Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dartmouth College Library celebrates Preservation Week

From April 23-29 we celebrate Preservation Week, a time when libraries across the country will provide information and expertise on how to preserve books, textiles, digital photos, family records and more. This is, of course, our favorite time of year!
During the week, we will have a table in the Berry Main Street hallway with handouts and information. On the 25th and 26th from 11-2, conservators Deborah Howe and Lizzie Curran were on hand to answer conservation and preservation questions.
To find out more about Preservation Week, including links to FREE preservation webinars, visit the Preservation Week website.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Continuing Saga: The Antiphonal

Since I last wrote about our Antiphonal, much has happened.  We brought the book back to the lab, thinking a quick cleaning, consolidation of the text block and board tightening would just be an outpatient treatment.  But as we all have had the experience- the job got bigger and more people got involved.  Now after many months we are on the home stretch to return the Antiphonal back to Special Collections in a far superior state than a quick job would have resulted in.
During the first examination Giselle and I discovered that the pages were really quite soiled, so every page needed a good going over with the hepa vac.

A close up of an endband unraveling and poor board attachment.

On the other end, the core of the endband has completely pulled away.
New linings and reinforcing the sewing for the endsheets.  Also, new primary endbands. 

We were able to call on the expertise of Greg Elder, the college carpentry instructor.  Here, he is getting ready to even out the edge of the lower board in order to attach a new extension.  The lower board had about 6 inches missing at the foredge.

Putting the new extension in place.

Securing all points.
A new foredge to support the back pages.  This will be covered in leather after some of the other loses are filled in.

Endband before repair...
...and after.

All wrapped up.  Reattaching the leather.

This has been a lot bigger project that I had anticipated.  A large part of the time was figuring out what to do and how to do it.  I am also working with our Jewelry instructor to fabricate some new catch plates and perhaps even some new hardware as many of the corner bosses are missing.  All in all this has been a great learning experience and an opportunity to work with other expertise on our campus.  I am looking forward to the final touches and the Antiphonal's return to Special Collections.

Written by Deborah Howe

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Research Data Management and Digital Preservation

I've always been a "behind the scenes" kind of person. I'd rather be sitting behind a computer packaging digital files and working on preservation metadata profiles than manning a reference desk or teaching a class. However, as the digital preservation program has grown here in the Library, I've seen an increasing need to provide consultation and training about managing and preserving digital files. Whether engaged in digital humanities scholarship or scientific research, or just living and working in a digital environment, students, faculty and staff need to know the basics of digital preservation and personal digital archiving. Which is how I've found myself giving workshops.

I recently gave a workshop as part of a series on Research Data Management called Data Preservation: Preparing your data for future reuse. I covered the bare basics of ensuring long term access to both digital and analog data:

The main idea that I wanted the workshop participants to walk away with was that preservation is not a thing that happens at the end of a research project. Rather, successful preservation is the result of conscious steps taken throughout the data lifecycle.

This was my first time teaching digital preservation concepts to researchers from the sciences. I was grateful to have liaison librarians from the Dana Biomedical and Kresge Physical Sciences libraries on hand to field discipline specific questions. The main idea I took away from this experience was the importance of partnering with librarians with knowledge of the research interests, practices and requirements of the audience. I look forward to continued collaborations with my colleagues around meeting the digital preservation needs of our community.

Written by Jenny Mullins

Friday, March 17, 2017

Ten Facts from the Dartmouth Digital Collections

  1. There are 37 digital collections in the Dartmouth Digital Collections
  2. All collections are open access collections 
  3. All collections are available world wide
  4. Dartmouth Digital Collections include books, films, lectures, manuscripts, typescripts, maps, music, dissertations, photographs, and posters
  5. With few exceptions, all collections are the result of highly collaborative projects overseen by the Dartmouth Digital Library Program
  6. Since January 2017 we have imaged 3,300 photographs for the Dartmouth Photographic Files Collection
  7. There are over 2,000 maps in three map collections
  8. There are over 140 compositions of Jon Appleton to listen to
  9. Our growing collection of Dartmouth Dissertations has over 1,000 dissertations available to view and download
  10. There are 50 open access ebook titles available for download on the Dartmouth Digital Publishing site 

Written by William Ghezzi

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Letterpress Legacy: The Dartmouth College Book Arts Workshop Celebrates it's 25th Anniversary-in Dunedin, New Zealand

From September - December, 2016, an exhibit celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Dartmouth College's Book Arts Workshop was on display at University of Otago's Special Collections in Dunedin, New Zealand.  The show came about as part of an exchange between Dartmouth and the
University of Otago.  The two schools are part of the Matariki Network- an international group of leading, like-minded universities.

The exhibit was originally curated by Barb Sagraves and designed by Dennis Grady in 2014 as part of a larger celebration of the Book Arts Workshop in Dartmouth's Baker Library.  Books, prints and other work created by past students and instructors of the Book Arts Workshop were displayed along with photos, documents and letters from the Workshop's previous iteration as the Graphic Arts Workshop.

When the exhibit materials traveled to University of Otago, Special Collections Librarian Donald Kerr and his assistant Romilly Smith researched and wrote to Dartmouth alums who created work and spent time in the Book Arts Workshop.  They added wonderful personal touches and testimonies to the exhibit.

Now, thanks to Donald and Romilly's hard work, the exhibit, as it was displayed in New Zealand is on line for all to see.  For a nice history of the Workshop, click on this link: legacy/.

Written by Sarah Smith

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hidden Gem to Mt. Washington

To start off the New Year, my trail blog will focus on New Hampshire's tallest peak, Mt. Washington (6288 ft.) and the Jewell Trail, described by many hikers as the "easiest" route to the summit, if gaining almost 3900 ft. in elevation over a 5 mile hike is to be considered easy.

Located to the northeast of the Upper Valley area, one approaches Mt. Washington from its western side on Rt. 302.  The Mt. Washington Hotel, situated 1/4 mile east of Base Rd., is well worth the short detour.  The Base Rd. leads to a parking area/trailhead (approx. 3 miles) for the Jewell and Ammonoosuc Ravine Trails, and continues on to the Cog Railroad Station and the several trains that summit Washington.

The Jewell Trail leaves the parking area by crossing the road and descends gently into the forest for about a mile to a small brook.  Crossing Clay Brook on a wooden footbridge, the trail almost immediately begins its long (3.7 mile), steady-but-moderate climb through the woods along an un-named ridge.  This ridge parallels the Cog Railway tracks on the opposing ridgeline across Burt Ravine.  At the 3 mile mark, the trees begin to shorten and thin to open rocks with elevation gain, allowing for fine views towards the summit and across the ravine to the railroad.  The Jewell Trail has a few switchbacks beneath the summit of Mt. Clay and eventually ends at the junction with the Gulfside Trail.  The route to Mt. Washington along the Gulfside Trail (1.4 miles) is a bit easier in grade, very open, and has stunning views.

It is the most direct route, but there are many boulders to manage as you cross the rail tracks and ascend the summit.

During my rest at the summit on a gorgeous 75 degree August day, there was a whole lot of action at about noontime.  Along with the many tourists and sightseers who either drove or took the train up, a police helicopter actually flew beneath me while the trains were making their way either up or down the mountain.  Not what I had expected to say the least!  After resting at the summit house and cafeteria (yes, a cafeteria) I worked my way back down along the same route and went to the edge of the Great Gulf (hence the Gulfside Trail) to sit alone on a big rock and enjoy the quiet and the amazing view.

As always when hiking to the open, rocky summits of our largest east coast mountains, please be prepared for the worst kind of weather (unusually cold temps, high winds, rain storms etc.) and bring plenty of food and water as one shouldn't count on the summit cafe′ for a good meal.

Written by Brian Markee

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Minor Disaster Mitigation in Paddock

We are fortunate at Dartmouth to be without many disasters in the library.  So, naturally, the weekend before our holiday break on the coldest day (so far) this winter, a pipe burst in the HOP and the resulting flood accumulated in the basement; the location of the Paddock Music Library.  Preservation and Facilities staff were informed immediately, and the Facilities staff quickly mitigated the water damage to the walls, floors, and ceilings.  The following Monday morning, myself and the department head went over to assess the damage to the collection.

What we discovered was only one cabinet of CDs had been affected by the leak.  Water levels were different in each drawer of the cabinet, leaving some CDs completely soaked and others damp from the ambient moisture.  We packed collapsible crates with all the CDs from the cabinet and brought them back to the lab to dry out.

Back at the lab, after some brief research on CD salvage ( at a glance.pdf for a very abbreviated explanation) and gleaning information from our own disaster plan, I opened each CD case and popped the disc and paper pamphlet out, propping each CD case up to let the air fully circulate.  I saw this demonstrated in a video about an unfortunate disaster after Hurricane Sandy that affected a lot of different media at a facility in New York City.  The short video can be seen here:

Drying the CDs out on our tables in Preservation.

Because the water that leaked in to Paddock was clean, (phew!) rinsing each of the CDs in distilled water was unnecessary.  Jones Media Center was kind enough to lend us some cloths to dry the very wet items that they use on their DVD collection.

To keep track of what could easily become chaos, our department head, Jenny, scanned the items that were in the lab to be able to keep track of numbers.  We had over 900 items to dry!  Due to table space constraints, it took two rounds of lining up the CDs as pictured to fully dry every item.  The truly unfortunate paper components which were too soaked to pull the pages apart went in to the freezer.
Soaked items placed in the freezer to dry out without getting moldy.
Jenny scans in all the items.
As I put each of the CD cases back together and popped the disc in, I sorted them in to crates labeled "OK" and "Not OK," for lack of creativity.  "Not OK" was only two crates (a little over 200 items) and returned to Paddock to be assessed by the music librarian for replacement.  The remainder of the dried items were "OK" and have returned to their home in Paddock, which is once again dry thanks to Facilities staff.
"Not OK" wet/damaged CDs
With some coordinated team effort, a minor disaster is just that; minor.  Our Disaster Manual in the lab illustrates all the steps needed to mitigate any kind of disaster in the library, because events like this are stressful and the damage can seem irreparable-which isn't true!  The change of pace for a short-term project like this reminds me how the library is more kinetic than we realize and that anything can happen.  As a bonus, I also had the opportunity to familiarize myself with Czech hip hop and traditional Cree songs and will no doubt find myself in Paddock more often to explore its vast collection.

Written by Lizzie Curran