On April 1st, Rauner Library participated in Job Shadow Day, an Upper Valley tradition since 1999. Every year, the Upper Valley Business and Education Partnership coordinates visits from eleven local middle schools to over a hundred employers in the area. This year, Rauner was fortunate enough to host six 8th-grade students from Lebanon Middle School, Thetford Academy, Rivendell Academy, and the Indian River School.
During the course of their visit, the students were given a tour of the library by Eric Esau, Administrative & Reference Specialist, and learned about the college archives, our many miles of manuscript collections, and the thousands of rare books that comprise Rauner’s holdings. Peter Carini, College Archivist, and his student worker, Haley Shaw ’15, led the students in a hands-on exploration and interpretation of records related to a notable Dartmouth alum (Stubby Pearson ’42). The students were asked to tell the story of his life based upon the various documents that they examined.
Ilana Grallert, Processing Specialist, invited the students to examine her work area, where she was in the midst of reprocessing the Sinclair Weeks papers. She explained how a collection is processed, what a modern manuscript collection looks like, and the particular challenges of making order out of chaos. She then showed them the original manuscript of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and some original drawings by Dr. Seuss.
Jay Satterfield, Special Collections Librarian, and Peter Nowell, Processing & Metadata Specialist, talked with the students about all the different sorts of rare books that make their way to Rauner, including a 1st edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Salty, an artist’s book covered with salt crystals and bound with squid tentacles. They also showed the students three stunning medieval manuscripts and a series of interesting cataloging challenges from recent purchases.
As the students explored our collections, we were able to talk with them about Rauner’s commitment to classroom usage and accessibility. All of the students engaged intellectually with the materials, asked insightful questions, and (we believe) had a positive experience here at Rauner. As they were leaving, one of the students said, “I love this place!” We know how he feels.
Written by Morgan Swan, Special Collections Education & Outreach Librarian.