Welcome to Jenny Lind

In 1850, P. T. Barnum coaxed thirty-year-old Jenny Lind out of retirement for a grand tour of the United States. That tour, which earned Lind over $350,000, caused a popular sensation and exposed the potential force of the burgeoning American mass market. It also generated its share of souvenirs for her adoring public. Besides dozens of pieces of sheet music bearing her likeness, we also have a framed Daguerreotype of the Swedish songstress with a ticket to the June 20th, 1851, concert.

Even the abolitionist singing group, the Hutchinson Family, tried to cash in on her fame with their “Welcome to Jenny Lind.” Sung “on the occasion of her visit to America,” it was quickly issued as sheet music (Boston: Oliver Ditson, 1850).

To see the Daguerreotype and ticket, ask for Iconography 292. To see “Welcome Jenny Lind,” ask for Sheet Music HF 73.

Merging Images in Photoshop, Part One

One of the most common problems in digitization is how to deal with an image that is too big for your camera or scanner. The simplest solution is to photograph or scan the object in separate pieces, then merge those pieces together, however this can present its own set of problems to those unfamiliar with imaging software.

In this post I will be describing my own method for merging together images. There are many other ways to accomplish these tasks, and if you have a way that works for you, I encourage you to keep using it, but also be aware of its potential pitfalls. The main benefits of my own method are the ability to quality-check your work as you go, and make simple non-destructive edits that can be changed or reversed as needed. Also, for simplicity’s sake, I will be referring to my own Mac OS based workflow for menus and keyboard shortcuts.

Here is the whole image that we’re trying to assemble, and for whatever reason, it’s been captured in two side-by-side pieces in the standard .tiff format. It is crucially important, when capturing, to make sure there is overlap between the captures. This is going to help us check how well-aligned our merging is, so the more overlap the better.

Notice how each side is wider than half of the image

Now that we’ve got our two images, open both in Adobe Photoshop and choose whichever one you want to start working on. I usually go from left to right for simplicity’s sake, so here I will be starting on the left side of the image.

In Photoshop, select the Image drop-down file menu, and select “Canvas Size…” (or use the keyboard shortcut: option+command+C). Click on the canvas width field, and double it. In the “Anchor” field, select the leftmost column of the grid so that Photoshop knows where to put the empty space.

You should be left with an image like this:

It will end up a little wider than is necessary, but it’ll be easier to trim it down after the fact than to add more space. This will now become our “master” file. Do a “Save As” at this point and designate it as such.

Next, go to the second image that we are going to merge into the master (in this case, the right side image). The next step should be familiar to most computer users: select all of the image (command+A), and copy it to the clipboard (command+C). Then go back to the master file and use paste (command+V) to add it into the image.

If you’re paying attention, you’ll obviously notice that this new image is not in the correct position. However, by looking at the Layers panel on the right side of Photoshop you’ll see that the new image is on its own layer, resting on top of the background (if you do not see the Layers panel, select the “Window” drop-down menu and enable “Layers” there). Thus we can edit it without disturbing the original “bottom” layer.

Now, with the top layer selected, click on the “Opacity” field in the Layers panel and set it to 40%. This will make the top layer semi-transparent and allow us to line it up with the bottom layer.

Then, with the Move tool selected (V), begin moving the top layer around and trying to find where it lines up. Look for any solid shapes that are shared by both images, or where the borders intersect. Letterforms provide nice clear and easily-spottable shapes, which is why I have used them in this example, but it can be anything so long as it’s shared by both images.

We’re getting there, but it’s obviously still not right. At this point, find an area of overlap and zoom in closely. Then, with both the top layer and the move tool selected, simply “nudge” the top layer into place using the arrow keys. The arrow keys will only move the layer one pixel at a time, so obviously this is for the finest level of adjustments.


Nailed it!

Now for the final steps! In the layers panel, set the top layer’s opacity back to 100%. Then inspect the images along the borders, making sure that it looks seamless. While checking for quality be sure to zoom in and out.

At this point you can crop the image down to its original size, and it will be ready to go. However, one important piece to remember is that layered .tiffs, in addition to simply being larger files, are also not commonly supported by web or other software. What I like to do at this point is to save the “Master” file with both layers, and then create a new version for common use. The common use version will get flattened (Layer -> Flatten Image) then do a Save As in whatever format is required such as .jpeg or .pdf. This way, if any changes need to be made, we can always go back to the Master version.

And there you have it! A nice, seamless image. In the next post in this series, I will go into more detail for dealing with other problems, such as skew and mismatched backgrounds or details.

Written by Ryland Ianelli

Photography Exhibit at Matthews-Fuller Library

Photography by Spencer James

Spencer JamesMy name is Spencer James and I’m a third year medical student here at Geisel. I was born in Juneau, Alaska, and grew up in the small town of Port Angeles in the northwest corner of Washington. My love for photography was first sparked by my experiences traveling as an undergraduate at the University of Washington. At that time, photography for me was a means to document and share my experiences traveling and adventuring with my friends and family back home. While this is still at the core of many of my photos, I have grown to appreciate how photography also allows me to become more mindful and appreciative of my surroundings. It may sound paradoxical, but I find that looking through the aperture of a camera helps me tune into subtle patterns, colors, changes in light, shadows, and people and their expressions. More recently, I have started to explore the role of photography in humanitarian and global health work, which is one of my professional aspirations as a medical student. Prior to starting medical school, I also completed a masters thesis on statistical techniques applied to medical diagnoses. As a photographer, medical student, and researcher, I have frequently considered how these different worlds can each play a meaningful role in advancing human health.

Much of my inspiration in photography comes from those journalists and photographers who focus their work on humanitarian and environmental issues. It has been an incredible experience at Dartmouth to meet Steve McCurry and James Nachtwey and see their work firsthand since they have photographed some of the most pivotal and pressing wars, disasters, social, and humanitarian issues of the 20th-21st centuries. Reading about the work of W Eugene Smith on Minamata disease has similarly inspired me by showing how photography can play a powerful role in bringing awareness and action to medical and humanitarian crises. While I will continue to love photography just for the sake of photography, I hope that one day my passion for taking photos can also help to positively impact the people and populations that I will be serving as a future doctor.


Spencer James PhotoMy photography exhibit here is focused on exploring the Pacific Northwest. Similar to the Upper Valley, it is a beautiful area of the world that inspires adventure and rewards exploration. Often when I say I am from Seattle, people ask me about Starbucks, the rainy weather, Kurt Cobain, or more recently Twilight. My Pacific Northwest, though, has always been more defined by the rugged, inhospitable beauty of the towering coastal rainforests, glaciated peaks, and incredible wildlife. Growing up on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, I felt very lucky to have rivers, mountains, and oceans in my backyard, and these areas ultimately became my playground for exploration, adventure, and photography. I love sharing these areas with others, so for this exhibit, I chose a collection of photos from the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and Alaska that I made over the past few years. The exhibit includes places such as Mount Olympus and Mount Rainier, dolphins in the Pacific Ocean, the Pika Glacier in the Alaska Range, and century-old mortuary poles in a deserted Haida village in Haida Gwaii (previously known as the Queen Charlotte Islands). As a nod to the environmental challenges that also define much of Pacific Northwest history, I also include photographs of a freighter loaded with recently-logged timber in a winter snowstorm and a tugboat dragging freight through the Inside Passage. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about any of the photos or the Pacific Northwest, and I hope that you will enjoy what I have shared here.

Spencer James
October 2014

Photos by Tracy Gordon


Kresge Library is excited to showcase the artistic nature photography of the talented Tracy Gordon.

“Growing up in Vermont, (including attending a one room school house), instilled much of my respect and awareness for the beauty that is around me every day. In my early middle school days I was inspired by a teacher who had the “photography bug”. I picked up a camera in my early teens and started shooting pictures, noticing how light and the surrounding environment would affect my picture. As I travel from place to place I am inspired to capture small moments of that beauty that often are over looked as we speed through life. I moved from Vermont to Florida and I currently work as a graphic designer, pre-press specialist and side line as a food stylist. I spend half of my year in Florida and half in Vermont.” – Tracy Gordon

If you have artwork or know of someone who would like to exhibit with us, please contact us at Kresge.Library@dartmouth.edu.

Preservation Week: Archival Storage for Photographs

During Preservation Week libraries all over the country present events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections.

Preservation Tip:
In today’s world of digital and traditional photography, thorough knowledge of the preservation options for the format you use is helpful. For paper-based materials write relevant caption and date information in pencil on the back of the print photograph. For digital photographs, add this information (metadata) in the space provided for it in your software program, and consider naming images with meaningful and specific file names. Choose archival storage means for both, whether acid-free albums or boxes for one or a digital back-up system for the other.
For more information check out the Library of Congress at http://www.loc.gov/preservation/care/photo.html
Preservation Week Events:
Free webinar will be offered during this week: Registration is required. To register and learn more go to ALCTS Events <http://www.ala.org/alcts/confevents>. The webinar will begin at 1 p.m. CDT and will last about one hour.
Tuesday, April 29th – Low-Cost Ways to Preserve Family Archives
Presented by Karen E. K. Brown, preservation librarian for the University at Albany, SUNY University Libraries. What can we do to protect our collectables from damage even if we don’t think we have a perfect place to keep them? Learn about possible risks from handling and the environment, and practical, inexpensive ideas to keep collections safe to help ensure what you have can be shared for many years to come. ALCTS thanks Archival Products <http://www.archival.com/> for sponsoring this webinar and supporting Preservation Week.

Dubious Lineage

On April 23rd, 1947, Thomas Louis Cook was born in Hanover, NH, to Bill Cook ’49 and his wife Evelyn. Bill Cook was a decorated World War II airman who had received numerous commendations for his service to his country, including a Purple Heart for a gunshot wound inflicted during the US Marines’ occupation of Peleliu Island in the fall of 1944. After the war, he and his wife came to Dartmouth, where he distinguished himself as a lacrosse player and she ran a small crafts store in downtown Hanover.

Thomas’s birth was big news on campus, and not because a baby being born to a student was all that uncommon; after the war, numerous servicemen returned to college with their families. According to Cook himself, “babies have evidently been arriving so thick and fast that the College needs a full staff to keep up with them.” Instead, all the excitement was because Thomas, whose Mohawk name was Ronwi Kanawaienton, was being popularly identified as “the first Indian born in Hanover.” Despite the questionable veracity of this claim, numerous newspaper articles heralded the child’s birth, the College Photographer arranged a photo shoot of the family, and President John Sloane Dickey signed a formal declaration welcoming Ronwi to campus.

Although the enthusiasm of the College seems genuine enough, its treatment of Ronwi and his parents reveals the struggle of the Dartmouth community to differentiate between its traditional appropriation of Native American culture and its treatment of actual Native Americans. A sense of unease pervades, in small details, like the College Photographer’s subject heading (“Indians”) for his files, or the use of the title “Grand Sachem” in Ronwi’s birth declaration. Sadly, we will never know how Bill Cook felt about the attention lavished upon his son by Dartmouth, or his time on campus: he died in a military flying accident in 1952 after being called back into service as a flight instructor.

To learn more about Bill Cook ’49, and to read an essay he wrote for GOVT 54 about the threat of governmental paternalization of the Mohawk tribe, come to Rauner and ask for his alumni file.

New Exhibit: Discovering Retirement through the Digital Camera Lens II

ImageLongtime Chester resident Lew Watters is exhibiting a series of photographs at Dartmouth College, Kresge Physical Sciences Library, 6115 Fairchild Hall, Hanover, NH 03755 during the months of February and March.  The free exhibit, open during regular library hours, focuses on his rediscovered joy of photographing life in Chester, travel in the southwest, nature and wildlife, celebrating family, photography classes at Saint-Gaudens NHS, and capturing the art of handcrafted dolls made by his wife Bonnie.

In his retirement Mr. Watters began more serious photography with the gift of a digital SLR camera and the creation of a light studio in order to faithfully capture the extraordinary dolls made by his wife Bonnie. Yearly visits to the southwest for winter vacations opened the vast horizons of the Colorado Plateau, tagging along with daughters Kate and Kelly, shooting macro images of exotic dessert plants, long-range telephoto shots of wildlife, and farmers markets in bustling Tucson. Back home in Vermont and his beloved hometown, the endless scenes of the changing seasons, the family gardens and pets, his historic Stone Village neighborhood, all continue to capture his interest and visual interpretation.

Work experience in a HS computer classroom and his Park Ranger years at Saint-Gaudens National Historic site fueled his passion for mastering digital photo editing using Adobe Photoshop. Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, NH is the perfect place to control natural light whether shooting formal flower gardens, or the subtle nuances of bronze and plaster sculptures of civil war heroes inside a meticulously preserved art studio. The Colorado Plateau in the southwest provides a dramatic contrast in subject, climate, geography, and light.

After formal education and college in Colorado, Mr. Watters served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War stationed on an amphibious ship home-ported in Yoksuka, Japan. Equipped with his Nikon F he could be seen photographing Marines landing ashore, or the temples, shrines and gardens in the ancient capital of Kyoto.

Photo by Lew Watters: abandoned truck #0048 in Paria Canyon, AZ

For Further Information Contact:

Lew Watters





Winter Carnival Online

Winter Carnival is upon us. Over the years, Dartmouth’s “Mardi Gras of the North” has produced some stunning visual images. The annual poster contest has resulted in posters that reflect the history of 20th century graphic design while displaying the ever changing values and interests of Dartmouth students. We recently released a new digital collection of all of the Winter Carnival posters, from the earliest in 1911 to the one currently circulating on campus. They are accompanied by essays from the 2010 Winter Carnival: A Century of Dartmouth Posters (Hanover: University Press of New England, 2010).

Not only can you browse the posters, you can also download a digital image for your personal use. While you are looking for your favorite poster, you can also check out images from Winter Carnivals past in our ever growing digital collection of archival photographs. They are not all scanned yet, but we add to the collection daily–search for Winter Carnival and you will see some of them.

"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.