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.

Photo Files support research into Dartmouth ice hockey jersey history

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On February 13, the Valley News published an online article by Dave Bailey exploring the aesthetic history of the Dartmouth men’s ice hockey team’s jerseys. Inspired by the introduction of a new alternate jersey this year, the article features an image gallery comparing the team’s various jersey designs dating back to the 1928-29 season. Bailey acknowledges the Digital Library Program’s Photographic Files image collection as a source “invaluable to [his] research”. View more of the history of hockey at Dartmouth, or learn about other topics of your choice, by exploring the Photo Files collection yourself!

Inglourious Nitrates

Nitrate film, or nitrocellulose, is a highly combustible material that was used in commercial film production in the first half of the twentieth century. Several theater fires, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people, have been attributed to it. Quentin Tarantino used it as a plot device in his 2009 alternate-history WWII movie Inglourious Basterds (spoiler alert): a Jewish cinema proprietor gets her revenge on an assemblage of Nazi leaders (including Hitler) by igniting a collection of nitrate film. Given that it is prone to spontaneous combustion as it deteriorates, nitrate film is not a material that most libraries and archives want sitting around in their collections, despite its utility in disposing of Nazis.

Recently, the Digital Library Program embarked on a project to digitize a collection of  negatives held at Rauner Library that we suspected might contain nitrate film (as well as acetate safety film, which replaced nitrate film around 1950). Given the potentially hazardous nature of the materials, our process has several steps. The negatives are stored in our Preservation freezer; keeping nitrates at low temperatures has been shown to inhibit combustion. We digitize the negatives according to a process similar to our other workflows: the items are defrosted, accession numbers are assigned, images are captured

with the scanner, metadata from the negatives’ envelopes are associated with the image files, and the materials are returned to the freezer, to be discarded eventually.

The objective of the project is to preserve the content of the original materials. We’re finding images similar to those in our photo files: campus buildings, sporting events, fraternity and student organization formals, New Hampshire landscapes, and portraits of faculty and administrators. Nitrate film was prized for its depth of detail and the luminosity of the silver emulsion.

A box of negatives, ready to be processed.

A box of negatives, ready to be processed.

A negative viewed on the lightbox

A negative viewed on the lightbox

Wes Benash examines a negative. Note the nitrile gloves.

Digital Library Program staff member Wes Benash examines a negative. Note the nitrile gloves.

A music professor. Note the contrast and detail.

A music professor. Note the contrast and detail.

The Tuck School campus. Many of the negatives show similar damage.

The Tuck School campus. Many of the negatives show similar damage.

A landscape, possibly the summit of Mt Cardigan.

A landscape, possibly the summit of Mt Cardigan.

A picnic? An outing? Note the lady with the camera in the foreground.

A picnic? An outing? Note the lady with the camera in the foreground.

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.

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Jacob Nunnemacher skiing 1941

Pictured above is Jacob Nunnemacher, Class of 1942. The image comes from a folder titled, “Ski Teams, Captains.” Our collection of ski team photos is extensive, and this image jumped out at me when I read the words “Killed in Italy” scrawled on the back. Nunnemcher was the Captain of the Dartmouth Ski Team and served in the Army 10th Mountain Division in World War II. He was killed in Torre Iussi, Italy during the Riva Ridge assault of April 1945. Nunnemacher Cabin is named in his honor.

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.

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Bobcat in the snow, date unknown

Pictured above is the North American bobcat, known as Lynx Rufus or Felis Rufus, from a folder labeled “Animals.” The photo was taken by Professor C. Morse, date unknown. “Kevin,” you say, “don’t you known that the habitats of the bobcat and Canadian Lynx overlap? How can you be sure that the animal pictured above is of the species you claim?” An excellent point, to which I reply, “have you considered that although similar in weight, the Canadian Lynx has longer legs and ears tufts?” I’m no lynx expert, but that looks like a bobcat to me.

According to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, bobcat numbers reached historic lows in the state in the 1970s as the result of two hundred years of unregulated hunting. The department closed bobcat hunting and trapping seasons in 1989, and signs indicate that bobcat populations have returned to healthy levels. Harvest of the bobcat remains closed in New Hampshire to this day, but continues with regulation in Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

Video: Dartmouth Vietnam Project

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Go behind the scenes of The Dartmouth Vietnam Project (DVP), a collaboration between the Dartmouth College Library and the History Department, through a new promotional video.

Since 2014, the DVP has trained students in the art and method of oral history, preparing them to conduct interviews with members of the Dartmouth community who experienced the Vietnam War era. Interviews are recorded, transcribed, and added to the oral history collection at Rauner Special Collections Library. To date, the DVP has produced 95 interviews that capture a pivotal moment in U.S. history from the perspectives of military veterans, anti-war activists, civil servants, educators, and more. For a look at the DVP so far (including some familiar Library faces, places, and collections), watch the 7-minute video.

The video is a creation of the Media Production Group and student Media Makers, with support from DCAL’s Experiential Learning Initiative.

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.

 

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Woman and child walking in the rain ca. 1954

This photo comes from a folder labeled “Hanover Streets, South Main 4.” Writing on the back of the image indicates that the photo was taken ca. 1954. It depicts a woman and child walking on a rainy day. Campion’s Clothing Store and the Hanover Inn can be seen in the background.

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.

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Bread delivery by rowboat 1932

Shown above is an image from the folder titled “Floods.” Notes on the back of the image indicate that it was taken in 1932 and depicts a bread delivery by rowboat. In September of that year, New Hampshire was hit by a record-breaking 7.8 inches of rain over the course of a single day.

New England was plagued by several nasty floods in the first half of the twentieth century, including the 1936 “Flood of the Century” which put Nashua, NH, underwater and did millions of dollars in damage across the region.

More images of New Hampshire floods can be found in the Dartmouth Photographic Files Collection.