Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Brut Chronicle: Revived and Reconstructed

Deborah Howe, Collections Conservator, has been published in the latest issue of The Book and Paper Group Annual, a publication of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Book and Paper section.  Deborah's article describes her study and conservation of the Beeleigh Abbey Brut, also known as the Dartmouth Brut Chronicle and the ensuing considerations and solutions for its rebinding.

The Dartmouth Brut Chronicle is a history of Britain from 1377 to 1419 and was written around 1430.   Dartmouth's Brut was significant as it arrived in a 16th century stationers binding, which is unusual for the type of manuscript it is.  Deborah analyzed the manuscript's binding and through collaboration with faculty and other scholars determined a method of repair and binding that was sympathetic to the time period the Chronicle was composed yet maintained the physical flexibility needed for active classroom use and put minimal stress on the quires.

The article may be found in the Book and Paper Group Annual, 34 (2015) p. 50-56.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dartmouth Book Arts in the Southern Hemisphere

Sarah M. Smith, Book Arts Workshop Special Instructor, will be the Universityof Otago Printer in Residence (PIR) for 2016.  Sarah will be on the Otago campus in Dunedin, New Zealand, from August 1- September 10.  During that time she will print a limited edition for the Otakou Press of poems written by local poet Rhian Gallagher.  The theme of this volume is centered round the life and activities of Freda Du Faur (1882-1935), the first woman to climb Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. The text will be enhanced by images by the Dunedin artist Lynn Taylor. 120 copies will be printed; 100 will be for sale.

This visit is part of an exchange between Otago and Dartmouth, both members of the Matariki Network of Universities.  While Sarah is working at Otago they will also be hosting the Book Arts 25th anniversary exhibit which was shown at Baker Library in the spring of 2015.  In the fall Donald Kerr, Special Collections Librarian at the University of Otago, will be visiting and Baker Library will host an exhibit of the University of Otago PIR publications.  Both Sarah and Donald will be speaking on Wednesday, October 5, for the Stephen Harvard Lecture.

Sarah has started a blog to record her adventures: Big Green Kiwi

Written by Barb Sagraves. 

Monday, July 25, 2016


Rebecca Metois is our Summer Conservation Intern here in Preservation Services from the 27th of June till the 19th of August 2016.  She has just completed her first year of bookbinding at the North Bennet Street School in Boston. Rebecca has a library degree from Simmons College and a M.F.A. in painting from San Francisco Art Institute and she is very excited to be here.

Welcome Rebecca!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

How I Joined My Local Historical Society

Until coming to Dartmouth, I'd pretty much always lived in large cities. The politics and agencies that made these cities function were somewhat of a mystery to me - I knew work was done by people somewhere, but the processes and responsible agents felt distant and mysterious.

Strafford's Iconic Town House
Living in small town Vermont is a totally different scene. The business and services of our town, Strafford VT, population ~1000, is run by people I see at the general store, who work at the local school, who live down the street. My friends are on the Volunteer Fire Department, my husband attends meetings of the Conservation Committee, my neighbor is on the School Board.

After we settled in to town, I wanted to get involved, too. Given my experience in preservation departments big and small, the Strafford Historical Society seemed a natural fit. This past January, I emailed the chairman of the Historical Society Board, explaining my educational and professional background in preservation, as well as my current work with digital projects and digital preservation. The response was immediate and enthusiastic: "OH MY GOD WHEN CAN WE MEET WITH YOU THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED YOU ARE AN ANSWER TO OUR PRAYERS" (I've paraphrased).

The Brick Store- Home of the Historical Society
It turns out, the Strafford Historical Society has long felt a need for a more developed web presence, and has dreamed of putting their collections online. Can you, they asked, build us a website, digitize our collections and make them searchable for the world on a very small (non-existant) budget? Having never built a website, and knowing how much work, infrastructure and expertise goes into creating digital collections, I said, "Sure! But it might take us a while."

Over the past few months, we've had a few meetings of the ad hoc Technology Committee of the Strafford Historical Society. We've identified people in town with programming and systems admin skills that can help us set up an Omeka instance. People have volunteered time for "data entry" (i.e. metadata creation) so they can learn more about the collections. We even got a donation of a scanner from a generous Board member.

Building out a digital presence from scratch with few budgetary or infrastructure resources could seem daunting and overwhelming, but I'm feeling pretty optimistic we can do this thing. The past two years have shown me that this town is full of talented people willing to contribute time, willing to share knowledge and expertise, and willing to learn new skills to serve the good of the town. We've totally got this.

Written by Jenny Mullins

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Recent Additions to the Dartmouth Digital Collections

Dartmouth College and Associated Schools General Catalogue, 1769-1940

Published in 1940, the General Catalogue of Dartmouth College is a directory of Dartmouth's administrative officers and faculty; graduate and non-graduate alumni of the undergraduate college; graduate and non-graduate alumni of the professional schools and graduate programs; special students; and honorary degree recipients, dating from the founding of Dartmouth in 1769 through the class of 1939.  The entries for alumni provide brief biographical information including birth date and place, residence (for those living at the time of publication), death date and place (for the deceased), occupation, Dartmouth degrees, and any additional educational information.  Similar information is included for officers and faculty, plus their term of service to the College.  Entries for non-graduates of the undergraduate college often include the time period during which they were in attendance.  The catalogue contains three indexes: to officers and faculty; to alumni; and geographical index to where alumni were living at the time of the catalogue's publication.

Stone Family Papers, 1571-1933

The papers of the Stone family contain parchment indentures, covenants, probate deeds and wills, manuscript notes, letters, receipts and invoices.  The documents chronicle the legal transactions of Richard Stone (circa 1570-1653) of Clayhanger, Devon and Chipstable, Somerset, England and his descendants.  Seen together the materials shed light on the evolution of British legal documents from 1571 to 1872.  Richard Stone of Clayhanger, Devon and Chipstable, Somerset was born in the 1570s and died in 1653.  Richard was married twice and had eight children.  The line of descent from his son Emanuel Stone from his first marriage can be traced in the UK and USA to the present day.  The line of descent from his son Richard from his second marriage also can be traced to the present day in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.  The original manuscripts are available for use at Rauner Special Collections Library (Rauner Manuscript MS-1339).

Chinese Love Stories from "Ch'ing-shih" by Hua-yuan Li Mowry

There are currently fifty open access ebooks available on the Digital Library Publishing pages (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/digital/publishing/books/).  Chinese Love Stories from "Ch'ing-shih" by Hua-yuan Li Mowry is the latest addition to the collection.  Ch'ing-shih is a lovingly made anthology of love stories, provided we push the limits of definition of "love story" just a little wider than they are usually set.  The stories are classified into twenty-four major categories, each further divided into subsections and concluded with a paragraph of commentary.  Professor Mowry provides a sampling of the contents of each category but not of each subsection, though the headings themselves are enough to pique our curiosity; shall we turn next to "incomplete resurrections," or "unusual degenerates"?  The stories were collected in the early seventeenth century, just a decade or two before the fall of the Ming dynasty, but nine-tenths of them are pre-Ming in origin.  Whether the earliest or the most recent stories have the higher artistic value will be a matter for the reader's judgement. - From the Preface.

Written by Bill Ghezzi

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Book Arts Workshop Prize for 2016

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, graduate, or community member.  The cash prizes are made possible through the generosity of the Friends of the Library.  The winners are:

Grand Prize (shared)
Kassie Amann, ‘16
This Must Be The Place
$500 award

Grand Prize (shared)
Marie Schwalbe, ’16
Mountains of Vermont
$500 award

Artist Book
Hyun Ji ( Jenny) Seong,‘16
Memoriscapes – The Book
$150 award

First Prize in Hand Bookbinding
Amalia Siegel, ‘16
Waste / Land
$150 award

First Prize in Letterpress Printing
Matteo Visconti di Oleggio Castello, Grad
$150 award

Honorable Mention in Letterpress Printing
Josh Kauderer, ‘19
Dulce Et Decorum Est
$75 award

All the winning entries are on display in the Treasure Room cases in Baker Library beginning Saturday, June 11.  

Written by Barb Sagraves

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Experiential Learning with Book Arts

This past spring, the Book Arts Workshop collaborated with faculty on two curricular projects that received Experiential Learning Initiative Grants.  The courses involved were FILM 7: Mass Media and Democracy, taught by Professor Michael Evans, and the Ancient Books, taught by Classics Professor, Tom Hendrickson.

The grants made it possible to order supplies such as paper, ink, and even papyrus and parchment for the student's projects.  The funding was also used to host letterpress printer, Amos Kennedy for a week.

During that very busy week, Amos worked with the FILM 7: Mass Media and Democracy class and four other classes, such as Government's Ethics & Public Policy with Julie Rose and Music's Sound Art Practice with Ashley Fure.  The Workshop was also open for two days to any student, faculty, staff or community member to stop by, talk with Amos and print one of the many posters he had set up on the presses.

Here are some photos from the FILM 7: Mass Media and Democracy class and Amos Kennedy's visit.

"Amos working with FILM 7: Mass Media and Democracy"

"Amos working with FILM 7: Mass Media and Democracy"

"Amos working with FILM 7: Mass Media and Democracy"

"Professor Michael Evans and Amos Kennedy discussing class projects."

Other classes visited and printed posters too.  This was Aden Evens' English Department course, "Electronic Literature."

All week people put their posters suggestions in a box we set up in Berry Library.  Amos chose some of those suggestions and set up the posters on the presses.  We opened up the Workshop, welcoming anyone to come in and print one of the posters and take it home.  

"We made a lot of posters!"

The 16 students from the FILM 7: Mass Media and Democracy class then came up with their own posters and printed them.

Here's an example in progress"

"Here's an example done"

To learn more about this project, look at this entry and others by Michael Evans and Michael Goudzwaard (the instructional designer, who also collaborated on the FILM 7 course) on the blog, Teaching Out Loud: http://sites.dartmouth.edu/teachingoutloud/learning-from-experience-part-4/

While all that poster printing was happening, our collaboration with Tom Hendrickson's Ancient Book Course took a very different focus.  The project consisted of six sessions with 17 students making papyrus scrolls, simple codex structures with paper and parchment, and finally, multi-section Coptic-style bindings.  Students copied given texts-using appropriate historical calligraphic hands-into each of these books.  The lesson showed not only how books, letterforms, and materials evolved, but also how texts were altered through different iterations.