Correcting the Calendar

By the time 1582 rolled around, the Julian calendar was no longer accurate and the refined Gregorian calendar was slated to become the daily planner of choice. Great Britain obviously thought that this required further study and waited until 1751 to pass an act “regulating the Commencement of the Year, and correcting the calendar now in use.” In order to prevent widespread confusion and panic, the act decreed that January would become the “first month of the year 1752.” Prior to this March had been the usual start of the new year.

We have a small pamphlet purportedly printed by Benjamin Franklin in 1751. It reproduces a London Society of Friends pamphlet that briefly explains the act, provides readers with a small conversion table for the calendar switch, and gives a history of the names of the months and the days of the week.

According to the pamphlet, January is named for the Roman god Janus, February for the rituals surrounding sacrifices to the “Heathen God Pan,” March for the god Mars and so on. The historical provenance of the names of the days of the week are likewise discussed and the pamphlet notes, rather snidely, that the “continued Use of these Names of Days, derived from such gross Idolatry of the Heathen, is a demonstration, how little the Purity of the Christian Religion was understood by the Generality of those who came into the publick Profession of it.” A bit of we now know better than the unwashed masses who came before.

To avoid this morass of heathen superstition, the pamphlet then goes on to recommend the use of numerical designations for months and days, something the authors claimed was the “most Ancient” and “the most plain, simple and rational” method.

The pamphlet is dated “the sixth Day of the Seventh Month, 1751.”

Ask for Presses F854f.

Something Pretty for the Holiday

Among our many medieval manuscripts is this beautiful leaf from a 16th century Italian antiphonal celebrating the Christmas Day mass. This floriated initial G leads into one of the most famous lines of Christian choral music: “Gloria in excelsis Deo.”

We hope it brightens your holiday season.

We are closed through January 1st, but after that you can see the manuscript in person by asking for MS 002091.

Filling in Vasari

When Giorgio Vasari set out to illustrate his Le vite de’ piv eccellenti pittori, scvltori, e architettor (Fiorenza: Appresso i Giunti, 1568) he aimed for authenticity in his depiction of each of the artists represented. But there were a handful for whom Vasari had no reliable likeness to draw on.  He placed blank medallion frames at the heads of each of their entries. Was he giving a future reader an opportunity to complete his work once a reliable image had been found? Or, by acknowledging his own ignorance, were the blanks there to bolster the integrity of the rest of his work?

In our copy, a 16th or 17th century artist took advantage of the several of Vasari’s blanks and has provided beautiful pen and ink sketches to “finish” the work. This copy was owned by an 17th centry art historian, so perhaps he had access to likenesses Vasari did not and commissioned an artist to fill in the blanks.

Come see our improved Vasari by asking for Rare N6922.V2 1568.

A Quick Review of Mobile Document Storage: Scanning Options, PDFs, and Combating the Paper Stream

Article by Rick Hansen

In a December “App Smart” section of The New York Times, columnist Kit Eaton remembers when we were promised paperless lives with amplified Internet accessibility, and most recently, increased mobile technology.  Freedom from the paper trail has not yet arrived, but Eaton’s review of free and for-purchase mobile applications will help you manage documents and reduce the need to carry around and save physical items.  Click here to read more on the pros and cons of iOS applications such as Readdle’s Scanner Pro, Genius Scan, Perfect OCR, or the Android application Mobile Doc Scanner.

Application Highlights:

Genius Scan

genius-scanUsing your camera on your mobile device, take a picture and store it directly into Genius Scan or utilize your camera’s stored images to import saved pictures.  Genius Scan creates a new PDF file every time an image is uploaded. It also allows you to add to existing documents for multi-page PDFs and helpful organization.


You can also export files as a PDF or JPG through email or iAnnotate (for example).  The bonus Wi-Fi-sync option with a nearby computer is available if you like, and you also have the ability to adjust the resolution of an image.  The free version (Genius Scan “Lite”) has sync limitations with Dropbox, Evernote and other cloud storage providers.

Automatic and manual cropping allows you to make the best of your captured image:


Genius Fax

Genius Fax works directly with Genius Scan to allow for faxing a document, when sharing a PDF is not an option. Genius Fax also makes available a cover page when faxing a file, if desired.  Payment in advance is required for each file, prior to sending the fax.

Here is an example of stored fax transactions, and a welcome homepage:

The application’s mobile cover page allows for straightforward fax submission:


Start Lite

Start Lite allows you to create a PDF from a webpage.  The application will become your web browser for quick “PDFMe” options. Alternatively (and after download), you may enter the letter “S” to the beginning of your Safari webpage and the Start Lite PDF option will automatically begin.  Your PDFs are stored for quick access offline, and with this lite app version, 3 free PDFs can be created everyday.

Below:  See how you may use multiple tabs for browsing and you can use menu bars to toggle between views.


A summary of open webpages appears on the left-menu column.  Swipe the screen to open or close this menu.  Selecting “new tab” opens a new webpage.  Also, view your stored PDF files by selecting “My PDF Files.”

By selecting “My PDF Files,” the right column lists all of your saved PDFs:

Swiping between the three menu pages allows you to see open tabs and webpages (to the far left), stored documents (in the center), and an open document or webpage (on the right):


Alone on Foot

For those of you who dread getting up in the morning, or have ever had to endure lengthy speeches about days of trudging to school in the snow “uphill both ways,” we have an item that just may make you feel a bit better about your daily commute. Imagine leaving home by yourself and traveling hundreds of miles on foot, just for the promise of an education. For the Indian students of the Moor’s Indian Charity School founded by Eleazar Wheelock in 1754, this was a reality.

This passport, discovered among the effects of William Allen, D.D., President of Dartmouth and of Bowdoin Colleges, whose wife, Maria Malleville Wheelock, was the granddaughter of President Eleazar Wheelock, documents the travels of Wheelock’s Indian students on their journey from Bethel, N.J., to Lebanon, Connecticut. The passport is a sheet 15 inches long and 12 inches wide, folded into fourths and stitched together at each crease.

Two of Eleazar Wheelock’s students, Delaware Indian boys John Pumshire aged 14 and Jacob Woolley, aged 11, were the first to make the long trip to Moor’s. John and Jacob “left all their Relations & Acquaintances, and came alone, on foot, above 200 miles, and thro’ a Country, in which they knew not one Mortal, and where they had never pass’d before” all to receive education and missionary training from a stranger they had never seen or heard of themselves.

On the top left corner of the passport reads an introduction from Aaron Burr, second President of the College of New Jersey, and John Brainerd, brother of David Brainerd, who lived at Bethel, N.J., where the Indian boys started on their journey to Lebanon, Connecticut:

Gentlemen and Christian Friends,
These Indian Boys, the Bearers of this, are upon a Journey from Bethel the Indian Town in New Jersey, to Lebanon in Connecticut, in order to be put to Learning under the Inspection of the Reverend Mr. Wheelock, with a View to prepare them for the Gospel Ministry, and a design to propagate Christian Knowledge among the Native Indians in this Land: and therefore are recommended to the Charity of Christian People as they pass through the Country.

The passport combines, on a single sheet of paper, a letter and diagonally placed travel directions. The left side of the itinerary has twenty-seven place names, beginning with Bethel at the bottom of the page and Lebanon at the top. Each place name is complemented on the right side by a name of reference, where the boys could ask for assistance, food, and shelter. Of the 28 places listed on the itinerary, all but two (Bethel and Horseneck) can be easily identified on a map today. The presence of a diagonal line between entries indicates the point at which the boys would need to cross a major river – those of which included the Raritan, Hudson, Housatonic, and Connecticut.

This passport, along with other items from the Moor’s Charity School is currently on exhibit in the Class of 1965 Galleries until February 28th. Afterward, feel free to come in and request the passport by asking for Mss D.C. Hist. 754900.

Protecting Your Article Posting Rights

Copyright Locked You may have seen this article in the December 6 edition of Wired Campus in the Chronicle: “Posting your Latest Article? You Might have to Take it Down.” In short, an environmental studies professor posted PDFs of his own articles on, a scholarly networking site. Elsevier served and the professor with a take-down notice, one of nearly 3,000 that was sent to thus far. This raises the question of how can you retain your rights as an author to post your materials on personal, professional, and institutional websites?

The Library has a guide for authors who wish to retain their posting rights. This guide has a link to the “Dartmouth College Publication Agreement Amendment” which you can sign and include with publishers’ contracts. This amendment enables you retain the right to use your work in the course of your scholarly activities, to make copies of it, to post it to a website or place it in a digital repository managed by the College, and to share it with colleagues and students as you choose.

The Library can also advise you regarding publishers’ contracts and the rights they do and do not grant to you as an individual author. One great site to check is Sherpa RoMEO.

In related news: “Nobel winner declares boycott of top science journals: Randy Schekman says his lab will no longer send papers to Nature, Cell and Science as they distort scientific process”

If you have questions about the Elsevier/ incident, the author’s amendment, or about scholarly communication and open access more generally, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Mandela Hall

Last week, with the death of Nelson Mandela, the world lost an exceptional leader and dedicated crusader for human rights. He brought the light of his cause to all corners of the globe, including a small college in New Hampshire where, briefly, there stood a Mandela Hall.

Apartheid and the College’s investments in companies doing business in South Africa had caused some protest at Dartmouth dating back to the 1970s. In the 1980s unrest among the students and faculty in regard to the College’s investment polices increased and became organized in a serious way. Rallies, teach-ins, vigils and recommendations generated by numerous committees and groups urged the Board of Trustees to divest. In June 1985, the Board issued its first statement supporting divestment, voting to remove from its portfolio companies not complying with the Sullivan Principles during the next year.

Taking their cue from activities at other colleges and universities where shantytowns had proved to be an effective protest method, on November 16, 1985, the Dartmouth Community for Divestment constructed two shanties on the green, Biko Memorial Hall and Mandela Hall. In addition, the DCD issued two demands to the Trustees, expecting their written statement of acceptance by mid-day, November 18th.

The Trustees did not respond to the DCD demands, and a third shanty was built. Town officers, students, faculty and community members argued and debated the legality of the shanties. On November 21st, College president David McLaughlin stated that the shanties could remain as long as they served an educational purpose.

And remain they did, at least until the night of Jan 21-22, 1986, when twelve students calling themselves the Dartmouth Committee to Beautify the Green Before Winter Carnival, took sledge hammers to the structures, and sent a brief letter to President McLaughlin stating that they were “merely picking up trash off the Green.” The discussions that had surrounded the legality of constructing shanties on the green were instantly replaced by debate over the violent actions of the DCBGBWC.

Over time, the dust settled, but opposition to the College’s investment policies continued for a few more years following the shanty incident, until finally, in November 1989, the Trustees voted to fully divest.

To learn more, ask for the Vertical Files “Student Protests 1985″ and Student Protests 1986.”

A Story of Crime, Punishment and Redemption Torn from the Headlines!

The history of the best known engraving of Dartmouth College–how it came about, and the life of the artist who created it–is one of the more unusual tales in American print history.

Christian Meadows (1814-after 1872) was an engraver who immigrated to Boston from England in the 1830s. In early 1849, Meadows was working for W. W. Wilson of Boston, engraving plates for bank notes and dies for stamping coins. He disappeared about the same time some plates for printing bank notes were stolen from the firm. In March of that year, Meadows appeared in Wells River, Vermont, in the company of his wife, the burglar and bank robber William “Bristol Bill” Warburton, and Margaret O’Connell, a Boston counterfeiter. Meadows was suspected of passing counterfeit notes at a Wells River bank, and a search of the group’s Groton, Vermont, house revealed burglar’s tools, a printing press, and some of the engraved bank note plates that had been stolen from W. W. Wilson. Meadows was arrested, tried for counterfeiting, convicted, and sentenced to ten years at the Vermont State Prison in Windsor beginning in June, 1850. The story of the breaking of this counterfeiting ring was sensational enough to be carried in newspapers from as far west as Wisconsin.

The following year, three Dartmouth students–E.T. Quinby, George W. Gardner, and Charles Caverno–planned to commission an engraving of the College. The trio went to Boston in search of an engraver and learned that New England’s finest engraver was imprisoned at Windsor. They asked Warden Henry Harlow to permit Meadows to work on the project. Meadows must have been a model prisoner, for Harlow allowed him to travel from Windsor to the Dartmouth campus under guard to make drawings for the engraving. Upon returning to the prison, Meadows engraved the copper plate for the print.

Meadows chose a view looking south from near the present site of Rollins Chapel to depict Wentworth Hall, Dartmouth Hall, Thornton Hall, and the whitewashed Reed Hall. The three-and-a-half story brick Dartmouth Hotel can be glimpsed through trees at the right opposite the common which is bordered by fences and crisscrossed by paths. The prominent elm in the foreground recalls the tree’s popularity as an ornamental, and saplings protected by tree boxes to prevent hitched horses from damaging their trunks flank the elm and are planted around the common. Meadows’ view projects order and serenity–qualities that he seems to have been unable to integrate into his life up to that time.

The print was seen by Dr. John Walker of the New Hampshire Agricultural Society who offered the jailed engraver the job of producing the Society’s diploma to be awarded at the annual agricultural fair. A pastoral drawing by portrait painter Daniel G. Lamont who was then living near Daniel Webster’s birthplace in Franklin, New Hampshire, was incorporated into the final image by Meadows. A copy of the engraved diploma was sent to Webster who was Secretary of State in the Fillmore administration. Upon seeing it, Webster remarked: “Who is the engraver that has done this? Where does he dwell? I have been searching for such a man. We want him at the State Department to engrave Maps.”

Webster asked Vermont Governor Charles K. Williams to pardon Meadows, asking “Why do you bury your best talents in your state prisons?” The Governor declined, and a year later Webster was dead. A new Governor, Erastus Fairbanks, issued the pardon probably out of respect for Webster and his earlier effort. Meadows was freed on July 4, 1853, and he remained in Windsor until 1859 making engravings of education institutions including Appleton Academy in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, and Vermont’s Thetford Academy.  Meadows moved to Buffalo, New York, the following year where he worked as an engraver, he was listed under the same occupation in Toronto city directories for 1871 and 1872, and then he disappears from the record.

To see engravings made by Meadows in and out of prison, ask for Iconography 72, 416, 735, Broadside f852590, and f862626.

Posted for Richard Miller