With interest in DartmouthX growing across campus, Dartmouth Now has featured Barbara DeFelice, the Library's director of Digital Resources and Scholarly Communication Programs, in this week's "Staff Snapshot" column. Barbara describes her work as part of the environmental science MOOC team and underlines the challenges of providing good content in an open environment. Read the full article. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)
We're pleased to announce that Sarah Smith has been selected to be the 2016 Printer in Residence at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Sarah is the Book Arts Special Instructor in our Book Arts Workshop, and during Spring Term 2015 is teaching a class in Dartmouth's Studio Arts department.
Sarah will begin her 6-week residency in Dunedin in August 2016, and will be located in the Otakou Press Room in the University of Otago Library. This prestigious residency has run since 2003, and includes the production of a limited edition book. For more information see Overview of The Printer in Residence at the University of Otago.
Over winter break, Paddock Music Library’s lounge/media area received a much-needed renovation.
To the right is our lounge as it was from 1986 to December 2014. The space was rather cramped and poorly lit with 16 small carrels (not in view here) and dated furniture. You can see, too, that our windows had wired glass that gave the place a more confined feeling.
We sent out a survey to students to ask what sort of improvements they wanted to see. We found that they wanted study tables, comfortable furniture, enhanced lighting, and laptop plug-ins.
In mid-December the contractors set to work on the initial destruction phase of renovation. We took out the arch, the knee walls, and the study carrels to open up the area.
Then came new carpet and brighter paint for the walls and ceilings, as well as much appreciated LED lighting. Warm gold and turquoise were certainly an improvement from the dated color scheme we had before.
In fact, we loved the new colors so much that we had the whole front section of the library repainted as well. The gold paint has offered our circulation area a touch of sun in this underground space.
The completed new area now includes:
a large study table wired for Ethernet ports and outlets
a journal display shelf adorned above with posters that complement the colors of the space
spacious study carrels with adequate lighting and a listening station
comfortable lounge chairs surrounding a coffee table
The room was nearly complete by mid-January. We needed to wait until the first week of February to receive all of the furniture.
Students certainly appreciate the improvements—we have seen an uptick of students using the newly renovated study space.
Keeping you up to date with Library teaching and outreach activities.
Digital and Discoverable by Mitchell Jacobs '14, Edward Connery Lathem '51 Digital Library Intern
Not everyone at Dartmouth knows that the library hosts numerous online, open-access digital collections. (Right here!) Which means researchers and hobbyists around the world probably don’t know either. Nowadays, most people’s first stops for information are Wikipedia and Google, and building a presence in these highly competitive spaces is more important than ever. Since enhancing Wikipedia pages with links to our collections, I’ve seen over 50 new users this month from Wikipedia alone, in particular to William Scott’s books on the Homeric simile. I’ve also been spreading the word within the library about how to modify webpages to rank highly in search engine results, with plans to hold a workshop on this as well as on Wikipedia editing.
Jones Media Center Partners with Latino Studies and Native American Studies Programs for Heritage Month Celebrations by Gavin Huang '14, Jones Memorial Digital Media Intern
Dartmouth celebrated Latino Heritage Month and Native American Heritage Month in October and November, respectively. During the two months, the Jones Media Center highlighted films in its collection by filmmakers of both backgrounds. I worked with professors in the Latino Studies and Native American Studies Programs to select a diverse range of films that explore the histories of both groups. The selection included documentaries, comedies, and dramas to illustrate the richness of cultural production by Latino and Native American filmmakers. The films were featured on screens throughout the library, as well as on the Jones Media Center's look-up kiosks, where patrons could browse through the curated films.
Increasing Access to Spanish Language Materials in Special Collections by Maria Fernandez '14, Edward Connery Lathem '51 Special Collections Intern
This winter I began conducting a survey of Spanish language materials in special collections with Jill Baron, the Librarian for Romance Languages and Latin American Studies. Based on the outcomes of the survey, we will create a research guide to facilitate access to relevant special collections material for students and faculty. One of our objectives is to highlight the extensive holdings relating to the history of Arabic influence in Spain, Jews in Spanish society, and Spanish exploration of the Americas that can be found within the Bryant Spanish Collection. Another collection that we are surveying is the Don Quixote Collection, which consists of nearly two thousand volumes of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's Don Quixote de la Mancha. The fundamental aim of our project is to increase awareness of and facilitate access to Spanish language materials in special collections for students and faculty.
The Splendor Solis is one of the most beautifully illuminated alchemical manuscripts. The original manuscript of this facsimile is in the British Museum, and dated 1582. The earliest version of this text is considered to be the manuscript in the Kupferstichkabinett in the Prussian State Museum in Berlin, which is dated 1532-35. The Splendor Solis manuscript, which is illuminated on vellum, with decorative borders, beautifully painted and heightened with gold, is perhaps the most visually stunning.
The work itself consists of a sequence of twenty two images, set within highly ornamental borders. The symbolic images depict alchemical death and rebirth, and incorporate a series of seven flasks, each associated with one of the planets. Within the flasks a process is shown involving the transformation of bird and animal symbols into figures of a Queen and King, symbolizing the white and the red tincture. The imagery appears to have been influenced by the earlier Pretiosissimum Donum Dei or The Most Precious Gift of God, an earlier work consisting of twelve images depicting the transformation of white & red stones, often represented by the figures of a queen and a king. This work is thought to have first been appeared as a manuscript in 1475
The Splendor Solis has been associated with the legendary alchemist Salomon Trismosin, allegedly the teacher of Paracelsus, the great renaissance physician, astrologer, botanist and alchemist, although many scholars refute this attribution. The manuscript text was later published with woodcut illustrations, in the Aureum Vellus oder Guldin Schatz und Kunst-kammer, 1598, which was reprinted a number of times. Rauner Special Collections has a French translation, entitled La Toyson d'or, ou la fleur des thresors [QD25 .T751 1612] published in Paris in 1612, with a number of very fine engravings, some of which were hand-colored.
The original manuscript in the British Library can be viewed at the link below
The facsimile is in the Sherman Art Library Special Collection, ND3399 .T75 2010
Richard Miller, our library colleague from Baker-Berry Access Services, is the curator of the exhibition A Shared Legacy: Folk Art in America, currently on view at the American Folk Art Museum in New York City through March 8, 2015. The show will travel nationwide over the next two years.
“A Shared Legacy: Folk Art in America offers a stunning presentation of American folk art made primarily in rural areas of New England, the Midwest, and the South between 1800 and 1920. More than sixty works of art, including still-life, landscape, allegorical, and portrait paintings, commercial and highly personal sculpture, and distinctive examples of art from the German-American community exemplify the breadth of American creative expression by individuals who did not always adhere to the academic models that established artistic taste in urban centers of the East Coast.”