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, May 31, 2016

Double-Fan Adhesive Binding

The Double-Fan Adhesive Binding is a treatment we use in Preservation Services for new single sheet items with a good gutter margin such as theses or to repair worn out adhesive bound books.  Good margins are important as the process will trim 1/16" all around when finished.


2 endsheets: cut to Height (H)
2 20-point boards: cut to Width (W) x Height of book
        (Can stack endsheets and boards to cut on guillotine)
Cloth lining: cut to H x [spine thickness + 2"]
Covering cloth: cut to H x [(W x 2) + spine thickness]
Double-sided tape
PVA glue
Tyvek optional 


Trim out of old case, leaving case intact, if possible.
Mark upper foredge of text with pencil mark (gets trimmed off later). 

Put rough-cut boards and endsheets into position with endsheet folds at foreedge to remain intact when cut.
Cut spine off.


Clamp into press screwing in the pressure equally.  Three loose bars are in the press (one has an L-shaped piece attached) with usual sized books.  Can remove one or more for bigger (wide and tall) book.

 Tip up the book to work on it.  Glue the spine once as it is straight up.  Fan it left and glue.  The fan it right and glue.  Squeeze the glued spine into shape.



Glue up lining and set on evenly, pinching and pulling and smoothing.  Set onto spine and let dry about one hour.


With a pair of dividers run a score line 1/4" from the spine edge head to tail on each board.  Run a strip of 1/2" double-stick tape down the inside edge of the score line.  Flip the board over and glue the board up.  Now place glued side of board down onto text block lining up the spine with the double stick tape edge along the spine edge.  Nip for 30 seconds in press.                                                                                                                      


With new cloth:

Cut cloth to H x [(W x 2) + spine thickness].
Crease at the first spine fold.  Then make another fold 1/4" from this line (toward the foredge).  Make the other spine fold, and then the 1/4" fold from that line (toward the foredge).

Test fit the cover if cloth.  Clip off excess before gluing.  Put tattle tape onto spine cloth.  Glue up the boards, peel off the double-stick tape backing.  Press board going from spine to foredge.  Nip 30 seconds in press.  Let dry one hour under weight.

Prepare old case materials to reattach:

Trim out spine, old plate from old cover and reattach.  If the spine is porous, line the back with Japanese tissue.  If barcode is on board make sure to save and reattach.  If old cover is not usable in one piece, trim front and back covers to size and glue onto new cloth.

Once textblock is dry, trim no more than 1/16" from the head, tail and foredge on the guillotine.  Do a visual double check of margins to make sure where cutting is safe.


Paperback cover:

Take a piece of Tyvek cut to H x [spine thickness + 2"] and glue over spine area of cover covering the 1/4" folds by 1/2" or so.

Clean the joint area.  Put tattle tape onto the spine of case.  Recase the book.  Trim if needed.


Kerfs (do before put on cloth liner)
On a very thick book, could put on a second liner and then make kerfs (saw marks) cut into the spine at an angle.  Could glue in some thick sewing thread, leaving them longer and then glue them down to the sides.

Written by Brian Markee.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Image Resolution and You

Picking your resolution is perhaps the most important decision you'll make when digitizing photos, artwork, or any other kind of image. But it can also be confusing if you're not familiar with these terms and their meanings. This is a simple primer to help you choose the right resolution for your needs.

The terms DPI and PPI are both shorthand units for measuring an image's resolution. DPI stands for "dots per inch" and PPI, "pixels per inch." This means that DPI is technically a term for a printed object's resolution while PPI describes an image displayed on a screen, but in common use they are essentially interchangeable.

The system that these measurements describe is called Raster, and it's by far the most common in a modern digital setting. A raster image is essentially a mosaic, collecting dots of color called pixels in a tiny square grid to produce an overall image. The more pixels per inch, the more detailed the image. Simple enough, right? For an easy example, here is the same image at three different standard resolutions: 600dpi, 300dpi, and 72dpi (click to see at full size)

You can always lower the resolution of an image, but it's impossible to raise it, except in a simple multiplying sense. This is why all digital images look blurry if you zoom in far enough. You're making the pixels bigger, but you aren't adding any new information to them.

Another factor you will want to consider is your display resolution. Modern high-definition TVs will often give you this basic measurement, and while computers have a greater variety of resolutions they will generally fall under a few typical values. 480p means a screen is 480 pixels wide, and is considered "standard" definition. 720p is, of course, 720 pixels wide, and marks the beginning of "HD" standards. 1080p is probably the most commonly used HD resolution, and the cutting-edge "4K" resolution is a convenient shorthand for screens 3,840 pixels wide. The screen resolution will determine how "large any given image looks at full-resolution on the screen. If you try to stretch a 480p wide image across 1080 pixels, it will look bad.

While the ideas surrounding pixel resolution, display resolution, and print resolution are quite complicated, they can still be understood easily with a few guidelines. For most purposes you can create images using 3 different resolutions:

600ppi is what we at the Dartmouth Digital Library Program use as the standard for high quality "master" images. Although many scanners can go higher, the size of the file becomes very unwieldy at that point. My advice is to always start at at least 600. Better to have a high-quality image and not need it than to need it and not have it.

300ppi is a common resolution for a high-quality print. Unlike looking at a screen where the resolution can be shrunk or blown up, a printer is rigidly limited in the amount of detail it can put into any given area. While a particularly good printer may get higher resolutions, most will clock in around 300dpi. This lower resolution also makes transferring files for print easier. And of course, it's always useful to keep your higher-res files around in case you need to go back to them.

72ppi has become the most common display resolution on the internet. There are a few things to consider before simply converting your image into 72ppi. Look at your display, and understand what its resolution is. Then consider how "big" you want your image to look on the display. So, if you have a 1080p monitor and want an image that fills the whole screen, you'll want to change your ppi to 72, AND change your image width to 1080p at the same time, with the proportions locked.

Here we can see Photoshop's image size menu (Image -> Image Size), where the pixel width and resolution are changed while the proportions remain constrained.

This is often a confusing concept to grasp. The simplest way I can think of is: if you reduce a 300ppi image to 150ppi, but also double its size, it will essentially be the same image when you see it on your computer. But if you try to print that, it will be half as detailed by virtue of being twice as big.

Fortunately, you don't need to fully understand all of this in order to create and work with high-quality images. As long as you make sure your highest-quality 600ppi master versions are safely backed up, you can play around with these variables in Photoshop or any other imaging program until you meet your own needs. Understanding how screen resolution, print resolution, and image resolution work together is an ongoing process that changes with technology as well as peoples' needs. It's important to be consistent, especially so for an institution like ours, but it's equally important to know how to adapt to your own needs.

Written by Ryland Ianelli