Image of the Week

Our series examining an Image of the Week from the photographic files, by Kevin Warstadt, Edward Connery Lathem ’51 Digital Library Fellow.

Commencement Ceremony in the Bema ca 1913

In honor of graduation last weekend, we have a photo from a folder titled “Commencement 1911-1922.” This photo was taken in 1913 and features graduating seniors seated in the Bema with family members gathered around.

Dartmouth’s first commencement was held in 1771, and featured only four graduating seniors. From 1795 to 1907, the ceremony was held in the Dartmouth College Church. As the size of the student body expanded, more space was needed, and commencement was moved to The Bema in 1932. In 1953 President Eisenhower attended, and the ceremony was moved to The Green to accommodate the crowd. It has remained there to this day.

For more information on the history of Dartmouth Commencement see the link here. See more images of Dartmouth Commencement here.

Image of the Week

Our series examining an Image of the Week from the photographic files, by Kevin Warstadt, Edward Connery Lathem ’51 Digital Library Fellow.

The Dartmouth Five ca 1967

Featured above is an image of The Dartmouth Five from a folder titled “Bands, I.” The Dartmouth Five was a Dixieland Band, active at Dartmouth in the late sixties. They produced an album titled Dartmouth Five: On The Road in 1968. Several members of the group reunited at the Heirloom Cafe in 2010 for the members of the Dartmouth Alumni Association of Silicon Valley. See a clip from the performance here, and more images of Dartmouth bands here.

Image of the Week

Our series examining an Image of the Week from the photographic files, by Kevin Warstadt, Edward Connery Lathem ’51 Digital Library Fellow.

A Dartmouth cycling club ca 1888

Above are the members of a Dartmouth bicycle club, pictured with penny-farthings. The image comes from a folder titled “Bicycle Club and Bicycling 2.”The numbers on the image correspond to an accompanying list of names, which can be seen in the Dartmouth photographic files here. This photo was likely taken sometime in the spring of 1888.

The penny-farthing was invented in 1869 and remained in common use till the 1880s, when it fell out of favor for the safety bicycle. Variants of the safety bicycle remain in use today.

See more images of cycling at Dartmouth here.

Image of the Week

Our series examining an Image of the Week from the photographic files, by Kevin Warstadt, Edward Connery Lathem ’51 Digital Library Fellow.

Wreckage of the Montreal Express 1887

This week we have an image from a folder titled “Hartford Vermont Bridge Disaster, February 5, 1887.” A card on the back of the image acts as a key for various images within a collection. An x indicates that this image is the eighth in the collection. The caption reads “Near view of south abutment from the ice with debris and the broken journal in foreground.”

As the folder name suggests, the Hartford Vermont Bridge disaster, the worst in the history of Vermont, occurred early in the morning on Saturday, February 5th, 1887. The Montreal Express jumped the tracks just outside of White River Junction and plunged fifty feet to the frozen river below. The wreckage caught fire, burning many of the unfortunate passengers alive. It’s reported that fifty to sixty died in the wreck, although the exact number isn’t known. See more images of the Hartford, Vermont bridge disaster here.

Image of the Week

Our series examining an Image of the Week from the photographic files, by Kevin Warstadt, Edward Connery Lathem ’51 Digital Library Fellow.

Filming of Way Down East ca 1920

Above is a photo from a folder titled Way Down East (Film). Way Down East is a 1920 silent film, directed by D.W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish. The climax of the film features a rescue on an icy river, filmed in White River Junction. In this photo, Gish can be seen lying on an ice floe out on the river.

Gish was one of the biggest stars of the silent era, playing in films like the controversial Birth of a Nation and the much lauded Broken Blossoms.  Supposedly, Gish’s hand was badly injured from submersion in the freezing water in this scene, and she had reduced mobility in the hand for the rest of her life.

See more photos from the production of Way Down East here.

Image of the Week

Our series examining an Image of the Week from the photographic files, by Kevin Warstadt, Edward Connery Lathem ’51 Digital Library Fellow.

Star Island ca 1891

Pictured above is Star Island from a folder titled “Isle of Shoals.” It is one of ten islands that make up the Isles of Shoals. These islands were once used for seasonal fishing camps by indigenous Americans, but were settled by Europeans in the early 1600s. Star Island now acts as a religious and educational conference center. See the image at the source here.

Image of the Week

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Our series examining an Image of the Week from the photographic files, by Kevin Warstadt, Edward Connery Lathem ’51 Digital Library Fellow.

Setter ca. 1943

Pictured above is a photo from a folder labeled Dogs 1. On the back of the photo, a note reads “Dore Kendall’s Setter [1943?] name forgotten.” It was this note that caused the photo jump out to me. It strikes me as a strange thing to see a photo of a dog in this portrait style. Obviously, the dog had no conception of photography. It was positioned and captured in time for the sake of its owners. Now its owners are gone and the dog’s name is forgotten, yet its photo remains like a fossilized footprint. In his essay “Why Look at Animals,” John Berger writes on the relationship between owner and pet.

The pet completes him, offering responses to aspects of his character which would otherwise remain unconfirmed. He can be to his pet what he is not to anybody or anything else. Furthermore, the pet can be conditioned to react as though it, too, recognizes this. The pet offers its owner a mirror to a part that is otherwise never reflected. But, since in this relationship the autonomy of both parties has been lost (the owner has become the-special-man-he-is-only-to-his-pet, and the animal has become dependent on its owner for every physical need), the parallelism of their separate lives has been destroyed.

further

…animals are always the observed. The fact that they can observe us has lost all significance. They are the objects of our ever-extending knowledge. What we know about them is an index of our power, and thus an index of what separates us from them. The more we know, the further away they are.

The dog here exists outside of the context of its relationship to its owner, yet at the same time within it, as the existence of the photo necessitates this context. The dog has entered into a limbo state, in which it retains an aspect of the identity assigned to it (as Dore Kendall’s setter) but has lost a part of it as well (it’s name). Because the dog could produce no works, this photo is its only means to remain beyond the bounds of life. Is it cruel that this creature should be forced to exist in this state, not remembered yet not forgotten? No, I think, as no harm is done. But it is uncanny to look upon a physical object that so immediately captures the fleeting nature of life and identity.

See more photos of dogs here.

 

 

 

 

DLP Staff Interview: Noah Skogerboe, Media Collections and Preservation Librarian

Next in our series of interviews with Digital Library Program staff. Today, Noah Skogerboe, Media Collections and Preservation Librarian, answers questions about his work.

What does the Media Collections and Preservation Librarian do?
Part of my job is to be a member of the team operating the Jones Media Center, helping to circulate our media collections and audiovisual equipment and assist patrons with their media projects. It is also my responsibility to handle media preservation and conversion projects for patrons and also across library units, so if you have media collections that need preservation attention or enhanced access, you may find yourself working with me.

How did you get here? That is, what was your path to being the Media Collections and Preservation Librarian at the Dartmouth College Library?
Long before figuring out that I wanted to be a librarian, I was playing in bands and dabbling with recording, often choosing outmoded analog formats for projects. I moved back and forth between studies in history and technical training in audio engineering, working as a live mix engineer (sound person) in a theater. I decided that pursing audio visual archiving via library school would be a good way to bring my proclivities together. I did some work for Minnesota Public Radio digitizing analog tape reels and worked for years for the Minnesota Historical Society on mass digitization projects and preservation and access projects mostly involving newspaper collections. I feel very fortunate to have landed here working with the kinds of collections and projects that I love best.

What’s a notable (interesting, challenging, unusual) project that you’ve worked on recently (here or at a previous position)? Or, what are you looking forward to working on in your position at Dartmouth?
I recently took in some analog magnetic tape reels of field recordings made circa 1970 in Sierra Leone of rural folk musicians. The recordings come from an area subsequently devastated by civil war so it is a real treat to be able to hear them and work to preserve them and perhaps help to make them accessible for future research. Included are some recordings of children singing that are particularly beautiful.

What do you wish that more people knew about digital libraries?
How to access them! The tremendous benefit of our digital collections is their accessibility: that they can be searched and discovered remotely. We ought to strive to expose our digital collections!

Who are you when you’re not being the Media Collections and Preservation Librarian?
I’m probably exploring the Upper Valley countryside with my family (more like dragging them along) or maybe tinkering on a music project. I have many hobbies but little expertise.

What new tools are coming in the world of digital libraries? How are we preparing for changes in the field? (question from Kevin)
One thing I’m excited about is speech-to-text technology that can provide the full text searching benefits that we have come to rely upon for print formats (via optical character recognition) for audio formats such as oral histories. I think we need to continue our efforts to digitize and expose our hidden collections especially as researchers turn to new methods of mining and extracting data.

What question would you like another member of the Digital Library Program staff to answer?
What do you see as most valuable metadata strategy or philosophy for enhancing access to our digital collections?

Image of the Week

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Our series examining an Image of the Week from the photographic files, by Kevin Warstadt, Edward Connery Lathem ’51 Digital Library Fellow.

Log driving on the Connecticut River c. 1900

Featured above is a photo from a folder labeled “Log Driving.” According to Robert E. Pike ’25 in Log Drive on the Connecticut, log driving began on the Connecticut River in 1869 and ended in 1930.

Pike describes the dangers of the job:

Log driving was a profession that was dangerous to life and limb, not just some of the time, but every minute. From the moment he began to break out the frozen rollways till the day, sometimes six months later, that the drive was safe in the booms hundreds of miles downriver, the riverman was flirting with death a dozen times a day. The heavy, slippery logs that he had to roll, pry, and lift would fly back at him and knock him literally to kingdom come, or he himself would slip and a whole rollway would pass over him, leaving not enough to bury.

You can read Pike’s full article here and find more photos from the “Log Driving” folder here.

Image of the Week

Our series examining an Image of the Week from the photographic files, by Kevin Warstadt, Edward Connery Lathem ’51 Digital Library Fellow.

Dartmouth Hall Fire of 1904

Pictured above is the aftermath of the Dartmouth Hall fire of 1904. The fire occurred in February, and is believed to be the result of faulty wiring. Reconstruction began in October of that year and was completed in 1906. The destruction of Dartmouth Hall was particularly devastating at the time, because the building acted as dormitory, classroom, library, and museum.

The hall caught fire again in 1935, after which renovations were performed to fireproof the building. More photos of the 1904 fire and reconstruction and the fire of 1935 can be found in the Dartmouth College Photo Files.