Dartmouth in the Rose Bowl?

In 1937, Dartmouth was a major college football powerhouse and was invited to play Cal in the Rose Bowl on January 1st–and Dartmouth turned it down. It is hard to imagine both sides of that sentence: Dartmouth invited to the Rose Bowl? A major college football program turning down “the granddaddy of them all”? Presumably the payout wasn’t quite the equivalent of the $22.3 million that Wisconsin and Stanford will reportedly each collect for participating this year.

Dartmouth went undefeated in 1937 with six wins and two ties. According to the 1938 Aegis, “pre-season predictions of the gridsters went no further than the term ‘dark-horse,'” but the team made up for scant experience with speed and strength.

President Ernest Hopkins response to the Rose Bowl invitation is a testament to his view of student athletes:

To carry our football season over until the first of the year and end it up with the distractions of a jaunt across the continent and return, would force us into the position where all members of the team would be penalized in lower grades, which they inevitably would get and which might endanger the academic standing of some of them, or else put us into the position of having to extend special privilege to members of the team in the consideration which should be given to them.

In other words, it might hurt the young men’s studies.  The same year, Hopkins declined an offer by the Chicago Bears to play a benefit game for Chicago’s Hull House at Wrigley or Soldier Field.

Interestingly, the school’s worry about the disruptive nature of post season athletics did not carry over to other sports: in 1942, Dartmouth reached the finals of the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

To see the letters, ask for the “Athletics” file from DP-11, Box 6980.

Not "A Christmas Carol"

Everybody knows the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the three ghosts of Christmas whose visitations cause the former miser and all around misanthrope to reform. The other novellas of Christmas penned by Charles Dickens have not stood the test of time as well, perhaps due to lack of such memorable characters like old Mr. Fezziwig.

The first followup to A Christmas Carol (London: Chapman & Hall, 1843) was The Chimes (London: Chapman and Hall, 1845). Despite the inevitable happy ending, this story is a bleaker, more pointed critique of social issues of the 1840s. The goblins in the tale offer the main character glimpses of his family’s potential future – each an illustration of how seemingly good people can become trapped in a cycle of evil.

The Cricket On The Hearth (London: Bradbury and Evans, 1846) is the third in the sequence. After several trials and tribulations, the spirit of the hearth cricket reminds the various characters of their potential for good and the futility of suspecting the worst of others.

The Battle Of Life (London: Bradbury & Evans, 1846) omits the supernatural elements of the first three tales and instead focuses on the selfless acts of the daughters of the cynical Doctor Jeddler. Their devotion and caring brings about a change in his view of the world.

The final novella is The Haunted Man And The Ghost’s Bargain (London: Bradbury & Evans, 1848). In this story, Dickens reenlists the aid of a supernatural entity to bring about the redemption of the main character whose initial bargain with his ghostly double to remove all painful memories brings calamity on all others he interacts with as they are also shorn of any unwanted thoughts, leaving them thoughtless and cruel. The lost memories and human feeling of all are returned through the inherent goodness of Milly Swidger whose own painful memories are the source of her benevolence.

Ask for Rare Book PR 4557 .C58 1843 (A Christmas Carol), Rare Book PR 4557 .C5 1845 (The Chimes), Rare Book PR 4572 .C78 1846 (The Cricket On The Hearth), Val 826 D55 O53 (The Battle Of Life), and Rare Book PR 4557 .H3 1848 (The Haunted Man and The Ghost’s Bargain).

8 Math Talks to Blow Your Mind

We may all be going on holiday break, but if you are like me, learning does not stop. This new list of TED math talks are both educational and fun to watch. You needn’t be a mathematician to enjoy them, really ūüôā

Supplemented here are a handful of books from our library collection or other content that is written by the video presenters.

Ron Eglash
African fractals : modern computing and indigenous design
Baker Berry GN650 .E35 1999

Appropriating technology : vernacular science and social power
Feldberg T14.5 .A68 2004

More about Dennis Wildfogel and his video How big is infinity?

Margaret Wertheim
The pearly gates of cyberspace : a history of space from Dante to the Internet
Baker Berry Cook QA76.9.C66 W48 1999

Physics on the fringe : smoke rings, circlons, and alternative theories of everything
Kresge QC20 .W46 2011

Pythagoras’ trousers : God, physics, and the gender wars
Kresge QC19.6 .W47 1995

Mandelbrot – Way too many library books to list

And for something to read and most of the libraries are closed, check out Kresge’s popular science collection of books on the shelf or browse it online.

Congratulations, Stephanie!

It is with great pleasure I announce that Stephanie Wolff has been promoted to Assistant Conservator. A major responsibility of this new position is to be the conservation digital liaison, which will manage workflow and treatment assessment for conservation work needed in response to digital projects. In addition Stephanie will be further integrated into the evaluation and treatment of special collections material.

Stephanie joined Preservation Services full time in May of 2006. Since then she has trained numerous students to perform routine conservation treatments and has treated extensively, items from special collections. In 2011 she received her MALS degree from Dartmouth, with her studies focusing on ‚Äúthe book‚ÄĚ. In addition to her preservation duties, she is an instructor in the Book Arts Workshop.

Please join me in congratulating Stephanie.
Written by Deborah Howe.

Nature Printing

Natural history in the nineteenth century strove to describe and classify everything in the living world. Museums were bulging at the seams with specimens and catalogs listing and illustrating classes of life proliferated. For some in the field, traditional illustration techniques were frustratingly inadequate for the level of precision and detail they were after: they wanted to show nature in all of her wonder. We have written before of one obsessive attempt to bring nature into book form with As Nature Shows Them: Moths and Butterflies of the United States which used the cells from butterfly wings to color the images.

We recently acquired a similarly passionate quest for botanical realism: Thomas Moore’s The Ferns of Great Britiain and Ireland (London: Bradbury and Evans, 1855). The book employs a process dubbed “Nature Printing” that involved pressing an actual fern into soft lead then electoplating the impression to create an intaglio printing plate. The fern itself created the illustration and the effect is stunning. The book appears to be a collection of actual fern pressed into paper, but with colors that have not faded.

Another book in the collection takes this hyper-realism even further. Romeyn Hough’s The American Woods, Exhibited by Actual Specimens and with Copious Explanatory Notes (Lowville: By the Author, 1888-1904) uses 750 paper-thin wood samples carefully mounted in cardboard cards to show the wood grains of hundreds of native trees.

To see a little nature in Rauner, ask for Rare QK527.M8 1855 and Rare SD536.H83.

Research Can Be Essential

The Living Moment coverMy recent book, The Living Moment: Modernism in a Broken World, was published by the Northwestern University Press and was my tenth book. In 2001 the Yale University Press published my Smiling Through the Cultural Catastrophe: Toward the Renewal of Higher Education. Neither of these books could have been written without the research capabilities of the Baker-Berry Library.

Smiling Through the Cultural Catastrophe¬†reflected my experience in teaching Humanities 1-2 at Columbia University. The “catastrophe” was the fact that the founding works of Western civilization are not widely taught in our colleges. My book was based on the paradigm of Western civilization established by Leo Strauss and others: Athens and Jerusalem. The founding epic of Athens was the¬†Iliad; the founding epic of Jerusalem was¬†Exodus. Over the centuries we derived science and philosophy from Athens and religion from Jerusalem. Socrates emerged as the hero of philosophy, Jesus of religion. Neither wrote a word, but what they said has lived; and both were condemned to death.

Ensign Jeffrey Hart, 1953

Ensign Jeffrey Hart upon graduation from Officer Candidate School in 1953, Newport, RI

But without the research capabilities of Baker-Berry I would not have encountered a momentous debate within the Church. In about the year 300 an argument erupted: Clement of Alexandria and Origen maintained that the philosophy of Athens could be useful to the Church, but Tertullian replied that scripture was enough. That Clement and Origen eventually prevailed had profound results over the following centuries. Science could be taught, and scientists could work as teams within Western universities.


Osama bin Laden was an effective but unaware promoter for my book, which appeared in 2001, soon after 9/11. The war of al Qaeda was a jihad against Western culture as it affected Middle Eastern Islam. I was invited to appear on the television program “Booknotes” to discuss my book and broadcast from its studio in Washington, D.C. As we talked on the air I could see the dome of the Capitol through a picture window.

At about that time, did al Qaeda strike in Washington, D.C.? Anthrax was found in a letter to Sen. Tom Daschle’s office. The result was that mail delivery in D.C. ceased for several days, resulting in chaos.

Smiling Through the Cultural Catastrophe¬†sold more copies as a result of “Booknotes” than the Yale University Press had anticipated.


My recent book,¬†The Living Moment: Modernism in a Broken World, also benefited from the research facilities of Baker-Berry. Here I was not writing about the ancient world but about authors I knew well and who are familiar to educated people, beginning with the chapter “Frost and Eliot: Modernisms.” Here I had to retrieve articles I had read by various critics — and a few I had written — and might not have been able to find some of them in periodicals I once had read.

No problem!

The Baker-Berry reference staff not only located them but printed them out as I stood there and marveled.

-Jeffrey Hart, Dept. of English (Emeritus)

Prof. Hart’s latest book, The Living Moment: Modernism in a Broken World, is included in the current Dartmouth Authors book display in the King Arthur Flour caf√© in Baker-Berry Library.