The Library Gets Shadowed!

Students compare notes on rare books at Rauner Library

Students compare notes on rare books at Rauner Library

Several parts of the Library were ‘shadowed’ last Thursday by some engaged, lively 8th grade students as part of the Upper Valley Business & Education Partnership (UVBEP)’s Job Shadow Day outreach effort, coordinated on campus by the Office of Human Resources. Rauner Special Collections Library, Kresge Physical Sciences Library, and the Library’s Acquisitions Department put together two programs and hosted five students altogether.

Students visiting Rauner Library toured the stacks, where they met Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and handled first editions of Dr. Seuss’s children’s books. They also learned how materials come into the library and are prepared for research use, and then participated in several classroom exercises using primary sources from the archives, rare book collections, and manuscript holdings.

Students completed an Earth Day exhibit at Kresge Library

Students completed an Earth Day exhibit at Kresge Library

Other students started the morning at Kresge Physical Sciences Library, where they researched the Library’s holdings for books related to Earth Day, ordered a book or two for the Library and used Kresge’s circulation system to check books out to create an Earth Day exhibit. They then headed over to Acquisitions, where they processed the online book orders they’d placed in Kresge; unpacked a box of newly arrived books, checking them against the invoice for accuracy; and entered a book in the Library’s acquisitions module. Students also toured the Cataloging & Metadata and Preservation Departments, learning about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ work needed before a book arrives at the Library’s New Books display. A visit to the Evans Map Room rounded out the morning.

Thanks for visiting us, JSD students! We had a great time with you and you all did a great job mirroring some of our work in the Dartmouth Library. See you next year!

Staff Snapshot: Barbara DeFelice, MALS ’99

Barbara DeFeliceWith interest in DartmouthX growing across campus, Dartmouth Now has featured Barbara DeFelice, the Library’s director of Digital Resources and Scholarly Communication Programs, in this week’s “Staff Snapshot” column. Barbara describes her work as part of the environmental science MOOC team and underlines the challenges of providing good content in an open environment. Read the full article. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

 

Sarah Smith To Be Printer in Residence at University of Otago (NZ)

We’re pleased to announce that Sarah Smith has been selected to be the 2016 Printer in Residence at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.  Sarah is the Book Arts Special Instructor in our Book Arts Workshop, and during Spring Term 2015 is teaching a class in Dartmouth’s Studio Arts department. Photo of Sarah Smith

Sarah will begin her 6-week residency in Dunedin in August 2016, and will be located in the Otakou Press Room in the University of Otago Library. This prestigious residency has run since 2003, and includes the production of a limited edition book. For more information see Overview of The Printer in Residence at the University of Otago.

You can see examples of Sarah’s work at her website, Olfactory Press.

We look forward to this residency strengthening a growing partnership between the Otago Book Arts program and ours.

Paddock Music Library’s Recent Renovation

Paddock After

 


 

Over winter break, Paddock Music Library’s lounge/media area received a much-needed renovation.

Paddock BeforeTo the right is our lounge as it was from 1986 to December 2014. The space was rather cramped and poorly lit with 16 small carrels (not in view here) and dated furniture. You can see, too, that our windows had wired glass that gave the place a more confined feeling.

We sent out a survey to students to ask what sort of improvements they wanted to see. We found that they wanted study tables, comfortable furniture, enhanced lighting, and laptop plug-ins.

In mid-December the contractors set to work on the initial destruction phase of renovation. We took out the arch, the knee walls, and the study carrels to open up the area.

DSC03247DSC03245

Then came new carpet and brighter paint for the walls and ceilings, as well as much appreciated LED lighting. Warm gold and turquoise were certainly an improvement from the dated color scheme we had before.

In fact, we loved the new colors so much that we had the whole front section of the library repainted as well. The gold paint has offered our circulation area a touch of sun in this underground space.

The completed new area now includes:

  • a large study table wired for Ethernet ports and outlets
  • a journal display shelf adorned above with posters that complement the colors of the space
  • spacious study carrels with adequate lighting and a listening station
  • comfortable lounge chairs surrounding a coffee table

The room was nearly complete by mid-January. We needed to wait until the first week of February to receive all of the furniture.

Students WorkingStudents certainly appreciate the improvements—we have seen an uptick of students using the newly renovated study space.

Library Teaching Quarterly: WI15

Keeping you up to date with Library teaching and outreach activities.

Digital and Discoverable
by Mitchell Jacobs ’14, Edward Connery Lathem ’51 Digital Library Intern

Mitchell Jacobs '14, Edward Connery Lathem '51 Digital Library Intern

Mitchell making the Library’s digital collections more discoverable.

Not everyone at Dartmouth knows that the library hosts numerous online, open-access digital collections. (Right here!) Which means researchers and hobbyists around the world probably don’t know either. Nowadays, most people’s first stops for information are Wikipedia and Google, and building a presence in these highly competitive spaces is more important than ever. Since enhancing Wikipedia pages with links to our collections, I’ve seen over 50 new users this month from Wikipedia alone, in particular to William Scott’s books on the Homeric simile. I’ve also been spreading the word within the library about how to modify webpages to rank highly in search engine results, with plans to hold a workshop on this as well as on Wikipedia editing.

Jones Media Center Partners with Latino Studies and Native American Studies Programs for Heritage Month Celebrations
by Gavin Huang ’14, Jones Memorial Digital Media Intern

Jones Media Center Celebrates Latino Heritage Month

Jones Media Center Celebrates Latino Heritage Month

Dartmouth celebrated Latino Heritage Month and Native American Heritage Month in October and November, respectively. During the two months, the Jones Media Center highlighted films in its collection by filmmakers of both backgrounds. I worked with professors in the Latino Studies and Native American Studies Programs to select a diverse range of films that explore the histories of both groups. The selection included documentaries, comedies, and dramas to illustrate the richness of cultural production by Latino and Native American filmmakers. The films were featured on screens throughout the library, as well as on the Jones Media Center’s look-up kiosks, where patrons could browse through the curated films.

Increasing Access to Spanish Language Materials in Special Collections
by Maria Fernandez ’14, Edward Connery Lathem ’51 Special Collections Intern

Bryant Spanish Collection in the Library of Dartmouth College

Bryant Spanish Collection in the Library of Dartmouth College

This winter I began conducting a survey of Spanish language materials in special collections with Jill Baron, the Librarian for Romance Languages and Latin American Studies. Based on the outcomes of the survey, we will create a research guide to facilitate access to relevant special collections material for students and faculty. One of our objectives is to highlight the extensive holdings relating to the history of Arabic influence in Spain, Jews in Spanish society, and Spanish exploration of the Americas that can be found within the Bryant Spanish Collection. Another collection that we are surveying is the Don Quixote Collection, which consists of nearly two thousand volumes of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s Don Quixote de la Mancha. The fundamental aim of our project is to increase awareness of and facilitate access to Spanish language materials in special collections for students and faculty.

Baker Tower
Editor: Laura Barrett

The Splendor Solis

Splendor1 Splendor2
The Splendor Solis is one of the most beautifully illuminated alchemical manuscripts. The original manuscript of this facsimile is in the British Museum, and dated 1582. The earliest version of this text is considered to be the manuscript in the Kupferstichkabinett in the Prussian State Museum in Berlin, which is dated 1532-35. The Splendor Solis manuscript, which is illuminated on vellum, with decorative borders, beautifully painted and heightened with gold, is perhaps the most visually stunning.

The work itself consists of a sequence of twenty two images, set within highly ornamental borders. The symbolic images depict alchemical death and rebirth, and incorporate a series of seven flasks, each associated with one of the planets. Within the flasks a process is shown involving the transformation of bird and animal symbols into figures of a Queen and King, symbolizing the white and the red tincture. The imagery appears to have been influenced by the earlier Pretiosissimum Donum Dei or The Most Precious Gift of God, an earlier work consisting of twelve images depicting the transformation of white & red stones, often represented by the figures of a queen and a king. This work is thought to have first been appeared as a manuscript in 1475

The Splendor Solis has been associated with the legendary alchemist Salomon Trismosin, allegedly the teacher of Paracelsus, the great renaissance physician, astrologer, botanist and alchemist, although many scholars refute this attribution. The manuscript text was later published with woodcut illustrations, in the Aureum Vellus oder Guldin Schatz und Kunst-kammer, 1598, which was reprinted a number of times. Rauner Special Collections has a French translation, entitled La Toyson d’or, ou la fleur des thresors [QD25 .T751 1612] published in Paris in 1612, with a number of very fine engravings, some of which were hand-colored.
The original manuscript in the British Library can be viewed at the link below

http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=harley_ms_3469_fs001r

The facsimile is in the Sherman Art Library Special Collection, ND3399 .T75 2010

Richard Miller Curates Folk Art Exhibition in NYC

Richard Miller, our library colleague from Baker-Berry Access Services, is the curator of the exhibition A Shared Legacy: Folk Art in America, currently on view at the American Folk Art Museum in New York City through March 8, 2015.  The show will travel nationwide over the next two years.

A Shared Legacy: Folk Art in America offers a stunning presentation of American folk art made primarily in rural areas of New England, the Midwest, and the South between 1800 and 1920. More than sixty works of art, including still-life, landscape, allegorical, and portrait paintings, commercial and highly personal sculpture, and distinctive examples of art from the German-American community exemplify the breadth of American creative expression by individuals who did not always adhere to the academic models that established artistic taste in urban centers of the East Coast.”

Game Board image

GAME BOARD, Artist unidentified, American Folk Art Museum, New York City

You can read more about his exhibit in this New York Times article.

Richard has also written for the Rauner blog:  The Dartmouth Medal and A Story of Crime, Punishment and Redemption Torn from the Headlines!

His contributed essays and catalog entries include:

  • Expressions of Eloquence and Innocence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana Vols. I & II (Yale, 2006 and 2011)
  • Encyclopedia of New England (Yale, 2005)
  • Encyclopedia of American Folk Art (Routledge, 2004)
  • American Naïve Paintings (National Gallery of Art, 1992)

Richard has three articles forthcoming on American art and decorative arts topics. We’ll be sure to let you know when those are published.

Mourning Charlie Hebdo (and why collecting historical newspapers matters)

ATTENTAT-CHARLIE-550

You’ve probably heard the news this morning.  As editors for Charlie Hebdo met for their weekly Wednesday morning meeting today, January 7, 2015, at least two armed intruders wielding automatic rifles opened fire in the satirical newspaper’s offices in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, killing twelve of the newspaper’s employees. Among the dead are Charlie Hebdo’s editorial director, Charb, and cartoonists Cabu, Wolinski and Tignous. French President François Hollande is calling this a “terrorist attack.” It is also without a doubt an attack on freedom of speech. This is not the first time that the Charlie Hebdo has come under attack. In 2011, the offices of Charlie Hebdo were firebombed for having published a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.  Nor is it completely out of the ordinary for French newspapers to raise ire, as this timeline from Le Monde “50 years of attacks against the French media” shows. However, today’s attack is certainly the deadliest.

Since the early 1970s, Charlie Hebdo has occupied a place in the radical left of the French media, publishing news and cartoons that are both humorous and harshly critical of current events. This past summer, prompted by the recommendation of Assistant Professor of French Lucas Hollister, the library acquired the entire back run of the first iteration of Charlie Hebdo, including all issues published from 1970-1981. Hollister saw the value in students having first-hand access to this highly visual representation of politics and culture in France in the 1970s. Few libraries in North America have such complete holdings from the first generation of Charlie Hebdo, and this acquisition offers an opportunity for students and faculty to examine this important voice in the satirical press.  It also reminds us of the singular role that academic libraries and archives serve in preserving and providing access to marginalized voices from around the world.

Dartmouth’s complete holdings of Charlie Hebdo are on Berry Lower Level: http://libcat.dartmouth.edu/record=b6039147~S1

Memories of Blake ’08, Part I

Tucked into the pages of his cumbersome and crumbling “mem book,” which now resides in the Rauner Special Collections Library, lies Francis Gilman Blake’s hand-drawn map of an expedition through the New Hampshire wilderness, annotated with the details of each day’s travel and a branch plucked from the slopes of Mt. Washington. While the practice of scrap-booking at Dartmouth has since been replaced by other hobbies and interests, the Rauner Library has preserved some of the books created by students from the early twentieth century.

Although simplistic in their detail, Blake’s illustrations of the mountains prove stunningly accurate in their physical relationship to each other. The mountains are carefully spaced and aligned, yet they are not drawn from a bird’s-eye view like a traditional map, but from a perspective on the horizon, evoking a deeply personal recollection of the landscape. In terms of geographic orientation however, Blake only offers his audience a single winding line through a series of mountains and towns. But to someone familiar with the mountains, trails, and roads of the region, Blake’s map tells an incredibly vivid and personal story of adventure. The map therefore serves not as a geographical tool, but as an experiential guide. In terms of absolute place and geography it is meaningless, but as a relative measure of place within a shared context, it tells a story more detailed and intimate than any cartographer could draft.

While miles and locations ordinarily serve as measures of distance and place, juxtaposed in this context they convey a measurement of relative time. Blake’s itinerary provides a list of the mountains and mileage that tells not only of where he went, but also of the fast pace and strenuous nature of the hike, allowing those familiar with these steep slopes an intimate perspective on the passing of the journey. Over one hundred years later, these chronological clues prove much more valuable than the dates that accompany them. Notions of absolute time have become lost over the decades, but Blake has preserved these episodes by grounding them in a relative context that survives today.

Blake’s book ends at over one hundred pages, weighs as much as a large dictionary, and holds various large objects between its pages including entire flowers, small books, and notably a 108 year-old pretzel. These characteristics suggest that Blake never intended this book to travel, or even to be opened on a regular basis. Without a title page, cohesive structure, or labels for many of the photographs, Blake’s intended audience likely comprises a small group of those quite familiar to him and his experiences.  This conclusion, drawn from the physical nature of the book, is supported by his uses of time and place within a shared context. Perhaps the chief member of Blake’s audience is his future self, the individual best equipped to unravel the relative contexts of his maps. Blake’s audience is limited only by a reader’s willingness and ability to engage these objects outside of their absolute geographical and chronological contexts, the depth of the connection determined by the extent of the shared experience.

Posted for Edward Harvey ’15

The Making of a Multi-Color Linoleum Block Squid

Students and community members can learn how to carve and print relief blocks here in the Book Arts Workshop. Usually we work with linoleum blocks, but wood, rubber (more for rubber stamping than running through a press), Sintra board and other relief printing materials are fair game as well.

This image of a sledding squid came about as a drawing in my sketch book, then became the idea for a simple holiday card. Of course nothing stays simple and it soon became a three-color, three-block linoleum relief print. Here’s a little about how it was created—at least the printing process—where the idea came from is hard to say.

1) The Sketchbook Drawing

Here’s the drawing as it appears in my sketchbook.

2) Draw on Block

First I drew the image in pencil onto a 3 x 5 mounted linoleum block—remembering it had to be backwards or wrong-reading, so it could be right-reading in the print. Since this is a view of a ski hill near our house, I wanted it going downhill to the right—like my view (seems I drew it going the wrong way in my sketchbook!).

Once I had what I wanted, I went over the drawing with ink.

I use a dip pen and ink to draw on my blocks because I like the thick and thin quality of the line, which I follow when carving. A sharpie works nicely too. Best to use a regular tip Sharpie rather than a fine tip because you’ll want to have thicker lines to carve. Very thin lines will be weak in linoleum—and not very forgiving if you don’t have a steady hand.

3) Tone Block

Toning the block makes it easier to see where I’ve carved or not. A thin layer of ink or paint works nicely. There’s drying time involved with ink or paint (oil paint anyway). This time I used a marker that was handy. I ended up liking the color so much that I matched my first print color to it! In this photo you can see where I began carving the block after the toned color dried.

4) Carve Block

I carved the first block making a few decisions and edits to the drawing along the way—carving the lines in the sky, adding the trees at the edge of the hill and other small things. Because it’s a relief print, I cut out all the areas that I didn’t want to print. You can see in this photo I still had some carving on the sled and the snow to do, but it was almost done.

You can use linoleum carving tools like the ones Speedball sells or you can use wood carving tools. For something this small I like to use my set of Dockyard Micro Carving Tools. You can get them online from Woodcraft. Any set of small wood carving v and u gouges should also work well. McClain’s in Portland OR has some really great tools especially for print-makers. Here are the Dockyard Micro Carving Tools.

5) Print First Color

Once my block was carved, leaving the surfaces I wanted to ink and print raised, I printed a proof with my first color.
To print the block I locked it up on the bed of our Vandercook SP15.

I cut my paper so it would be over sized. It’s easier to print a larger sheet of paper on the Vandercook, so I didn’t want to cut my paper to the finished size before printing.
After I printed a proof and carved a few unpleasant stray bits off my image I printed the run of my first color—the dark blue-green.

Usually I would print light colors first, then dark, but after Gaylord Schanilec suggested printing dark to light during a wood engraving class I took with him at Oregon College of Art and Craft this past summer, I thought I’d try it with my linoleum block. The idea is that the build up of inks will create a richer black or dark ink. This works best with transparent inks.

6) Transfer First Block Image to Second Block

When I finished printing the first run and before I cleaned the ink off the block and press I transferred the inked image onto a blank linoleum block of the same size. This would be my guide for carving the block for the next color—the light green-blue. To do this I ran the press over the block without paper, thereby printing the block right onto the mylar we always have around the cylinder of the press as the draw-sheet and part of the packing.

Then I removed the first color block and put the blank block in its place on the press bed. I ran the press over this block, transferring the ink from the mylar to the uncarved block.

I carefully took the inked, uncarved block off the press and set it aside to dry over night.

7) Carve Second Color Block

With the image transferred onto the new block, I traced with a sharpie where I wanted my new color to be in relation to the already printed first color. In other words, I traced around the snow, the cloud, inside the squid’s eye and just delineated everywhere I wanted the new color and where I didn’t want it. Then I carved just as I did before to create the block for the new color.

In this photo you can see this step as I did it for the third color block.

Here it is printed by itself so you can get an idea of what I carved and left raised to print.

The ink is a rubber-based ink with quite a bit of transparent base (or transparent white) mixed in with color I made. The transparent base is like the ink without the pigment-just transparent goo. This makes for a lighter, transparent color.

8) Print Second Color

I set up the second block in the same exact position on the press bed as the first block. I had to break down the press in between runs, so I made careful notes and measurements of where everything was before taking apart my lock-up. It also helps to take pictures to make it easier to rebuild the lock-up. With everything in place I made a proof—admired my work and removed the unwanted bits. Once I had what I wanted I printed the second color.

9) Transfer First Block Again

To prepare for the third color block I transferred ink from the first block onto another blank uncarved block. The block that prints the darkest color and most detail is called the “key block”—in this case it was the first block. I wanted to use the key block to guide me in my carving for the third color because it had the most information or detail. I think for this print the second block would have worked well to transfer from too, but that’s not always the case.

10) Carve Third Block Color

Once I had the image on the third block, I was able to carve away everything but the squid where I wanted the pinkish color to be. Here’s a picture of all three carved blocks.

I considered leaving some block raised under the squid so there would be a pinkish shadow under him on the toboggan, but decided against it. I think the squid “pops” more without it. I also debated on whether I wanted to have his suction cups pink or white. To make them white I would have to carve out those little spots again, like I did on the first block. In the end I decided to carve just a tiny bit of those spots out, so there would be a small white highlight on the suction cups. When the blocks are registered perfectly (lined up perfectly) these highlights work great!

Here’s what just the third color block looks like printed by itself.

You may be wondering how I got such a fabulous squid-pink. Again I used transparent base to make a transparent color. I also used a bit of Rhodomine red, Pantone yellow, Irish Mint green (we have a lot of dark green here!), a good amount of the mixed light blue I used for the second block and probably some other things. It was a bit of a potion, but just what I wanted.

11) Print Third Color

Having gotten everything set in the same place again (block, paper, paper guides, furniture), I printed the third color. I’m particularly excited by the highlights and areas where all three colors are visible. All in all it looks like a happy squid.

Written by Sarah Smith