A Flexagon

A wonderful example of a flexagon, is found in Vermont artist Carolyn Shattuck’s The quilts of Gee’s Bend, V.2. To be more precise, this is a flexagon book, a movable structure made up of 6 tetrahedons. This creates a kinetic structure that allows the user to manipulate and display the book in multiple, unexpected ways.

This is the second book Carolyn Shattuck created, that was inspired by the beautiful and unusual patterns found in quilts created in the rural African American community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. The unknown artists who created the original quilts developed unique designs that are exceptionally vibrant, and this handmade book, #8 in edition of 25, was designed by Shattuck as a tribute to the artists who designed the original quilts. It can be found in the Sherman Art Library Special Collection, call #N7433.4 S417 G34 2011.

"Don’t Fail to See It"

Before the novels and the Pulitzer, Edith Wharton made her mark by writing about garden design, interior decoration and what constituted good taste. Her first published book was The Decoration of Houses (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1897) in which she tastefully railed against Victorian decorating sensibilities and advocated for the use of more open spaces that emphasized the room, not the furnishings.

Wharton’s next non-fiction work was a lavishly illustrated book about the architecture and surrounding gardens of Italian villas aptly named Italian Villas and Their Gardens (New York: Century, 1905). The book included numerous drawings and photographs, primarily by Cornish Colony artist Maxfield Parrish. In Rauner’s collection of Parrish’s papers are correspondence with Wharton about the book as well as some of the original plate negatives used as inspiration for his illustrations.

One particularly interesting letter “sums up” Wharton’s impressions of the various villas in Florence. The Villa Medici gets a nod of approval – “Open certain days. Don’t fail to see it.” The Villa Albani is dismissed as “Hard to see and not worth while.” The Villa d’Este in Tivoli is “Wonderful of course. Always open.” Entries on other sites contain additional information about permits, whom to obtain them from and when to visit to avoid complications due to school calendars or other potential hazards.

Ask for ML-62, box 3, folder 43 to read the correspondence and Illus P249wha for the first edition of Italian Villas. The negatives are extremely fragile and are housed in Box 13 of the Parrish collection. A guide to the Parrish collection is available.

Celebrate Geography in Your Life

key image In November you get to celebrate all the ways geography impacts your life. The week of November 17th through the 23rd is Geography Awareness Week. The National Geographic Society sponsors the week. It’s also the Society’s 125th birthday.


GISDay_logo Also during that week, on Wednesday, November 20th, is GIS Day. It gives everyone who works with anything geospatial a chance to talk about what they do. Did you ever wonder how a web site knows what store is closest to you or how your travel routes are created? That is GIS at work for you. Geographic information systems (GIS) is a way to store, analyze, manipulate, manage and show geographic data. Once you have the data within the system, you can ask questions about the data and see the results.

Stay tuned for more information about GIS and geography in your life every day.


Thinking of dressing up like a pirate this Halloween? If you what the classic look popularized in the 19th century, Howard Pyle is the place to go. But, if you want a more authentic take on the style, try The Bucaniers of America: Or, a True Account of the Most Remarkable Assault Committed of Late Years upon the Coasts of the West-Indies by the Bucaniers of Jamaica and Tortuga, Both English and French (London: William Crooke, 1684). Not only will you find some good costume ideas, but you can read about the exploits of the campus favorite Captain (Henry) Morgan.

Originally published in Dutch in 1678, this 1684 English translation added to Alexander Exquemelin’s first hand accounts of his encounters with pirates in the Caribbean. It helped to popularize the romantic and sensational tales of privateers and pirates and built the modern mythology surrounding their exploits.

We just acquired this, but we will link to the catalog record soon.

ACS Digitizes Legacy Data (and makes it freely available to all)

SI for an early Sharpless article in JACS

SI accompanying an early Sharpless article (JACS, 1981)

This just in!   We’d heard about this initiative before (“ACS – 2013 Initiatives (aka good news!)“) and it appears that the work is now complete.   Congratulations to ACS for this great contribution, – made freely available to all, with relevant data linked from articles’ abstract pages.

ACS Publications today announces the completion of a comprehensive undertaking to digitally convert and conserve the Supporting Information for its broadly subscribed ACS Legacy Archives journals collection. This initiative was part of the Society’s commitment to broaden the online accessibility of the supporting information and data associated with the ACS Legacy Archives –– a premium collection of nearly half a million original research articles published in ACS journals between the years 1879 and 1995. The digitization effort has generated new Supporting Information files for 40,000 ACS original research articles, and in total comprises 800,000 pages of highly valuable data and underlying research information.”

… and, from the full press release:

“Among the extensive collection of the newly available digital information are many noteworthy examples of data that supported published scientific breakthroughs, such as:

And now, about that microfiche …

Filed under: Chemistry, Publishing

UpToDate for Your Mobile Device

UpToDate is now available for your IOS, Android, or Windows 8 mobile device.

To take advantage of this new feature, you must register for a personal account.  Go to UpToDate while on a computer (not your mobile device) connected to the DH or Dartmouth network. Click on the red “Log In/Register” button on UpToDate’s home page:













Fill out the registration form for new users and submit. You’ll quickly receive a confirmation by email.

Go to the app store for your device and download the free UpToDate app. Log in with your newly created user name and password. You can have the app on up to 2 devices; your laptop or desktop computer does not count as a device. Please note: you must be connected to the internet via your device to access the content.

Your registration expires if you do not log in every 30 days from either your device or computer on the Dartmouth or DH network. You’ll get a reminder after 25 days of not logging in.

UpToDate is brought to you by a partnership of the Dartmouth Biomedical Libraries, Geisel School of Medicine, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Questions?  Contact Biomedical.Libraries.Reference@Dartmouth.edu or 650-7660.

Shape Up!

Prang’s inexpensive color lithography technique revolutionized advertising and made color greeting cards commonplace. His work appeared in millions of scrapbooks in the the late 19th century. He also made novelty books like this shaped book of Little Red Riding Hood.

In the original Perrault telling of Little Red Riding Hood, our young heroine is eaten by the wolf. It is a cautionary tale about the wolves of the world that stalk young women. But the story has become much nicer over time. But in this 1863 edition, Little Read Riding Hood is saved at the last minute by a hunter–not even her grandmother dies. It still has a cautionary moral at the end, but it only reminds the young to shape up and obey their mothers.

Eerily, when you open the book, it looks remarkably like a tombstone.

Come see it by asking for 1926 Collection V489.

Welcome Sara!

The library has a history of interaction with students from the Center for Cartoon Studies, which is not surprising since it is located just over the Connecticut River in White River Junction, Vermont. Every year a new group of talented and creative students arrive to attend classes. Currently we have a graduate from this program working full time in our department and the Library has hired a number of graduates over the years.

Two years ago we hosted a small workshop for one of the Cartoon Studies classes and taught some basic bookbinding techniques. More recently we hosted a class here teaching wrappers. In this class one of the students took a shining to the conservation lab and what we do here, and in an effort to fulfill her independent study requirements contacted me to see if she could come here to lean about conservation and book structure. So long story short, Sara Sarmiento, a second year student started September 13th,(good luck for us!), and will come one day a week till her term ends in December. We are fortunate to be able to offer these learning opportunities for students and we are happy that Sara took the initiative to seek us out. Welcome Sara.

Written by Deborah Howe.

Our Community of Scientists: 2013

Once again, 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 year’s presentation. Photos were also drawn from the Dartmouth Flickr page, the Dartmouth Now section on Science & Health, and departmental websites.

If you have photos to share for our next presentation, please send them to us! We look forward to another great year!

If you have trouble viewing the embedded show, please use this link. If you would like a high quality copy of this presentation, please email me!

See also last year’s presentation.

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

Haute Couture for Books

Bindings 69

In high fashion there’s often a disconnect between the world of the practical and that of “just because I can.” Over-the-top or outlandish designs, often for the sake of the splash of the design itself, also find their way into the world of bookbinding. Sometimes this is deliberate and sometimes it’s an honest effort to reflect the nature of the text that just spiraled out of control.

Rauner holds numerous examples of bindings that clearly reflect this decorative dominance and one of our first blogs was about our jewel-bound Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. Today’s selections incorporate ivory, enamel, wallpaper, velvet, jewels, precious metals, hand-stitching and other materials and techniques intended to enhance the visual appeal of each book and make it stand out from the crowd. You be the judge of which designs qualify as high fashion for books. Do any of them actually reflect the nature of the text or enhance it?

Bindings 59
Bindings 52

Bindings 49
Bindings 47

Bindings 243
Bindings 104
Bindings 96

Ask for the following items:
Bindings 47
Bindings 49
Bindings 52
Bindings 59
Bindings 69
Bindings 96
Bindings 104
Bindings 243