Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dartmouth College Library Digital Program: Digitization for Access and Preservation

Visit the Digital Production Unit at Baker Library to learn how the Library’s Digital Program provides access and preservation to the Library’s collections.  An open house showcasing conservation, digitization, and digital preservation will be held on Monday, April 28, from 11 am  until 1 pm in Baker Library, Room 2 (east end of the Orozco Cooridor).  This event is part of a nation wide celebration of the American Library Association’s observance of Preservation Week.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Appalachian Trail at Quinttown Rd. Junction

To start the new year off I’d like to share with you the location of one of my favorite year round hiking/X-C skiing areas.   It isn’t a hike up some big mountain or a mile long stretch of startling cliff top vistas, but a walk/ski on an old logging road that crosses the Appalachian Trail in the backwoods of Orford, NH.  This area has many fun outdoor options; a short day hike to Eastman Ledges, a long walk or XC ski to the height of land and a view of Mt. Moosilauke, or a cool walk beside Jacob's Brook, which sports many beautiful waterfalls, oddly shaped crevasses, and wading pools .

In the small town of Orford, NH, take Rt. 25A 3.8 miles east to a right turn onto Quinttown Rd (on Rt. 10 North from Hanover, Orford is approximately17 miles). Quinttown Rd. heads steadily uphill for 2 miles into the valley between Mt. Cube and Smarts Mountain. The wooded, single lane dirt road winds along beside Jacob's Brook to a lower parking area near an active sugaring operation.  In the summer months there is more parking a half mile past this spot near an old logging cabin and a gated entrance onto private but accessible land.

The walking/skiing on the gated part of Quinttown Rd. is gradual and easy for most of the approximately 3 miles to the height of land.  There are perhaps one or two somewhat difficult inclines on this road walk, but on the whole it’s an easy grade.  In the summer people can ride trail bikes here (pedal only, no motorized vehicles), but most days I rarely see other human beings.   YEA !

The view at the height of land looks to the north with a pretty view of Mt. Moosilauke from an unusual angle.  Skiers be warned, since this trail is part of the snowmobile trail system in NH, caution is necessary with an ear to the ground for oncoming snow machines.  You can usually hear them from quite a distance and stepping off the trail is easy.  My experience has been that they are quite courteous and will slow down while passing by.

At about ¾ of a mile on, you cross the Appalachian Trail, one side heading north to Mt. Cube, the other heading south leading eventually to Smarts Mountain.  The north trail climbs rather steadily to a superb lookout that is only a half mile from Quinttown Rd.,  Eastman Ledges.

The view is mainly to the south and west, but the valley below spreads out beneath you in glorious fashion.  My favorite time of year at this spot would have to be fall as the colors in the huge hardwood valley will amaze even the most rabid leaf peeper.

Lastly, Jacob's Brook is a hidden local gem in my opinion.  The large brook flows through the long valley between Smarts and Cube all the way to the Connecticut River back in “downtown” Orford.

The North and South Branch connect very close to the AT crossing, separately meandering upwards to the ponds above up in the hills.  At any point along Quinttown Rd. you can take a very short walk through the woods, or simply down one of the many open embankments to the brook.

While rock hopping up the brook itself from the parking, one encounters a seemingly endless series of waterfalls, deep pools, and amazing angled rock crevasses and outcroppings.
My personal favorite is a waterfall/pool about 300 yards upstream from a new bridge crossing Jacob's Brook on the AT. The bridge is a very short distance from Quintown Rd. (found on the “J” Trail heading south to Smarts Mt.) and the falls are well worth the rocky scramble.

Once again, I hope this blog and the accompanying photos will inspire anyone interested to head on out to a now not so secret getaway.


Written by Brian Markee

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Book Arts Prize Program 2014

The Book Arts Prize is a juried award given every year in recognition of excellence in the creation of a hand printed and bound book made in the Book Arts Studio by a Dartmouth College undergraduate or graduate student.  The cash prizes are made possible through the generosity of the Friends of the Library.

There are four prize categories:

Book Arts Grand Prize
Letterpress Printing
Hand Binding
Artist Book (new category)

The Book Arts Program is fortunate to enjoy the participation of local bookbinders, printers, and amateur book artists.  Again this year the competition will be open to the community to recognize and reward excellence in their work.

For complete details as well as the submission form go to the Book Arts Prize webpage.

All entries must be submitted by 4:00 pm, Friday, May 30.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Geographies: New England Book Work, the New England Chapter of The Guild of Book Workers 2014 – 2015 Exhibition

It’s exciting as book workers to apply our hand skills and creativity in projects outside of the regular work we do day-to-day. For some of us it means rebinding a book in a more decorative way than usual, for others it is using the entire book form as a means of artistic expression, both inside and out.

Three members of the Preservation Services staff, Deborah Howe, Sarah Smith, and Stephanie Wolff, exhibit new personal work in the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers exhibition, Geographies: New England Book Work. The exhibition highlights members’ recent work whose content has a New England connection. It opened March 3rd at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Fleet Library. It then travels to The University of Southern Maine, University of Vermont, Williams College, Dartmouth College, and ends at the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, CT in the fall of 2015. Its Dartmouth College appearance is slated for April – August of 2015 in the Berry Library.

                                         Deborah Howe’s Reading the Forested Landscape

Deborah Howe bound a copy of Tom Wessels’ Reading the Forested Landscape. Deborah writes this about her book, “This is a rebinding of the text of Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England by Tom Wessels and images by Brian Cohen. The materials chosen reminded me of the nature which the book is about. I had the wood veneer waiting to use it for the perfect project and this seemed like the one. The colors relate to the woods on a quiet slightly damp day.”

                          Sarah Smith’s A Map of New England, which Being… (book view)

Sarah Smith’s artist book A Map of New England, which Being in Some Places Defective, Shewing Particular Features from the Curious Woodcut Map of John Foster for William Hubbard in 1677: Presented by Percival & Byron and their Favorite Cartouches is a single sheet hand-drawn pen and ink map of New England, which can be read as a book or laid out flat for seeing the bigger picture of the region.

Sarah writes, “This book—currently a prototype intended for editioning—is inspired by the visual language of maps dating from before 1900. William Hubbard’s 1677 publication including “A Map of New England,” a woodcut carved and printed by John Foster was particularly inspiring. Some favorite features from the map are displayed in this book along with some cartouches (decorative “frames” which typically held a map’s title). Various historic maps and cherubs influenced the drawing of these cartouches. Percival and Byron assist in arraying the images on a map of New England and its modern boundaries.”

                       Sarah Smith’s A Map of New England, which Being… (flat open view)

                                                  Stephanie Wolff’s Sweet New England

Stephanie Wolff’s Sweet New England highlights a selection of confections that originated in the New England region, including the popular commercial treats Sugar Daddy, Necco Wafer, and Charleston Chew, and of course the classic New England sweet: maple sugar candy. Pages consist of hand-stenciled illustrations and letterpress printed text bound in a drum-leaf style, cloth case binding.

For more information about the exhibition, check out the Guild of Book Worker’s New England Chapter website.

Written by Stephanie Wolff

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Preserving a National Treasure

As many of our regular readers know the Library partnered with Readex Corporation to digitize the U. S. Congressional Serial Set.  The project was completed in 2013 and Deborah Howe, John Cocklin, and I created a book to celebrate the partnership.  The basis of the book was a slide show Deborah created for a presentation in the early years of the project.  We took her slides, added some other photos and created a story book which painted a broad picture of the process and acknowledged the staff at Readex and Dartmouth who had been involved.  The book was printed, bound, and given to Readex as a memento of our collaboration.

Our small gift was warmly received.  My counterpart, Carol Forsythe, asked if Readex could make an e-pub version and we gladly shared our files.  In this blog post, Preserving a National Treasure: A Partnership with the Dartmouth College Library, Carol describes the origin of our partnership and links to the e-pub.

Barb Sagraves, Head, Preservation Services 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Goings on in The Book Arts Workshop!!

There have been a lot of things
going on recently in the Book Arts Workshop.

Artist Angela Lorenz visited the Book Arts
Workshop and presented her work to Esme
Thompson's Collage class.
In the fall, we went on an automnal letterpress excursion to two fabulous 
shops in Vermont-Heather Hale's and Kelly McMahon's. 
Heather showed us how her Heidelberg press works.

Kate Emlen's Drawing 1 Class came in to combine some
letterpress printing with their drawings.
This student is pretty happy with the poster she just made.
She was even happier with
 this version!
Lots of red in this holiday card.
Alex Halasz's History of the Book class has been working in the studios producing a group book with the theme of word play.

We had a holiday card-printing extravaganza that resulted in more happy printers!
Some amazing ornaments found in our shop.
Here is one of the student's type set for the Word Play book. Can you see the shape her type forms?
Two pages of the class book on the press ready to print.
Another page spread from the History of the Book Word Play class book.
A student quickly printing with our "new" Golding
Official Platen Press.
Posters from Hatch Show Print and Yee-Haw Industries on display for the Book Arts
Talk with Snacks about Sarah Smith's time at these two venerable letterpress
shops in Tennessee.
Kresge Physical Sciences Library hosted a
Geeky Valentine workshop in the
Book Arts Workshop.
Preparations for a Winter Carnival
poster-printing extravaganza.
The first proof pulled off the
Winter Carnival Poster on the
Washington Hand Press outside 
the Book Arts Workshop.

                                    A finished poster printed by a happy Carnivaler.

Written by Sarah M. Smith

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Digital Production Unit Update

Here is a sample of some of the projects that the Library Digital Production Unit has been working on in recent days.

Dartmouth College Photographic Files:

This long term, ongoing project digitizes a large collection of photographs from the Rauner Special Collections Library. To date we have scanned approximately 17,000 photographs. The physical collection is currently housed in file cabinets in Rauner and is a "diverse collection of approximately 80,000 photographs related to Dartmouth College, Hanover and the surrounding area. Images date from the early years of photography (ca. 1850s) to the present and include images of nearly all aspects of Dartmouth College life".

Dartmouth Winter Carnival Posters

A collection of 91 Dartmouth Winter Carnival Posters dating back to 1911 when the Carnival began. New posters are added to the collection as they are available in the Rauner Special Collections Library. Recently we scanned the posters from 2009 to 2013 on our new reprographic system.

Manuscripts Relating to Samson Occom and Eleazar 
Wheelock's Early Indian Students

The letters and other writings of Samson Occom, an important figure in the founding of Dartmouth College. "The manuscripts, circa 1743-1794, document Occom's early student life under Wheelock's tutelage, his life as a minister at Montauk and Mohegan, his trip to England to raise money for what would become Dartmouth College, as well as personal reflections on his life as an educated Indian in Colonial America." This project is nearing completion. Most of our recent work involves correcting problems with the scanned images when they are discovered.

Sino Viet Ritual Texts

These three unique manuscripts of Buddhist-Taoist rituals in classical Chinese and Vietnamese Nom date back to 1924. They contain practical Buddhist-Taoist rituals on death, healing and natural disasters. We have completed scanning these manuscripts and we are in a post-production phase in preparation for them to be uploaded to the Dartmouth Digital Collections website. 

Digital Transitions DT RG3040 Reprographic System

In December the Dartmouth Digital Program purchased a highend reprographic system housed in the Digital Production Unit. The system includes a large copy stand, a custom made camera with a Phase One digital back, a lighting system and few other bells and whistles. To date we have used the camera to photograph Dartmouth Winter Carnival Posters from the last five years. And we are in the process of incorporating the system into out Photo Files and Dartmouth Dissertations workflows. 

To see all of our digital collection visit: Dartmouth Digital Collections at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/digital/collections/index.html

by William B. Ghezzi