Summon 2.0 – Preview It Now!

Summon 2.0 is not just a new look for a user interface to search for vast amounts of scholarly content. It provides new functions and content now, with more to come as it develops over the next few months. It’s available to preview now so have a look!

Highlights of the new look and features that you’ll see in Preview:

  • 3 columns so additional information does not cover the existing information
  • Research guides, subject specialist librarians and topic overviews display in the third column to provide additional sources of information on the topic
  • Overviews of topics, currently from three sources with more to come: Credo Reference, Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia
  • Facets are selected by links instead of check boxes
  • Results are grouped in “roll-ups” by content type such as images and newspaper articles
  • Results are grouped into broad disciplines
  • Additional suggested search terms are provided through use of controlled vocabularies from a variety of sources, including some index and abstract services

The URL for Dartmouth’s Summon Preview is

The Dartmouth Murders

While Dartmouth has had its share of real murders, this particular Dartmouth Murders, is the title of a work of fiction, possibly the first work of murder mystery fiction to feature the College, at least in book form. The story was perpetrated by Clifford Orr, Class of 1922, who would have lived through a real murder at the College in his sophomore year, but that’s a different story!

Clifford’s fictional murder is nothing like the real one. Instead it starts with the main character, Kenneth Harris, finding the body of his roommate hanging by his neck from the fire escape (in those days the fire escape was a rope that student would have to shimmy down in the event of a blaze). What appears at first to be a suicide quickly turns more sinister.

Orr first published the piece in serial form in College Humor under the title “The Dartmouth Mystery,” though there is little if any humor in his piece. The story was then picked up by Farrar and Rinehart in the company’s inaugural year (1929) and made into a book. While Orr went on to publish another mystery with them, The Wailing Rock Murders, his final book, allegedly set on the Cornell campus, never made it into print. The Dartmouth Murders was made into a movie in 1935, titled A Shot in the Dark. The New York Times panned the movie version for which Orr wrote the script.

The Dartmouth Murders is full of familiar Dartmouth locations and references. For instance Kenneth Harris is a resident of North Mass, just as Clifford Orr was as a student. But when the clock strikes the hour it is not the Baker Tower clock as it would be today, but the Dartmouth Hall clock (Baker hadn’t been built when Orr was a student). Webster Hall, the Chapel and the Inn also get at least passing mention. Hanover establishments of yore also make appearances, The Dartmouth National Bank and Campion’s for instance, but ultimately the book is more about the mystery and Dartmouth is very much a backdrop.

In addition to several copies of the book, some signed by the author, we also have the original manuscript as well as Orr’s own letters home to his mother during his years at Dartmouth.

Orr, who started out as a literary associate at Doubleday, Dorn & Co., and later became a literary editor at The New Yorker, also published some short literary pieces in The New Yorker and wrote song lyrics. He died in Hanover in 1951 after “a long illness” at the age of 51.

To read The Dartmouth Murders, ask for: DC History, PZ3.O749 Dar or Rauner Alumni O75d
To see the College Humor version of the story ask for: DC History PZ3 .O749da
To see Orr’s papers and the manuscript version of the novel, ask for: MS-532
To watch A Shot in the Dark, go to Jones Media Center and ask for: Jones Media DVD 8519

Slide Scanning Tips

When I was an undergraduate student I worked in my college library’s Visual Resource Collection in a somewhat similar position to the one I’m in now. The VRC was primarily a resource for my school’s Art History Department (my major), and their main asset was row upon row of metal filing cabinets filled to the brim with 35mm slides.

As the years went on, we unsurprisingly saw more and more art history professors moving towards digital teaching tools. As such, the VRC department had no choice but to move with the times and focus on the digitization of their existing collection.

This was my first experience scanning 35mm slides, and while it fundamentally follows the same principles as scanning anything else, there are some considerations to be made. The main question is one of scanner preference: mechanical feed or flatbed?

Nikon Super COOLSCAN 9000 ED; a professional-quality mechanical feed slide and negative scanner I used at my previous job. Image copyright Nikon USA.

Mechanical feed slide scanners have several distinct advantages: they are smaller and very easily portable; they are often designed to accept large batches of scans in a workflow environment; and they require very little adjustment or calibration on the user end. However, there are drawbacks as well. Much like the mechanical feed photo scanner, it is prone to dust. This dust is significantly more troublesome in the final product due to the small size of the originals. Additionally, the user-friendliness can sometimes translate to poor customizability. And of course, the slide scanner’s utility is limited to 35mm slides or film negatives.

The Epson Expression 10000XL, with transparency unit and slides ready for scanning

While flatbed scanners are designed with larger printed material in mind, often times these too can accept slides or photo negatives with certain peripheral attachments. In the Dartmouth Library Digital Production Unit, our Epson Expression 10000XL flatbed scanner has such attachments. The biggest and most crucial is the transparency unit. This piece replaces the original scanner cover with what is essentially a lightbox, backlighting the slides and providing consistent illumination. Additionally, there are slide and negative holders that help keep your images consistent.

The biggest drawback to the flatbed scanner is that sometimes the scanner itself has not been designed for the high-resolution settings required to scan such small objects at archival quality. Usually a good resolution for 35mm slides is 2,400 dpi; four times the resolution of our usual scans. A good high-quality scanner should have no problem with this, but many consumer-level scanners simply can’t scan a resolution that high.

While our Digital Production Department has not had much reason to incorporate slide and negative scanning into our workflow thus far, it can’t hurt to be prepared for whatever digitization projects come our way.

Of Devotion and Care

Bound in an unassuming 18th Century calfskin binding this little book seems much like any other until you open to the title page. At this point it becomes obvious that you are not looking at a normal book. What might at first glance appear to be text and image printed in red ink quickly resolves itself into an intricately cut page. Yes, cut. Each letter in this book, which measures 3 ¾ x 2 ¾ inches, been cut through the paper and then a piece of colored silk has been inserted between the pages. The intricate carvings appear, due to the variations in the size and angle of the letters, to have been hand cut without the use of a stencil or guide. The silk backings include red, green, yellow, blue and black.

So what is it and why? The book is dedicated to and executed for Philip III of Spain and bears his coat-of-arms on the title page. The text is a collection of church and private prayers in Latin and is likely the work of the Dominican monk Diego de Barrada who probably did it to show his devotion and loyalty to the king. The book was completed in ca. 1600 as a gift to King Philip.

Ask for Codex 001599.

Doodling Twain

At last week’s annual conference of the Society of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP), there was a panel titled “The Alchemy of the Page: Transforming Image and Text.” One paper described Mark Twain’s use of imagery in King Leopold’s Soliloquy while the second paper was on the many marginal doodles left behind by Max Beerbohm and G. K. Chesterfield. The panel reminded us of our original manuscript of Chapter Sixteen of Mark Twain’s A Tramp Abroad that is full of Twain’s doodles.

While Twain wrote he flipped over his sheets and indulged in a little mental free play. The manuscript contains two sketches of elephants then a sketch of a gentleman being dragged from the customs house by an elephant’s trunk. The image leaves much of the action off page.  Twain wrote a sketch, “A Stolen White Elephant,” for A Tramp Abroad that was not included in the final version, but as far as we can tell, this text has nothing to do with elephants. Of course, good doodles almost always hide their meanings.

To see if you can make anything of this text/image interplay, ask for Codex MS 002470.

Scenes From the Sea

Augustus Alexander Warren was a warrant officer with the United States Navy in the mid-1800s. He was born to a French mother and an English father in Havre, France, in February of either 1826 or 1827. When a young man, Warren emigrated to Kittery, Maine, where he became a U.S. citizen in 1853 and received his commission as a sail-maker with the Navy the same year. Soon after, he set to sea on the USS Decatur to defend Seattle against “all the Indians occupying the Northern portion of the United States.” Warren also sailed in support of the Charles Francis Hall Arctic expedition in 1871 and along the coast of South America in the 1880s.

The Warren Papers are a wonderful example of the wondrous variety that can be enclosed within a single-box collection and of the fascinating lives that can be explored through the breadth of documents found therein. Among other things, this box contains the original manuscripts of Warren’s sea adventures, his official papers of citizenship and naval commission (the latter signed by Franklin Pierce), many of his letters home, and daguerreotypes of him and two other family members.

Despite these interesting items, what we found most striking are the numerous pencil drawings, some colored and others not, that are a significant part of the collection. As a sail-maker, Warren was by necessity an amateur draftsman; his logbook is filled with precise geometrical illustrations of the numerous types of sails required by navy ships at the time, complete with highly detailed measurements and instructions for constructing them aboard ship. These drawings are complemented by thrilling scenes of ships amid icebergs and touching images of an imagined reunion with his wife upon his eventual return home.

To explore the rich and fascinating depths of one ordinary man’s life, humbly contained within a single box, ask at Rauner for MS-868 Box 1. A finding aid for the collection is available.

Dartmouth Summer Programs in the Library

Although it may seem a little quieter than usual in the library these days, things have really not slowed down much since the end of spring term. There may be fewer Dartmouth students on campus, but there are plenty of guests, students, and scholars from all over the world using the Library’s resources and participating in one of the several summer programs hosted at Dartmouth.

Whether they are doing in-depth research or checking out movies from Jones to watch on rainy afternoons, the library is happy to share our facilities and resources with our summer visitors. Interested in what our visitors are doing here all summer? Five of the summer programs are featured below:


ASURE stands for Academic Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. This program hosts seven non-Dartmouth undergraduate students from all over the country and provides them with valuable experience in conducting academic research, networking opportunities, and mentoring. ASURE is meant to prepare these students for a future in graduate research. The program will be hosted by Dartmouth Graduate Studies in collaboration with relevant departments around the campus, including Arts & Sciences, Thayer School of Engineering and the Geisel School of Medicine. Information provided by Brittany Jones and the website below.

For more information, visit the ASURE website.

Summer Seminar for Composition Research
This year’s program is titled “Data-Driven Inquiry: Process, Methods, Results.” This seminar is designed for professionals in the writing, rhetoric, and/or composition field “to develop their expertise in understanding, choosing, and using particular research methods, effecting quantitative and qualitative analysis, carrying out critical analysis with (and of) statistics and statistical software, and preparing for publication of research.” Guided interaction about participants’ projects is offered in the months leading up to the Seminar. The Seminar itself offers coursework, small-group discussion and exchange, individual consultation with Seminar leaders, time to work alone or in groups on research projects, and a concluding presentation to the group with feedback from team leaders. Information provided by Christiane Donahue and the website below.

For more information, visit the Summer Seminar for Composition Research website.

Leslie Humanities Center Summer Institute
Led by Dartmouth professors Douglas Haynes and Veronika Fuechtner, this program hosts scholars from the U.S. and abroad and will focus on “the transnational history of sexological ideas and practices as they circulated between Europe/North America and Asia, Africa and Latin America.” The fellows will participate in seminars and other campus events and some will present their papers and research. The goal of the Institute will be to promote exchanges between scholars working on different regions of the world and in different disciplines as well as to produce an edited volume. Check the website below for details on public talks and events and information on each of the fellows. Information provided by the website below.

For more information, visit the Leslie Center website.

Tuck Executive Program
TEP, Tuck’s premier leadership program, immerses senior executives in a broad, strategic general management experience with an unparalleled emphasis on personal leadership transformation. TEP provides participants an opportunity to learn with a select group of peers who come from a broad range of functional backgrounds and represent a richly diverse mix of top global organizations, industries, and countries. Fifty-five percent of this year’s participants are international, representing countries such as Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Sri Lanka. Participants leave Tuck equipped to confidently drive growth, innovation, and change for their organization and armed with a plan to hone leadership skills. Information provided by Laura Kash and the website below.

For more information, visit the Tuck Executive Program website.

Summer Institute of French Cultural Studies
The official summary for this program states that “this institute will examine the disciplinary boundaries and pedagogical practices in the teaching of French and Francophone culture in the foreign language classroom by pairing prominent scholars from a variety of fields and different institutions of higher learning from both sides of the Atlantic.” This program hosts 20 participants who interact with and learn from distinguished scholars in all fields of French Studies, including literature, history and society, ethnography, visual arts, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and mathematics. The faculty for this program includes a wide range of scholars from the U.S. and France and guest lecturers including staff from The New Yorker and even the White House Executive Pastry Chef. Information provided by Associate Director Brian J. Reilly.

"A Seventeenth-Century Emblem Book"

Last week, Dick Hoefnagel, a longtime friend of the Dartmouth College Library, passed away. In his memory, today we blog one of his favorite books from the collection: one he admired, wrote about, and connected with personally. The book is an exquisitely executed seventeenth-century emblem book with hand-colored engravings and text in manuscript.

According to Hoefnagel’s research published in the Library Bulletin 11/1 (November 1970), the engravings were signed by Jean Dolivar, a Spanish artist born in 1641, and the nephew of Jean Lepaute, one of the great masters of the Louis XIV style. Illustrated here is Emblem I described by Dick thusly:

This emblem contrasts the perishable felicities of life on earth with the eternal bliss of heaven. The symbolism is conventional and includes the ancient belief that laurel, usually representing virtue, is never struck by lightning. The choice of the number twelve in the crown of stars may have a biblical derivation (the tiara of the traveling woman of St. John, Revelation 12:1-6; the twelve patriarchs of Israel) or refer to the ultimate origin of such symbolisms, namely the astrological system of the twelve constellations of the Zodiac.

It is a beautiful book and worth your time. Come in and ask for Codex Manuscript 002066.

A Personal Letter from Beethoven

When the name Beethoven is mentioned, you probably think of one of his many compositions and start humming. You think about him being deaf when he composed the Symphony No. 9 in D minor. You might even think about the mystery woman – his “Immortal Beloved.” And that’s usually where it stops. Right?

Rauner has one letter from Beethoven to Christoph August Tiedge from September, 1811. It’s a small window into Beethoven’s personal life and his interactions with friends and acquaintances. In it he discusses his meeting with Tiedge and bemoans the fact that they did not become friends sooner. He  writes “Every day I blow myself up for not having to got to know you sooner at Teplitz” and goes on to mention that he would like to “hop over to the capital of Saxony” to see Tiedge again and that he has decided not to visit his patron the Archduke.

…I received a letter from my gracious and musical Archduke saying that…he was letting me decide whether I should go to him or not. Well, I put the best construction on this in accordance with my intentions and desires; and that is why you see I am still here…

Beethoven then rambles on a bit about his room-mate having “got lost today…and so I could not claim his company.” He closes with “I am expecting at least one word without any reserve, chiefly because I can take it.”

The letter is in German, but a transcription is housed with the manuscript.  Ask for Mss 811506.