Full of Hot Air

This paper lantern balloon from the 1888 Presidential campaign of Benjamin Harrison and his running mate Levi Morton was a common form of campaign advertising ephemera in the 1870s and 80s. Used in evening torchlight parades, the balloon was formed over a wire frame on the end of a long stick with an oil lantern inside. Needless to say, this combination of paper and flame (and their close proximity to one another) virtually ensured the future rarity of these lanterns, if not the short lived terror of the bearer of the stick should a breeze blow unfavorably.

One segment of the balloon has the bastardized slogan “Tippecanoe and Morton too,” a play on Benjamin Harrison’s father’s successful 1840 campaign for the Presidency in which “Tippecanoe and Tyler too” became a famous slogan and song. Benjamin Harrison, who lost the popular vote, but won the electoral college, would have considerably more luck than his father in carrying out the duties of the highest office of the land. William Henry Harrison died a mere 30 days after his famously long inauguration speech in inclement weather. The log cabin motif was also meant to harken back to William Henry Harrison’s portrayal of himself as a rugged and frugal frontier everyman despite his genteel southern upbringing and wealth.

With both the Republican and Democratic conventions upon us it bears remembering, while we watch two wealthy urban candidates attempt to manufacture a common man appeal, that there is nothing new under the sun where politics are concerned.

This lantern, as well as a number of other pieces spanning the years 1841 to 1973, is currently on display in the Class of 1965 Galleries in Rauner Library as part of an exhibit on political campaigns and political action.

You can find the lantern and other interesting campaign materials in the the Ralph E. and William W. Becker Collection of American Political Campaign Materials.

Our Community of Scientists

Kresge Library is celebrating the accomplishments and activities of the various physical, mathematical, and computer sciences departments that we serve on campus. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed their photos for this presentation. If you have photos to share for our next slideshow, please send them to us! We look forward to another great year!

Filed under: Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, For Fun, Math, Physics, Publishing, Science

Inhabitants Inside the Earth!

In the mid-19th century, when urban dwellers in the United States began to venture into nature for the sake of relaxation rather than conquest, the White Mountains offered an obtainable, yet nicely civilized destination. Once there, tourists were welcomed into luxurious hotels surrounded by breathtaking views and enlivening hikes. They were also met by local color looking for a good audience.

John Merrill was a eccentric tour guide. He set up in Franconia Notch on “The Pool” where he would entertain tourists by showing them the sights and explaining his theories. Boston Rare Maps did some research and found this from the November 1867 Yale Literary Magazine:

Here is an old man in a barge, into which you enter, and he paddles you around the narrow circuit of the Pool. When you have reached the side toward the Falls, where the water is from twenty to thirty feet deep, but clear as crystal, he begins to unfold to you his favorite theory; (for you must know that, in his own estimation at least, the old man is quite a philosopher;) that the earth is a hollow sphere, inhabited on the inside, as well as the outside. He maintains his position by arguments entirely original and irrefutable; has an answer ready for every question, and seeks to proselyte you. He reads a letter he pretends to have received from Queen Victoria,-which here I insert.

Merrill issued the letter as a broadside, Royal Despatch of Her Majesty to Hon. John Merrill, Flume House, N.H. (East Canaan: G. F. Kimball, Printer, [1857]), perhaps to hand out to converts, or perhaps to sell for support of his theories.

We have two variations of the broadside–one containing another letter by Louis Napoleon.  Come judge the validity yourself by asking for Rauner Broadside 001457 or visiting the Pool and looking into its depths.

Preservation Statistics

As you’re hopefully aware (maybe thanks to this blog), Preservation Services performs a wide variety of activities to ensure the long-term preservation of the library’s collections, from circulating and non-circulating collections conservation to film assessment and commercial binding. What you may not know is that we also keep detailed statistics on all of the activities performed, to help us assess and evaluate our services and plan for the future.

Until 2009, we and all of the preservation departments among ARL libraries (that’s the Association of Research Libraries) contributed our statistics to a collective preservation statistics report, which ARL gathered and put together each year. For many years, this annual document was a helpful resource for observing how preservation activities change over time, both within and across institutions. It was also useful to be able to compare the size, focus, and specific activities of preservation departments at various research libraries. Unfortunately, in 2009 the ARL Board decided to cease collection of preservation statistics.

However, Preservation Services still plans to gather statistics on our activities, because we find it helpful for our own ongoing review and assessment processes. What kinds of statistics do we keep? Well, here’s just a sample of what we gathered from the past fiscal year:

A summary of our statistics is always included in our department’s annual report, so although we won’t be contributing this year’s stats to ARL, they are still available for other libraries and preservation departments who are interested in sharing data. And we hope that ARL or another organization will come out with a new aggregation of preservation statistics soon!

Written by Helen Bailey.

The Mating Habits of Unicorns

In 1671, publisher and writer John Ogilby created a compendium of all relevant information about the New World. In true 17th-century form, the title boasts of the book’s expansive mission: America: Being the Latest, and Most Accurate Description of the New World; Containing the Original of the Inhabitants, and the Remarkable Voyages thither, the Conquest of the Vast Empires of Mexico and Peru, and other Large Provinces and Territories, with Several European Plantations in those Parts. Also Their Cities, Fortresses, Towns, Temples, Mountains, and Rivers. Their Habits, Customs, Manners, and Religions. Their Plants, Beasts, Birds, and Serpents. With an Appendix containing, besides several other considerable Additions, a brief Survey of what hath been discovered of the Unknown South-Land and the Arctick Region (London, 1671). Ogilby never traveled to the New World, so the book is based on travel accounts he had read (“Collected from most Authentick Authors”).

The book is full of awesome weirdness. You can just picture Ogilby in London trying to sort out the various accounts to determine what was real, what was not, and what might help sell books. One account he found compelling enough to reproduce as fact, and even illustrate, was a description of a “strange beast” living on the borders of Canada. It “hath some resemblance with a Horse, having cloven feet, shaggy Mayn, one Horn just on their forehead, a tail like that of a wild Hog, black Eyes, and a Deers Neck.” Observers not only saw this mythical beast, they were able to note its strange habits:

…it feeds in the nearest Wildernesses: the Males never come amongst the Females except at the time when they Couple, after which they grow so ravenous, that they not only devour other Beasts, but also one another.

Come see for yourself by asking for McGregor 129 (the unicorn is on page 173).

The Evans Map Room in Action!

Maps created in the Evans Map Room have been featured in a couple of stories. From The Dartmouth student paper in a story by Tyler Bradford, Admiral William Fallon is talking about the United States foreign policy in the Middle East. The map he is using to illustrate his talk was created in the map room. The President’s Office needed a map of the Middle East and we created it from one of the base maps in ArcGIS.

Courtesy of Tyler Bradford & The Dartmouth

Professor James Stanford of the Linguistics Department was featured in a story on VPR.

He is standing in front of a poster Dennis Grady created. Professor Stanford came to the map room for help mapping points around the states of New Hampshire and Vermont. He provided the information for the points and we mapped them. You can also see one of four maps created in the map room.


Oooh… Salty

If you didn’t make it to the beach this summer, we have the book for you. Maggie Puckett’s Salty reeks of the ocean even though it was printed in Chicago. For the most part, it is an artist’s book of blank pages, but they are imbued with meaning… and salt.  It was an experiment as part of the artist’s work at Columbia College’s Center for Book and Paper Arts.

The artist’s statement tells readers that “To experience Salty you must lick it.” it goes on to explain:

The salty taste of the paper, embedded with extra coarse sea salt and produced in salty water, is meant to mimic the experience of tasting seawater.

Salty was created out of a desire to experiment with paper made in seawater. The salt may affect the paper’s archival qualities, but suggests an alternative source of water for papermaking studios located in drought-stricken but coastal area.

The book is bound using dried squid tentacles. We gave it a lick to see what the experience would be. It was not pleasant. To be true to the book’s purpose we will allow visitors to take a taste if they dare. Salt is a powerful preservative, so we think the salt in the paper will wipe out most germs, but it is taste at your own risk.

Close up of the paper

We are in the process of cataloging the book, but the record will eventually be located here. Once it is ready, come in and give it a taste, or just hold it up and smell the sea.

Help Around the Corner

Without the department of Shipping and Receiving, what would we do? They are responsible for delivering all the unique supplies we order in Preservation Services, such as big heavy pallets of binder’s board and cartons of heavy paper. On the two occasions that we hosted the Guild of Book Workers traveling exhibit, we were the last venue and therefore we had to send each book back to the binder. Every address had to be entered into the shipping database and with Jim Guay at the helm everything got shipped out without a glitch. He even helped us pack up some of the more tricky-to-pack items!

Shipping and receiving is just around the corner and down the hall, which is very convenient as they are also responsible for picking up books and delivering them to other locations in the library system. So whenever we can be of assistance to Jim we do our best.

Recently as part of our goodwill mission to the College we created a portfolio to house a historic print of the Dartmouth campus for the visit of Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga on behalf of the President’s office.

President of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga Visits Dartmouth
President of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga visits Dartmouth.

Soon after her visit, Jim told us that the President’s office needed help to ship the print to Kosovo. He of course obliged and then we of course helped as well. Below is the series of steps made to package this special item.

The portfolio was placed inside a custom-made 20-point wrapper.

We sandwiched the portfolio in its wrapper between two sheets of oversized binders board.

Then we used lots of plastic wrap to fully seal the item. This was wrapped in both directions.

We added extra plastic to further reinforce the corners.

All sealed with extra padding!

Next we placed a few layers of bubble wrap into a box base and wrapped more around the item.

Then we adjusted the box for a perfect fit, paying extra attention to the corners and fine tuning the box dimensions.

Just enough room for some more padding, tucked in tightly around the item.

Then Jim taped the box together, using lots of tape to make sure it stays in good shape on the journey.

All dressed up and ready to go.

We are more than happy to help the staff of Shipping and Receiving, especially when it comes to packing delicate objects. This item was shipped and well-received!

Written by Deborah Howe.

Aleister Crowley – Patriot?

Known best for his involvement in the occult and reputation as the “wickedest man in the world,” Aleister Crowley also appears to have had something of a patriotic streak – or a healthy dose of cynicism and a good command of propaganda technique.

In 1942 Crowley penned a short poem called La Gauloise. Subtitled “The Song of the Free French” the piece praised the courage and determination of the members of the French Resistance. Eventually used by the BBC as lyrics for a patriotic song, it was a none too subtle call to continue the struggle against the Nazis and a reminder that England and France were united in purpose and spirit – at least in this war. It’s ironic that Crowley, given his public persona, could seemingly be so moved by a sentiment not overtly self-serving and with no apparent personal reward. True feeling or not?

Also included on the title page is the phrase Createur de signe V which references Crowley’s claim to have invented the famous gesture, used by Winston Churchill and others, as a counter to the swastika symbol.

Our copy is the second edition (also published in 1942) and the subtitle is slightly modified to “The Song of the Fighting French.”  Ask for Rauner Rare Book PR 6005 .R7 G3.

So You’re Thinking About Writing a Systematic Review…Library Grand Rounds, September 11, 2012

When:  Tuesday, September 11,
Noon – 1:00 PM
Where:  Auditorium E, DHMC
Presenters:  Karen Odato, Heather Blunt – Research & Education Librarians, Biomedical Libraries

Writing systematic reviews is not for the faint of heart; it’s an elaborate process. At this Library Grand Rounds we will:

  • identify the steps in the systematic review process.
  •  review the timeline and other resources necessary to complete the project.
  •  explore standards for systematic review development, including PRISMA, Cochrane, and the Institute of Medicine.
  •  review how reference management software (e.g., EndNote or Refworks) can organize the process.
  •  discuss how the librarian can help.

There will be time for discussion and answering questions.


Please join us!  No registration is necessary.

If you are unable to attend the Grand Rounds at DHMC, you can view the presentation live or at another time on the web. To view this Grand Rounds, at the time of the presentation:

For more information: 603-650-4967

Library Grand Rounds are a forum for presenting information resources and tools of interest to Dartmouth clinicians. Please contact us biomedical.libraries.education@dartmouth.edu, if you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future Library Grand Rounds.