's Day with a fresh crop of out-of-copyright material. This year, everything published in 1923 opened up, and that includes some of Robert Frost's most well know poems which were published in his 1923 book, New Hampshire.

To celebrate, we present you here with the earliest known complete draft of "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." It was tacked onto the end of a letter Frost sent to fellow poet Jack Haines on January 28th, 1923. The poem was published later that year, first in The New Republic, then collected in New Hampshire.

Last sentence of letter to Haines, "I shall be sending you some poetry in MS again before long. I believe I'll copy a bit here and now." signed by Robert Frost
You do whatever you want with the text now, but you can only see the original by asking for MS-1178, Box 5, Folder 22.